I mentioned in my last post that I was teaching a college. This was one of those unexpected surprises that I am still warming up to. Teaching the material is not problem. In fact I think I would make their material a lot of fun even if it was transitioned into the American classroom. The problem lies in the language barrier. The principal of the school told me that the students know English. And they do! Sort of. They know how to read and understand some written English and they know how to write English. The problem is found with me. The man that was teaching the course before me was Australian. That means that they became accustomed to his English while he was there. Now that I am teaching the course they are not picking up on my Southern Drawl. Let me just say that I have cleaned up my voice entirely. In fact I believe I am speaking more clearly now than ever before. Yet, it is not enough. I still have to have an interpreter with me during the class to translate.
One of the neat things I did was pull out my Ipad at the end of class. I know what you are thinking: Oh he’s just showing that thing off again. But I did not. In fact, if you are reading this blog then it is likely that I showed them your picture! Once they found out I could take and record pictures all they wanted to know was about American life and who my parents were and who were all of those strange looking kids running around! Of course those kids were none other than the students at FBC MH at summer camp:) They even approved of Katie and said she looked very nice.
The point to the class is twofold. On one hand I am continuing to build relationships among them. This is very helpful during the week but especially on Sundays. I noticed when I spoke last Sunday I seemed like a foreigner to them (because I was) but now I am just that white kid. But because I am “just that white kid,” they are more apt the here what I say and apply it to their lives. Altogether we are having a great time. The other purpose in me teaching the course is to develop their English speaking skills. Since English is my mother tongue, I am able to clearly say back to them what they are (jumbled) saying to me. This helps in so many facets of their life. For one, the person holding interviews for a job in India is likely speaking English. Two, the most sought after jobs are government jobs. English is required for gov jobs. Finally, English enables them to be well-rounded for any opportunity that comes their way. English is becoming more and more the norm among the business side of India. Signs along the road are in English. Colleges are mostly taught in English. Therefore my time with them is beneficial on so many levels.
Whereas this is not right away “kingdom” work, I do believe teaching this class continues IGL’s holistic theme of reaching the entire person for the Gospel. For this reason I teach without any complaints:)