Thursday, February 3, 2011

Adult English expands at the Centro!

With our new Wednesday-Saturday schedule, adult English has been drawing from an entirely new subsection of the community.  Those who couldn’t make our previous 5-7pm weekday classes due to work are now able to attend our 6-7pm Wednesday and 9-12 Saturday morning classes.  It’s been really exciting to see new faces!

Separating the class into three levels required the further adjustment of splitting up Brock and Sam’s prior teaching team.  In the fall, I taught my own basic English class, and Brock and Sam taught the intermediate English class together.  This time around Brock has taken the basic class, Sam the intermediate class, and I the advanced class.  So far, I personally have loved the change. 

My class of 12 ranges from 14-year-old Jonathan, looking to supplement his high school English curriculum, to several middle-aged folks who want to improve their English in order to become more versatile in their lines of work.  During our Wednesday hour, I introduce the basic concepts of the chapter we’re working on that week (they are able to move much faster than my basic class did), give them homework, and then we review the concepts in depth through homework review, more exercises, reading comprehension, and games during our longer Saturday morning class.  With this setup, we encourage students to come to all classes, but if they can’t come to the Wednesday class due to work, they don’t actually miss out on entire portions of the material.  Two of my students, Ana and Franklin, are cousins; Franklin is only available for the Saturday morning class, and Ana is only available for the Wednesday afternoon class.  Ana told me yesterday that between each class they fill each other in on what the other missed and thus cover both the introduction and the in depth coverage of the material.  It works for everyone!

A final change that’s affected the way we operate adult English is that all three of our levels take place at exactly the same time, whereas previously the basic class ran Mon/Wed and the intermediate class ran Tues/Thurs.  Now all three of us occupy spaces in the library from 6-7pm Wednesdays and 9-12pm Saturdays.  Since my class is the biggest, I have remained at the big English table outside the teen center, while Brock teaches his basic class in the children’s art corner and Sam alternates between upstairs in the women’s exercise space and the table in the adult section of the library (since the upstairs space is occupied by women’s exercise and cooking classes on Saturday morning now). 
Brock's basic class in the children's art corner.
Sam's intermediate class in the women's exercise space.
My advanced class, sans a few students.
Thank goodness we have three dry erase boards and markers are cheap!

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