My Favorite Band Is Grouplove – Teaching An English Class In Cartagena, Colombia
“Small acts of kindness may or may not change the world, but they definitely change you.” Nipun Mehta
My tour guide was on his way to teach an English class at his church. He and his family volunteer their time to teach English. I asked if I could tag along thinking I would sit in the back. It turned out that I was to be the surprise English teacher.
The students ranged from kids to adults and were at all levels of English. The class was usually larger but because it was a holiday there were fewer people. They are amazingly enthusiastic with a real will to learn – even from someone who sounds as illiterate in Spanish as I do.
While learning English grammar, we share experiences and insights.
“My favorite band is Guns and Roses.”
“Her favorite actor is Brad Pitt.“
“His favorite soccer team is Brazil.”
“Their favorite place is this church.”
“Our favorite writer is Marquez.”
You can see with each one of the students that every sentence requires thought. It is not only about how to say it correctly but how to answer the question. It becomes important what we tell each other about ourselves. “But I don’t have a favorite sports team because I don’t like sports.” It is more than just a grammatical exercise.
I believe that those of us who travel seek knowledge to grow and share with others. What better way then to not only teach but to represent English as something more than a workbook. For people who live in cities where tourism is the main industry learning English will help them get better jobs and have better lives. I could see in their eyes that I inspired them to work on their English that night and I felt honored to be there. If you happen to be in Cartagena, and have a couple of hours to spare for some conversation in English before dinner, contact Jose Villa Rodriguez ( also a terrific tour guide) firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a great way to interact with people from a country.
If only someone would volunteer to help me with my Spanish.
Muchas Gracias Daniel, Diana, Edwin, Erdas, Laura, Leidy, Manuel, Muriel, Nini and Salvador.
Viaje con cuidado,