Thursday, May 24, 2012

Finishing Beginning English

Sorry for the delay in this post!  Last week I finished my beginning English class with my Turkana students.  It was designed to be a fun week and yet a week that would encourage them.  So, here is a little of what we did.
Simon Lobei's big smile
We started off the week going over the homework I had assigned them in March.  They read the storybooks to the class.  I sent these home with them to practice speaking and reading English.  One of the stories was about a shepherd who needed a new cloak.  I was so excited that I could improvise and make a great learning experience when I saw the book.  So, I took my students to a local workshop that has a spinning wheel and loom.  The lady who oversees the shop explained the whole process to them - in English and Swahili.  So, they got practice understanding English and got to see some of the handcraft things that Turkana folks in town are doing.  This was a fun field trip for my students who are shepherds of animals and people!  I wish I had thought to take my camera, but since I didn't you will have to imagine it.
Michael Lopunga
We also watched three movies this week.  First we watched the whole movie that we have been going through slowly this past year.  This time the narrators had African English accents.  So, it was interesting for them to hear several different accents than what they had heard all year.  The lessons have British, American and Australian accents.  This movie we watched straight through since they were already familiar with the story and the words.
Paul Edoket
Next we watched "The Passion."  It of course is not in English but Aramaic.  There are English subtitles.  So, we spent about four and a half hours watching the movie in pauses while we read the subtitles.  That afternoon we had a great discussion about the movie and how it portrayed what Jesus did for us.
Paulo Lopongo laughing with all of us.
We watched "Faith Like Potatoes" next.  We also watched this one in pauses and stopped to read the subtitles.  They would have gotten the gist of the movie without stopping, but I wanted to make sure they were getting the English and not just following the pictures.  This movie brought a lot of discussion afterwards as well.  We had to delay the second half of the movie because there was no power at my house.  So, we did a review of past, present and future tenses and learned a song for the next day.  We got to watch the second half after lunch and it was a good thing that we were reading the subtitles as it poured down RAIN.  It was so hard that we couldn't hear very well over the noise of rain on the tin roof.
Peter Losuru
Michael Ekamais
On Friday, we discussed the movie and then got ready for our little promotion exercises.  We had some visitors from Lifebridge Christian Church who came to help us celebrate.  My students and the visitors sang the song we learned the day before.  I then handed out certificates to seven men who faithfully finished the Beginning English class.  Two men received certificates for attending but not finishing as they did not attend enough.  One of those men will pick his up next week because he was unable to be there for our final class.  After presenting these certificates we had a party complete with cake and punch.  It was a fun way to acknowledge their hard work.  Thanks to my visitors who took these pictures for me!
John Moru
I gave each of these students some books to use to practice on vocabulary and grammar while I am on furlough.  I encouraged them to keep working at English or they will forget it.  We also talked about what my next term might look like and what they would like to see for a "next" class.  I closed out the class by praying with and for these men.  They are the leaders of their churches.  They are the ones who are trying to communicate with the other CCC churches in Kenya.  Please keep them in your prayers as well.
Philip Lorot

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