Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The 15th of August School

This was week three at the 15th of August School in Tirrasses for us and like magic order seemed to appear out of the chaos. We had two groups this week instead of three and therefore were able to spend more time with each group. We went into the library confident in our ability to work with the kids and have them take away some new English words or phrases from our time with them. When we got there we were not allowed into the library for about 20 minutes because it was being cleaned. We took this time to get prepared and figure out who had books and which books we were going to read for the day. When we got into the library, the teacher gave us five sets of the game memory to play with the kids. We played memory for about a half hour to forty five minutes with the kids and they loved it! I found it to be extremely productive the kids had great success with it. On each card were a picture and then the word in English. The pictures allowed them to connect with the word even if they did not quite know what it was in English. Every time a card was picked up there were “ohhs” and “awwws” depending on if the person picked up the same cards or different ones. The thing that I loved the most about it was the laughter. I loved laughing with the kids over the little things. I felt like I was able to connect with them and that I was their friend. It was an awesome feeling. The kids got really into it and some of them even cheated but it was all in good fun.

After memory we played a couple games of Bingo that Anya had made up for the day. There were two different Bingo boards, one with colors and the other with basic common phrases. We ended up using only the board with the colors. The first group of students was younger and therefore had a difficult time reading the words on the board. I went and got colored Legos for each of the colors so that the kids could have a visual and this helped tremendously. The older group was much better at their colors and was able to not only identify the colors as I held them up, but was able to find the word on the board that matched the color. The kids learned a lot as they saw the words over and over throughout our time together.

This was by far the most successful and productive week that we have had with the kids. The past two times we have been, we sit the kids down in a large group and read to them. Often 70% of the kids are focused on the book while the other 30% are focused on other things. We breakout with the kids after reading in a big group into individual groups and play with Legos and other toys that the library has. This is fun but is extremely chaotic and the kids do not learn as much as they could be. This week, things were very organized and the kids learned a lot more because we had activities to last through the whole period we had together. I think that we are on the right track to being successful in our goals of helping the kids practice and learn better English. I am excited that this week was so successful and I know that next week will be even better because we have begun to discover what works.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From Boston to San José...

We have been very pleased to welcome volunteers from Northeastern University who are working with our Language Corners in Curridabat (the Municipal Library, and the library of 15 de Agosto School in Tirrases). They will continue leading Story Hour and supplementary activities at these sites during October and November. At left, the volunteers read with students at the Municipal Library on Children's Day (the book: "How do Dinosaurs Go to School?", by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague). For more information, stay tuned to this site! Thanks so much to Bharat, Jonathan, Mitchell, Anna, Justine and Peter, along with their professor Noel Habashy and the International Center for Development Studies, for making these sessions possible.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


We are pleased to launch this blog so that librarians and volunteers in the Language Corner project, an initiative of the Costa Rica Multilingüe Foundation that donates literature in English and other foreign languages to municipal and school libraries, can post information about activities, strategies, favorite books, and upcoming events at their sites. At right, students at our first Language Corner (15 of August School, Tirrases de Curridabat) read "Flap Your Wings." / Nos complace lanzar este blog para que bibliotecarios y voluntarios de Esquina de los Idiomas, iniciativa de la Fundación Costa Rica Multilingüe que dona literatura en inglés y otros idiomas extranjeros a bibliotecas municipales y escolares, puedan compartir información sobre sus actividades, estratégias, libros preferidos, y los próximos eventos en sus sedes. A la izquierda, estudiantes de la primera Esquina (Escuela 15 de Agosto, Tirrases de Curridabat) leen el libro en inglés "Flap Your Wings" ("Bate Tus Alas").