by Kanika, Amni and Nicki (volunteers from UWCSEA)
Wat Sai Moon is a local Myanmar temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. BABSEACLE supports the temple by sending volunteers to teach English to children and adults. As three volunteers who are new to the BABSEACLE organisation, Wat Sai Moon has been one of the most engaging projects we have been involved in thus far.
Every Sunday, we visit the temple to teach English to children between the ages of three to thirteen. Due to the range of ages, we divided the children into two groups to make our lessons more effective and applicable to the varied age groups. So far, we have taught the older children broad topics such as ‘Fruits’ and ‘Animals’, whilst focusing on more basic skills for the younger children, such as the alphabet. Separating the children has proven to be a successful teaching method as the younger children are given time to process the language in simple ways, while the older children are given more independence and more interactive activities so as to be able to grasp the key concepts faster. In this way, we have sought to create a focused and positive learning environment for all ages, tailoring each lesson around the specific groups’ needs.
Another teaching method that we use regularly is linking the topics to everyday life. Using relevant topics such as fruits and animals allows the children to process and communicate abstract concepts in a more effective way. The level of understanding that is exhibited by the students is easily demonstrated through their conversational skills, which has been exceedingly rewarding. Particularly, with the younger children who can now begin to use the alphabet and with the older children who are beginning to apply their newfound English skills and vocabulary to their daily lives.
To summarize, it has been an aspect of the volunteer program that has been immensely rewarding and is something that we look forward to continuing throughout our time here at BABSEACLE.