Thursday, October 4, 2012

School Update

As many of you know, I try and spend about 90 minutes each day at the primary school doing some tutoring.  I've been working with students from the P3 class since school resumed this term doing math and  reading.  These students are instructed primarily in Luganda so teaching them presents the usual challenges of second language learners.  Luganda is a phonetic language and students here learn to read phonetically in their early years of school.  This decoding skill often seems to transfer over when they learn to read in English and they sound very proficient.  Unfortunately comprehension often lags far behind and so I've been working to build in the understanding that reading is more than just saying words.  Working with these children reminds me of my early teaching days in Toronto with ESL students and I'm trying to be as creative as possible to help them.

We've played lots of games of charades and I try as much as possible to connect their reading to real life experiences. Some of the reading material approved by the Ugandan government does a good job of relating to the village lives of children.


   Yesterday I took things a step further by taking a group of girls outside to try and find the plants pictured in their book. We had to hunt for a while but the excitement when one of them spotted a sisal plant was well worth it.

Fibre from this plant is used to make rope and twine.


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