I welcomed the new Summer English Course group of students on Monday and was surprised to find out that ten of the eleven children enrolled were boys, which is rather unusual bearing in mind the high number of girls being born every year. Maria didn't seem nervous at all and looked as if she got along well with the boys in the group.
Due to superior decisions I had to accept children whose ages did not exactly correspond to the programmed age group (7-9) and what might have been a problem in regards to a foreign language learning, particularly if the children don't have the same age or have not studied it over a reasonably similar number of years was soon put aside once I started realising that the oldest in the group were sufficiently patient and the youngest enthusiastic and committed enough so as to "balance" out the existing gap.
Miguel, André, Samuel, Rafael, Francisco and Pedro (in the back row from left to right); Eric, Maria, João Afonso, João and Ricardo (in the front row from left to right).
I had them do some matching exercises to find out exactly how much each of them knew and progressed from there onto other aspects of the language, and I must say we all had a good time.
Just half an hour before the end I distributed some of the artistic works I would expect them to complete by the end of the week and soon realised there was a fine distinction between those who had never done anything similar and others who seemed to have already been introduced to them.
To my surprise some of them helped those in difficulty and by the end of the second day most of them had already completed one artistic work or were in the last stages of completing them, Maria being the exception as her "scratch" work would definitely take longer.
The morning "coffee" break was, as always, welcome by all the children who seemed to unexpectedly feel hungry after having done some of the morning language exercises. The fifteen minute break outside (which followed) was for the first time used by the children as a one group activity of hide and seek before getting back into the classroom.
(To be continued)