Ola Dwikate: Language Learning Can Be Fun!
Ola Dwikat is from Al Masaken neighborhood in Nablus. She graduated from An Najah University in 2014 with a degree in elementary education. She has been a volunteer at TYO with the Core PM program for 1 year. In addition to volunteering with Core, she participates in the Step! II EFL program.
What has been your experience learning English before, in school and in university?
English education was very boring in public school and at university. Classes gave information by writing the word on the board and explaining the definition. The traditional way of teaching was not enjoyable. Classes are the complete opposite at TYO. During English classes at TYO, the vocabulary is given through games. It is easier to learn and remember the information because it is learned while having fun. Even without review, the information stays in my mind better now. The classes at TYO motivate me to watch movies and short clips in English which I did not enjoy before. The methods and games used and the teacher always smiling and laughing with the class makes me like English more and makes me want to learn more English.
What skills are you acquiring in TYO's EFL classes that were missing from your school/university education?
I learned new vocabulary at TYO that I did not learn before such as emotions and synonyms for feelings. At school, vocabulary was limited. We learned happy and sad, but the word happy has multiple words to describe the emotion. At TYO, we learned more words to express how we feel, such as disappointed. This will help me understand the language even more because I am not limit to only a few words.
What are your personal and professional goals, and how will learning English help you achieve those?
My personal goals are to take advantage of opportunities to make friends that are English speakers and be able to communicate and stay in touch. For my future children, I want to be able to teach and help them with English. If they have a question, I will be able to answer it for them.
My professional goals are to work as a teacher in an elementary school. I will be able to use similar teaching methods that worked for her language learning such as games, charades, and relay races. I want to use these methods so the children don’t struggle to learn in a boring way like I had to do. They will learn in a fun way and love learning more. Now, when the students hear the subject English, the students close their books and don’t want to learn. But using fun methods of teaching will help the children want to learn.
What would you say to other youth your age who are interested in improving their English but nervous to get started?
Students are nervous because of the way they were learning English before, so I would tell them about my experience at TYO and that English class was fun. It is not the same experience students have when learning English in schools. The methods to teach English at TYO will make them excited and enjoy learning English! Sharing my experience with learning English at TYO will help decrease their nervousness. They don’t have to be nervous!
The English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program is part of STEP! II, a youth employability, empowerment, and community leadership initiative supported by Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation.
Interview conducted by Lindsey, International Internship & Fellowship Coordinator, and translated by local intern, Rawan.