Sunday, 31 January 2010

First lessons

Most of my teaching takes place at the community center in Abu Dis (see pictures above).

The lessons are small and relaxed. Many students just want to develop their already advanced English through conversation. Yesterday i taught two children, a girl called Hadeel (aged 8) and a boy called Salah (aged 10). We went through Michael Rosen's Lovely Old Roly together and then did words for food in english.

Today i taught a group of 7 women aged from around 27 to 55. It was a collaborative process, with me starting things off and providing direction, and the more advanced students helping with clarification for the less advanced. We did a couple of activities which i had planned, and then just talked more generally about life in Palestine and London.

Unemployment is very high in Abu Dis and there is no doubt that the community center is vital as a meeting point for learning and cultural activities. There simply is not much else to do, particularly for the unemployed youth.


  1. I'm interested in your teaching situation, so thanks for posting the photos and description. Can I ask: are you working for an NGO? If so, who? I.e. who is funding you? (I'm interested in doing something similar one day - but I understand if you might not want to go public about the details). But please post more pics and accounts fo your teaching life! Are there any materials available for use, for example?

  2. Hi Scott,

    I am volunteering here, so it is self-funded (with financial help from some very kind individuals).
    If you email me at i can provide you with more details.
    I am using the standard English teaching text books, there is also an 'English for Palestine' student text book published by the Palestinian Ministry of Education.


  3. Hi Jon,
    Thanks - I suspected as much, but didn't want to ask you outright! I'd be also interested to know whether you had to get any kind of work visa, or did you come in as a tourist? (Again, feel free NOT to answer if this might compromise you).

    I know 'English for Palestine', being involved in a review of it for Macmillan and the MoE a couple of years ago.(I hinted at the connection in my comment on your first post).

    Another question - what's internet access like? Do you go to an internet cafe to send your blog posts etc?

    (Sorry about all the questions, but I am really curious to know what it's like there, on the ground, as it were).