It was a good day. Spent the day helping the kids with their letters and their sounds via a game.
It was very interesting to get to know these kids who were not familiar with American culture or English. Overall I was surprised by how inattentive and sometimes disrespectful the kids were to the teacher. They would have side conversations, get up to leave class early and sometimes play on their ipads or computers.
I tried to put myself in their shoes. Drop into a brand new country with its own language and customs. I imagined it being very difficult to connect with anyone from a different background than my own. I hope that these kids are able to get a grasp on English and become successful adults someday. They showed flashes of comprehension that I hope develope. I also hope that their parents are helping them learn English.
Average day in the classroom. Listened to students read once again. Some students even wrote their own stories so that was very interesting to hear.
This is my final impact. This semester long experience turned out to be a very good opportunity to view culture in a different way. I was in a class of six students. All of the students were immigrants of some kind and all had difficulties reading and writing in English. Throughout the semester I helped them pronounce and spell words. This was an eye opening experience. I realized that learning the English language is no small feat and there are students that have to learn a second language as well as the other required curriculum material. It also made me realize that us native English speakers take the fact that we speak English for granted. It is a very difficult language to learn and it is almost a necessity for people living in The United States. One particular time, a student whom I formed a close bond with, was having difficulties with "there", "their", and "they're". He is a very kind boy so it was hard to watch when he was clearly not understanding the differences. This experience made me realize how difficult it is to learn the English language.
Today was my final visit to the community center with the ELL adult classroom, and it was very bittersweet. I was given the "teacher" role in the class and the actual teacher sat in her office and I worked with the 5 students present to fossilize more ideas on American money and how to convert cents to dollars, how to add them together and subtract amounts when purchases are made.
The entire class went by in the blink of an eye and it was so fun for me to see them make those connections between money and purchases. In one scenario I had them calculate how many gallons of milk they could buy if they had $20, if each gallon cost $3.99. They worked in pairs, and I made them work with a person that did not speak the same native language that they did so they were forced to speak and work in English. They took time, but eventually each group identified the correct answer. I had one student, a man from Nicaragua, explain to the rest of the class how they started to solve the problem and get the correct answer. While there was some stumbling and rearranging of the language, he was able to explain in a coherent manner their steps to find the correct answer.
This whole experience has been incredibly enlightening for me, not only because it gave me more practice working as a teacher, but also broadened my horizons in terms of the skills that I learned as an English teacher.