English Conversation Practice Delights Volunteers … July 25, 2012

The conversations ranged from favorite foods to movies, pets, jobs, family and plans for the future. And when words didn’t suffice, pictures were drawn, and gestures got a bit bigger. But we all seemed to understand each other.

Six volunteers went to ICAT today—a school for adult learners, much like our community colleges or technical schools. We met students who are studying English and wanted to practice their conversation skills. It was a lot of fun for us, but probably hard work for the students since our English accents were acquired from Texas to Ohio.

We learned that speaking slowly and clearly was helpful. And pointing to pictures helped get our points across. But by patiently listening, we built a connection with the students and learned about their lives.

Gabriela from Cozumel wants to learn English because she has friends from the U.S. Astrid says her children are learning English in school, so she wants to learn, too. And David works in a restaurant in Cozumel. Speaking English may help with his future work.

While the students say they learned from us, we learned from them as well.

“It was just a joy,” said Treva from Texas. “I certainly got a lot out of it.”

Will is also from Texas and said “I wish I lived down here. People are so nice to talk to. I wish I knew some Spanish so I could help them more with their English.”

We’re all working to learn some Spanish. But in this case, speaking English with the students was just the help they wanted. –Phyllis

1 thought on “English Conversation Practice Delights Volunteers … July 25, 2012

  1. Maria

    Desearía obtener información sobre la posibilidad de contar con voluntarios que desearan colaborarnos con dos grupos de estudiantes adultos de Inglés, quienes por su trabajo solo pueden recibir una sola clase semanal de 6 horas casi consecutivas. Ellos cuentan con un nivel intermedio de ese idioma y son personas serias y responsables empleados del Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad de Costa Rica.

    Actualmente me encuentro a cargo de su instrucción, sin embargo, hemos tenido dificultad para que ellos practiquen la conversación dentro de las horas de clase donde además de conversación debemos desarrollar la temática del texto utilizado.

    Mucho les agradecería me orientaran al respecto, ya sea en el sentido de que sean Uds los que pudieran brindarnos ayuda, o en darme algunas recomendaciones.

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