Our inaugural conversational English classes in Cuba were tremendously successful for volunteers and students alike! Working with a Cuba English language teacher and his students, we provided their first opportunity to work in small groups with native English speakers. The number of students varied from 15 to 45 – more in the evening than the morning. Their ages ranged from 14 to about 60 years old, and the majority seemed to be late-teens to mid- 20s.
As expected, their language skills varied widely. Some students were able to say their names and others were able to participate in a conversation in English with ease. They joined the classes in groups with their friends, or just found an empty chair and sat down in the circles of volunteers and students. Generally, the morning students were different from the evening one, but some of the church members joined us at both sessions! They were all very enthusiastic and became attached to “their” volunteers. Many students brought gifts to the volunteers…which was very touching. It’s clear from this first team how much the local people appreciate this rare opportunity to study and practice English this way. It’s truly a “passport” to the world – and we’re instrumental in helping provide that for them. – Cuba Team Leader, Pam Cromer