The Refugees Turn the Tables on Me

At break time, the four Cuban women that I’ve been working with in a small group want me to converse with them in Spanish.

“Tee-cha! You. Spanish. Talking now.”

Maybe it’s to get me back for always saying, “English, please” during class. They are turning the tables on me, so I will see how difficult it is.

Fair enough. My Spanish is poor, but I’m willing to trade places with them – to be stuck, to be searching for words, to wonder if I sound foolish.

It’s hard to flip the switch in my head and go from English to Spanish, but I do have something I want to say. It takes several tries before I get it to come out right. We all laugh, but in the end there is understanding. This was a great bonding activity, to switch roles and have them correcting and assisting me.

So much of teaching is about safety and comfort and being allowed to get things wrong on the way to getting things right.



About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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One Response to The Refugees Turn the Tables on Me

  1. pastordt says:

    EXACTLY. Thanks, Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

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