Sunday, 7 February 2010

Teaching with 'Journey to Jo'Burg'

I had a great lesson today with the women's class. We read through the first chapter of Beverley Naidoo's 'Journey to Jo'Burg'. As it is a children's book the language is at just the right level for people with basic english. Using a story also brings language alive and puts it in a context with real people and situations. Much better than learning a list of 'verbs', 'adjectives' and so on. As the book is set in South Africa during Apartheid it also has resonance for people's lives in Palestine.

It was a sunny day, so we sat on the steps of the community center. The students seemed to really enjoy the chapter and the lesson just flowed. The world of rigid lesson plans and stultifying curriculum seemed far away.

At the end of reading the chapter we discussed whether the characters had made the right decision, and as extension work i asked the students to write their own version for the beginning of chapter 2.

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