We have had Adult English in Mkwiro for a long time but so far, all our students are women. I know that we used to have Adult English for Men a while ago but for some reason we had to stop. But we all know that in community, we have to be ready to adapt and always find new ideas and new things to do. Some men from Mkwiro approached GVI asking if we could help them with their English skills. In Mkwiro, it is actually really hard to practice English after finishing primary education. After having several people requesting Adult English for men we decided to try again. We told all the men who were interested to come on Tuesday at 4:00pm and see what we could do together.
On the first Tuesday, we had 2 men showing up for the class. After a little discussion, we discovered that 4:00pm was not the best time to start knowing that all the men go to pray at 4:00pm in the mosque. Hakuna matata - if the men have to pray at 4:00pm, they can come at 4:15pm. So the next week we were waiting in front of the library at 4:15pm and the same men showed up and told us that other people were interested but that they had to organize their day to be able to come (most of the men are fishermen and they often are working until late in the afternoon).
|The first two students in their first class|
Two weeks ago we had our third student begin classes, our very own tailor Mr Kipunda. Even if the numbers are picking up slowly, we have to keep on being positive. Change takes time to establish.
We decided to focus on mainly on speaking and practicing grammar points that are crucial for the understanding of a conversation. The students are all really motivated and eager to learn which makes our job easy and fun. It is very interesting as well to teach men and women separately and discover different ways to teach and different topics to use in the classes. You can imagine that having examples such as “Today, I am cooking rice for dinner” or “I take care of my baby every day” are not the best for men to relate to.
It has been now about a month that we started and have good hopes for the future of this new class. We will keep you updated on how the men in Mkwiro are doing and how good their English is in a few weeks.
Julie Barrot de Brito – Community Field Staff