Thursday 23rd March 2006 by C. Freeman
Brooke Weston students recently got a taste of work experience in France, with one even having to conduct a radio interview, a real test of his language skills! During their work placements the students were expected to speak French at all times so the visit gave them a chance to speak the lingo and get a feel for French working life.
Each student was given a week's placement. As well as the radio station they worked at schools, a home for the handicapped, a café bar and even a golf course.
The students comprised Daniel Carden from Year 13, along with Year 12 students; Rhianna Fisher, Charmaine Needham, Becky Adams, Becky Richardson, Donald Goodjohn, Reka Hollos, Ruth Shrimpling and Naomi Charles.
Daniel Carden worked at the radio station where he recorded an interview about a French strike. 'They were really nice and the equipment wasn't really that complicated. I just had to ask a set number of questions.'
Donald, who worked at the golf course, found that, as the game originated in the British Isles many of the technical terms were English, however the post-round babble was distinctly Gallic. 'Speaking in the clubhouse was quite hard because they were all talking so fast' he said.
A contingent of Brooke Weston students make this trip annually. They are based at a village near Pontivy in Brittany where the accommodation is a converted mill and the work experience is arranged for them in the local area. This is the second year that Daniel Carden has attended so he knew a little of what to expect, although last year he worked in the town's solicitors' office.
Becky Richardson, who was working in a café bar had a sharp learning curve as none of the staff or customers spoke English at all and rattled out French at dix-neuf to the dozen!
Becky Adams, Charmaine, Naomi, Rhianna and Reka all spent their placements in primary schools where the children responded really well to them, quizzed them on English words and wanted to know what bands they liked!
The overall advice from the group to future students contemplating the trip is, firstly, get a good phrasebook and, secondly: 'just go for it, really throw yourself into it because you'll enjoy it and, after all, you're never going to see these people again!'