... and back in time. The learners of the summer intensive courses had a very special experience today, they travelled back to the 19th century straight into a Victorian classroom.
By Kim Laura Kühne
Haven't we all heard some school stories from our parents and grandparents? For example my grandma told me all the time how good we have it nowadays with modern technology. Teachers can simply print out papers for us. Back then they would write everything on the blackboard and the students had to copy it with a pen. No chance of erasing it when you misspelled something, you had to cross it out. Now imagine how some pages must have looked! And to my brother she would always say that he should start to write more neatly. With handwriting like that, the teacher would have punished him back then. And from all I've heard about school in the past, we should be happy about the way the teacher might punish us nowadays. But let's see how it really was being a pupil in the Victorian Classroom.
The bell rings. Time to line up. Girls on one side and boys on the other. Stay straight, chin up and arms behind your back. Walk into the classroom. Girls first. Stand until the teacher tells us to sit. Girls on one side and boys on the other. Sit up straight and fold your arms. Everything has its strict order. And you don't want to break those rules as the punishment methods were horrible. Turns out, my grandmother didn't tell us those stories to scare us, it was all the truth.
There were three different methods of punishments, depending on what they did.
Number 1: The teacher told you to sit on the punishment bench, next to the teachers desk. Doesn't sound that bad, but you have to consider that you were exposed and everyone knew you had done something bad. Now imagine the headmaster walks in while you're sitting there...
Number 2: The belt. The teacher hits your hands with a leather strap six times.
Number 3: The teacher sends you to the headmaster who hits you harder with a thicker belt.
Quick side note here - what where they thinking??!! They punished students with the belt for terrible hand-writing. Did they seriously think your handwriting would be better after that? I assume it looked even worse when you had to write with sore hands and fingers. But back to our Victorian school lesson.
On today's timetable were the 3 Rs: Reading wRiting and aRithmetic. Maths first on. Oh no! Let's say it all together: 7 times 1 is 7. 7 times 2 is 14. 7 times 3 is 21 and so on. Followed by an exam, testing your mental arithmetic skills. Teachers instructions "Write your name on top of your slate and then the number 1 till 5.
Question 1: On a field are 5 men, 2 women, a dog and a horse. How many legs are on the field?
Question 2: In a room are three windows. Each window consist of 8 small glass plates. How many glass plates are in the whole room?
Question 3: Little Tom is 6 years old today. How old will he be in 9 years time?
Question 4: You have 5 flowers. Each of them has 3 petals. How many petals do all the flowers have together?
Question 5: A stamp costs 1 penny. You have 2 shillings. How many stamps can you buy?
Lucky me, I got 4 out of 5. The last question really confused me, as I'm not use to this currency. But moving on, it's time for writing.
Yes! Finally some fun. It felt like being back in primary school when you had to do some nice writing tasks. The difference was we used a fountain pen with ink out of a dispenser. Definitely my favourite part. I don't remember when I sat down the last time to write something that nicely.
And now the last part of the class, the only proper R: Reading.Let's read it out lout all together: Play the game! Every boy and girl should try to speak, read, write and count well. Learning can be made an excellent game with you on one side and difficulties on the other. Just try to win and you will gain the best of prizes. A good education. Never think of anything as hard work. Just say to yourself: "Play the game!"
What a wonderful and true statement to end our lesson in the Victorian classroom.
By the way the answers to the metal arithmetic questions.
Answer 1: 32
Answer 2: 24
Answer 3: 15
Answer 4: 15
Answer 5: 24
How many could you answer correctly? Do you know any interesting school stories from your parents or grandparents? Tell us about it.
Finally, it's summer! Even here in bonnie Edinburgh we get some hot and sunny days. So, what's the best you can do with your free time? Exactly, being part of the summer intensive course 2018 at the Edinburgh Experience. Today we started with two of our intensive courses: Listening & Speaking Skills A2/B1 level and CLIL-Bilingual Teachers B2+ level.
By Kim Laura Kühne
Even though I'm not a teacher, I'm joining the CLIL-Bilingual Teacher course because I've been a passionate student looking for something new to learn for my whole life.
To kick off the day we checked our general knowledge about Scotland and Edinburgh. For example, did you know, that Princes Street Gardens used to be loch or that the Gaelic word Uisge Beatha means water of life? Those and other interesting facts helped us to use some language of speculation. I mean, I have no idea if you have ever seen Braveheart but I'd guess that you might think, that most of the film was filmed in Scotland. See, it's that easy to use some language of speculation. I just managed to use three expressions in one sentence - I'm so proud of myself. And for your information, Braveheart was mostly filmed in Ireland.
Another aspect of the morning class were adjectives and modifiers or how to make your language more interesting. For example there is nothing wrong when you say "I had a good day" but it sounds way better if you use a modifier and say "I had a really good day" or use a strong adjective like "I had a amazing day". Or even better, combine a modifier with a strong adjective to "I had an absolutely amazing day". That's much better than only good food, doesn't it?
This all was preparation for our afternoon program - a visit to the Scottish National Galleries. We had descriptions of ten paintings which we needed to find in the Gallery and were discussed later on. Thanks to the morning lessons we tried to avoid boring sentences like "that's a nice painting". We were able to say more interesting sentences like "I really like this painting. It shows a lot of details. The skin of the lady is so white, I'd imagine she must come from a very wealthy family ".
Do you know which painting I tried to describe? Have a look at all the paintings we were talking about in class. What do you think about them? Which one is your favourite and why? Do you know any fascinating paintings from your country? Tell us about them!
Learn vocabulary and expressions while you communicate in English! Please feel free to comment on our posts or ask any questions