Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the first day...not so great

I arrived at training yesterday morning at 11 am. The trainer was, as expected from any Honduran, running late. While we waited, the academy coordinator approached me and asked me if I was available as soon as this morning. I said yes, and she told me I would be teaching a level 8 (they are decent in conversational Spanish already) private class this morning at 7 am.

We waited around for 30 minutes for the trainer, and when he arrived, he took us (Jose and I) into a classroom. He spoke very fast, chain smoked, and told us the following:
-Always stand. If you sit down, the energy level goes down with you.
-Never speak in any language other than the one you are teaching.
-80% of the class should be spoken by the students, and only 20% the teacher.
-50% of the class should be explaining grammar, and 50% should be activities.

He handed us a packet (illegally photocopied pages from one of the few text books that the academy owns), and told me to stand up and teach. That was it as far as training.

After only 45 minutes of this unorganized training yesterday morning, I went to teach my first class at 7 AM this morning. It was a private class for the management level employees of a security company called Wackenhut. Before I left for work this morning, I asked Jose if I really needed to be on time (knowing that most Hondurans are never on time for anything). He said that I should since it was the first class. I arrived at Wackenhut at 6:55 am.

When I got there and explained to the guard in my broken Spanish that I was there for English class, he told me he didn't know what I was talking about and they didn't open till 8 am. I waited around until 7:15 when an employee arrived for the class. (Don't worry mom, I was waiting inside with the guard). We went into the board room and made small talk while we waited for everyone else.

His English is decent, but he has difficulty pronouncing a lot of sounds from English. A couple of mispronunciations were so funny I had to write them down to share with you. We were talking about his childhood in Honduras, and he kept saying "When I was a john boy." I was so confused, and surprised that he knew this term "john boy" which I take to mean as a country boy or something similar. After almost 10 minutes of him using this term, I finally realized he was trying to say "young boy" and was mispronouncing young. Another time he was talking about the crime in Tegus, and he said "people tell me that on the bus the deaf, with a gun, and rob them" in his broken English. I thought he was trying to tell me that disabled people were targets for crime, like the deaf and blind. After several minutes, I realized he was mispronouncing the words "thief" and "theft" as deaf. It took a long time to explain the difference between thief and theft, and even after that, he could not pronounce the "th" correctly. Surprisingly, I wasn't frustrated with him at all. It was actually very entertaining. :)

After making small talk for an hour, we gave up on the others and I left. So my first class, my first day on the job, no one showed! Pretty easy. :) Maybe the Friday class will be better.


funnychick1985 said...

hola guapa, :-)

I wish you all the best and good luck in honduras. did charly finally get a flight to honduras or is he still in BG?
keep up the good work with ur blogg.. then i always know how u r doing :-)
take care! I miss u!

Trisha and Kelly said...

Hilarious story!!!!!! I have laughed and laughed! Did you make it to the GSCH today?