One of the motivating factors for Fredy (who is from the UK and participating in the Volunteer in Palestine program for a month) coming to Palestine was to try his hand at teaching to see if he wanted to follow in his mother’s footsteps. Let’s see how he went!
Fredy taught his very first entire class (alongside a teaching assistant intern) from beginning to end. The student’s English level was that of beginner 2 and the task was to teach the students how to express things they wanted to happen in the future. For example: ‘I wish I had a huge house’ or ‘I wish I were taller.’ The idea was to get students talking about their personal wishes in an attempt to motivate them to practice their speaking skills, which is so important in learning a new language.
In order to help the students when talking about themselves Fedy and his teammate gave the students a number of adjectives relating to houses and apartments. The list included words such as: tidy, spacious, noisy, modern, expensive and so on. The first step is to pre-teach the new vocabulary, and to do this the two teachers split the students into groups and had them talk to each other about their own homes as speaking time is the most important thing when learning a new language. While walking around the room listening to the students’ conversations it was clear to Fredy they were gaining confidence regarding the use of different adjectives.
The final activity of this first teaching day for Fredy involved the students drawing a picture of their ‘dream house.’ Students were given 15 minutes to draw their idea of a dream house on the condition that they would use what they had learned earlier to describe their dream house to the rest of the class. The activity was lots fun for the students as the class had a number of strange ideas, such as a house made out of an apple! According to Fredy:
“In all seriousness, the activity was an excellent way to practice the students speaking skills when presenting their ideas to the class. Furthermore, we were able to recap what had been learnt in class earlier. Hopefully the experience of displaying their work to the rest of the class will be a useful experience for the students in the future, as giving presentations in this manner is a key part of studying at university as well”.
The manner in which the class unfolded was extremely satisfying for Fredy. Every student had time to speak out loud in class and express their own opinion. The amusing final activity of drawing their ‘dream houses’ also meant that most importantly, the students enjoyed the class. When the regular teacher of this class Mrs Shahd A Zahdeh was asked for a comment on how she felt the lesson had unfolded, she stated it had been “very good,” commenting in particular about how “interactive” the final activity had been.
“The experience of teaching my first lesson as a teacher is one that will stay with me forever”.