Friday, 26 February 2010

Hello all!

Just a brief update until I can do some real damage online. Classes have (finally!) started and I think the schedule has changed for the last time. I’m teaching two classes of English and one of computers, which, at first, I didn’t think I was qualified for. I quickly realized otherwise. (Lesson one: This is a mouse. It has buttons and moves the little arrow on the screen. Lesson two: This is a keyboard. When you hit a button here, it magically appears on the screen!). It´s especially fun because all the computers are in English. :) I’m also continuing a peer tutoring project started by the previous PCV English teacher (Andrea, you’re amazing!) and am starting a theater group with an HIV/AIDS prevention education focus.
It’s been fun.
The students, for the most part, are incredible – super-motivated to learn English, they love to be involved, and they have more ideas than I could possibly hope to tackle in the next two years.
The administration, not so much…

I’m also helping out weekly at the primary school next door (see previous entry). Originally, I wanted to do a sort of storytime for the students. Then I realized: there are no children’s books. Oh yes, I have Dr. Seuss. And I have resources for all kinds of English book donations. But these kids are still learning Portuguese. Much like me.

My Portuguese at this point can probably be best described as “conversational,” with occasional moments of insight with more complicated conjugations. I just about did a dance when I discovered Lois Lowry’s The Giver in Portuguese at the local library. They have about three actual novels, and this is a real gem.

Any ideas are welcome! I’m currently researching methods for acquiring children’s literature in Portuguese. For the theater group, are there any theater junkies out there who know where I can find a list of improv practices or other theater activities I can teach at rehearsals? Anything is appreciated. (“You know you need unique New York” doesn’t translate well…)

I managed to get some more photos on facebook. Keep the letters coming. If you´re reading this, I feel I can safely say I love and miss you very much. Tchau!


  1. Hey Val! Sounds challenging to say the least! Can you give me an idea of what sort of supplies you have to work with? Maybe I can help you out with some teaching ideas. Have you thought about making your own books to read to the kids?

  2. Val! Am loving your posts and thought your fb status about the chicken was hilarious and also a really wonderful glimpse at just how your way of life has changed so drastically. I hope that this comment finds you healthy and happy and that your classes are going well. You are truly inspiring and Aaron and I are praying for you.

  3. Also can you go to your blog editor on blogger and add on a feed reader option? I'd love to be able to subscribe to your posts.

  4. Hello! It's good to hear about all the things you're doing. As for theater stuff, I thought of a little jingle I would do in high school. It could actually work for teaching English according to the three stooges. Here's the link:
    Keep up the good work!