Wow! It's hard to believe another week is almost over. I'm still trying to get those new Khmer words to stick in my mind, as well as getting the pronunciation and intonations right. What a blessing it is to have such a patient teacher. Thanks God, for my patient language teacher, who is comfortable enough with me that we can laugh together at my mistakes. I think the hardest part though is the memorisation of the words and their meanings, but I'll keep trying.
One good thing to come out of this struggle with Khmer is that I am sure that I'll be much more understanding of my ESL students in the future. 10 new words in one day is very hard work. Hmm, let me think how I can help them to cope with all the new vocabulary I'm going to be throwing their way this year. I guess repetition is going to be a big part of it. Not introducing too many new words at once might help too. Finally, I need to try and find links to what they already know. Alright, there's no rocket science in that, but I've got to try.
So what else have I been up to. Well, planning for the new year is definitely underway. Today's main achievement was establishing a picture of my student's reading levels, and it's not really very pretty. Once again most of them appear able to read aloud fluently but have a lot of difficulty with comprehension. Vocabulary is definitely an issue, and I guess that's compounded by the fact that many of the students' life experiences don't include things that are common in a Western culture. Still, the data I have is 10 months old, so it's possible there have been substantial improvements in that time. Let's hope so. I also hope I can get someone to come and help me with the running records.
I'm sure Math is my favourite subject! I started my year plan for that today as well, and I'm really excited about the materials I have, and the opportunities for my students to explore Maths concepts, rather than just me teaching them all things and hoping they memorise them. I plan to use manipulatives whenever I can, but also to challenge students to find their own ways of solving problems. The thing I have to remember is that much of what I want them to do is going to be new for them, and I can't expect them to be where last year's class finished! I know, it's basic, but it's easy to forget.
Well, I'm looking forward to another productive day tomorrow, so I'll finish off for now.