Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where is ...?


Last week I held my 15th week long class with my English students.  We had a lot of fun learning how to give directions.  I even made up a song for them to a Turkana song tune so they could learn how to get from our school to a small grocery in town.  They enjoyed seeing how English words would fit into their Turkana song.  I made a Lodwar ABC Places booklet for them to use.  This booklet had pictures of various buildings in town.  They used these to help them decide where they wanted to go.

The students spent some time in our big classroom where I had a map of town drawn on the floor in chalk. One student gave directions while another followed them to the correct place in town.  This worked really well until one of them told his directee to take two steps and he would be there.  Since the map wasn't drawn to scale that would have been difficult for the person to do in real life :).

To help them even more, I suggested they write what they would say to someone in Turkana if they were asked to give them directions to a specific place.  We then talked about how the phrases and details they use in Turkana could be said in English.  At the end of the week, they were able to give directions to two places in town and to follow directions given to them by someone else.

This week we also talked about the simple past tense.  I made an imaginary letter from Moses to his father in law, Jethro, telling him how he got to Mt. Sinai.  The words of God were in present tense, while Moses' descriptions were in past tense.  This gave them a sense of the difference in the two tenses.  I had a couple of worksheets for them to practice using past tense and introduced them to the list of irregular verbs.  I told them they have to memorize them all and that there would be a test for the first half next month.  So, there were groans all around.  I am hoping they really spend some time on these as they are essential for using English correctly.

So, that is what happened last week.  I will post some pictures from the class for you to enjoy.  Have a blessed week this week!

Pictures of the Direction class

 Lopongo says, "is this it?"  "What do I do now?

 John is following directions to go over the bridge.  Do you like the water drawn under and around the bridge?  :)

  Let me out!

They told me I had to follow directions too.  So, they sent me to the national prison that is in Lodwar.  

Lodwar ABC places booklet

Okay, so I am a bit proud of this little booklet.  It took many hours over the course of several days and I am very happy with how it came out.  It covers the alphabet in 12 pages - of which these are two examples.  I got it bound and then had the students take it with them to the homes of the english speakers that host them for two nights in the week.  The hosts and students were able to choose from the pictures and tell how to get there from the host's home.  

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mark 2 class


I am posting a little late on this.  I had two weeks back to back teaching and am just now getting around to doing other things.  So, this post will be about the second half of Mark that I taught at our Turkana Bible Training Institute (TBTI).  It was the 13th through the 17th.

The class went very well.  We had 14 students this month and we covered Mark 9-16.  We spent the first day on Chapters 9 & most of 10.  It made me a bit nervous as I only have 3 teaching days and the last hour of the third day is supposed to be for reviewing the material.  We had some very good discussions about how to "earn" eternal life.  We concluded that it can't be earned or bought no matter how hard you try or how much wealth you have.  You have to receive it like a child receives a gift.  It can only be given by God.

Wednesday we did much better.  We went from the end of chapter 10 to the middle of chapter 13.  Explaining about the two events (destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Rome and the end of days) talked about in chapter 13 was interesting.  They had some problems understanding how the withered fig tree that Jesus cursed in chapter 12 was a picture of the religious leaders of the day.  So, we spent a good bit of time on that.  Then a fig tree is mentioned again in 13 so they wanted to know how it fit.  I had to explain that it was an example to show how we can know when the two events of 13 will be.  We look for the budding/ flowering of the tree to show when the fruit will come.  The same is true for the last days.  We look for the things Jesus talked about and we will know the time is near.  This was especially true for those living during the time of the fall of Jerusalem and is even true for us today.

So, Thursday we finished up with Chapters 14-16 and had time to review.  The students and I enjoyed lively discussions the whole week.  I reviewed for the test with them and then went and wrote the test.  I am happy to say that they studied better this time.  Since none of them have formal schooling, it is easy to see how they really don't know how to study.  So, this time I had 72% of the class that passed.  There was only 50% that passed when we did Mark 1-8.  I was happy with the progress :).

Next month they will have a different teacher.  I only get to teach a couple of times a year as I also have to teach the English class.  Usually, they meet the same week.  When I am teaching the TBTI class I have to have the English class another week and this increases the costs of both since they would normally share cooks, food, water and other such things.

So, that is a glimpse of a TBTI class.  I hope you had a wonderful September!