Under the guidance of Graduate Student, Kristin Reimer, Sarah Thompson tutors new Canadians as part of her CSL placement. Sarah shares her learning experience below:
I have been volunteering every Friday evening with a refugee family fromColumbia who arrived in Canada one year ago. I started with tutoring four children ages 9, 10, 12, 14 with another student teacher one hour a week, focusing mainly on their homework. I enjoyed myself so much that I began staying for two hours, spending time working on their literacy for the last hour, and then three hours, spending another hour working with their mother and older sister learning very basic English.
I am studying to teach grades 4-10, so my focus is on the 2 older children, age 12 and 14. Unfortunately, because they started studying English at a later age and spend a couple years in South America not in school, they are a bit further behind in their studies than the younger children. The great thing about these children is they are extremely eager to learn. The time goes by so quickly because we are always engaged, on task, and eager tolearn the next thing. Usually I get them to work on homework with me for and hour and then we work on literacy, so they read out loud to me or I read out loud to them and then ask them questions about the reading. For example, right now we are reading *Fantastic Mr. Fox* by Roald Dahl. I read out loud to all four children and then ask them whom the main characters are and what they think Mr. Fox should do to get away from Boggis, Bunce, and Bean.
Overall, I have been truly enjoying my experience volunteering with this family. It is unbelievably rewarding and is a great contribution to my community.