Hans Swenson and Elise Chalmers
Devi's Falls Resource Center, July 5th –July 20th 2007

We spent several weeks in Devi's Falls working at the resource center. We taught English lessons mixed with a little geography and social studies and we tried to make it fun as much as possible by incorporating games into the lessons. The kids were great and very enthusiastic about learning but some very firm discipline was necessary to maintain order. If given the opportunity, some of the kids would quarrel, steal and be dishonest so we had to keep a sharp eye on their behavior. The majority of the kids however, were a pleasure to work with and once the rules were understood there was productive learning for everyone there.

The classes were broken up by age group and in the morning at 6:45 we began with kids aged 11-13 of which about ten kids usually showed up. At 7:30, the 8-10 year old group came in which was about the same amount. We taught almost identical lessons to these two groups because many of the younger kids were more capable in English than the kids in the older group. Over the course of our time there we taught lessons on the use of plurals, apostrophes, contractions and basic world geography. We had them practice writing sentences in their copy books using the things they had learned from the English lessons. The geography was limited to continents, oceans, a few key countries in Asia and where volunteers came from since the kids were always curious about our homes. If everyone cooperated and finished their assignments quickly we would often finish with a short game. They absolutely loved the games. Every game we played was enjoyed by the kids.

In the evening at 5:30, we had 5-7 year olds come in for half an hour. This group was usually less than half a dozen kids and they spoke almost no English. We tried to get them to speak as much as possible with lessons on basic greetings, how to ask for things, and some vocabulary like foods, animals and common objects. The lessons were brief and we always rewarded their efforts with games, songs or coloring.

At 6 pm we let all ages of kids come in for a fun activity. Sometimes as many as fifty kids would show up and it was always chaotic. We would organize trivia games, charades, and bingo. Sometimes we handed out crossword puzzles or word searches with concepts from the morning lessons. These were great because the kids would all be fairly quiet and focused for the whole time instead. Bingo was one of the most chaotic but also the game most requested by the kids.

The lessons seemed to be pretty successful for the most part but there were always a few kids who had not learned as much English as the others and they struggled to follow the activities. We felt that it would be better if we could have developed a routine way of evaluating each child's English level and then placing them in groups according these results instead of grouping them by age. However this would require more time than we had so we just did our best to give extra attention to the kids who needed it in order for them to understand what was going on.

As for ourselves, our accommodations were quite comfortable and the dahl baat was excellent. Since we only spent about 3 hours a day working with the kids, we had plenty of free time to explore the local area which was beautiful. It was about a ten minute walk down to the river where we could swim and go hiking in the country. In 20 minutes we could take the local bus into Lakeside and swim in the lake or go shopping for whatever we wanted. It was really a great place to be and the overall experience was wonderful. We would do it again and we recommend it to others.

Thank you INFO Nepal for a great time.