Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Conversation hour

Our classes benefit from community volunteers. Ordinary (but not really ordinary) New Zealanders come to our class for one or two hours every week to work in small groups with our students. This is very helpful, since the English that they speak is not 'teacher-speak'.

I have asked the class for any anecdotes they remeber from during the year(s).

Jian spoke with Lynette yesterday. The topic got around to driving, and Lynette rang up the AA on the spot to check whether Jian was legally okay as far as driving went. Very useful!

Alice remembers Audrey, and their relationship started from several years before. Audrey has a Malaysian-Chinese background but is a native English speaker. Usually our students are helped by our assistants, but it seems Audrey was also helped by our students! She told Alice that Alice was the first real friend she made in Dunedin, which moved Alice very much. On at least one occasion a pot-luck meal has been held at Audrey's home for the Chinese-speaking students. This is a wonderful example of networking in the community, and I hope that it will contuinue in the future.

When I asked Theresa, she told me about her friendship with Joan, who has been coming her for ten years, but Theresa only for two and a half. Joan is an expert at correcting pronunciation e.g. work-walk. She is good at explaining the meaning of a word and giving examples of how it is used. Once Joan had health problems and couldn't come for a while. She was short of breath and needed treatment for her heart as well as help with the housework. However, she returned and used the experience to talk about and teach from!

Fauzia recalled when Lance was talking, two weeks ago, on the topic of old and new generations. Lance used to be a policeman, and he was able to tell about incidents in New Zealand society e.g. young people getting pregnant very young. He said it didn't happen so much when he was younger. It was interesting for Fauzia, because it helped her understand NZ society better. Her culture is totally different.

Poor Richard comes along too, and he came yesterday. Richard rides a bicycle, and he left it and his helmet outside. Unfortunately when the hour was over, his helmet was missing. I think that it must have blown away in the wind. I mentioned a second-hand helmet I'd seen the day before in the Red Cross Opportunity shop. Hopefully it was still there.

1 comment:

Rosa said...

Hi William and all,

My students have prepared some activities for you. You will find them in Our Class 2006 blog: http://ourclass2006.blogspot.com/2006/09/exchange-with-new-zealand.html#links

Have you got individual blogs? I know some of you have left comments in my students' blogs and they would like to do the same.
Thanks a lot.