Sunday, December 12, 2010

Finals period: Adult English

As our second quarter draws to a close, Sam brings an update on the end of his first adult English course:

‘You look weird,’ our students exclaimed when Brock and I walked into Intermediate Adult English at the start of November.  I didn’t think we looked weird.  I figured we looked distinguished.  I guess I thought wrong.  ‘Why did you grow hair on your lip?’ they asked through disapproving giggles.  This was a great opportunity to explain to our students what Movember is all about. 

In case you don’t know, November is a month dedicated to the awareness of and raising money for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer, as well as depression in men (see  It has become a tradition, in November, to grow a mustache to raise awareness, thus the name Movember, or mustache November. Our group of gents down here in Ecuador decided to partake in this year’s Movember and dawn mustaches for the entire month.  It was a great success, as in we made it the whole month without shaving them off (though my English class wasn’t all that excited about it), and I hope we can all do it again next year.
An artistic rendering of the Manna men during Movember.
All mustaches aside (they are all shaved off and long gone by now, as it is December), Intermediate Adult English is still one of my favorite things that I do down here.  I teach Intermediate Adult English with Brock twice a week.  It’s very fulfilling when you can see your students improve over the course of your twelve week class.  Just last week, we were working on pronunciation and I threw in a few ‘V’ words, and my students, who would have struggled in the beginning of the class, all looked at me as if I was silly, before pronouncing the words with great articulation.  One of my favorite things about our students is that they keep a sense of humor about the learning process.  We all laugh together when working on pronunciation, which is nice because the students lose the fear of making mistakes and enjoy the learning process more.

We have had a very tight knit group in our Adult English class.  As was mentioned on the blog before, our class helped us in making the traditional drink for our ‘Dia de Los Difuntos.’   Furthermore, about half our class regularly rode the bus home with us at the end of the day, joking and trading colloquialisms and cultural observations along the way with us. 

Having now completed the course we feel exceedingly proud: our students did well and the course went smoothly overall.  We were really excited to give our students ‘graduation certificates’ and are quite eager to see who returns for the next round of courses.  All in all, it’s been a great experience and I have learned immeasurably, given that this is my first time teaching English.

Hope all is well with our readers out there.  Stay classy!   

No comments: