Friday, January 25, 2008

Deep Conversations

Well, I told you that our classes would be more difficult this trimester! Here is a sample of our Conversation / Language classes in the past two weeks...
  • Last week, the teaching theme was "La Iglesia" (the church). On Monday, Billy's class received 87 new vocabulary words related to the church. Some were nouns and some were verbs. Some were words that we don't even know the definition for in English! Some were words that are specific to the Catholic church, but are important for us to learn since we will be serving in predominantly Catholic countries and will need to understand the culture that we are working with.

  • Billy's class had to each prepare a bible study and teach the class about the early church.

  • Billy's class had a long discussion on the best witnessing techniques... through Scripture? Through example and daily living? What is best?

  • Laurie's class had to each prepare studies on the parables in Matthew.

  • Laurie's conversation test questions for last week were "Explain the differences you see in the North American church and the church of Latin America," and "Define faith... what is faith, how does one have faith?", and "What is the Bible? What is in the Bible? Why is it important to us? Why should someone read it?" and "How do Christians greet each other / treat each other / show others that they are Christians?" All of this is one-on-one in conversation with the teacher! Most if not all of it is hard to answer in English, much less Spanish!!!

  • This week's theme is "La Oficina" (the office). Again, we received close to 100 new vocabulary words dealing with business.

  • Billy's class was given the assignment of interviewing people in various offices and asking them questions related to their daily work environment, etc.

  • Laurie's class was assigned an acronym for a government office and the assignment was to find out what the acronym stands for, where the office is, visit the office, and ask questions related to the services provided, the history of the office, etc. Laurie's office was the Instituto Nacional de Seguros (National Insurance Institute).

  • Common discussion strands for this week... What are typical workplace problems in Latin America? How do they compare to North America? What are typical problems with the work of missionaries? What does the Bible say about the workplace, attitudes, and how we should conduct ourselves when working together? In your opinion, what are important values, abilities, personalities, etc. to have in the workplace?

  • Today, Laurie's class got into an hour long conversation comparing the Costa Rican system of Social Security with the USA system, retirement issues, insurance issues, differences between state governments and the laws that effect workers in each state, etc. It was pretty deep!

So if you were wondering what language school is like and whether or not we are learning anything, maybe the last two weeks of class gives you a glimpse at our level of comprehension and learning right now! We are not allowed to speak English in class at all - only Spanish. It's rough, but we are hanging in there and seem to be progressing well.

So what did you talk about this week? :)

1 comment:

Shelley said...

I think you should be receiving a degree in something with all that school work! Keep up the good work. Love the new video of the kids and hearing your voices.