Take the step and go to Fiji.....
At first sight, it may seem frightening or for some of us even inconceivable. But being a graduated high – school student from a small town in Southern Germany who decided to pack her bags and travel 30 hours around the global(not on my own- I have to admit, but having a friend with you when you are waiting at Hong Kong airport for ten hours is way better),I can tell you that it is not impossible.The first fear was living on a base with people who share English as a mother tongue, but just go ahead and speak to them no one makes you feel bad if you make a grammar or pronunciation mistake. In contrast to that living in a group of English speakers is a great opportunity to improve your English and speak more fluently and learn new words. Furthermore, you are in the position to teach German expressions. Native English speakers are always open minded to learn them and teach each other.
The best part of going to Fiji as a GVI volunteer from Germany is teaching English at a Fijian School. Some may think their language skills are not good enough to be an English teacher, like volunteers from English speaking countries. After spending time at DDS in class 2 for four weeks , I can now tell you that Fijian students don’t care whether you are German , British or any other nationality. They learn from you as long as you are present in school and spend your time talking to them in English.
English being your second language can be more of an advantage than a disadvantage .You have been in the same position as the students . English is not your first language and you had to learn and practise it too. You know what it is like to learn its grammar/pronunciation and how difficult it can be sometimes to understand the meaning of a word or an exercise given to you. The students benefit from your understanding for their struggles and its difficulties, for example – th-or-v- as in the village .
To contribute to a child’s education is a big responsibility, but a wonderful experience as well. No matter if you do literacy or numeracy 1-1 with a student or if you hold a Arts &Crafts or PE lesson to a class, you will help the student to improve their language skilled based on knowledge and your own experiences of learning English in school.
All in all , I can encourage all those who are thinking of going to Fiji as a volunteer teacher, whether English is your second language or your first, go ahead! Take the step and go to Fiji, a beautiful island in South Pacific where the people greet you with a “Bula” and welcome you with a smile on their faces in their community. You won’t regret it.
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