The Excellence Centre is currently running a four week programme of English Classes in an educational centre located in Tafooh, a village outside Hebron. The programme provides two classes for children and adults in the village who would like the opportunity to improve their English skill. The two classes are for Starters and Beginners, and each class has four lessons of English each week, led by two international volunteers who are participating in the Volunteer in Palestine program; Alice Budge from England and Emmy Zeotbrood from Holland.
The Starter class has twelve students whose ages range from thirteen to sixteen. Emmy described the class as being “lovely, motivated and on the whole a pleasure to teach”. The Excellence Centre’s course for Starters aims to improve not only the reading and writing skills of the students but also to encourage and enhance their spoken English and work continuously on their pronunciation.
The beginner class is larger with twenty students with a wide range of ages. The class is also focused on improving all aspects of their English skills but emphasis is placed on encouraging the students to speak in English and to continuously work on their pronunciation. Alice said that “They are a very hard working class, and it is nice to see the students working together and helping each other when someone struggles with a particular aspect of the lesson. The students are making excellent progress and have really welcomed us to their village.”
When asked about the difference between teaching in Hebron and teaching the students in the village Emmy commented that “in Tafooh you can really tell that the students are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to practice speaking English with native speakers. It is also clear that the people who live in the village do not have the same exposure to internationals and people from different cultures than their own. Finally the experience of spending time in a Palestinian village has provided us with an incredibly authentic insight into the lives of the people who live there.”