Friday, July 29, 2016

"English" Lesson

 I had noticed from previous days and while in a few different classrooms that when they teach English, most of the lesson is in Isixhosa. It is understandable being it is their home language. However, it seemed to me that the lesson should focus more on learning the English words and how to understand them. After being in the school for about three weeks so far, I have found that most of the teaching and learning is on the surface level. The teachers do not ask questions and invite students to actually think about the information they are learning. There is a lot of route memorization, especially with math, but with reading as well. One of the teachers asked me to teach the English lesson by reading a short story. I started the lesson as I usually would, asking students what they thought the story would be about. What was happening in the pictures? ..............Blank stares.
They are not used to being asked such a question. After a short pause, a student raised her hand and answered me. More students excitedly began to answer. We preceded to read the story, all the while stopping along the way to answer my questions. After a few minutes the teacher politely thanked me and then took over. She then had the students go back and read the story out loud together. Then out loud one student at a time. Over and over, without asking ONE question.
It makes me sad that they are not exposed to an experience of really diving into a book.
It opens up a whole new world when you think about it. I know it does.
I could see it in their eyes when they started to answer my questions.

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