By the end of the school session today we were more than halfway through our week of service. By now we are aware of the strengths and weaknesses of our students. Their school teachers and earlier Global Volunteers have served them well. The students in the upper class can recognize English words that they hear and they can pronounce them correctly.
We were surprised to hear them say “wrench” and “trowel” without hesitation or error. Their weakness, of course, is the inability to spontaneously call up enough vocabulary to produce sentences. This skill can only be achieved by any learner via more exposure to the spoken target language, and that is what we’re here to help them with. Our challenge in the classroom is to devise projects to broaden their vocabularies while they lose any fear they have about making a mistake. We teachers must also remember that this is the start of our pupils’ summer vacation. They’re full of energy and tired or school desks: we must make the business of English fun.
And we want to have fun too. The weather is warm, the swimming pool is attractive, the sights of Heraklion beckon. We’ll get the most out of our few remaining days and leave Greece with good memories of a week with friendly students and staff.
Journal entry by Mark: