Thursday, August 7, 2008


I could write a lot more about training, but I'm too tired. So I'll share a little about the students that we teach. Today we had a trainer observing a trainer-in-training observing us teaching ESL students. Confusing, right?

It was fun to interact with actual students. Although it seemed a little soon to be teaching already on the 3rd day of our program, it helped to be able to put what we've been learning into context, and to match this abstract idea of "the students" with some faces. Our class had some students from Turkey, one from South America, and another from Central America. It's helpful that they are from different countries because then English is their common language and they have to use it to be able to talk to each other. They help each other by explaining things in English.

I went back in the evening to observe another class, and during the break I met some guys from Morocco. One of them came up and said that I look like a berber, which is an ethnic group in Morocco. I've never heard that one before.

After the break, the students were doing a quiet activity in pairs. One woman asked a Muslim-looking woman what she liked to do when she got up in the morning. "I like to pray and read my holy book," she said. Then she took a copy of her "holy book" out of her bag. "Can I touch it?" the other woman asked. I was amazed that she thought to ask that. I would never have asked. The owner of the book granted permission, and they opened the book (from the opposite end) to some Arabic characters. The sections all had easy-find page markers like we have in our Bibles.

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