Thursday, March 11, 2010

R is for....

I started teaching an adult ESL (English as a second language) class through a great organization, Intercambio de Comunidades, three weeks ago. Intercambio is specific to my city. They go a step beyond just having volunteers teach English...they also emphasize the sharing of cultures. There was so much interest in my class that we finally had to close it after 17 students showed up. In the beginning of each class another new one or two students would show up. They are a great bunch of folks and really try hard. This is no easy feat because I do not speak Spanish. They are essentially in an immersion class of English. I do have a few words of Spanish that I understand and say, but I would guess a 2-year-old is more proficient than I am.

Yesterday we learned about colors and as an activity I had them toss a beach ball to each other. When they had the ball they had to pick a color, say the name and spell it. After a rousing round of tossing the ball they threw it at me and told me I had to say a Espanol I picked red and said rojo. Then they said I had to spell it, so I started off saying "r, o".

"No, no en espanol!" they responded. Oh! I had to say the letters in Spanish. I looked at them with no idea of how to say "r" in Spanish. They all shouted "erre" with a trilled "r". I got through the word slaughtering the Spanish language as I went but, they loved every minute of it. After I finished one student said, "Teacher, you red!" At which point they all started laughing again. Mom


  1. I taught ESL when I lived in Greenville and it was so fun!

    My favorite story is from when I was teaching clothing and we got to pajamas. I asked them to repeat the word after me. Well, they all said "payamas."

    So I repeated "paJamas." And they replied "payamas."

    I said, "No, it's actually a J sound. Pa-JA-mas." They replied even louder, "pa-YA-mas!"

    That's when I moved on to pants...

  2. I didn't know you taught ESL! It is fun!! I get a laugh at every class...and they do to when I try to speak Spanish! That is a funny story about the "payamas".