After my week in Belgium, we started working on human rights issues more closely. The lesson included activities and films related to asylum seekers’ and refugees’ situation as well. I find it important to develop everyone’s understanding on the humanitarian crisis, in hope of being able to arouse feelings of empathy, too. “What would I do? How would I feel?” Of course, being critical on the information you get is also of utmost importance.
“We talked about asylum seekers and refugees. We tried to put ourselves in their shoes. It was very interesting lesson and it changed my mind related to refugees.”
On Wednesday we had the first visitor in class. Mohammad Shehab is a student in Oulu at the moment. He shared his knowledge on his own culture and home country Egypt as well as many other points related to the English language, for example.
Thank you Mohammad! Now we know a lot more about Egypt and learned some Arabic as well.
On Thursday we were lucky to have two visitors at the same time. They are students in Oulu as well. Claudia Alonso is from Mexico and Modou Leigh is from Gambia. Or more correctly put, from THE Gambia, as I learned that day. Modou was the first Gambian we had ever met, so we had a lot to learn related to the Gambia. Claudia was able to share many new and interesting points on Mexico as well. Thanks Claudia and Modou – you were lovely guests!
Thank you both, Claudia and Modou! You were lovely guests.
For the third lesson we had only about 30 minutes because of other activities at school. We went through the UN Sustainable Goals from the previous lesson and after some counting of points we found out which group had won the activity. Congratulations to the winners! They also got information and hints how to start working on the video they are supposed to create during the course.
The following week was even more exceptional. I travelled in Belgium with a group of students on a visit related to our school’s DIG_IT – project (Erasmus+). On Monday I had a substitute. Our very own teacher Anna Grubert gave the group a lesson on pidgin and creole languages.
“I liked the lesson, …it was interesting and I learned new things about different forms of English, as well as that some of the languages that sound a lot like English aren’t exactly English.”
For the remaining two lessons on that week the students were supposed to work in pairs or in small groups and start creating a video. They have a free hand otherwise but the theme has to be somehow related to the UN Sustainable Goals. I hope they got a lot done!
The second round of English Worldwide has started. I have 25 eager young minds, motivated to speak English, learn of different cultures and global issues. Pretty awesome!
In the first lesson we took some time for planning. Then the students introduced themselves to the rest of the group. They shared thoughts of their future and important issues in their lives at the moment.
This is what one of the students wrote in her journal:
“The first lesson of the course was getting to know to each other. The activity that we did was fun and it was good to know what things we had in common. I think that this course is going to be quite interesting.”
In the second lesson we started to talk about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We learnt what they were and why they existed. We used some aspects of the “world’s largest lesson” (Here you can find some material.) . I gave the students some other activities to keep them busy while learning. They ran around and dictated phrases to each other. We didn’t have time to check their work so we’ll do it next time.
“Today we had to dictate texts that were scattered all around the classroom and in the room next to the class. We had to remember the texts and then try to dictate them in as much detail as we could to the one who wrote the texts on paper. I actually quite enjoyed the activity. It was a nice change to the casual English classes.”