Thailand Update #6

Greetings to all!

Our allies in Thailand have just wrapped up two days of teaching English in the Hill Tribe village.  The volunteer work had been prearranged… but upon arriving at the school, the Explorations Academy group found not a teacher, not a volunteer coordinator, no English speakers, nobody but students!  So there was a little bit of a trial-by-fire dynamic at play.  However, thinking on one’s feet comes with the territory, as it were, of an international study expedition.  So they dived in!

The Explorations students divided the thirty or so Thai kids into groups roughly based on size and age, and began with some basic vocabulary, games, and crude conversation.  Skye and Guthrie got one of the groups started, while James discovered that abstract concepts like love and justice were hard to get across.  We have this first-hand account from Guthrie to illuminate the experience:

Today we taught second and third graders English at a small school located on the outskirts of Chang Rai.  Skye and I handled a class in which we went over numbers, days of the week, colors, and body parts.  Starting by counting to twenty, it was apparent that they already had aquired a basic understanding of the number system in English.  Most of the class could count faster then I could ask them to.  Quickly going over colors, we moved rapidly into teaching the days of the week.  This proved to be the most educational part of the class, as we saw them tripping up and getting the days confused and jumbled, much like we do in Spanish class!

We spent a good portion of the time going over the days of the week and slowly moved into months as we saw them start to get the hang of it.  At this point we saw our students start to lose focus and attentiveness, so we moved into a more active activity: “Heads, shoulders knees and toes…” The students rapidly picked up body parts as they flailed about in joy.  Seeing how fast we could go, I witnessed the students smile in joy and bounce around like little balls of energy.  It was nice seeing the kids learning something while enjoying themselves.

After the first day, during which the American kids learned some Thai as well as teaching English, they regrouped, debriefed, and strategized so that they came into the second day of teaching much more prepared.  And accordingly, it went much more smoothly.  Everyone got a LOT out of the experience!

Now our Explorations group is heading back to Bangkok, and from there will head out to an island off the coast for their last few days in Thailand.

Explore posts in the same categories: Student Activities, Student Reports, Thailand

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