Friday, July 27, 2012

I had some leads but unfortunately they fizzled.  I guess, I fizzled a little, too.

I'm not interested in being paid for this; I'm also not interested in teaching somebody English from the ground up.  What I want is to make the transition into English more engaging, rewarding, self-gratifying and - at least - more interesting, by helping ESL students practice their English with creative writing tools (reading great English literature and International literature in English translation, and writing their own stories and poems.)

I'm trying to learn Spanish & French myself right now and the same is true.  The basic lessons do NOT make good reading.  Some of the sentences and conversations these lessons have me practicing, while they may be useful for me to practice certain words and verb tenses, are the stupidest conversations and stories I've ever heard.  Example: "Are you an elephant?"  "Ah no, of course not, that's ridiculous.  I am not an elephant."  They do not do their languages any honour.  

So after that rant, I had a new idea today.  I don't want to do this alone anymore.  I'm not getting anywhere and I and the idea are becoming more isolated and lonely.  Remembering that this is as much a literary project as well as a service for newcomers to Canada to practice ESL, I decided to develop an ad to ask other literary writers to get on board with me.  Once I have friends, I'll feel better, I'm sure.  :-)

Then, we, the writer/teachers, will agree on a general frame for the lessons/workshops.  Then, we'll place another ad to get students.  Maybe go back to the Y.  We'll start really small: one student per writer.  I'll book one room at a library in a central location.  We all meet together and separate with our respective students.  If things go well, we'll increase the ratio to two-three students per writer and so on.

It might seem strange to meet all together to just separate into smaller groups however, meeting as a larger group, we get to start and end with a larger community around us.  The smaller group sessions allows us to really work our lesson plan for it's effectiveness.  

Well, that's my aha for today.  Let's see if I come back with anything ...

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