Had three speaking classes today. The first one was supposed to be individual – with this woman Elena who wants to practise as much English as possible before she goes to study English in New York in April. When I asked her how long she was going there for, I expected an answer of a few months, but no, just 3 weeks… Not quite sure what she is so worried about!
The next two classes were supposed to be ‘speaking club’. One for adults and one for children. I thought ‘club’ was the key word here and expected maybe 5-8 students? No just one for each class came. The first was a man who looked a bit like a happier version of this:
He had a very strange accent but was easy to get talking about learning English, starting to learn Spanish and then at the end he started saying that he didn’t think he could ever go to America or England as he doesn’t agree with gay people due to his Orthodox religion.. He understands that people have different views but he just can’t accept a country that encourages children that being gay is normal. If there is ‘Gay Pride’ then there should be ‘Straight Pride’ too. If he met a gay man, he would be polite and acknowledge him, but he wouldn’t shake his hand, as he couldn’t touch him. I was like oooookkk…. I know Russians have strong views against homosexuality but it’s still very strange to hear it.
Last was just one girl, who I had met before in some class in some school in December. I remembered her face couldn’t tell you which school or teacher or what we did! It’s always hard work getting children talking about what they like doing or holidays. I think because Siberia is so far from anywhere and they don’t have much money they don’t really have holidays abroad like we do in England – as we’re so close to Europe. They say they get a lot of homework, maybe 3 hours per night so they don’t do much in the evenings. Also, turns out a lot of Russian children go to school on Saturdays! Imagine school for 6 days a week! No wonder when I ask them what they do on the weekends they just say ‘sleep!’
Got the same next Saturday .- no idea what we’re going to talk about! The woman said she would bring some texts or something. So did the man and he seemed quite excited about it. The girl didn’t know what she wants to talk about next week which is helpful!