Saturday, May 31, 2008

Demographics update

I've been coordinator of the Basic English program here for nearly eight and a half years. In that time, we've made huge strides in the program -- and there's so very much more to be done.

We started with one class of 12 Somali students. Last year we had over 1200 students -- and in the past two years, we've had students from 104 countries.

It's absolutely wonderful to see the world come through our doors this way!

An interesting classroom discussion topic

My mother-in-law came up with a terrific ESL classroom discussion topic: "If you were to get the entire world together for a meal, what could you serve that everyone could eat?" (Note: This refers to cultural and religious restrictions, not allergies or food preferences.)

It's a fascinating exercise. When you come down to it, you pretty much get bread, fruit, some kinds of tea and water. But the discussion is the fun part (although moderating that discussion can be a little challenging, as respect for all the cultures involved must be maintained at all times.