Part of my job is to float around different English classes so the children can interact with a native speaker. The other day I was in Truce’s class and she called me over and showed me what they were working on and told me that she didn’t understand it. They were working on the past simple tense (speaking about actions finished in the past with a known time period – very exciting if you’re a grammar nerd), something native speakers can do before their third birthday. Truce is an adroit user of the English language and has found it interesting to learn about her mother tongue as a second language. Things that she has done naturally she now has to deconstruct and compartmentalise as well as name. EAL teaching identifies 12 active tenses and 12 passive tenses all taught at different stages of the students’ level of understanding. You haven’t lived until you’ve explained the different uses for the past perfect and the past perfect continuous. As for her second language, after only six weeks of immersion, where 80% of her lessons are delivered in Castellano, Truce says that she is surprised how much easier it is to understand what’s happening in the classroom and what is being said to her.
One of the high school parents runs a community radio programme with a weekly print supplement. He came around to our place last night to interview us about our experience so far in 9 de Julio and ask us our reason for moving our family to South America for the year. One of his questions was what differences have we noticed about schooling here compared to in Australia. The main thing is the social distance between teachers, parents and students is very small here. Something else is that every so often, a dog just wanders through the school looking for a meal then continues on its journey.
The days continue to grow colder and while we have a gas heater upstairs we are yet to receive our fist gas bill (they come every two months) and are unsure how often we should light the heater. We’re a little uncertain how much we are in for with expenses like gas, water and electricity. Talluah heated up a large rock in the oven the other day to put under her feet while she was studying. This does give new meaning to the idea of stone soup.
Depp was feeling unwell and had the day off school. He was told that he had to stay in bed all day, with no iPad as I had school lessons to prepare and Talluah had uni work to do. By midmorning he started to realise just how boring a day at home can be. Talluah invited him into our bed while she listened to one of her uni lectures. A short time later he nodded off. Later on when he was asked about having a sleep he said that the sound of the lecturer’s voice made him fall asleep. Looks like he’ll be a great scholar when he’s older.