Monday, March 26, 2007

Free Talk!!!!

Sounds interesting!!! May be you are wondering what it implies. In our context, it simply means an opportunity for students who are interested in talking in English out of the classroom settings.

In a country where English is hardly spoken by majority of the people, the opportunity to use English doesn't come easy. Students who major in English often struggle to practice what they have learnt in the classroom and develop their skill. In their hunger to practice their English, it is not an uncommon thing for students to bother their English teachers, especially when they are native speakers, at every opportunity they could find.

Bearing in mind how difficult it is to find the opportunity for students to speak in English, even though they major in English, I decided to give my time and create an opportunity for my students to practice their English. Our department has given us a room for all the foreigners to share and so I made use of the room for the students to come to the office and speak with us every Monday at lunch time. One of my colleague agreed to join me and we both started the "Free Talk" on 19th March.

My initial thought when I initiated the Free Talk was that of fear. I was a bit apprehensive that students would not turn up and that none of them would be interested to come. Also, it's the first time in four years that I have initiated this kind of activities for the students. On the first day we had the Free Talk, my friend and I were waiting for the students and we were thrilled to have about seventeen students come for the first time. On the second week, we are again delighted to find out that more students are willing to join and spend their time with us.

Speaking in English is the primary goal for us to organise the "Free Talk" and the secondary goal, though equally important is that we would like to help the young people in our department to share our lives with them. There are many young people especially in our department who are directionless and struggling to find purpose in life. We don't have the solution to their problems but we are hoping that we might be able to direct them to the "One" who has the solutions to all the problems in this world. Many of our young students never thought beyond what is being told, they are not used to question as to how and why things are. They just go with the flow without knowing why they do things. Making choices for themselves is not something they are familiar with, because it's left to their parents who often doesn't have any clue about their children's interests and aspirations.

The challenge is great but even if we don't achieve great things, our hearts desire is that at least a few students would find the true meaning and purpose of life.

"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

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