Recently I have had the opportunity to teach English classes at one of the many slums in Delhi through Maitrigram. There are two different groups of students that I have been able to work with. The first of these is made up of women ages 22 to 32. This class takes place in the middle of the afternoon during the heat of the day. Their willingness to learn given India’s conditions inspires me (It’s extremely hot in Delhi). These women are completely new to the English language and are now just learning how to write their ABC's. These ladies are incredibly strong willed and visibly motivated to learn English. They give all their attention to whomever is instructing the program. I was able to help them with their writing skills and forming English letters that are so new to them; they picked them up so quickly. My favorite letter that I was able to work on with them was writing “Gg". They had a little trouble writing the capital letter “G”, but once they understood how to write it the lowercase "g" proved to be nothing difficult.
After the first class was finished we took a five minute walk to the main project site where we met with the second batch of students. These are ages 18-25. It is very easy to teach them because we are all around the same age; with this we have developed a friendship too. Many of these students have taken English classes in school for several years, so they are getting closer and closer to fluency with every lesson we teach. We are working mostly with their conversational skills so that they will be able to receive a job or career in a field that they are interested. We have been discussing different topics like movies, sports, and anything that keeps them wanting to converse. We choose common themes for the students because we want them to be knowledgeable when having an everyday conversation. The students inspire me in so many ways, they show up on time to every class. Even though learning a new language is difficult, they are so motivated to learn and they all keep trying to progress so they may further their knowledge.
It is situations and people like this that simply inspire me each and every day. These students show a great appreciation to us and to Maitri India that makes teaching easier. They come to class smiling and willing to learn which is sometimes hard to find in students. It is always such a nice sign to see them trying their hardest to learn because it shows that they care.
-Brok Dixon 2015