Bettina Naef has volunteered at our learning center in Takeo, Cambodia. In this article she writes about the impressions and experiences of her stay.
As I mention to my team at BOOKBRIDGE almost every day: time is flying! I have been volunteering here in the learning center in Takeo Town for almost 6 weeks now and the end of my stay is approaching fast. My activities have been diverse – I taught, discussed, played games, distributed flyers, and sang and danced – but mostly involved practicing English with children and young people.
At the Learning Center, I try to have as much exchange as possible with the students. When there are large groups of children, the other staff and I offer playful and creative activities for which we have a whole box of games and drawing material available. With smaller groups I like doing educational activities, which could be completing crosswords, learning vocabulary in creative ways or reading out loud to practice pronunciation. A special happening is the cinema event we organise every second week – last time we showed three short movies and then made a quiz about the contents. What I am particularly delighted about is that some students are eager to come to the center regularly to converse or read with me to practice their language skills (I even got to speak some French!).
Moreover, I support the teachers during the English classes. In each lesson, I practice speaking with the students for fifteen minutes. Several times I also taught lessons myself. While I started by following the textbook I soon realised that the students could benefit more from me if we practice English by means of games, songs and discussions. Not only them but also I learnt a lot – and some lessons were really fun too!
As a foreign volunteer I can particularly help the students to improve their pronunciation and speaking skills, and bring in ideas for creative learning. Also, it is exciting for both them and me to exchange our ideas and learn about each other’s culture. I myself definitely gained a deep insight the Cambodian culture during my stay, which I owe to a big part the BOOKBRIDGE Takeo team, who took me with them to their homes, showed me around and explained me things I did not understand. Thank you very much to all of you! I had many happy moments at BOOKBRIDGE 🙂