Thursday, March 31, 2011

English-the Global Language?

Non verbal communication comprises a large percentage of inter- personal communication. Since my Mongolian language abilities remain pitifully limited, even after 10 months in this amazing country, I'm grateful and dependent on non verbal communication!
Fortunately for me, many folks here speak some English and most others are interested and motivated to learn what is referred to as the global language.
Since talking with others is something I really excel at (lol....yea, I talk a lot...) my participation in English classes, events, competitions are a fun way for me to share with others!
Our local PCV's have a weekly "Monglish" night, where we assist others in learning English and it's intended to help us with our Mongolian language as well. Truthfully, we mostly speak English and our group ranges from as few as 5 to 20 some weeks.
At the dormitory I conduct twice weekly English lessons. These lessons are based on games and fun activities, which I find very effective! The kids are exposed to English through many games including bingo, one of their favorites, partly because I use candies for markers. Once there is a bingo, the winner gets candy as a prize. We have been playing animal bingo for weeks now and I just finished making a clothing bingo which will debut next week after the kids return from spring break.
Just last week I began assisting with the weekly English class held at the local Buddhist temple. My monk friend Bataar teaches along with a Mongolian woman and I assist by writing on the board, answering questions, talking, and pronunciation practice.
My friend Uugnaa teaches at the local technical university, and recently asked us PCV's to judge an English speaking competition. Five of us went and heard informative speeches which were accompanied by Power Point presentations given by 15 students. We scored each participant, then averaged the scores to determine the winners, who received English -Mongolian dictionaries from the university.
English Olympics are an annual competition held all over Mongolia and our local event was earlier this week. The test is for 9th and 11th grade students and my school hosted 23 students in each grade (from various area schools) for the test. The 11th grade exam itself was very confusing to students and as proctors we were not allowed to explain or clarify instructions. The two hour time limit was utilized by all participants and the highest score was less than 50%.
English teachers had their own exam and my friend and counterpart Oyunchimeg won this event; outscoring the competition by 20+ points! None of the 1st school students placed in the top 3 ; however PCV Joyce teaches (at Merged school) the first place 9th grade winner (who is my counterpart Chewka's daughter) and 2nd place 11th grader(who is a regular at Monglish night) - wooooo who!!!
Lucky for me that I speak the global language and that I'm somewhat animated when I speak, otherwise I might have much greater difficulty communicating!

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