Wednesday, February 29, 2012

English is Fun!

Learning English can be a challenge to anyone who didn't learn it from their parents as a child.  My Turkana students are challenged by it, but they also have fun when we come together to learn new things.  This past week was no exception.

We spent a large part of our time talking about the resurrection and ascension of Jesus after his death on the cross.  Since last week also included Ash Wednesday, I decided to take my students to a service.  We went to a Catholic service that was held in English for local school children.  My students had never been to such a service, so it was definitely something they wanted to talk about the next day of class.

We spent about two hours going over what they saw, heard, did and thought about the whole thing.  They had many good observations and it was a good way to get them using their English in practical ways.  We spent time talking about and reading the Scripture passages used in the service.  We also talked about the things that are different and the same in a Catholic service compared to our worship services.  We talked about how being marked with the cross is an outward symbol of a spiritual reality.  When we choose to follow Jesus, our whole lives are marked by what Jesus did on the cross for us.  It was a very good conversation.

I asked them how this focus on the cross and our need for what Jesus did there went with our topic for the week.  We read and talked about 1 Corinthians 15:3-20.  The cross is a necessary part of our salvation and so is the resurrection.  The cross shows us the cost of our sin and the resurrection gives us the hope of eternal life.  

The movie we are slowly watching is called "The Hope."  The students watch part of the movie and we go over the words of the movie in simplified form and then the actual transcript.  They learn new English words to help them tell the Good News of the story they already know.  They spend time describing what they see in pictures from the movie, matching the story of the movie with the pictures, listening to words and putting them in the correct order to make sentences, and spelling English words. We play several games to help them remember the new words and phrases.

We also spent some time this week with the students reading from simple storybooks.  They read their stories to the class and did very well with their pronunciation.  They really liked this and asked for more stories to read.  So, one of their assignments for the weeks between class is to read another storybook to another English speaker and be ready to read it for class in March.  

So, that is a small description of a week of English class here in Turkana.  I hope your week is going well!

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