Tuesday, 13 September 2016

The Importance of English for me

On the 30th of March 2016, I was involved in the Overseas Community Project trip to Laos. It was my first ever experience going overseas for a Community Project. I was assigned to teach basic English to a group of 30 students aged 15 to 17 for about a week.

I taught them vocabulary and the topic was about food. I decided to teach them the different types of food tastes as well as the names of fruits and vegetables.

Before the trip, I had prepared some worksheets for them to fill in. In addition, I planned some interesting activities to make the lesson more interactive. I prepared some local snacks for them to taste so that they can identify and use the correct terms to describe the taste of the food.

To my surprise, the students could not speak and write in basic English. Hence, there were language barriers between us. I was upset as I did not include pictures in the worksheets to aid them in learning the vocabulary. Therefore, I decided not to distribute the worksheets to them as they could not understand what was written. Nevertheless, I decided to use hand gestures, and I also added visual aids such as pictures in my slides instead so the students could relate the picture to the new words that I was going to teach them. Eventually I felt that the students got bored with the lessons. Thus, I changed my teaching method using the activities planned beforehand. The activity went well as the students enjoyed a multi-sensory and hands-on experience.

Although my efforts of producing the worksheets were redundant, I am glad that I had applied new teaching skills to aid in the students’ learning. In addition, majority of the students had managed to learn some basic English words during the activities which could help them in the future. If I were given this opportunity again to teach students with no English background, I would use those methods to aid the learning process.

I realised how important the English language is as it acts as a common language when communicating with others. If there is no common language, it will be difficult to convey the correct message between each other and miscommunications will happen.

Commented on Samuel's, Fira's and Camille's post.

Revised on 21 September 2016

9 comments:

  1. Dear Nana,

    It was great reading about your experience. As I have been to Cambodia too, I am able to understand the difficulties in communication due to the language barrier. I feel that I was able to clearly understand and feel your emotions, because of the clarity and completeness of your post.

    However, there seems to be a word that you can remove in the first sentence of the last paragraph. Instead of writing: "I have realised how important...", it can be rewritten as just "I realised how important..."

    Let's improve our English together. :)

    Best Regards,
    Camille

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Camille,

      Good to hear that you actually enjoyed reading my experience. Thank you for your feedback. I have made the necessary changes.

      Cheers,
      Nana Rafiana

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Nana,

    I like what you have done to your blogpost by adding a photo of yourself in Cambodia, it adds a personal touch to your blog! I like how you use your experience in cambodia to convey the importance of english. The post was clear, complete and courteous. Good Job!

    I feel that overall, the posts was written in good English. If I must find a flaw, it would be the sentences, "Before the trip, I had prepared some worksheets for them to fill in. In addition, I planned some interesting activities to make the lesson more interactive." I feel that you can add these sentences together as you prepared both activities and worksheets for them. I would have written it this way, "Before the trip, I had prepared some worksheets and interesting activities for them to fill in." I would then on to talk about the worksheet and activities I have prepared.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Regards,
    Jasper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jasper,

      Appreciate your time reading through my essay. Thank you for your feedback!

      Cheers,
      Nana Rafiana

      Delete
  4. Dear Nana,

    Your experiences are interesting and engaging. You were clear, concise in what you wanted to share. My points where you can rectify would be:
    I prepared some local snacks for them to taste so that they can identify >> I also prepared local snacks so that they can identify and taste
    I have realised how important the English >> I realised ...
    Overall, you did a great job.

    Regards,
    Samuel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Samuel,

      Thank you for your feedback! I have made the necessary changes.

      Cheers,
      Nana Rafiana

      Delete
  5. This is an excellent reflection, Nana. Like your other readers, I found the story of your Overseas Community Project trip to Laos very well focused and fascinating in its description. The fact that you had prepared teaching materials for the students but were then forced to discard those because they were pitched too high would really resonate with many a teacher. You clearly were able to adjust and learn so much from that experience.

    There are a few language problems in this description, mainly in your use of verb tenses:
    --- I decided to use hand gestures and I also added visual aids such as pictures in my slides instead so the students can relate the picture to the new words that I am going to teach them. >>>
    I decided to use hand gestures, and I also added visual aids such as pictures in my slides instead so the students COULD relate the picture to the new words that I WAS going to teach them.
    --- ...which can help them in the future. >>>
    which could help them in the future.
    --- If I were given this opportunity again to teach students with no English background, I will use those methods to aid the learning process.>>>
    If I were given this opportunity again to teach students with no English background, I WOULD use those methods to aid the learning process.

    Despite these (minor) problems, this post provides your readers with good insights into your own English language experience. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Brad,

      I really appreciate your time reading through my essay. It was nice to share my teaching experience with you. Thank you for your feedback. I have made the necessary changes.

      Sincerely,
      Nana Rafiana

      Delete