Twenty-year-old Allegra Berger is a student of applied chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is currently giving lessons to pupils at the Bendinat secondary school. This is under an agreement between MIT and EduCaixa, the educational division of CaixaBank, which allows students from MIT to teach in Spanish schools.
IES Bendinat was offered to Allegra Berger by EduCaixa, and she explains that January is a free month for participating in teaching programmes and getting to know educational systems in other countries, as well as these countries' cultures.
Last year she undertook this scheme in Mexico and was interested, this time, in doing it in Spanish. Her knowledge of Majorca, she admits, was rather limited. "I only had references to the island from a friend."
She speaks Spanish, having attended a bilingual school between the ages of five and thirteen. At IES Bendinat she gives three lessons a day. The level at the school, she says, is similar to that of an American high school. While she speaks Spanish, there are scientific terms which are very specific, which can mean resorting to a touch of Spanglish. The pupils, in general, have a good level of English.
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