I have started a new sort duration Summer English course this time for 10 through to 12 year old children though I have got some thirteen year old teenagers in the class because they were 12 year old when they enrolled (this being the case of Zaida) or I was asked if I would accept them (Miguel who had been a previous student of mine) and the brother of one of the boys, who has been with me for two consecutive years.
We started off the morning talking about two specific painters, whose self portraits I hand them expecting them to do their self portraits and show me some of their personal characteristics through them. We then went on to the reading and studying of the legend of Midas (which I hope they'll be able to read out for the audience on the last day of the course).
Not to further "burden" them with new vocabulary each of them was assigned an artistic piece to do. Girls were given either coloured glitter or scrappers to work with, whilst each of the boys was given a 3D paper construction with a varied number of pieces to assemble as in accordance with their age and skill (at least those I had been with in previous years).
It was clear right from the beginning that they were enthusiastic and that the "artistic" pieces meant a challenge for them.
After the morning break we got back to the English learnign part of the course having transcribed a short video in English (without subtitles) on the life of a Vietnamese girl. They did enjoy the task of having to listen in and transcribe whatever they heard and although I had suggested they got organised in small groups of two they preferred to do it on their own.
Out of the fifteen children I had been expecting to attend the course one gave up for personal reasons and three wouldn't be back in Lisbon but the following day or in two days time, so only 11 attended the first day, which Ana and I felt had gone really well.
The activities throughout the second day were not too disimilar form the ones carried out during the first day, the exception being that I introduced a set of new texts based on the different types of houses children live in around the world, which they were very curious about.
From the transcription of the life of the Vietnamese girl we "jumped" onto another one which took them to Kenya this time and again they worked really hard at trying to transcribe what was being said.
The last part of the morning (not more than half an hour a day) was occupied with the artistic endeavours. Three of the girls managed to finish their artistic pieces, with some of the boys having done really well (by looking at the constructions which already resemble the buildings they are supposed to).
Clara joined in on the second day, which was again a rather interesting one, in which all the children seem to have enjoyed themselves.
(To be continued)