I started at 4.30 pm in a room that gets the afternoon sun and the temperature was 36 degrees to this we add 20 enthusiastic students who sit very close together and only one small wall fan. I do not need to go to the gym for a sauna.
OK, to the teaching itself. I have 3 levels, the very basic class which knows no English at all and speak very basic english. I found this one the hardest as we have very little in common and my Khmer interpreter who was working with me, told me later that he had trouble translating what I was saying as I speak to fast. ME talk to fast,never!!! In this class, we spent the time tracing the first 4 letters of the alphabet and the remainder of the time practicing phonetics.
I have 1 beginner 1 and I have 2 beginner 2's. These students can all read and write English as they are taught it in their schools but taught by Khmer teachers and they have no idea on the punanciations and this is our main objective is to teach them punounciation and grammar structure. Darn, my English teacher was right when she said I would need to know this some day!!! Wish I had listened now.
We are working from books that are very very European and although they are the best available they are totally inappropriate for what we are trying to teach. One of the things I was to use as an example was going into a Cafe and ordering a sandwich. Sure.
Well, it probably was one of the longest 4 hours I have spent for many years, by the end of the 4 hours I was stuffed and totally soaked. Judy and I who are on the last sessions then went to a meeting and had our evening meal. Did I enjoy it, yes absolutely. The Khmer interpreters think I am funny, can't imagine why, must be because I kept poking my tounge out when I was trying to get them to try the sound 'th'.
I am about to sit down and make up 3 lesson plans for this afternoon.
I am good at putting things off so I will delay the lesson planning further by telling you about the other ladies.
Sandra is from Townsville and is a Scouting lady of long standing, she met Lyn when the were on the Scout world trip during 2007. She is a ISA teacher's aid for handicapped children. Sandra will be here for one term only and them will be replaced by her husband Ernie. Poor Ernie, surrounded by 5 ladies.
Ryllis, was a Scouting person but has just left the Movement, she is fromTassie.
Annette was in high end retail as her wardrobe shows, fantastic outfits, she has been here over a week now and is picking up Khmer very easily.
Judith lived in Darwin for a very short time as her husband was in the judisary but unfortunately passed away and she is finding it difficult with me talking about Darwin,
Sally is one of our youngsters, she is amazingly confident as she has done heaps of travelling and settling in to teaching extremely well, The students love her.
Liz is our newest member of the team and she is going to live in one of the villiages which is about 30 minute drive from Seim Reap. Mel has just has an extra added to a hut in the villiage and Liz will be living there with the help of a Khmer lad she will be teaching in the afternoon and probably helping the the local school in the morning. Liz is also in her 20's.
As you can see we are a diverse group of ladies and of course there is Mel who is an absolute bundle of energy, here from 5.30am until 10pm, manages to look after her family and establish the school. Yes, she is the size of a pencil.