Saturday, September 22, 2007

Language School

I thought I'd give you some details concerning our language acquisition. Before we headed to the field we asked prayer for the provision of good teachers in the town of Siedlce. We were hoping to hire teachers to personally work with Ginger and I so we could avoid the large classroom setting. The idea behind this was that a personal teacher would be able to work more on our weaknesses and move quickly over our strong areas (though those are few and far between). She would be able to focus on our pronunciation and grammar. Also, much of language requires working in groups, this has many positives but one negative is that you can sit passively in a group and let others do the work. When its just two of you in class and there is a group assignment you are forced to do it or it doesn't get done. Also, we were hoping for two teachers to alternate days and curriculum. Using two curriculums helps to cover any deficiencies in either curriculum. Our coworkers found two new and highly recommended curriculums so all we needed were teachers. Then one day Sarah Layer was talking to a neighbor who lives above them and through the coversation she found out that Monica had a master's degree in teaching English but she had not worked over the past four years while her child was young. Monica teaches us 3x a week for two hours at a time and then gives us two hours of homework each day. Our other teacher Kasia was recommended to us by one of the first acquaintances we made while in Poland. She is a English teacher at a local highschool and she teaches us 2x a week 2 hours each day with two hours of homework. We are very thankful for this answer to prayer and have found our teachers to be quite gifted also they certainly don't mind being tough on us and forcing us out of our comfort zones. I think they enjoy dishing out the homework which is always the sign of a good teacher.

One funny incident took place a few weeks ago in class. We were supposed to create sentences about meeting and talking with different people. I decided to use a sentence with Ginger and my mom and I used a verb that I thought ment "meeting or dealing with." After saying the sentence our teacher first blushed and then burst out in laughter. When she finally stopped she explained that I had just said in Polish "Ginger would like to end my mother's life." Technically the verb means "to deal with" but in the since of dealing with it "mafia style" if you know what I am saying. There are actually many more stories like that but time fails us to tell you about them all. We are having our language lessons in the building our church is renting, both of our teachers know why we are here and why we are learning Polish. Just this week Monica said to us, "I've noticed that you have Bible verses everywhere in your building, the Bible seems to be very important to you. We Catholics say the Bible is important but only the priests know what it says." I was amazed at her observations.


Dad Stover said...

Obviously, Ginger and I have had similiar, Dad Stover

NorthernChic said...

Hey ya'll...I just LOVE looking for updates. It's almost like being there:) Okay, maybe not exactly like being there...but enjoyable none the less!! How amazing to hear how God has provided, almost exactly what was originally desired for instruction!! Kind of neat eh?! Will continue to keep you in my prayers. Love, Dana

Anonymous said...

Ginger & Jason: We're praying for you! I think this is a great way to learn language. That's how I learned Shona in Zimbabwe. I would make myself go out and practice and often went to the market 2-3 times per week and just talked as much as possible. Of course I had to buy something from these vendors (also gave out tracts) and one day wanted to buy peanut butter. The word for peanut butter, cow dung and mud were all similar--well, on the third try I finally got it right. Had the whole market in stitches. Also got a lot of marriage proposals from my weekly market visits. Make language learning fun anyway you can!! Barb Seffinga