Saturday, June 13, 2009
Having a "ball" with the House Mothers!
Everyday, the House Mothers would meet with me from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to learn and practice conversational English. From talking with these Mothers, I came to understand the incredible responsibility of each Mother as they take care of children from infant to teens all the while managing some very large households!
Fun was a big part of our "conversational" English classes. Here Mothers touch their nose with their left hand, as they would toss brightly colored green, red, blue, yellow and gold balls ... based on my calling out a certain color!
The one finger on the nose was too easy..... so I added having them balance on one foot! Talk about concentration as they waited to hear which color I'd call out so they could toss the ball!
On the first day of class, I asked the mothers what they wanted me to teach them.... "Teach us how to talk with a guest who comes to SOS Village" they all said.
Based on the Mother's request, I wrote out a roll play between a Mother and a guest from another country. The Mothers copied the roll play in their book. I taught them the roll play, paying particular attention to their pronunciation of key words. I practiced the roll play with them throughout the week, and then had two Mothers do the roll play in front of the class.
Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Baker's Man.... Bake me a cake as fast as you can.... Just as I taught this to the children .... I also taught it to the Mothers. First the words to the nursery rhyme, then as a whole class, the hand movements...
Then sitting across from each other.... the real thing! Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake!
At the end of the week, Sonny, a Family Services Counselor commented to me that the House Mothers had enjoyed their week with me, learning English.
As for my teaching style...., personally I think I had the Mothers laughing so much, they did not even realize they were in class .... learning English!