The ESL Class in Progress

Feb 4, 2012 | India

I am sitting at the back of the ESL class enjoying the proceedings. The class is having a test.  Bob has been great at making the lessons fun and interesting.


He gives them games, along with grammar and spelling instruction, so there is a lot of laughter.  It is hard to sit here and not enter into all the banter of the class.

Some days it is just too pretty to stay inside for class, or…well…maybe it is the noise of the repairs being done on the concrete walls.


Because Bob wanted his pupils to be involved in deciding what materials would be used for teaching the RGI and PBI students, WE all went on a “field trip” to the oldest book store in Nagpur. 

The aisles are narrow with books and pamphlets stacked to the ceiling. The dust on everything is so thick that you had better not wear good clothes while shopping.  Boy, was I glad for “wipes.”


While Nupi and Bob were deciding on the curriculum books needed, the others were coveting the plastic covered Oxford English-English-Marathi dictionaries prominently displayed on the main shelf. 

Due to the fact that Loren was not prepared to gift 10 copies to the students—yet felt it was necessary—he asked the shopkeeper if he could pay later. The owner says, “Sir, this is your shop.” Really the dictionaries are an incredibly special gift for the students.

Bob has made them bring these new dictionaries to class every day.  In fact, the very next day he gave them a list of vocabulary words I doubt most of you know how to spell, let alone are familiar with the meaning—at least I didn’t know all of them—HYPERBOLE, FACETIOUS, OBSEQUIOUS, ABERRANT. EXACERBATE


One of the hardest things for the class is NOT to speak any Marathi.  Bob tells them, “You can’t speak English, if you don’t SPEAK English.”


Several of the class attendees are not going to be involved with teaching Prakash students, but will be teaching pupils as part of their ministries.  Bob has wisely made them prepare a written plan in regards to—“Where are you going to teach?  Who are you going to teach?  How frequently?  What materials are you planning to use?  What is your end goal and purpose for your students to learn English?”


Loren was afraid that staff would not take the ESL classes seriously enough to commit to attending regularly, but they have all been faithful to the 9 to 5 daily schedule. Of course, they finally conned me into serving TEA every day at 3:45.


How thankful we are for Bob.  He is an excellent teacher.