OpenFest 2006 - Share the Freedom

September 24, 2004

The first class

Rob Young, an American teaching English in the Bulgarian city of Silistra, lets the cat out of the bag on his method of introducing himself to the class, and letting the class introduce themselves back. His methods of breaking the ice look wonderful - and believe me, there usually *is* quite a bit of ice to break in a Bulgarian school when the students see a real, live, talking and performing native speaker of English for the first time, and the way school works, if he (God forbid) addresses them personally, they are required to answer him in English! Of course, there are always a few students who are already kinda sorta comfortable with making up a sentence or two in English, but they are usually the exception rather than the rule, and usually the first reaction to a question from the teacher is a blanched expression and a stammering search for at least two or three words that could go well together.

From Rob's description, it seems that he has found a way to ease the students into it in a way that they almost like the idea of an English class in the end :) He brought up memories of the English and American teachers that we had in the "English B" classes at the First English Language School in Sofia ("English B" is an English grammar/literature/whatever-the-teacher-fells-like class taught by a native speaker). Of course, FELS differs from most other schools in that the students there have already implicitly expressed an interest in the language, but still, from what I remember, there was quite a bit of ice to break back then - and our teachers did great, too.

Posted by roam at September 24, 2004 07:54 PM