Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 2 - Classes

Apparently there's also one English teaching spot that's vacant. For that period, either another teacher takes over in their free period, or the kids just sit there. After lunch, Devender sir (as you would call a teacher), the high school in-charge, throws me and my mom into a classroom. No preparation, just "go talk to them." Ummmm...okay...

It takes me until my third class (after my mom has left) to realize that I don't really have to teach them English right now. I just have to talk to them. At any rate, I'm not supposed to be teaching English as part of my practice, so I won't count it as part of my practice. I've spent plenty of time preparing, creating, and testing these experiments, so my total number of hours will pass muster even if I spend some time on English. Regardless, I won't really be the one teaching English. The headmaster has actually asked my mom if she would like to stay and teach the 10th graders. There are two reasons for this.
  1. These kids have to pass their 10th grade board exams at the end of the year.
  2. If they want to go to junior college/intermediate (11th and 12th), they'll be going straight from a school where all the subjects are taught in Telugu to one where they are taught in English. That's a hell of a jump considering their current English level.
So my mom will be coming back Friday and staying with me for the second week since she feels she wouldn't be doing much at home anyway. Meanwhile, the headmaster has asked me to talk only in English to force everyone else to try to speak English to me, but that's not working. With the teachers, it's okay, but the students really don't have anywhere near the necessary vocabulary to express what they want to say. Words like "borrow" and "secret" are new to them. I think from tomorrow I will play word games with the students - hangman, charades with clues given in English, etc. I'll get Nick to help me as well. We can have a short dialogue and then have the students answer questions about what we talked about.

For now though, they are much more enthusiastic in Telugu. And after all, I'm here for science, not English. I need to have them understand me - which is difficult enough without a teacher around to translate since all their science terms are in Telugu. If I can speak in Telugu, they can at the very least understand the context of my sentence and figure out what I'm saying about the science.

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