During these past few weeks here in Meknes, I’ve had the opportunity to teach English at a women’s center which is a NGO (Non-Government Organization) for women in Meknes to converse and establish a close, exclusive community with each other, giving them an escape and break from their daily lives. In a way, it is a brief liberation of women from the daily oppressions that they may face in Meknes. I was asked if I would be willing to volunteer to teach English at the NGO and I said yes not only because it would look good on my resume, but this is something that I’ve been somewhat interested in for a little while. If I really enjoy this opportunity I could possibly look at a short career in teaching English with the Peace Corps in Morocco. Anyways, every Monday at 4:30 another ISA student and I go to the NGO to teach for about an hour. In the first class we introduced the alphabet and numbers, and yesterday we taught and introduced pronouns and verbs. It has been an interesting experience to say the least.
While teaching English to these women, who have no prior classroom experience in English, I am made aware (well I already knew this because of Spanish) that as fluent, native English speakers we forget or don’t even know some of the basic rules and concepts of our own mother tongue. For example, in Spanish what always gave me trouble was the “por” and “para” for which both mean “for”. Each word is used in a different context but has the same meaning. Talking to native Spanish speakers, all have said that they don’t know the rules on when to use “por” and when to use “para”, it just sounds right whenever they use one or the other. That ideas that “it just sounds right” is a universal concept that applies to all native speakers, not just English or Spanish. Overall, it has been fun teaching English. It’s really exciting to see people really eager to learn your language and I would be more than willing to teach English in the future if the opportunity arises.