The Rin-Homhuan Mahanil Study Centre in Phana has been taking up so much of my time this year that I have not blogged since Pensri and I took a Christmas break to Laos. Much of the activity at the Study Centre is concerned with teaching and learning English so I am going to start a mini-series of posts with some pictures and a few comments on that.
Back in January we welcomed a couple who were touring Thailand but they took a month out to do some teaching for us. They went to a local village school for two mornings a week and to the tetsaban-run nursery one morning a week. I don’t have any pictures of them at the school but teachers and pupils there agreed that they had done a great job in motivating the kids. Here is Sarah at the nursery in Phana:
The Study Centre was visited by the director of the local ‘Continuous Learning Centre’ which provides various courses for adults. As a result of the visit, the staff of the CLC came to our Study Centre for classes in English. They were doing this after finishing work, so attendance after the first few weeks dwindled and finally other things took priority for this group of students. But in the next two pictures you can see Sarah working with these Thai teachers. (The clock had stopped – it really was after work, about 4.30 pm.)
Another interesting experiment was proposed by a village primary school about 6 kms from Phana. Instead of us sending teachers into their school, they sent classes to us twice a week for six weeks. This worked very well, especially because the children were very excited to be able to get out of their classroom, out of their school and out of their village for a whole morning at a time. Teachers and parents brought children to us and collected them again, though their timing was not always very reliable.
Here is a volunteer called Bekah with some of the youngest children:
Maria and Liz and Pensri (out in the lane next to the centre):
Bingo is a popular activity and very good as a way to practise their listening skills as well as number recognition; and if they call Bingo! they have to read back their winning numbers:
Some children, who mostly live nearby to the centre, have organised a class of their own and currently they come for an hour and a half twice a week to learn and practise some English and to play games. UNO is their favourite! Here are some of these children:
So this aspect of the Study Centre has been very successful. Sometimes we have been a little disappointed that more people have not taken advantage of the opportunity to practise their English, but we have to remember that people have busy lives with lots of family and community commitments that make regular attendance for classes difficult. So we should be very pleased that we have attracted as many ‘customers’ as we have. And we are. And we hope to attract more in the future.
Previous posts about the Study Centre can be found