Goodbye, Karen (10 hours teaching refugees)

Monks Protesting in Burma

Image via Wikipedia

I spent the last 5 Thursday evenings teaching English to refugees in a church south of Nashville. I had some grand plans for what I was going to teach them. Relevant. Authentic. Survival language. The stuff you need to get by and get ahead in America.

All that and more in the space of 10 hours.

As it turns out, the students conspired against me and the class became something quite different.

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Teaching the language (after I learn the language)

I’m half-way through my class in Teaching English as a Second Language, and I fear I’m losing the ability to speak.

The “TESL teacher” has unkindly acquired the reputation for being someone who (a) has no idea what they really want to do and (b) looking for job anywhere but home.

I’m taking the opposite approach by (a)  knowing exactly what I want to do (one of these days I’ll tell you) and (b) wanting to work where I am right now  (you get to keep hold of your green card that way).

Teaching English to furriners fits perfectly with what I want to achieve professionally in the United States. One small issue is that when you teach English in America, you are expected to teach American English. Which is a little inconvenient for an immigrant like me.

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