Wednesday, July 22, 2015

English Vinglish

Hi Everyone!

I was recently tasked with teaching a 3-day entrepreneurship curriculum to volunteers and later on, I will be telling the students all about entrepreneurship but before I begin, I have to give context. I work at Agastya International Foundation, an organization that has its campus based in a village next to Gudupalli. English is the student's third or fourth language and it takes them a while to understand simple English sentences. I love teaching and somehow, I believe that my love for teaching should surpass all other fears I might have; like the inability to communicate because I don't speak the local language.

After watching the movie English Vinglish, I realized that the language of emotion and kindness is more powerful than a common language. I also helped teach entrepreneurship in Tanzania where English was not the primary language but the students understood the concepts especially when they related to their surroundings. Teaching will be a challenge with language being such a barrier but there are methods to overcoming this barrier. However, teaching in Tanzania has taught me that:

  • finding the native language equivalent of what your are saying in English is a great way to relate to the children and also the best way to get laughed at for trying. 
  • Avoiding slang is also on the agenda of things that I will have to stop doing. 
  • Speaking slowly is also very helpful because words are pronounced differently everywhere.
That's all for now. I will update you on whether my attempts were valid or if I failed miserably to convey the gospel of entrepreneurial truth. 

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