This week marked the start of my English clubs at the library.
Tuesdays: English Club for Children
Thursdays: English Club for Adults
I was a little hesitant to start English Clubs so early into being at my new site. It isn’t that I don’t know what to do or teach, PC has many technical classes to train us, but I just didn’t know how many people would show up, my language isn’t where I want it to be, how can I make it fun, what if no one shows up, what if too many people show up… basically I was trying to throw any curve-ball; making any excuse I could to delay the inevitable. My partner really wants more programs at the library. We have brainstormed some great ideas, but do to lack of resources, we can not do any of those at this time. The English Club; however, was simply something that could be done right away, my partner thought. And she was right. We had all the supplies needed, a trove of resources from PC, and a native English speaker.
After this first week, I’m excited about future English clubs. Another name for this post could be “From Hesitancy to Enthusiasm” because that’s how I feel now. So English club for kids (students, if you will) was supposed to last for an hour, but we went for almost 2. Part of the reason is that kids kept showing up 30 minutes into it, but also, all the kids wanted to learn more. It might have helped that we played many games and I gave them some of my American candy I recently received from my care package. I feel like that created a unique cultural exchange as many of the kids had never had these types of candy ever before.
Moving on to the games, we played a “flyswatter” type-game, similar to one that’s played in America. I didn’t have flyswatters though so the game was changed a bit, but the concept was the same. Sticky-notes were put on the wall with words and phrases in English. I would say the word or phrase in Romanian and they would have to find the English equivalent that was on the wall. The kids ranged in age from 10 to 13 years old and everyone enjoyed playing this game. To finish the day, I gave all the kids crossword puzzles to play. The older kids seemed to enjoy it much more than the ten year olds. This is something to keep in mind in the future. I very much enjoyed teaching the students and helping them learn. I already have a lot of new games to try out with them that I think they will like!
When Thursday rolled around, I arrived to a library without power. To my surprise, the power was to be out in much of the city until 5pm. In a normal situation, this would have been alright, except I planned most of my Adult English Club to use a projector and I had needed to print out an activity still… Well, PC has helped me become much more flexible, and as such, I utilized some of the info I had for the kids and expanded it to be used for adults. Many of the adults who showed up knew some English already. As such, everything I planned for only lasted us about 30 minutes. I had even included a similar game to hangman. So I adjusted my material and I ended up giving them more verbs and other words. These helped make my language class last a little over an hour.
In just one week of language club, I’ve already learned so much. Be flexible; be prepared for all situations; and don’t be afraid to try something new. That might not sound like I learned much, but to also be able to implement these new skills, that’s where the real learning comes into play. Anyway, until next time, enjoy a cup of joe.
Photos taken during English Club.