The Power of Teamwork: Students Teaching Students

November 4, 2011 at 12:00 PM | Posted in AmeriCorps, Class, Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Student Stories, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Comments Off on The Power of Teamwork: Students Teaching Students
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I teach a family of students from Vietnam: two grandparents,and their daughter and two-year-old granddaughter. The daughter speaks very good English, but the grandparents speak next to nothing. We started with the alphabet and proceeded to cover that every week. Despite my best efforts, X was impossible for them to pronounce and came out sounding like H.

I arrive an hour early to one of my teaching sites, which is the about the same time five Ethiopian women and the grandfather from the Vietnamese family arrive. Every day I worked with the grandfather on the alphabet until one day the group of women took over. They showed him ways to pronounce the letters and got upset with him when they thought he wasn’t trying hard enough, until one day he finally hit the sound X! All of us were very excited and told him he had it. Yet, the next sound he made was H. At least now we know that he can do it, and we will continue to pester him until he can say X every time!

Catherine K. Ludwig
AmeriCorps Instructor
Literary Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd Falls Church VA 22042
(703) 237-0866


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