Orientation week is almost over at BEA, but there’s still one more day to go and a lot more for BEA students to do. Orientation lessons have given us a chance to get to know our new students, as well as for them to become comfortable with their new school. Shally noticed in Wednesdays and Thursdays lessons that those students are fitting in well with our continuing students, but still seem a little unsure of who we are and what type of English language education they’ll be getting. Most of our new students have never even been in a building with more than one storey let alone a classroom with air-conditioning. Similar to last year, there is always a period of “accustomization” for the students.
Library Reading Program
On Tuesday, all of our continuing and new students were introduced to our library reading program. During the semester, students are required to read two graded readers on their own. These are books of varying genres that are specifically written for English language learners. As part of our language program, students have one reading lesson per week where they are taught reading strategies to help them understand a reading passage. Shally runs these classes during the semester and monitors the students' progress. In January, students will then participate in a one-week "Book Report" workshop where they will learn how to critically discuss their book and how to write a report about it. I'll be running this workshop while training Shally how to run it as well.
For our library orientation for the Basic course, I introduced the concept of graded readers and how to choose an appropriate level and genre, as well as how to borrow a book from the library. For the orientation for the remaining classes, Shally took over with the help of our librarian Srey Net. This is one of the most important aspects of BEA's teacher training. I will model a lesson, and then Shally will teach the remaining lessons while I observe or assist him. In this way, he'll be able to eventually run teacher training programs himself!
For the remaining part of each lesson, students got about 20 minutes to go through our collection and to note down some interesting titles to borrow from next week. If you would like to know more about our library program, you can view our guidelines at the end of today's posting.
Profile Design Project
In Wednesdays and Thursdays lessons, students got the chance to show off their artistic abilities in our Profile Design Project. This is a small two-day program in which students receive a photo of themselves and then design a small poster to put up in our library. Students got colored paper, markers and pencils crayons to make their posters. Unfortunately, many BEA students who attend public school do not have art as part of the school’s curriculum, so this introductory project is a chance for students to foster their creative talents. They also get to use their artistic talent in our task-based project program, but these require much more work and group cooperation. This small project is therefore a way to ease them into larger projects, which will demand more of their creativity throughout the semester. Furthermore, these profiles help make the students feel a part of BEA and that BEA belongs to them since they can display their work in our library. It’s also a great way for visitors to see our student body during visiting hours.
As usual, I was amazed at the students’ artistic talents, and would eventually like to offer a more permanent program in the future to help develop these talents. Many of the profiles had our bee logo while others had scenes of Angkor Wat and Cambodia’s natural beauty, such as its dense jungles and fresh-water lakes. Shally ran all of these lessons this year, which gave me time to get caught up on administrative work and pop into the classroom to take photos. I noticed that he was also making his own profile poster, which I’ll have to get a photo of later on today. As usual, he put my artistic skills to shame. As my students know very well, I couldn’t draw to save my life!!!
Donation from Mr. Bill McWhorter
We got some fantastic news yesterday about a donation. Mr. Bill McWhorter, the Chief Operating Officer at OCTG, sent us a very generous donation. We are so truly thankful for your generosity and for believing in BEA’s mission. Your support is giving the BEA kids the chance of a better future. A million thanks!!!
We would also like to thank all of our Facebook friends for clicking “like” on our BEA page so that we could get our own username. Our page can now be viewed publically, and this will help get the word out about the BEA kids and our unique program. Thank you so much for taking the time to help us.
Back to the books…
The Bayon English Academy (BEA) is an NGO school that provides underprivileged youth with quality English language education in a safe, clean environment in Siem Reap, Cambodia.