HELP English Update
My name is Amelia and I am currently working with HELPEnglish in a small primary school in the Las Lomas shanty town on the outskirts of Huanchaco. The school has around 45 children, 4 full time teachers and a classroom assistant.
Myself and another volunteer divide the four day week, I take the Monday and Tuesday class and Heather takes Wednesday and Thursday. The children on Monday are the youngest and are ages 3 to 5. They learn basic vocabulary, mostly by repetition. They have been learning how to say hello, goodbye and the names of animals. The children can be shy and reluctant so they are encouraged with stickers which they get whenever they get something right. The children colour in animals and copy their names in English which are written in dot to dot or with missing letters.
Tuesday’s class are aged 6-7, they learn similar things to the younger children but at a slightly more advanced level. They have been working on the alphabet, food and animals. They can also use very basic conversational English like hello, goodbye, thank you, my name is.
Wednesday’s class are aged 8-9 and learn the alphabet, numbers and basic conversation. There are 10 children in the class, who all work at varying levels. The children also do some drawing and colouring and like to take part in lessons by drawing on the board.
Thursday’s class is the largest and has the oldest children who are aged between 9 and 11. There are 16 children in the class and their levels of learning are very varied. Some children finish the exercises easily, others struggle. The children learn vocabulary and conversational English. They are taught in themes and scenarios, like Restaurant, Shop, At Home etc.
Heather and I plan and deliver the classes on our own. Their teacher stays in the class room and sometimes helps. We bring our own materials with us, like printed exercises, work sheets and pictures.
Working with HELP English in the Las Lomas primary school is interesting and rewarding. The teachers are always willing to help and give as much assistance as they can. Although the teachers have taught the children some English however their own English is limited. The children enjoy learning English and as classes are fairly short and around 1 hour they usually give their full attention for the whole lesson.