Four times a week, Sam and I teach a beginner's English class - Mondays and Wednesdays to about 15 students at El Salero, and Tuesdays and Thursdays to about 20-25 students at El Farito. There used to be only one beginner's English class, but Sam and I started the new one at El Salero about 7 months ago because some of our teen English students were clearly interested in and capable of an adult English class. Beginner's English has been one of my favorite programs this year, and we have a lot of fun teaching the class. Our students are fantastic (most of the time...:-)) and it's a fun level of English to teach.
Last week, since we had finished our six-ish month curriculum, we gave a placement test to our students. The test was to determine if they had learned enough in beginner's English to move on to our second English level. Out of the 33 students who took the exam, 20 of them received a high enough score to pass! I am so, so proud of our students and how much they have learned - the reality is that when we only have 2 hours of class a week, there's only so much we can do as teachers, and the students have to motivate themselves to study more and learn English. I am particularly excited for our teen English students, because I have no doubt that they will quickly advance through our English levels if they stay motivated and will be able to speak very good English before they graduate from high school. Knowing English is a huge help in getting jobs here in Nicaragua, so it will be a very useful skill for them to have at such a young age.
Every rose has its thorns, though, and this is no exception. The 20 students who passed the exam will be moving up to elementary, and Sam and I are very sad to see them go. It'll be strange not to go to our English classes next week and be greeted by the familiar faces of our students, but we're hoping to have a new batch of students interested and excited about learning English!