Sunday, September 23, 2012

Inspiration and hard work

I continue with the work to link the children in the small village school in the Mayenne region  with a similar rural village school in Staffordshire, England. The French class now has twenty children from 8 to 11 years and caters for two adjoining villages.  The 'infant' class is in our neighbouring village & the juniors here. So this week has been further work on greetings, both formal & informal in English leading up to the writing of a simple letter to the children in England.

Though the class size here has more than doubled in the new intake this is not as positive as it sounds, because there are fewer & fewer younger children.  My friend Liz who actually introduced me to the school,has been working solidly, year on year with these children and now I can see just how much skill, confidence and pleasure in English she has given them.
 Not a teacher by profession, but a natural teacher with a passion for communication, Liz has given these new kids a real head start and didn't I notice it.

So this time when it came to the verbal games they were up for it and fully participated, it was delightful. And, later with  the more formal written stuff it was easier to differentiate the work and talk with the children about what they were writing.

Result, twenty short, but clear messages for me to forward onto the school teacher in Staffordshire, some basic self portraits (art work is seldom a strength here) and a really good feeling about what can be achieved.

And where my French faltered, Liz's son, one of the older boys in the class was there to be my bi-lingual aid and actively encouraged the elder children to support the younger ones and do so in spoken English.
Just goes to prove what one persons passion can do to influence & develop a child's learning. So this is one big thank you to Liz, she'll never know quite what an inspiration she has been......