Friday, October 14, 2011

Teaching it up in Georgia

Sorry for the long delay in posting folks, but yes I am still alive and have now been an English teacher for three weeks.I am teaching in the small Georgian village of Jikhanjali, up in the hills of the Western Adjara Region. Looking one way from my house you can see snow-topped mountains, the other side reveals the Black Sea.
Students from Monday English Club.

 I am living with a wonderful host family who feed me regularly. The house is a thirty minute walk from the Public School where I am working which is good on a sunny day and less good when it is pouring down rain. The region gets a lot of rain too. It is hilly and very fertile and green. I co-teach Grades one through to six. The children are fantastic - they love to learn! They are keen even though this is the first time that English has been taught at this school.
Main Street, Jikhanjali
 Hence it is all very basic stuff, we are about half-way through the alphabet and so far lessons are mostly vocab based. It's funny to see the kids struggle with the concept of hello/goodbye. We often get 'Goodbye!' as we enter the class room and 'Hello' as we leave.
In addition to classes I have taken it upon myself to take an 'English Club'. It has been divided into three groups, one for years 7-10, and two for 3-6 where I am building on the stuff in class and mostly doing songs and games. Classes are mostly repetition based, so it's good for the children to have a less strict environment. Two weeks ago I had 36 children in one English Club. Although the whole school wanted to be part I had to limit the numbers which was very hard. I found one class of 36 just to be too many, so that was divided into two which have swelled to 20-22 now. But instead of an incredible amount of noise, with a little shuffling of the students they were quiet and extremely attentive and keen.
View of the hill opposite where I am living.
The years 7-10 are a different proposition because they have no English class at all, so I plan to build their base knowledge for a few weeks before starting a couple of projects. The school is basic yet has a computer room, internet and a projector. On the other hand the printer has been out of ink now for a couple of weeks and their are no musical instruments to aid the music teacher. The teachers themselves are all keen to learn English and seem a committed tight team.
I am off today to Tbilisi to get a look at the sights over the weekend. Back to school on Tuesday, which I am enjoying immensely. Stay tuned for a report on my visit to Tbilisi early to mid next week!

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