Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Reflections from Italy after Week I

Greetings from the Spring, 2011 team in Cisternino, Italy. We are just ending the first week of teaching in the Liceo in Cisternino and each one of us feels very satisfied with how the week progressed, tired and satisfied. Many of the students we’ve been able to work with are gearing up to take a particular grade level of either the Trinity, Cambridge or PET English exam at the end of May. Those students are very motivated, attentive and well-behaved.

We have also tutored other students who are not going to take one of those exams; their mastery of English varies greatly. However, regardless of their facility with English, they are getting practice in speaking English, introducing themselves, listening to a native speaker, and responding to questions. They are also very well-behaved.

In the main, each of us is working with no more than 5-6 students at one time, but it does vary depending upon the requests/needs of the school.

As a bonus (for us!) some of the Italian teachers are also working on their English with us during the afternoons. Some plan to take one of the exams as they prepare for a new Italian regulation which goes into effect in 5 years. At that point in time they will be required to teach their respective subject area in English for at least an hour a day. It is such a pleasure and privilege to work directly with the teachers. The conversation is intellectually quite stimulating. To sit and discuss Atonement by Ian McEwan with an Italian teacher…what a great experience.

And… this is FUN. Personally, this is my first time on a Global Volunteers trip. I had no idea I would receive such wonderful TLC from a team leader who magically gets things done, makes meal modifications, arranges transportation and nurtures our spirits. Participating on the team, meeting new people from different parts of the states all adds to the fun.

I am particularly enjoying being a participant in a small town in Italy and not just a tourist. And here’s what everyone could guess…the food is fabulous as well!

Shared by Italy Volunteer Nancy C.