Saturday, May 05, 2012

End of the March-May Conversation Classes

Last night was the last week of the latest cycle of English Conversation Classes. 15 people graduated, with over 24 people attending over the 9 weeks. So, what do we do during the class? Besides two movie nights, where we watch a movie in English with English subtitles, and have a discussion in English... The point is to get everyone speaking as much as possible. I include some reading and written work, but the focus is on the two skills of speaking and listening. I made up a "syllabus" which includes different discussions (on AIDS, the Environment, friends, etc), activities, pair work, group work, role plays, games, and our favourite "Lateral thinking problems".

Last night we did a pairwork exercise on "how often do you...", a role play at the airport, and finished off with a discussion game...  Here we are during the airport role play: some people are "customs officials" and others are travellers... see this is not a sit down and listen to the teacher kind of class :-)
 Irena and Tanja smiling for the teacher :-)
In the below photo, I just love the smiles on Tanja and Miodrag's faces (behind) in contrast to Slobodan (standing) and Branimir's more serious ones: Role plays like these are great exercises, because it gets them to work on a focused language set and get more fluent with every repeat (repetition is a great learning tool - I know this from learning the local language!)... and it is fun too! 
A discussion game is basically a board game where you answer the question on the square you land on. It is also a great exercise and as you can see from the below picture can also be quite fun: I love Tamara's sunglasses look!
Of course I forgot to get a group photo, but everyone who "graduated" got their certificates last night, certifying that they attended so many hours of classes...  I hate that things have to come to an end, but it definitely works better to have a set amount of weeks of classes, as people then commit to coming more regularly (whereas with a weekly "English Club" people kind of get lazy and we end up with very few people!). And that way I can plan all these fun activities because I know we will have enough people to do them! So, until the next time we will hang out together, see each other at the monthly Movie nights at Ihtus, maybe go to the English Classes for students organised by my colleagues, David and Irena (with a team over the summer) or help out at the Children's Home book club...And we will run another "cycle" of Classes in September, so I look forward to that!

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