Last summer I decided to take a course to learn to teach English as a foreign language. One year on, despite passing with flying colours, I still haven’t found an opportunity to use my new-found skill. So, with ‘use it or lose it’ firmly in my mind, I have arranged to spend seven weeks in Cambodia this summer volunteering in a children’s project in Siem Reap.
This week I received my teaching instructions, and my class is ‘Tigers and Rhinos’. I’m hoping that this is just the name of the class, and not a zoological classification of the class members. I will be teaching them English (good – I’m prepared for that), Geography (erm … not exactly my forte) and maths (gulp … definitely not my forte).
But with my customary enthusiasm I have thrown myself into the necessary research. The geography module is all about Siem Reap province, which is slightly worrying as they live there and I don’t, so they should probably be teaching me about it. But thanks to Google I am now au fait with the reverse water flow of the Tonle Sap River and the problems facing the giant catfish who live there.
The maths is a different matter. One of the topics is doubling, which seems fairly straightforward – we can work in multiples of giant catfish – but there is also complementary numbers and non-numerical patterns on the scheme of work … more googling required, I think.