I teach adults, mostly latinos, how to speak English at a community adult school here in the Bay Area. My mom has been teaching at this adult school for over two years now, and I've been volunteering for over a year. Last year, I often went four times a week from 6:30-9:30 helping out in the intermediate or beginning intermediate class. ( depending on what day of the week it was ).
This year, my mom only teaches one class, beginners, and we both go Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-9:30. While my mom teaches the class, she has me pull aside some of the students who are struggling and help them one-on-one with their English, whether it's pronunciation or just practice. I also help by teaching the class important concepts. For example, last week I played the role of a "chef" in the "Chavez Family Skit." The purpose of this skit was to introduce types of jobs, such as chefs, babysitters, gardeners, housekeepers,etc. I was an underpayed chef who one day decided to leave, packed my bags, and never came back. This helped the class "visualize" what had happened in the past. With this, we taught them how to say " The chef left her last job because she needed more money."
about American culture and traditions. This skit was also tied into some job interview questions and answers we taught them.
We primarily focus on work-related and commonly-spoken English. We feel that teaching them how to write sentences, the complications of English grammar, etc does not help them in their day to day lives.
Not only do we teach them how to speak English, but we also feel that it is very important to teach them about American culture and traditions. For every holiday, we bring in items that are related to it and have the students "experience" it themselves. For example, last class, we had a Christmas Party and explained to them Christmas in the United States. We told them about caroling. So,as an "experience", we taught them "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." Soon after, we went around to all the other classrooms that were in session, and even to the principal of the school, and sang our carols for them.
I really look forward to every class - I feel like the students are the ones that are teaching me! They teach me the importance of helping the community and that I can make a difference! Whether it's helping them with pronunciation or acting out in a skit to teach new concepts, I know I am making a difference and it feel so great knowing that I , at only 16, can do that!