Posts tagged English as a foreign language
Winning More Than Just First Place

This session at TYO marked my first-time teaching 5th and 6th graders English, and with it the introduction to a huge group of students who seemed to have boundless enthusiasm and limitless amounts of energy. In the spirit of TYO, I looked for ways to redirect and focus this energy, rather than trying to suppress it and control it, and ended up introducing my favorite personal teaching style into the classroom: Competition.

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Humans of Nablus 37

My favorite thing to do in Nablus is to study English. I plan to travel abroad one day to build bridges with the international community through the English language. With the relationships I build abroad I hope to bring financial resources to my community as well as emotional support.  From this kind of support I want to improve housing for people living in poverty.

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How Far We Have Come!

Eight weeks of STEP! II EFL program passed us by so quickly! The first day of classes began with students quietly introducing themselves and trying their best to figure out what the teacher was saying in English so quickly. As the weeks passed, everyone became increasingly comfortable and with that the students began to develop in their confidence. Throughout the first five weeks of class, we played volleyball as a group daily during class breaks and through this a level of comfort developed within the group and this translated well in the classroom.

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Humans of Nablus 36

I really enjoy studying languages. I recently started learning how to play the guitar with one of TYO’s teachers. I was amazed by how learning music feels like learning another language. You need only learn certain sounds, symbols and patterns and how to put them together. Now I’m starting to play songs in English, and I’m excited to become even better in the language.

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Fostering a Brave Space

At the door of TYO, students can either leave their external feelings or share their sentiments and be welcomed into the community. As an educational and psycho-social organization, the staff at TYO inherently cares for the holistic care of every student.

In order to ensure the comprehensive care of every student, the staff and volunteers uphold that TYO is neither a religious nor a political space, but rather the space for empowerment and self-fulfillment. At times, however, this is easier said than done.

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Fairuz in the Morning, Frank Sinatra in the Evening

Music is a powerful and positive force that connects people of different ages, backgrounds, and cultures. Recent Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan, Adele, Ravi Shankar, Edith Piaf, Tom Jobim, and Sakamoto, among so many others, have enchanted audiences around the world regardless of their ethnicity, race, and native language. “Music is the universal language of mankind,” once said American poet Henry Longfellow.

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Humans of Nablus 34

I love to work with children, especially in the most under-served communities. I want to be there to support those in need when I can. Working with children is a beautiful thing. You can teach children many things and work with so many different personalities. I believe that we can solve so many problems in our society by starting with them. This to me is a wonderful process.

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It’s Kanafah not Knefeh, bas tfaDal [But Help Yourself]

When my students ask, “What Palestinian foods have you eaten?” they always laugh at my response.  “No,” they tell me emphatically, “It’s kanafah, not knefeh.”  I pronounce the famous Nabulsi dessert in the Lebanese way, not the Palestinian.  And though there are obvious, clear differences between the cultures of the two countries, and even the culture of Palestinians living in Lebanon and Palestine, I cannot ignore the similarities of teaching in both.

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Being Uniquely Me and the Curiosity of New Friends

I arrived in Nablus having lived in an Arabic-speaking country and having lived in a more conservative environment before. Whenever I am placed in the aforementioned environments, there is a tendency to want to conform. However, the most the liberating of options is to just be me and welcome all questions about my differences and individuality as a opportunity for an unique kind of cultural exchange.

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From China to Palestine: An Unexpected Journey

Life called me to TYO as I finished up my experience working with Peace Corps in China. I was drawn to the fellowship position as it combined both of my passions: education and experiencing the cultures of the world. As the taxi brought me into Nablus for my first time the wind was blowing into the car and the call to prayer began as it was 5:00 in the morning. All I can remember is an overwhelming feeling that once again life had brought me to the exact place I needed to be.

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Humans of Nablus 31

In my English classes, I am using the language to talk about my family and my community, and also to learn about important musicians from the United States and Europe. As a singer and guitar player, it is great to be able to understand what they are saying. I’m sure that my time at TYO improving my English and meeting new people will be important for me in order to achieve my goal.

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Learning by Choice: The Success Story of Obaida Bani Odeh

Obaida is from Tammoun, a village between Jenin and Nablus. She is a recent graduate from Al Quds Open University in Tubas where she studied finance and banking administration. She has been a volunteer with the After-School Academic Support program and a student in the STEP! II EFL program since October 2016. Obaida is enjoying the experience greatly and is sad she did not learn about the organization before fall 2016.

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Living Through Life's Questions

As poet and novelist Rainer Maria Rilke says, “Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

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What Do an Island and the Letter 'T' Have in Common?

People often say that jokes are the most difficult thing to translate.  While this can sometimes be  true, joking can actually transcend language barriers.  It’s also a good way to trick people into learning a language.  Comedy is a great way to learn a language, or really anything for that matter.  

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Shared Excitement and a Hunger to Learn

Language education on the global scale becomes of greater importance everyday. With expanding communities through social media, sometimes language is the only barrier that separates human beings and ideas. Upon my arrival to Nablus, I felt a sincere interest and urgency in learning the local Arabic dialect from the most simple of phrases regarding food or directions to more complex vocabulary surrounding the history and culture of the Nabulsi people. Entering Nablus and jointing the TYO team as an EFL fellow, I was especially interested to know and understand the language of my incoming students.

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Creating Culture Vultures

The Step II EFL instructors at TYO use many methods to inspire and encourage their students’ English Language Learning. Language learning should be enjoyable, as well as academic. Therefore, the English Fellows at TYO incorporate various mediums in our classrooms, including music and movies. These alternative teaching tools enable our students to hear different native English speakers with varying accents and cadences, familiarize themselves with informal phrases and tones, and discuss various cultures. It also breaks up our day and brings more laughter into our classrooms

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Humans of Nablus 27

Tomorrow's Youth Organization is investing in the Palestinian leaders of the future, and I want to be part of that process. I want to make a lasting difference in the community by helping others. The real meaning of happiness is in helping those in need, and I am happy here at TYO because I was given the opportunity to collaborate with amazing youth to help children grow in a better environment.

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