Today I saw our English teaching volunteer Emily in action for the first time, and it was just too exciting! Emily, a 17 year-old from Perth, has been working with Jan in the English lab atUkhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele.
The lab does fantastic work improving literacy rates in a school that has been struggling with reading and writing for a while. The lab classes are fantastically well run and enjoyable: the kids start off with a little dance warm-up, and then move on to the alphabet, words or sentences, depending on their grade.
Jan, Emily and the class teacher – who takes part in the teaching – use games, posters and fun exercises to make the lesson as memorable as possible for the children.
The kids are unbelievably cute and seem to bloom under the praise and attention they get in the lab; in their usual classes, one teacher is responsible for roughly 40 children, making it very difficult for all of them to get the focus they deserve. The value of a little praise and enthusiasm is reflected in their attitude; at the end of one lesson, Emily was swamped by her adoring (and adorable) fans, each demanding a hug and/or a high five.