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English as a Second Language

I might be biased but English class is kind of ::cough:: the best. Aside from hearing the students use super practical phrases throughout the day like ‘being hangry’ and ‘killing it,’ watching them grasp concepts and use correct grammar during conversation (“I go.. no wait.. I went”) is pretty tops. They bring energy and jokes and put up with my occasional soap box, like talking about why dating jealous people is not okay during an emotions lesson.

One particularly sweet day, a student (A, I’ll call her) with a bright, sometimes stubborn smile and a history of needing assistance with even the simplest of words and activities caught me off guard. A new student had just joined the program and was looking at me blankly after I explained a concept in English, and our translator happened to be off for the morning. Before I could respond, a Thai translation came out of A with easy confidence and little knowing sass. I almost dribbled my coffee I was smiling so big.

We spend a lot of time navigating ‘lost in translation’ nuances in the classroom, and while most make for entertaining stories and bring laughter to the salon - the moments of complete clarity are like a breath of fresh air, bringing us all a little closer and encouraging each of us to keep fighting to move forward.

-Jenna Lewis, English Instructor Thailand

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