During this time I was once again assisting adults who were learning English as a second language. The woman I helped this day was very much a beginner. She had just learned the alphabet and I helped her go through what phonetic sounds each letter made in the context of short two to four letter words. I could tell she was pretty anxious to leave because she kept looking at her friend who was sitting just a couple feet away. She also, often when I would ask her to pronounce certain words, she would say that she doesn't speak English and I would just have to move on to the next word as I wasn't sure how to tell her I just wanted her to repeat after me. This was particularly frustrating as I was hoping as long as I could get her to understand what I was asking her to do, she would be willing and able to do so. However, I didn't speak Somali and she didn't speak English so I had to make do with what limited modes of communication we had, just simple pointing and pronouncing, and hoping she would do what I was intending this exercise to accomplish. This really taught me the importance of nonverbal as well as verbal communication, and made think about how much I do depend on words to get me what I want. It also made me think about the struggles of being in a foreign place, where everyone speaks a foreign language. After this semester, I have a deeper appreciation of what it is like to be in a less safe space than a high school or college classroom to learn an entirely new language. It really let me know what forms of human communication are universal and which are specific to where I am from.
final day I continued to work with kindergarteners and saw a lot of progress from the first time we worked together. most kids struggled to count to 20 on the first day, but could confidently do it today.
also worked with one student today at middle school, it was hard for him to focus on math but used that time to connect with him in conversation because you could tell he wanted to talk and rarely go that opportunity
Sold dog treats and pet-themed Christmas ornaments