Friday, September 30, 2011

Game Afternoon

Okay, so the semester is winding down and classes are all beginning to run into each other. It's a good thing, then, that school ends next Friday and that we got to have a game afternoon this last Wednesday before reviewing and finals! A friend of mine came over to share some activities and hang with the students. I love it when they get to talk to other foreigners so they aren't always hearing the teachers. Of course, everyone was still a bit "shy", but I guess that's to be expected.

One of the games was called Human Scrabble. The students got several letters apiece and had to pool their resources to make a word worth the most points. In the picture, it was teams, boys against girls. I think the boys won that challenge - our team got points by spelling Thai words with the Roman alphabet. That's not really fair!
The girls working on a really good, big word to beat the boys...

...and the boys looking equally intense.

The next activity was a picture relay. Three students (three different teams) looked at a picture and had to explain it (without showing) to a messenger (one per team). The messengers then had to relay the message back to students who drew what the messenger said. In the end they had to explain why their picture was the best.
Fon explaining to Bancha where the people in the photo are standing and how many there are.

Bancha relaying the message to his team.

AhJar relaying information to her team members.

Of course, what event is complete without snacks? It was a nice end to a good afternoon.

And don't let these sunny looking photos deceive you! Shortly after chowing down on the last snack it began to pour...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introducing the 1st Year Students

The first semester of this school year is winding to a close and I can honestly say that I really like the 1st year class! I enjoy teaching them (I have them for English) and seeing them improve. After all this time, I'm getting an idea what they are like. The class consists of six girls and one boy - and it is a chatty class! Fortunately, a lot of the chatting ends up in English. We have fun joking around.
A few things that I have enjoyed doing with them this year are: learning English songs that they can use to teach children, doing short skits, reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and seeing what they write about when they were young in their journals. I am fortunate this year, also, because the students are at approximately the same level, so I don't have that tension of keeping some students interested while not leaving others behind.

From left to right they are: Kathree, Chanpang, Haechi, Wanlee, Rumee, Praphan (the lone guy!), and Neeranoot

The students this year range in age from 17 to 20. They come from different parts of northern Thailand and some different backgrounds. I haven't had a lot of in depth conversations with students in first year yet, just because the language barrier is still rather high. However, there are some basic traits I notice.

Kathree is quiet but opening up more all the time - I am seeing a hint of a playful streak! She's one of the top students in class and is willing to answer and participate. She is Karen* and from the border.

Chanpang is definitely one to make others laugh. She is also very willing to step out and use the English she knows. She is Lahu** from Thailand.

Haechi also likes to make people laugh and laugh herself. Her level of English has made it possible for her to speak in English a little even from the start of the year. When school first started she would translate for the others, but I am happy to see that she doesn't have to do that much anymore! She is Lahu from Thailand.

Wanlee is the youngest in class but acts older than her age. She is quick to smile and she is very friendly and likes to joke around with the other students. She is Karen from Thailand.

Rumee is quieter, however, she also is willing to answer questions in class and is eager to improve her English. She is one of our two first year students who works on the kitchen crew. She has a quick smile and expressive eyes. She is Lahu from Thailand.

Praphan is the the quietest inside and out of class. However, he is also participating more and more as he gets more comfortable in English. He likes to play football (soccer) with the other guys and plays almost every Sunday afternoon. He is Lahu from Thailand.

Neeranoot is quiet and a little more serious. She likes to answer questions in class or help if someone else doesn't understand. She works with Rumee on the kitchen crew. She is Lahu from Thailand.

All the students enjoy music and singing. Many of them play guitar and can be found every so often strumming a song and singing. A few of the first year girls are taking piano lessons, which is fun for me also. I enjoy seeing their progress and hope they will learn something that they will use and enjoy in the future.

Obviously this doesn't capture everything of who they are, but figuring that out as the year goes on is part of the fun. Each new conversation or journal entry adds a little bit more to the picture of their lives.

* The Karen are an ethnic group that are primarily from south and south-eastern Burma (Myanmar). Some are in refugee camps along the border of Thailand and Burma, while others have made their home in Thailand.
Wikipedia - Karen people article

** The Lahu are an ethnic group found in many countries in Asia including China, Burma (Myanmar), Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. In Thailand they are one of the six main hilltribe groups. According to Wikipedia Minnesota (my home state) is one of three states in the US where Lahu people are likely to reside.
Wikipedia - Lahu people article

Posted by:
Aj. Erika

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Legacy Leader Issue 1

I teach several classes, one of which is Journalism. The students in Journalism write articles and then edit their's and those of the students in second year English. They put the articles in Microsoft Publisher, take and insert photos, and do the layout for our Legacy Leader. I don't edit the Legacy Leader but I do give them general comments on things to look for when they do their own edits. It's a balance that I am still working on mastering.

You can read the Legacy Leader online by clicking the following link. I'd be interested to know what you think and if you have any feedback about articles. Is there something they could tell you about Thailand that you are curious to know? Just leave me a comment or send me an email!

Click here to read Legacy Leader Issue 1 PDF

Click here to download Legacy Leader Issue 1 PDF

Posted by: Aj Erika

Monday, September 5, 2011

Football in the Rain

This evening I drove into the parking lot of the local university with the idea that I'd quickly snap some pictures for the blog, watch some of the match, and get back to school. Just as I was pulling in, large drops fell from an almost sunny sky. Instead of getting good pictures, I spent most of my time peeking around the branches of a tree in my efforts to stay dry. After four years in Thailand I still can't predict the weather within even 5 seconds!

Part of the tree that kept me from getting soaked!

Although it was raining and my view was obstructed, I was still able to enjoy watching the guys play. The past few weekends the majority of the boys have been playing against other teams in short matches.

The guys seem to be playing really well and its nice they have the outlet. The picture below is just before one of the Legacy goals. (Legacy boys are in the red and black stripes.)

Hmm, do I see a 2nd Annual Legacy Cup in our future?

(Posted by: Aj. Erika)