21st March 2019 - by Chrissie
I took my teaching materials ready to work with the refugees on their English. Hazel was away so I went early, and luckily Ranald was there to help me. He has a very nice, positive approach. We talk about what we might do today.
We start the morning with a short meeting led by Steve, telling us what the priorities are for the day. This is very helpful, to know what are the important targets for the day. Getting there early has benefits. We’re gearing up for the Spring sale on the 13th April. Sue and I talk about how we are going to run the Raffle. More people seem to be coming to help us each week. Krish, in the kitchen, has a new helper.
Ranald and I start a session with a couple of keen students. Then more join us. We are practising words with ‘th’ in them, as many find this difficult to pronounce. Another person says he needs help with the letters p and q.
Amy has brought her friend’s little daughter who is lovely, she’s about 3. I take her to find toys, 3 dollies make her very happy. Our friend Beryl from the Mother’s Union, with her husband and hearing dog, have come and we have a great chat about the Moses basket project they are involved in. The little girl brings the dollies to show them and they get on like a house on fire.
I go to help with sorting for 10 minutes and work alongside Zak to empty the full bins. We go back to teaching, I lead on ACHIEVEMENTS, statements and questions to stimulate discussion. A new visitor joins us, Bob Smith, who knows Abdul. He gives a great example of Abdul’s achievement – helping Ann at her allotment. Bob is full of praise for Abdul, it’s lovely. I ask on paper ‘What is your favourite place?’ Ahmad says ‘When I am with my friends, here or at home.’ I am moved by that.
Now we are told Yousef is doing a dance for New Year. It’s the first day of Spring in Iran, they say ‘Norus Mobarak!’ ‘blessed new year’. Yousef is asked to show us and we jump up and join in the dance, linking arms while Yousef leads. It is a joyful moment.
We go back to teaching; the conversation is lively and fun. I always correct the pronunciation and make them practise the words. A lovely young man from Syria is standing watching and joins in the conversation.
Its 12.15 and we start to pack up. Ranald has had to leave early; he is going to the March in London tomorrow. We finish, talking about the words that we find difficult to pronounce in Arabic. This is always good, to end by taking an interest in their languages. Bob and I chat to the guy from Syria and ask him to come again. This has been one of the best mornings ever at DRS. The place was very busy, lots happening and I was at my best with the learners, in spite of feeling unconfident the day before. It really was a joyful start of Spring.