sábado, 8 de septiembre de 2012

English Song Festival

As TEL (Teaching English for Livlihoods) Volunteers, we face some challenges inside the classroom here on the coast of Colombia! (!=to say the least) With a more flexible sense of starting and ending time for classes greatly reducing the time students..and teachers...are in the class, coupled with disciplinary problems and often times general chaos from the students, teacher's here find their instructional time dwindled to a fraction of what the class time should be!  Add to this the frequent cancellation of classes it is hard to teach enough material to students to have them learn and retain much information.  

So, when struggling with these obstacles and how to motivate students to learn English, we are forced to think outside of the box...or outside of the classroom!  Peace Corps Volunteers all around the world have been putting on English Camps, English Days, and English Song Competitions to motivate students to learn English and have fun doing it.  Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to a small town outside Cartagena to be a judge in one such English Song Festival in Pasacaballo.

The Judges Table!

The Judges and MC

Although most students really enjoy any reason not to wear their uniforms, some of the competitors really got into it by buying matching outfits! (not an easy feat considering the economics of the communities where we work)

The participants!
The Winners!  (I swear they looked happier when they won...)

Although I had listen to Celine Dion and relive my past with every Christian song known to mankind and had a headache all afternoon that I'm pretty sure was related to the blaring music all morning, I had a great time seeing all the planning and enthusiasm that went into this event.  This was just the intraschool competition, so I'm looking forward to the interschool competition coming up in October and seeing the best of what Cartagena has to offer.  Last year the winner was from a community called LaBoquilla where a volunteer is currently working and word on the street that she is still treated like ROYALTY around those parts for winning!  I was even invited to bring some of the little tykes (4 and 5 year olds) that I'm working with to compete!

And on a closing note, I would offer a word of advice.  If you have a Volunteer fluent in English working at the school with you, maybe have them proofread all materials:

1 comentario:

  1. I think I met you in Santa Marta over the holiday. I am a possible future pcv named Laura. Thanks for all the help. Good luck with the competition.