Maya Dougherty's Blog

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Final Reflections

May 18th, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

In taking the private reading, I learned a lot from both our weekly classes and teaching ESL in Vermilion. It is such a valuable and unique opportunity to be able to learn about topics in immigration while simultaneously working with an immigrant/migrant community, and brings the experience much more power and relevance.
Although I had been interested in immigration and work with immigrants since before coming to Oberlin, I had not realized just how large of an immigrant/migrant community there was in our surrounding area. While attending Oberlin it is often so easy to get one’s perceptions skewed by the so-called “Oberlin bubble,” and I think that a lot of students don’t realize that these communities exist even in rural Ohio. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to be involved in another community outside of Oberlin overall, and thought it was really great when we were even able to organize things such as soccer games where people in Vermilion were able to play with Oberlin and LCCC students.
I’m also really grateful that I was given such a great chance to practice and get better at teaching ESL. Although I had done some of that before while working at a summer camp during high school, I learned a lot more this year in terms of teaching tools and effective lesson plans, as well as how to teach adults. These are very valuable skills to have, especially if I hope to continue to do future types of service work, particularly with immigrants and migrants.
Taking the class at the same time as teaching was very useful in terms of understanding many of the struggles and risks that many immigrants have to go through while living in the Unites States. I thought that it was very useful to learn more about things such as ICE ACCESS Programs, because I had heard talk about programs such as Secure Communities many times before, but did not really know very much about what they actually did. Although I am from Arizona and have witnessed many of the changes that have occurred as a result of SB1070, I discovered that there were still things that I did not know. This made me realize just how true that must be for so many people, both in and outside of Arizona.
Most importantly, the class sessions helped provide me with an overall knowledge and vocabulary that I can use when speaking about immigration in the future. As a topic that can often be so heated and controversial, it is important to know what your best selling points are, as well as what exactly the different arguments may be. The private reading definitely helped prepare me for those sorts of future conversations, and I hope to be able to use my new knowledge well.

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May 8th, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

Today we played another soccer game with the same group of people from LCCC. The Willoway guys always seem to really like it, and it’s a good way to get them out of the camp for a little bit and involved with some new people and another activity. Although we have food at the end of the games and the guys are able to talk to the people on the other team a bit more then, it would be nice if we continued to have these games with some of the same teams regularly and we could organize more prolonged gatherings before and after the games. That way a lot of the Willoway guys would have an opportunity to both practice their English more, and to meet other people in the community. It could also potentially be informational for the people who come from LCCC to know that these guys are here and things like this exist in their area. All in all, the soccer games seem to be very popular and a great way to have fun and get people together.

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May 4th, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

This week we gathered a group of guys from Willoway and they played a soccer game against some people from LCCC. The game went really well, and ended up going on for so long that we didn’t even have time for English class. The one thing that happened that was both bothersome and kind of surprising was that while they were playing soccer a Border Patrol car pulled up and did a loop around us. The officer didn’t end up getting out of the car, but all of the men who were there were documented and would have been fine anyway. It was still not something that I see everyday, and I can’t help but believe that it was pretty racist.
We’re planning on playing another game next week, so hopefully it will still be fun but minus the Border Patrol!

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April 26th, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

We thought that a lot of people wouldn’t show up to class because of Easter this week, but actually they forgot about Easter and didn’t show up because they were watching a soccer game. We did, however, still have two students, so we did a review with them and then had them fill in a crossword puzzle. We also played pictionary with phrases such as “the cat is in the box,” so that they could review some of those words that they had learned two weeks ago. Finally, we had them look at different objects in the room and describe their locations, such as “the book is on the table.” Similar to last week, this was useful because it allowed them to practice both writing and speaking.
In the private reading class last week I presented on SB1070 and ICE ACCESS Programs. It was very useful for me to actually have to do more research on these topics, because although I have heard a lot about them before (especially being from Arizona), I realized how many things I still wasn’t aware of. This made me realize how true this is likely be for a lot of other people too.

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April 18th, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

Last night in class we worked on teaching words that are used to describe people. We cut out pictures of people from a magazine, and then had our students use some of the new words we had taught them in order to describe the people in the pictures. We then had each student choose one picture, and write a brief description of that person, such as what their name is, how old they are, what they look like, and how they act. We then had them read their descriptions out loud. I thought that this was a particularly good activity, because it got them to practice both writing and speaking. We also reviewed words for body parts, and played Simon says and hangman. Overall I think that the class went fairly well, and that it will continue to get a bit easier to teach one we know who is consistently going to show up to the class, and what levels they are at.

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First ESL Class

April 10th, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

Today we taught our first ESL class of the semester in Vermilion. We worked on talking about words that are used in location and direction, such as “above, below, towards, along,” etc. We did several different activities, such as passing a ball around the circle and telling people to “put the ball next to you. Pass the ball to the left,” and so on. We also worked on introductions, and played two truths and a lie. There were a few rough spots, mostly because the different people who showed up were at such different levels from each other, and we have not worked with them as a group before. At the end of class we decided that it would probably be best if we split off into a couple of different groups in the future, especially since there are three of us teaching, so that the people who are at different levels can be working on different things and no one falls behind.

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Hello world!

February 22nd, 2011 by Maya Dougherty · Uncategorized

Welcome to your blog. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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