Written by Allen Robertson, Latino ESL Volunteer
Nothing truly describes the feeling when someone learning to speak English pronounces a difficult letter, word, or even a phrase correctly for the first time. The smile on my face, and theirs, and the feeling of satisfaction are the chief reasons I love volunteering and teaching English to new friends from all places.
God has blessed me with this opportunity for almost seven years, with the last three at Mission Adelante in their Latino ESL program. What is it like to volunteer at all levels? Well, each level is unique with its own challenges, rewards, and experiences. Take level 1 for example and that first night of class. We are a room full of strangers from different backgrounds, countries, cultures, and primary languages. We become friends as we learn together about basic verbs like ‘to be’. Students ask, is that SER or ESTAR? We answer, “yes it’s both”, and the journey to understand the connections between Spanish and English begins.
My journey the past year has taken me beyond level 1 to advancing one trimester at a time with the same group of students and volunteers from level 2 through 4. Our teaching methods have changed as well as the material. In level 2 we started with the same methods as those before us: a white board, flip charts, index cards, and handouts. But we began to look for ways to teach the material in different ways using technology. We followed a suggestion to use an online teaching game called Kahoot, which prepares and displays a customized game where students respond to questions using their mobile phones in a friendly competition. Using a video projector, a laptop, and the internet, we incorporated additional games and resources from social media to use different tools to enhance the class experience. We’ve simplified that in levels 3 and 4 to utilize an in-class TV with Wi-Fi. All the teaching material is combined into PowerPoint, and we use games like Bingo, Jeopardy, and Kahoot to make learning key concepts more fun.
I’m looking forward to completing level 5 with our current group while relying on technology, laughter, and most important, God’s blessings, as we learn and grow together.
- Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift, in partnership with Samaritan's Feet, will be hosting a community event on Saturday, May 5th to inspire hope through the gift of shoes, the act of washing feet, and words of encouragement. We need 40+ volunteers who are willing to serve by washing feet and helping distribute shoes. If you or your small group is interested in volunteering, please email Elena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Are you interested in serving, sharing life, and sharing Jesus with people from other places? We are looking for volunteers for the summer trimester, May 29th to August 2nd, to help in our Arts Community, Kids Adelante, English Club, and Latino ESL programs. Visit www.missionadelante.org/serve to learn more!