English is a difficult language. I never really appreciated that before. Our words are so freakin' long sometimes, and the pronunciation is nuts. And the Moroccan public education system, when it comes to English, sucks. I mean, it's not good. It's bad.
I met some students yesterday who were in a class I was helping out with. They've been studying English for three years. I asked them "When is your test". They didn't understand. I asked "which unit are you on in the book?". They didn't understand. Then I looked at the book. They were reading complex passages featuring such classic English expressions as "pieces of information" and "audio chat".
English may as well be a dead language for them. They read it, and some can even write it. But listening and speaking is at almost zero. Most of the teachers in schools do not speak English- and so they explain the lesson in Arabic. What's the point?
And so this leads to a situation that I'm entirely unfamiliar with, from a teaching perspective. Do I start from zero if listening comprehension is at zero? Some of these students don't even know the alphabet in English, because it's always been explained to them in French. And their teacher can't really speak English, but he's very adamant that he Does speak English. And he knows some insane vocabulary, but I have trouble understanding anything he says because the pronunciation is completely off. Many students here are adamant that they are using "British" English, and that's why I don't recognize the pronunciation. Which is silly.
Anyway, I kind of prefer the beginning English class, because then I don't have to worry about overcoming years of damage.
On a totally different note, SANDSTORM.
Here, they call them J-Jaj, which really means "glass". And that's exactly what it feels like -- shards of glass flying through the air. Two days ago there was a massive sandstorm; I could barely go outside. Sand swept in through all the little cracks in my apartment and covered everything. Then, yesterday, it poured rain for the first time (i.e. since I got here back in May). The drainage system isn't the best and so I waded through a street-river of trash, dirt, vegetable scraps, and chicken shit to get to the other side of town for a class. I have no idea whether or not I should be expecting more sandstorms or more thunderstorms in the months ahead.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, nor any other governmental or non-governmental organization.
Nor is anything written here necessarily drawn from my own views, opinions, and observations. Please consider all postings and pictures complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality. For legal purposes, please additionally regard the author as utterly imaginary.
The views, opinions, and observations expressed in this journal are my own and in no way reflect the views, opinions, or policy of the Peace Corps, Peace Corps Morocco, governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Nor is anything written here necessarily my own views, opinions, or observations. Please consider all pictures and texts here to be complete fabrications with absolutely no bearing on reality, this one or any other. For legal purposes, please additionally consider the author to be utterly imaginary.