Deliberately wanting to provide the local children with a slightly different learning experience to that at school, “Beach Class” is proving popular! With a large flat area set up from the beach, there is plenty of room for everyone and for action-packed English learning.
Using a communicative approach to teaching, basic words and phrases are taught and learnt and then it’s time to jump up and practice them. Finding a friend to partner up with the children hold “mini conversations” which are built upon from day to day and week to week. Currently they are able to ask you basic personal information before going on to ask about your likes/dislikes or what you did yesterday and so on. They can comment on your answers and ask what you think about basic things, agreeing or disagreeing with you. Not bad considering only 12 weeks ago they knew only a few English words and didn’t have the confidence to speak with a foreigner.
Now it’s quite a different story….if a tourist happens to be walking along the beach the children are up on their feet ready to go over and introduce themelves, keen to practice their new skills and interact with this new person (usually to the astonishment of the tourist!) And that’s the beauty of it, both parties are sharing and learning and from a first-hand experience.
Giving the children the basic skill and confidence to interact with foreigners visiting their shores is enabling them to get an idea of a world quite different to theirs. This is invaluable for their and the area’s future as these two worlds will collide more and more, just as has happened in other areas of Indonesia where land-based tourism has been present for several decades or more.