Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

I have been very lucky this year with my English classes. I have had constant support of the teachers at la Escuelita Limon, I have two friends that I meet with weekly to bounce ideas off of and to learn from, and my classes are twice a week this year… so I’m really seeing how the kids are learning so quickly.

I’m currently spending two weeks in Antigua, attending the La Union language school for the third time since my move to Guatemala last January. Once again, I have Willy as a teacher. Willy is a great teacher, and I feel like I really learn a lot from him. Teaching is definitely his gift. Willy is also learning English, and has been teaching himself for well over a year or so. During the last half-hour or so of our Spanish lessons, I teach English to Willy. This is where I have learned to appreciate how difficult learning English truly is.

For example, yesterday I spent twenty minutes explaining the difference between someone who is ‘creepy’ and someone who is ‘sleazy’. This is very difficult to do, as neither of them translate into Spanish, and therefore are not in the Spanish/English dictionary. Also, as I have learned with the kids in the ghetto, the English language makes no sense in some aspects. In Spanish, the word sounds exactly as it is spelled… in English, not so much. We have the weirdest rules. My problem is that I don’t know how to explain what any of them are. Yes, when there is an ‘e’ at the end of the word, the previous vowel is strong. Double letters almost always sound the same… foot, cook, pool. How do I explain the difference between ‘read’ (present) and ‘read’ (past)? My answer is a standard “porque si“. There is just now way to explain some of this stuff.

The good thing is that Willy now understands how difficult learning Spanish is, with the rules that make no sense… and he feels my pain.

Anyway, I am really grateful for my time in Antigua… it’s a much-needed break from the city, and it’s nice to be able to walk around and hear some English being spoken here and there. It’s great to not have to take the bus for a while… and I love that I can walk around freely at night and not be too worried.


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