Msimude High School ends at 1.30 on a Friday. My English class begins at 2pm. Like most secondary students, 30minutes wait is far too long. Unfortunately, my Grade 11’s didn’t show up to their extra English class, so I’m unable to comment on how their debating went. But my grade 10’s the day before did.
As part of their English lessons I’ve tested their spelling as well as looking at ‘useful’ parts of the English language. Last week they practiced writing formal letters and the art of public speaking. This week they (were supposed to) perform their speeches, working in teams of three which consisted of a Chairperson, Main Speaker and Vote of Thanks. They chose and wrote about their own topics to develop their public speaking skills and their confidence in English.
The quality of their speeches and the questions that were asked from the floor were impressive. Considering English is their second language, they spoke on topics ranging from ‘Creating a brighter future for the youth’, to ‘Why South Africa should host the Olympics.’ Staple arguments on ‘How to prevent the spread of HIV and Aids’, were thoughtfully and passionately discussed, whilst ‘The Importance of Education,’ was compellingly presented. Having participated in Public Speaking competitions during my time in school, I knew the feeling of nerves, doubt and stage fright, that could easily have swamped them, and therefore I was all the more impressed by their composure.
In the coming week they will be tested on homonyms (words that sound the same but mean different things: their/there, words that are spelt the same but mean different things: watch/watch), as well as writing their own poems.
Prayer for Day 12: Continue to work hard and practice their English. That their English teachers would be committed and find creative ways to teach the subject.