I took on this program straight after completing A level French in the hope of improving my confidence in speaking before starting French at university. The team found the perfect family as the young girl I taught had the same proficiency in English as I did in French and we both helped one another with a great use of 'Franglais' when necessary!
I stayed in the beautiful Cévennes, was welcomed warmly by the family and given a room with a view of the mountains. The location was truly picturesque however spending a month in rural France is obviously an enormous change for a born-and-raised city girl and at times it was extremely quiet. I would urge those who enjoy the night-life available in the city to think carefully before committing to a month, however for those who prefer peace (or want a challenge) it is the most wonderful place to spend your time teaching!
At 18, I have only recently completed sixth form and the thought of becoming a teacher was extremely daunting. Of course, a little resistance to the lessons was to be expected of any teenager during the summer holidays and it takes a patient and determined spirit to keep searching for ways to captivate and enthuse the student with various exercises and games. I communicated only in English with my student, so as to provide continuous speaking practice, and she responded enthusiastically to the challenge, gradually improving her pronunciation and expanding her vocabulary base. When it came to teaching grammar, she was obviously not as enthusiastic and I had to search around on the internet for little quizzes to interest and involve her as much as possible.
Ultimately the experience is as worthwhile as you make it, so it is vital to have the courage to throw yourself into life in France and take on the opportunities presented to you. I found that, despite going out to be a teacher, I in fact learned so much myself and feel ready to begin French at university with greater confidence. I would absolutely recommend this trip as it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I cannot thank the Real Gap team enough for making it happen!