A very friendly and welcoming atmosphere from both teachers and students throughout all the school and hostel visits.
Background information on Lingshed and the reading programme from 17000 staff, previous volunteers and Lingshed head teacher was enough to prepare us for the experience.
Students and teachers were open and enthusiastic about the reading programme, and seem to understand the format quickly.
We had enough time to cover the basics of material on Day one but would have gained more from a little more time in general conversation. Day 2 there was enough time to cover the reading programme content, and for games as well.
We also delivered a tablet based maths programme – KA-Lite. This involved one maths lesson per day per grade. The children were very interested and quick to learn on the tablets. I think they would have no problem extending their learning using this format, given some basic training in the use of a tablet. I see this as a great adjunct to their existing maths lessons.
I think the teachers could benefit from more training in English teaching, but also this was not something I was asked to observe properly, so I am not too sure. I did not get any info on what the expectation of the level of reading and comprehension was for the children, apart from a rough estimate. This is something that should be made a little clearer in the future programme.
I believe training a core group of teachers in English, and in the reading programme, would benefit the students.
Better reading materials, and games appropriate to learning English are needed.
From my understanding of how children learn I believe that recall and repetition are vital. It would be good if the programme was repeated in core schools more frequently. The added benefit to this is that a more accurate assessment of the programme can be made. Having a core group of teachers would also enable an assessment to be more accurate.
A strong teacher training model needs to be developed. One would also need a comprehensive assessment tool to check if this was effective or not.
Thank you for the opportunity to volunteer with 17000 ft. It has been a great experience and I will be recommending to others.