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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Chiang Mai: The English Teacher

I've been filling in at a language school, actually working, for a little bit of extra money. I've only done a few hours so far, but it's been fun. I've had classes with two kindergartners from an international school, and one first grader. They come after school and have a lot of pent up energy. One in particular was absolutely manic. Fun, but manic. The two who go to international school are totally fluent, can read and write a bit in English and are a bit behind that in Thai. Yes, behind in Thai. Thai is more or less a foreign language at the international schools.

It was rather amazing to have a 5 1/2 year old Thai girl read a simple book to me in English, attempting to phonetically sound out the words she didn't know. When she wrote her name for me, she wrote more quickly in English than Thai. Of course, she used her chosen English nickname, which is simpler than her Thai name. Then, English has 26 letters, Thai 77. And English letters are easier to write than those curly Thai things.
Two of them had seen the movie, "Night at the Museum", and jumped up and down with excitement as they told me the plot over and over, using their very best kindergarten screech. "And the dinosaurs moved!!! Everything moved!!!" Wild arm gestures were included, of course.

Anyway it's been fun. Mainly we play games. Simon Says. Red Light, Green Light. Of course today's child, who is six, wanted to play chess.

I'm doing another class next week. It, too, will probably be full of surprises.

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