And then there was one. The last lesson of the course. It was time to watch the videos the group had made over the past weeks. They were supposed to choose one UN Sustainable Development Goal and somehow cover it in their video. Otherwise they had a free hand. After watching all the videos we talked about them and the whole group voted which three videos should be published here on this site. I was very proud of all of my students and they did a good job. However, I agreed with the students – these were the best ones. Others were good as well but they had some technical issues that prevented publishing.
Joona, Pyry and Mikko’s: Education
Miikka, Mikael, Tommy and Matias’s: Goal 12
Joonas and Aleksi’s: SDGs (like a vlog post)
I am feeling very happy after the course. This is what one student wrote in his journal after the course:
“So, what have I learned during this course? I have learned a lot about different people, cultures and countries, and I think I can watch the world much more open mindedly now.”
Until next year!
This week was very lively again since we had nothing but visitors! It gives me a bit of stress trying to make sure everybody finds the school (not goes to a wrong one…) and is able to arrive more or less on time. Sometimes I need to make some phone calls and pick up people from wrong places, no matter how precise information I try to give. Still, I find this kind of work utterly important even if there is some hassle every now and then.
First we had Petra Kreč from Slovenia. It was a bit different lesson since Petra is educated in group dynamics. We did some activities and didn’t concentrate on her home country for the whole lesson. We had a lot of fun and the group was very willing to play along.
Next there were two visitors on each lesson: Marzie Khoshnazar (Iran) with Maria (Greece) and Lin Wang aka Jessica (China) with Rima Haddid (Algeria). It didn’t matter that we had already had a visitor from China. They got in touch with each other before Jessica’s visit and didn’t talk about the same topics. Rima’s lesson was a bit different from others. She introduced a new concept to us, Third Culture Kids. Rima’s background was multicultural and she shared her own experiences with some scientific information on actually being without a home country and mother tongue. It was quite eye opening.
Marzie on the left and Maria on the right.
Rima and Jessica
This week was full of guests! On Monday we were visited by Zhu Ning from China. On Wednesday there were three AIESEC students: Matúš Genský (Slovakia), Bayu Permana Putra (Indonesia) and Hajer Ben Ghalloum (Tunisia). It is very educational and fun to have so many visitors in the class during this course. We get to meet interesting people who are willing to come and share their experiences with Finnish students. I, the teacher, get to be a student as well and learn a lot.
From left to right: Hajer, Matúš and Baju. In the pictures on the right there is Zhu Ning.
On Thursday the results of the US presidential election were out. Naturally we spent a while talking about them. In the remaining time of the lesson we had various activities and e.g. watched a film “Why study languages”.
After the autumn break we continued with a very current theme: the US presidential election in November. We studied several articles related to the topic, took a look at some statistics, watched a few (funny) video clips and naturally talked about the future scenarios. The discussion was very active! There was wondering, worrying but also calm attitude. We were eager to see what would happen. Now we of course know that Donald Trump got elected.
We had one exceptional lesson because the school photos were taken and people kept walking in and out of the classroom. During that time we talked about stereotypes and how nobody is immune to them. We just need to understand that stereotypes do not represent the truth or tell anything about an individual.
In the final lesson of the week we had another lovely guest, Marian Tumanyan from Armenia. I reckon Marian was the first Armenian person anyone of us had ever met. Therefore we were very interested in everything she told us about her home country, language and culture. It seems to be a very interesting and beautiful country!
Here is Marian teaching us the alphabet.
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.”