It was our English class today, the last before our Easter break so we had a bit of a party. It was two students birthdays today so we had birthday cake as well as the traditional English fare we had bought in to share. We had bought hot cross buns and simnel cake and chocolate nests… and there was also profiteroles, chocolates, biscuits… no end of good things.
The point of the classes is obviously to teach English, but most of to teach conversational English… we do not have a set curriculum, we do not have tests or exams, all we wish to do is help people communicate more effectively socially as well as for formal and official purposes. So, although it might just be an enjoyable break in the middle of the morning, gathering together to drink tea or coffee and share what people have brought stimulates conversation and allows people to chat without worrying whether what they are saying is technically correct – communication! That’s the thing!
Today our students came from almost every continent, Poland, Ukraine, Chile, Romania, Papua new Guinea, Somalia, China, Thailand, Greece… and that was just today. Altogether we have had people from thirty different countries. There are four teachers, and three regular volunteers, but everyone lends a hand to do everything.
Speed chatting – talk on a given subject for three minutes, then change places for the next conversation on the next subject! No time to be nervous or feel awkward, chat, chat, chat!