Thursday, May 12, 2011


Yesterday was a wonderful teaching day. We read a dialogue together about the benefits of buying locally produced products, and then the students split into groups to write their own dialogue about buying products made in Mozambique. When the students are working in groups I generally pass around to see how they are working, answer questions, and try to limit the amount of Portuguese being spoken. I did that for a little bit today, but then I realized that this class had really hit its groove—they were speaking in English, arguing about things in English, writing, and debating what to write, and my presence was only disrupting. So I faded back to my desk and just sat there watching all of them work so diligently and felt proud. At the end of class I allowed groups that wanted to to perform their dialogue for the class. Only all-boy groups participated which is frustrating and not too surprising, but I was really happy with what they had created. They had dialogues that made sense and one even had a student who disagreed in the beginning, so the other two convinced him as to why buying locally produced products is better for Mozambique.
In my English club there is one 11th grade boy who I know well from English theater last year. He is in one of the classes I dropped (remember I went from teaching every 11th grade English class to only two of them) so I hadn’t seen him much, but I didn’t think much of it. But today he explained that his sister had gotten pregnant (when a girl gets pregnant in Mozambique, she must switch to night school), so he had also switched to night school to accompany with her. Our night classes take place at the other school in town (Erin’s school), so about 3 miles from here and from their home. It might not have been entirely his decision, but I was really impressed that he would make that sacrifice to accompany his pregnant sister on what would have otherwise been a fairly dangerous walk every night (night school ends at 10pm). As we were talking I realized that his pregnant sister is the girl I wrote about a few months ago, who spoke fantastic English but I had noticed she was pregnant and thus was upset because I knew she would have to leave soon. I asked how their family speaks such great English and he explained that a few years ago they had a cousin live with them who is an English teacher, and he taught them a lot. I told him that he should encourage his sister to also come to English club, but he explained that during the day she is busy taking care of her other child.

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