We’re in the pipe, five by five

Dan, January 17 2021

First of all, happy new year to all. Hope you and your loved ones are as well as can be as we traverse the new covid-lined path before us.

Secondly, what do you do when best laid plans are thrown in the air due to unforeseen circumstances? When lesson plans are made defunct due to covid related challenges? When the teaching methods absorbed during training are immediately rendered obsolete due to communication issues between the teacher and students?

Answer… adapt. The last six weeks have provided many, many challenges. And after a few challenging weeks over the holiday season and into 2021 we’ve settled into an amazing rhythm in the camp. The students have been placed into groups based on their ability, enabling us to challenge them in every lesson, and their progress has been phenomenal. I’ve never met a group of people (let alone children) who are so eager to learn, and to do so with unlimited energy, enthusiasm and constant smiles.

How do we challenge every student to progress?

We’ve split the students into the groups ‘Tigers’ and ‘Lions’. The Tigers are generally weaker at English and we had to start at the beginning by learning the alphabet letters and phonemes. But progress has been swift, we’ve gone through challenging letter combinations, vowels, consonants, word formation (recognising written and audible syllables) and moved onto lexis around numbers, colours and sports very swiftly.

To be or not to be?

The Lions are more advanced. After a few weeks covering the basics we’ve progressed onto our first grammar lesson (Present Simple of the verb ‘to be’). We will be building on this over the coming weeks with further grammar based lessons. We weren’t expecting to move onto grammar before Q2, so to have made this much progress in such a short time is testament to the students’ willingness to learn. Kudos to them all.

Onwards and Upwards

As the title of this entry suggests, we’re on the right path and looking forward to making considerable progress over the coming months.

Is Lebanon really this beautiful?

On a personal level the new lockdown procedures in Lebanon mean I’m not experiencing as much of Beirut or Lebanon as much as I would like (I’ve become very acquainted with room number 608 at my hotel). But that’s meant I have had significantly more time to plan lessons, which is the priority, and the students are definitely benefiting as a result. There was time for a brief trip to the mountains before the new lockdown procedures though, see picture. It was everything it looks like.

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Stay safe team.

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