Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Here're some I made earlier...

For several years I have been running a weekly English class for the local Friendship Force club. It's an international group that organises homestay exchanges between chapters in different countries. I feel that there are lots of opportunities for students and young people to do international exchanges but not so many for adults, and this group helps to fill that gap. The local group here makes a trip abroad and hosts members from overseas every year. In recent years they have been to Turkey, the UK, Australia, Germany...

The members taking my class are all ladies who have retired or work part-time and whose children have grown up, giving them the time and freedom to travel. I really enjoy teaching them and have got to know them very well. I'm hoping they'll let me join in their adventures when I retire ;-)

In the run-up to Christmas each year I try to do something a little different to the usual classes. This time, we made Christmas cards. I made samples of 3 different designs, and then gave them written instructions and the materials they needed to make them.

(Ignore the 'Merry Christmas' written messily on the tree)

I found a template for the 3D standing tree on t'Internet, but I'm afraid I can't remember where. The pop-up tree and the ornament cards come from a Japanese book I have on card-making.

We set up 3 areas in the room, one for each design, and the ladies were free to make whichever ones they fancied. It's only an hour class but everyone was able to make at least 2 cards. I noticed two interesting things during this class; one - rather than make their own card individually, each table set up their own little production line, with each person being in charge of one step in the card-making process. I'm sure it wouldn't have worked like that in the UK.

The other thing I noticed was that no-one even glanced at the carefully worded instructions I had made. So much for it being an English class. Instead, they just looked at the samples and the materials and worked it out from there. I can't tell you how many times someone asked me 'How do you .....?' or 'What do I do now?' or some other question to which the answer was always 'Look at the instructions....'

The lesson I learnt? No samples next time ;-)

1 comment:

  1. The "Forced Friendship" club sounds great. Want a partner in Wales?