English Lessons

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The summer is flying by.  Sunflowers are blooming, temperatures have been in the 90s and I have been eating way too much gelato.  I’ve been busy this month teaching English to a group of  elementary school kids.  Marinella’s niece Lucia organized this, telling me that parents were interested in having their students practice speaking with a native English speaker.  I was skeptical that anyone would actually turn up as the sign up sheet had one name on it for weeks… and that was Lucia’s son Francesco.  We spoke to Father Marc at Sant’Agnese and he offered me the use of a room in the cloister of the Church.  I set about preparing a class for kids aged 6 – 10.

The course had six students for the first two weeks and then more kept showing up.  Some came without their parents, just holding notebooks and telling me they’d heard about the class from friends.  So by the end of the three weeks their were ten kids in the class.  We played fun games, the kids learned (or reviewed for the more advanced) body parts, the house, the family, food, moods and anything else I could think of.  They earned prizes and were enthusiastic students.

The response was more than I could have hoped for.  I did have one sour note when one of the moms who told me her sons were too advanced, then influenced a couple of the other parents.  I tried explaining that the course (which by the way was practically free) was designed to be an opportunity to practice speaking and pronunciation, both of which her kids could have used, but she’d made up her mind.

I continued the second course this week at Lucia’s insistence that other parents were interested and there were three students, probably five this week when some get back from their vacations.  That’s a good number and the main goal for me was to meet some of the parents and just spread the word that I am here and available if anyone needs tutoring during the school year.

I also did another week of work at Poliziano last week, which was fun and energizing albeit a little chaotic juggling that and the teaching.  I’m now waiting for the Permesso, and this week makes one month.  With any luck it will be ready if not by my rapidly approaching birthday, soon after.  This Leo is turning 40.  I’m not having a party, but maybe a night out with friends, followed by carrot cake.  And Bonnie and I are definitely doing margaritas on her roof terrace one night.  For those of you who know my love of the margarita, this will be the first one in a year and a half!  Still not convinced we can actually find limes since I never see them in the supermarket, but I do have a friend in the fruit business, so I’m confident I can locate some.  Anyway, another year older and let’s hope a little wiser…

Lucia helping me organize the "classroom" at the church

The cloisters at Sant'Agnese

My class of six...

If you teach it, they will come...by week three there were ten students!

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