Youth development via English class

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Goal-setting lessons 

This week, my Colombian teacher counterparts, Ines, Faride and I put together a lesson on goal-setting and life plans, all cleverly disguised in a grammar and verb lesson (future tense verbs ftw.) Ines said that this is such a new concept–planning ahead and thinking about actual steps to take to realize a goal isn’t a very common pastime in the culture here, but we both felt passionate about getting the kids to think in depth about their futures. I enjoyed challenging them to dream bigger and more specifically.

Some of the inspiring ideas and goals we heard:

To work with disabled children

To learn English to become an airline pilot

To learn Portuguese

To cure cancer

To travel to Australia

I’m not here to teach English

Because when it comes down to it, we aren’t here because we love to drill English pronunciation and irregular verbs into these students’ brains–we’re here because we are passionate about working with youth, the dreamers and doers of the future. We are here to be inspired by their enthusiasm and creativity, and to encourage them to think outside the bubble, to take advantage of opportunities (including English skills) and find a purpose in our big world. Via English grammar lessons 😉

In an unexpected twist, I tweeted some of these photos and also got a retweet from the Peace Corps twitter account to their 633,000 followers, some of whom also retweeted it to subsequent thousands of followers. Thanks, guys! This means that the youth development message got out and was celebrated. Hooray!

It was fun to see a small lesson resonate with students and followers, alike.What do you, as a reader, think we could teach next?Using the context of English class, how can we incorporate more life lessons and values into our teaching?

Ideas so, so welcome!


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