Today I am going to give the last class of English in the municipal library. When I started the course I gave a promise to myself: if my students made at least some decent progress I would buy a bottle of champagne for myself and drink it all.
The idea of the course came up as a result of cooperation between Teatro Metaphora and the Municipal Library and its Director Alexandra Marques. We both agree that the library in its classical sense is of little demand nowadays, and to survive and develop it needs to provide new services – non-formal learning, cultural and interactive space.
The library of Camara de Lobos is doing great – they organize a lot of interesting events for its readers, every week something new. Besides, it’s a pleasure to visit such a beautiful building on the ocean’s shore.
This is why 3-months course of English for beginners had a big response. It was provided for free because it was a part of my European Voluntary Service for the local community.
Over the 3 months we covered most important basic conversational topics and learned some grammar, too. But frankly, it was a mutually beneficial process: with my students I comprehended a lot of Portuguese! For example, to practise the topic of directions I needed to prepare some exercises for them to translate into English – of course they were in their mother tongue. Surely, I remembered them all on the way!
I really hope that we will stay in touch with the students and organize some other nice activities. They did a good job and obviously liked interacting with the volunteers.
The only thing at the back of my mind: have they really learned something? Three months is not much, and when you don’t practice on your own the results may be not as good as you think.
Oh I really hope the course was helpful. God, send me some sign so that I could finally go to Pingo Doce and buy my long-awaited champagne…