ESL Reflections

Today was pretty similar to yesterday (up early, great language class, good afternoon, etc.). My ESL class with the church went alright, I guess, but I’ve definitely got some things to mull over. For example (fyi – these reflections include ESL at NightLight, too), I’ve noticed that they really, really want things to be given to them in writing; they ask me to bring any examples I used in class written out on a sheet for them the following week. However, when I give them sheets with things written on them, it’s never quite that straightforward. So, I think my approach is wrong. Here’s my thinking…

1) When I hand out a sheet at the beginning of the lesson, the first thing they do is read absolutely everything on it, even if I say to just wait and we’ll do it together. If there are blanks, they will guess what should be written and/or ask me a bunch of questions about what the blanks are for. This is a tad frustrating because it’s jumping ahead of what I’d thought was a logical starting point.

2) I leave blanks on the page for them to add their own notes or fill in the answers to questions (like normal worksheets, you know?). However, many of them will write the answers on a separate piece of paper and not on the worksheet – even if I’m pretty direct about showing them what to do.

3) They will occasionally ask questions, but on the whole, they say they’re fine, they understand, etc. I’m not sure if they really are or not. I think this is part of the “saving face” aspect of the culture – I am quite sure they won’t tell you if they don’t get what you’re saying or if they wish you’d do something differently. So, they say it’s all good, but I really don’t know if they’re getting it or if they’re totally lost, or if they wish I’d do something totally different.

4) I also made the mistake, in retrospect, of thinking I could do the same thing with both classes. Based on tonight with the church staff, I think their English is definitely not as developed as the NightLight staff, so I really need to do easier lessons with them.

I think what I’m going to do next week, at least with the church staff, is have the entire note (no fill in the blanks or anything) all typed out for them. Then, I’ll teach the info on the white board letting them take notes on their own paper; then, after we’re done with all the content, I’ll pass out the papers for them to read and review.

I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

I have an oral language test tomorrow. I didn’t know we got assessed at all in this course, but I’m sure it will go fine. At first I thought one day of warning wasn’t very much. Then I realized that was the most warning she could possibly have given us, seeing as how nobody knows how to say “next week” – we only know “tomorrow”!!! hahaha

That being said, I do need to go and study my clothing items and dinner-type foods (rice, noodles, etc.). If she asks me what I’m wearing, the only answer I know is “a watch” – and I don’t even OWN one, let alone wear one! 😛

I have a list of questions from someone to answer here sometime. I also have a few topics I’d like to write about. However, I need to study my vocab first (and then probably go to bed!).

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