Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Meet the Archaeologist

In partnership with Canterbury Museums we run a Meet the Archaeologist workshop for international secondary school groups in the spacious Learning Lab at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in the centre of Canterbury. Students from Germany, Japan, France and the Netherlands have all seen, handled and heard about local discoveries and had the opportunity to interact with a native English speaker, asking and answering simple, focused questions.

Meet the archaeologist

This is what Dr Winfried van Gool of Pius X-College Bladel, Netherlands wrote after bringing his students for a workshop.

Meet the Archaeologist – Marion Green and students of the dual-language section of Pius X-College in Bladel, Netherlands are gathered around a big table looking at finds from as far back as the Roman period while attentively listening to Marion Green’s explanations. She is an archaeologist at the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.For most of them this is the first time they visit an English-speaking country. They started studying the English language only eight months ago. Listening to and interacting with a native speaker is quite exciting for them. Some are quite keen, others slightly more reticent. However, Marion is able to draw everybody’s attention. She has knowledge of many digs in and around Canterbury and also knows how to translate her knowledge of and passion for her profession to twelve-year olds. Marion is leading a hands-on workshop today. Artefacts and pieces of bone are passed around the table. Sometimes it is not immediately clear what a certain object is and a discussion starts. Students are invited to think for themselves, to discuss and to ask questions.The interactive nature of Marion’s workshop is really its forte. The fact that English is not these students’ native language forms no obstruction at all. Marion naturally adapts her language to her audience. These students are taught using CLIL methodology. CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning: learning a subject such as history or mathematics in a foreign language, in the case of these Dutch students English. Marion is an observant workshop leader who has a feel for students’ needs and who is able to create a pleasant learning environment.For a couple of years, the Meet the Archaeologist workshop has been part of the study trip to Kent that our first-year students go on and that also includes visits to Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle and Chatham Docks. They have studied the Roman period and the Middle Ages in their history lessons, and this workshop is a wonderful opportunity for them to deepen their understanding of these periods. I can really recommend Marion Green’s workshops to teachers. As for Pius-X College, we have already booked one for next year.

For more information and to book a Meet the Archaeologist session, go to the international schools page of the Beaney’s website. A typical workshop lasts 30 – 45 mins.

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