As I have mentioned before, my research deals with finding better ways of teaching writing for Arabic speaking students. Possibly using oral history as a motivator to WANT to write and thus gain better proficiency. To get a handle on the situation and how it is taught in the schools here, I am doing 3 main things: 1) taking an Arabic language course 2) observing English writing classrooms and 3) interviewing teachers and students.
Class starts Tuesday: check.
So the next part is to visit schools. This is where it gets dicey. At the moment Birzeit University student government is on strike and has locked the gates of the school. So I haven’t even been over there to see what the campus looks like. Thus I haven’t met my mentor. So I am attempting to make connections on my own into the local schools for the time being.
First step: Tell everyone what I am doing. So far that hasn’t gotten me in many schools.
Second step: Tell my across the hall neighbor who teaches an English conversation class in town. Bingo. She is part of a Facebook group of local English teachers and posted there for me. Four teachers responded and said that they would be interested.
Third step: All the responding teachers have said that I need permission from the Ministry of Education so that their principal can allow me to visit their school. So, my contact at the Consulate is working on that. Hopefully, I will be able to get some official permission and start getting into classrooms soon!
For now, I’ll keep practicing my Arabic: maharban, shukran, afwon, bidde taxi….