Cornualles, uno de nuestros sitios más especiales y una gran desconocida para muchos de nosotros.
En esta entrevista os descubrimos Language Tree de la mano de Joel Ashton, un lugar en dónde además de reforzar nuestro Inglés podremos recorrer playas con unos acantilados espectaculares, practicar nuestro deporte favorito, saborear deliciosas pasties y conocer leyendas que nos harán querer volver a este maravilloso lugar.
V.-Hi Joel, thank you for opening the doors of your school, we would like to know a little more about how Language Tree was created.
JA.-After finishing my degree in Criminal Law I needed a break before training to become a lawyer. The year was 1999 and the internet was an amazing new tool that gave access to the world! I decided to take a gap year and work as an English language teacher abroad. I completed a short TEFL course and amazingly found a job in Brazil on TEFL.com.
JA.- As someone who has always loved playing football, it was a dream to go to Brazil and experience the culture there. The plan was to work in Brazil for six months and then come back to the UK to continue my legal training. However, the six months in Brazil changed everything. After Brazil, I worked in South Korea (for the 2002 World Cup), then Mexico and finally at IH Lacunza in San Sebastian, Spain.
"In every place I visited I loved how I was welcomed by local people who introduced me to their community".
V.- And then?
JA.- We left San Sebastian because my wife was pregnant with our first child and we wanted to be close to family. I also needed a ‘responsible’ job! Luckily, I managed to get a job at Truro College where I was the manager of the English language teaching at the college. Then, after much thinking about it, in August 2017, we managed to open Language Tree!
V.- What is Cornwall about and why is it special?
JA.- Shortly after I was born in 1977, my father was offered two different jobs. One in New York and the other in this little town called Truro in the south-west of England in the south-west of England. I will always be eternally grateful that my father chose the quiet life in Cornwall rather than the high life in New York.
JA.- Cornwall was the most magical place for a young person to grow up. It is so peaceful, safe and clean. We are surrounded by ocean on all sides. You can choose the wild Atlantic Ocean for big waves and wide open beaches, or you can choose the south coast with calm seas perfect for snorkelling, diving and sailing. I have also recently discovered Stand Up Paddleboarding which is amazing on the river estuary leading from Truro down to Falmouth. While many parts of the world seem to get busier and busier, Cornwall is still so peaceful and perfect. If you enjoy nature, fresh air and the sea then it is hard to find somewhere more perfect than Cornwall.
V.- Why do you recommend visiting it?
JA.- Sometimes, it can be a bit quiet but in fact it also has a rich culture and history and there are lots of great things to do around the county. As well as the hundreds of beaches, there is the 400km South West Coast Path – one of our favourite things to do during lockdown has been to explore new routes on this coast path. It has been such a good way to enjoy the fresh air. Although, it is a tiny, quiet peninsula at the end of the UK, Cornwall’s history is remarkable.
In the 1700’s it was one of the richest places on earth. It was at the centre of the start of the industrial revolution. The first steam engine was built in Cornwall. All this money and industry was connected to mining. Cornwall has lots of valuable minerals under the earth. In fact, since Roman times, Cornwall has been an important place for mining important metals. Although, it is a tiny, quiet peninsula at the end of the UK, Cornwall’s history is remarkable.
"While many parts of the world seem to get busier and busier, Cornwall is still so peaceful and perfect. If you enjoy nature, fresh air and the sea then it is hard to find somewhere more perfect than Cornwall..".
V.- Tell us about that!
JA.- In the 1700’s it was one of the richest places on earth. It was at the centre of the start of the industrial revolution. The first steam engine was built in Cornwall. All this money and industry was connected to mining. Cornwall has lots of valuable minerals under the earth. In fact, since Roman times, Cornwall has been an important place for mining important metals. Nowadays, all this mining has disappeared. However, you can visit some mines and the old ruins of the buildings look spectacular on the landscape. In fact it is a UNSECO World Heritage Site. As well as old things, Cornwall also has amazing new attractions like the Eden Project where you can go in the world’s biggest greenhouse and walk through a tropical rain forest. You will never run out of things to do in Cornwall.
5-Do you think the holding of the G7 summit will positively affect Cornwall?
JA.- It has been a strange time to have the G7 summit while we are in the middle of a pandemic.
I am not sure what the direct effect of the summit will be. However, the reasons for holding it in Cornwall are very important. Boris Johnson chose Cornwall because of the local culture for sustainable and eco-friendly living. Cornwall and Cornish people have always embraced nature and sustainable living.
People prefer to eat local food and there are lots of amazing tasty, local delicacies. The Cornish people are also very creative. From the first steam engine in Cornwall, you can see how people are looking for clever solutions to problems. Cornwall has the highest amount of renewable energy in the UK. We have solar energy, wind energy, wave energy and even geothermal energy here in Cornwall. These are the reasons that Boris chose Cornwall to host the G7 to showcase how this part of the UK is aiming for net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. This part of the UK is a great example of sustainable living where local people just enjoy being out in nature.
"The Cornish people are also very creative. From the first steam engine in Cornwall, you can see how people are looking for clever solutions to problems.".
V- Would you recommend a place to get lost this summer? book? a favorite dish?
JA.- If I could go anywhere in the world right now, I would head to Uruguay – not sure where but it is definitely the next place I would love to head to.
In the meantime, while here in Cornwall, the best place to get lost this summer is somewhere on the Lizard – there are stone circles, magical beaches, hidden sculpture gardens and perfect little pubs.
Even though I am an English teacher I am not the best reader of books and I rely on my wife (who loves reading) – she has just given me Hamnet for my summer read and we are just off to the beach now for a swim and chill with our books and a picnic.
Every Cornish person’s favourite dish has to be a medium steak Cornish pasty followed by a Cornish Cream Tea …. Mmmm, tasty.
"On a Language Tree course, we want to immerse you in this Cornish experience. We will introduce you to this Cornish culture, history and food".
V.- And finally, tell us about the types of experiences and courses that we can take at your school.
JA.-On a Language Tree course, we want to immerse you in this Cornish experience. We will introduce you to this Cornish culture, history and food. We organise fun social activities and excursions to visit different things going on around Cornwall. At its core, we are looking to provide our students with the same welcome to Cornwall that I experienced when visiting Brazil, South Korea, Mexico and Spain. It is all about intercultural communication and through that comes the English language learning (and hopefully we may even improve our foreign languages too!). We offer short and long courses. Some students come for 1-2 weeks and other students may stay for a year. We also provide courses for people living in the UK from other countries who need to improve the English language skills. We provide both General English courses and exam preparation courses.
Whatever course you are on, we hope you will join in our social programme to meet new people and experience lots of fun things going on around Cornwall.
Specialist in Language Holiday Experiences