Time Well Spent

Yesterday I went to the American School to assist in an English lab assignment for a class of seventh grade students. Volunteering for these types of sessions is something I always enjoy. No matter the age of the students, I feel rewarded for the time I get to spend with them. All of the students had prepared questions to ask, such as , “What is your favorite color?” or “Do you like the culture of Panama?”.

Here is a photo of the first group I met with.

The majority of the students in this class had a good grasp on English. Even when it was coming from one of a Texas origin. The bright smiles of all the students seem to brighten my day.

This was the second set of students. The young man on the left asked a very interesting question. I have had students ask me if I had a girl friend, but this student ask if I was in a relationship. I told him I was in a relationship and asked him if he was in a relationship. He became so embarrassed that he had to leave the group for a couple minutes.

This was the third and last group.

What a delightful bunch of kids. This afternoon, I am going back again to visit with some sixth grade students.

A previous Post with other English students can be seen HERE or by clicking on the “English Lessons” category.

UPDATE Day 2: Today, I visited with sixth grade students. In today’s exercises we had 5 English Speakers and Patricia spread the groups throughout the School yard. Two groups were in the cafeteria, two were in the courtyard areas and one group was in the classroom.

Here was my first group in the cafeteria. They were a very interactive group.

My second group was in the classroom. This group was all boys.

My last group was all girls and was in the courtyard.

Time ran out and we returned to the classroom for some refreshments and I too a group photo minus one student.

Another day well spent. More events such as this will happen in the future incase you want to participate.

8 thoughts on “Time Well Spent

  1. Hi Don: I just want to congratulate you on your civic mindedness. I’m sure the students appreciated very much your interest in them and the school. My daughter goes to that school and I would have liked to do some interviewing but I’ve had a problem with my eyes and am unable to drive. Again Mucho Gracias for putting the ex-pat community in good light.

  2. Don Ray:
    Thanks for your time with these students. Regarding the question that embarrassed the stdent, maybe he interpreted this like “Do you have sexuual relations” In Spanish, you usually do not use “relationship” but like you said, “girlfriend”. Maybe he is doing the translation to Spanish since “sex” is replaced with “relaciones” (relations) by people in Sapnish to try to lower the impact of the word sex.
    Jaime^

  3. Hi Patrick. I always get a kick out or these types od outings. I think I may get more out ot it than they do.

    Hi Jamie. Interesting thought. Now you really have me wondering.

  4. I better remember this, even in Spanish , just as in English….when speaking to other Swedish speaking friends and others overhear us , we sometimes get misunderstood , as “sex” is Swedish for six, and “bra” is Swedish for good” …lol

  5. Hi Don! I want to thank all of you for helping me out with this activity. The students really enjoyed themselves. I love these kinds of activities because it helps the kids lose that fear they have of speaking English outside of the classroom, and it helps them see how important English really is. I really appreciate all of you taking the time and coming out these last two days. I hope to have you guys over again soon.

    Patrick- I will have more of these activities next year and you are more than welcome to come and visit whenever you want, you are part of the American School family!

    Jaime- The student meant it as a dating “relationship” because they have had incidents with English speakers where when asked if they had a girlfriend they say “no, i have a boyfriend”, so they decided when asking about private life they just leave it as “relationship”… it was VERY funny though!

  6. Morning,

    I think the student understood relationship, I just think his crush may have been standing nearby and didn’t know about it?

    Another thing I miss about Panama, guys can have amigas and girls can have amigos and no one cares. English needs a word for this because boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t work and just plain friend could be anyone from a business associate to the guy who bags your groceries.

    jim and nena
    fort worth, tx

  7. Yeah, I agree, I always say guy friend or buddy… but now days those have new meanings too… and people now use “significant other” more than “girl/boy friend”…

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