On March 8, when people around the world celebrate International Women’s Day, AIWA-SF received a gift, an update from Anush Ghorhmazyan, our amazing English teacher who runs our after school English Program in Dsegh Village. Susanna Cogswell, AIWA-SF Project Lead says, “Watching these beautiful kids freely conversing in English gives me an overwhelming sense of joy. Seeing the world through their happy laughter makes me believe in the brighter future for them. Being a part of that is beyond gratifying.”
Warm regards from Dsegh!
First, I would like to congratulate you to the 8th of March, International Women’s Day. Maybe they don’t celebrate this holiday in the USA, but it doesn’t matter. You are Armenian and you know well how lovely is the womens day for us. Susanna jan, we continue working in three groups as before. The first group are the beginners. This is my biggest group. There are 24 students from the second, 4th and 5th grades there. They learn English more quickly and easier as the others. They have an ear for music, so they can sing many songs( Rain, rain go away, Twinkle, twinkle little star etc). They also know many poems, riddles, proverbs, jokes. They play some jokes in roles even. The children talk about their families, about their pets and their classroom. They know the days of week, the months. They talk about seasons. They ask questions and answer them.(what does your father do? What does your mother do? – housewife, driver. teacher, doctor…) The students greet and say good-bye very fluently. They can tell you their phone numbers, their address. Now we are working at the tale of Little Red Riding Hood”. I want them to play it in roles. The girls play this role with great pleasure. The pronunciation is the hardest for them. We watch cartoons and many videos. We always do many exercises to improve the pronunciation.
My second group is also great. They are girls and boys of the 7th and 8th grades. I use “The Headways” for this group. There are many interesting texts and different exercises there. My work is a little special with this group. Most of the students already have girl- and boyfriends. They are interested in love only. But it doesn’t matter. I have found the way of working with them. Many poems, songs of American pop-music singers. They learn many songs and poems by heart. They translate the texts. I teach them the grammar using this texts. (Our hands have met but not our hearts, Our hands will never meet again. – Future, Past- simple).
At last my third group are also special. They are the students of the 10th and 12th grades. First I didn’t want to take the students of the 12th grades. They are finishing school in three months. They are so busy. But it doesn’t matter. They joyfully attend all our lessons with great pleasure. I hope English wiil help them in their education at University and throughout life. They are not only my students. They are my younger friends. They come to me during the long break as well. It is after the fourth lesson and lasts 15 minutes. Our classroom is our home. They simply have rest there. My work with this group is also special. My favorite writer is William Saroyan. And I want them to know him, too. They know who is William Saroyan, but they don’t know him as a man, a writer, and a philosopher. I told them a little about his biography, his stories and heroes. You know, the students do not like to read nowadays. But they loved Saroyan very much and promised me to read his stories even in Armenian. We are working now at his first play. “My heart is in the highlands”. We read and translate a little part of this play in each lesson. We have always a dictionary on the table. The students loved Johnny very much. They always repeat his words, “there is something wrong somewhere in this world’s order”. Sometimes they change these words in their way, “everything is wrong in this world’s order”. And I agree with them, from this I am able to teach them and we also have very meaningful conversation.
Many thanks to AIWA-SF for supporting us and helping positively impact these students lives through education.
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