There are only 14 days to go before I fly from Dharamsala to Delhi to Sydney. I have settled into a routine here – going to work at Lha in the mornings where I help write responses to emails from volunteers from all over the world, taking a lunch break and then heading for Tibet World to teach students for two hours.
As I promised myself, I have been trying to help the students with their writing and they have responded well. They are keen to hear what I think about their latest pieces of writing and are getting used to incorporating feedback into new drafts. I gave a presentation about writing to the volunteer teachers at Tibet World. The volunteers teach a range of languages apart from English so I tried to accommodate this and to make it relevant for all proficiency levels. There was a good discussion at the end, so hopefully that was a good sign.
The members of the English class seem much more relaxed now and even the most reserved students are finally smiling and contributing in class. This has resulted in a much better atmosphere where they are participating and helping each other much more. I am looking forward to our last two weeks and hope we get a few more good lessons in.
The picture of the class was taken while they were absorbed in writing. We had studied a model and they were silently writing their own narratives. They are all deep thinkers, and despite the limitations of their English, they all produce work that reflects their schemas.
In addition to covering the grammar items listed in the program, we have been working on areas they still find confusing, like question word orders. I think next week is a good chance to continue to help with common errors, so we will try using Learning From Common Mistakes (Cambridge) .
So I am turning my mind to going home and tying up all the loose ends here before leaving. The University of Canberra has accepted my application to continue my studies and am looking forward to university life next semester. My TESOL studies have played a crucial role in the quality of my teaching and I definitely want to keep improving.
I am also looking forward to meeting up with other TESOL graduates who have started teaching so we can share our experiences. Who knows, maybe I can encourage other students to spend some time volunteering in Asia like I have. There is so much waiting out there and I can guarantee that it’s a richly rewarding experience.