Monday, July 1, 2013

First Day of Teaching

We gathered early -- 7:45 -- for the morning meeting. My job was to present the journal about yesterday's activities. I brought my computer to the meeting, then walked across the room to give a book to another volunteer, and when I returned the journal was gone!! I couldn't recover it, but later after doing a reboot it came up just fine. Thank heavens!

In my class I have four girls and one boy. All know some English, but are in the stage where it they are reluctant to speak. One girl explained, "I'm shy." In response I explained they were all trying to the hardest thing in language learning. Speaking requires a high level of recall and also one has to worry about pronunciation, something one doesn't have to do when reading a language.

We started again with introductions. Then I had them write the name of their home town and spend five minutes making extra words out of it. We moved on to discussing what they wanted to do during English classes and they told me they wanted to speak English.

For our second class we used a deck of cards that has all the states with facts about each state. I asked them to draw a card and say the name of the state along with the capital, explaining places names in the United States involve English, French, Greek, Spanish, and words from American Indian languages. Amazingly they could say Massachusetts but them puzzle over Ohio or Iowa.

After the break I brought down placemats with the U.S. map and the world map. We looked at the U.S. to locate all the states we had just named. With the world map they showed me places they had visited or would visit if they happened to win the Lotto!

We then moved to Food Jingo. All in all it was a good class.

The morning had been very cool, if not outright cold. After the first hour I moved my class out of the building to a table where hopefully we would be in the sun. This worked better. When the students returned for the fourth hour class the sun had warmed their notebook covers and they cuddled with them. One knows it's cold when one has to snuggle with a notebook cover!

After obiad we met again as a team to discuss what worked and didn't work.

I spent the later part of the afternoon planning for classes for the next couple of days.

Finally late in the afternoon the sun really did come out and the fog and clouds lifted away.  I slipped out to take some photos.

Above is the front of this lovely hotel.

Above are some mountain views.

Four of us gathered on the patio for a beer and great conversation. Then it was time for supper. Afterwards we had a huge discussion planning for what we will do for the July 4th celebration.

A good day.

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