Mekong English Centre Activity Night
Every Friday is an activities day at Mekong English Centre (MEC). Volunteer teachers are asked to plan a fun activity or two that reinforces some of the previous week’s lessons and provides a bit of entertainment. I told the teacher I am working with that I could possibly keep the students entertained for about 15 minutes with a game of word bingo. He said it would be much better if I could keep the students busy for a full hour. We negotiated a compromise of 30 minutes.
Fortunately for me, another volunteer had prepared a bingo with words Lao students have trouble hearing and pronouncing e.g. pray and play. Realizing that I had agreed to keep the students busy for 30 minutes, I also prepared enough cards with alphabet letters on them for a spelling game, and eight plastic boards for a game of word-wrap.
I divided the class of 24 students into six teams and started with the game of Bingo. Before I knew it, 25 minutes had passed, so I organized a play-off between the two equal-top-scoring teams. Bingo – my 30 minutes was up! But I had two more games prepared, so we launched into the spelling game.
If the students were enthusiastic about bingo, they were positively excited and incredibly competitive with the spelling game. After much chatter, yelling, and for me – running around the classroom picking the winning team for each point, and again a play-off between the two equal top scoring teams, there was only 10 minutes left before the end of the lesson.
We finished off with a hectic and competitive game of word-wrap. In addition to the three teams who won the games. The teacher I am working with won his little competition with me – my activities went for the full hour.
I packed up all the bits and pieces and followed my teacher into his next class, for another full-on 60 minutes.
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