Becoming a ‘teacher’

The next week I finally started with one of the activities that Elena and the LDA had told me I would be doing since I arrived, which was teaching English in the Open University of Buje.

The way our EVS at the LDA is set up is with a couple of results that we need to achieve, which for us is to produce a couple of brochures on various topics, but most of the time we do activities that are either projects that we come up with ourselves, things the LDA has for us to do, or ones that other institutions (such as the tourist office or municipality) ask us to get involved in.

An academic Alessio

An academic Alessio

When I arrived in September I was told that I would be teaching English, and it seemed that this would be started quickly because previous volunteers had taught languages, so it was a continuation of this, and we first visited the Open University to introduce ourselves and talk about our courses in September. For these reasons I don’t know why I was only just starting them in the middle of November.

Once they were finally scheduled the lack of organisation showed again because the posters said that I would be teaching beginners, when it had been agreed that I would teach an intermediate level class; Irena, because she can speak Croatian, would be teaching beginners, and Alessio would be teaching Italian. We then were given no information about who had signed up, so had no idea about how many people would be attending.

So, my first lesson was planned completely blind, which meant it was complete disaster. I guessed at a class of around 10 students, of low to intermediate ability, so when I had two students able to easily do what I had planned, I scrapped it, and we just had a conversation for an hour.

Learning (in an unrelated scene)

Learning (in an unrelated scene)

Their main motivation for attending seemed to be because there is nothing to do in Buje, which may tell you something about how exciting the town I have moved to is when some of its residents, for fun and entertainment (or just something to do), attend English lessons. Although what may be more telling is that even though many people would like to improve their English, when free lessons are provided, just two people turn up.


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