Conversation Workshop at the Al Masra Center in Hebron

Members of the Excellence Center, Osama and the volunteers Stephanie from Australia, Xavier from America and Haesoo from Korea, travelled to the town of Taffuh which is close to Hebron, to run a conversation workshop at the Al Masra Center. The Al Masra Centre provides English education to the children of Taffuh. As the members from Excellence Center arrived before the students did the were provided with the opportunity to appreciate the view from the balcony overlooking the valley, showing the lush scenery and the stone quarry below.IMG_2138


Once the students had arrived, the volunteers in Palestine, Stephanie, Xavier and Haesoo were brought into the classroom and introduced to the Palestinian students. The class consisted of approximately 20 Palestinian school children, aged between 11 and 18 years old. The class had been set up as the first meeting of the English Club that was being founded at the Al Masra Center.IMG_2144

The topic of the class was “Winter sports and activities” and was led by the volunteers. The students were given a sheet with cartoons of 10 different winter activities. Included were the sports skiing and snowboarding, and activities such as building a snowman and having a snowball fight. As the students learnt the names of each of the activities, the name was written on the board by Stephanie to show the spelling. Following this, the volunteers introduced two vocabulary games to help cement the knowledge. The first game was charades, in which one of the students acted out one of activities while the other students had to guess. The second game played was pictionary. As the drawing was being completed, the students had to write down their guesses on the back of the vocabulary sheet provided, with the volunteers going around and checking the answers, correcting the answers provided and the spelling. The students found this game hilarious as it was sometimes difficult to guess what the drawing was meant to represent.IMG_2139


Following the games, the students were placed into groups of three to five. Each group was given four or five pictures of equipment related the winter activities and had to work together to figure out what each piece of equipment was and what activity it would be used for. For the final exercise, the students were divided into three groups and were led in a discussion about winter activities by the volunteers – Stephanie, Xavier, and Haesoo.IMG_2150
The workshop was a great success, with both the students and the volunteers in Palestine participants gaining lot out of this experience. Stephanie said that the experience was wonderful, with the students being excited and engaged throughout the whole class, and that you could see that students gaining confidence as the class progressed. Haesoo recalled that the workshop was a great experience as the students from the centre provided fantastic feedback about the class. He mentioned that some of the students said that having native speakers talking to them, such as the volunteers, helped them to increase their listening ability and gave them the confidence to speak. Xavier thought that it was admirable that a Palestinian girl of just 18 years old was taking the initiative to set up an English club for help improve the English skills of the local school students, and that the children were all engaging and eager to learn.IMG_2155