A couple of weeks ago students all over Kyrgyzstan participated in “I Love English Week” which involved English language activities and promotion culminating in English Day on February 12. For my own part I was invited to the week’s finale at the Language Lyceum in Kirovka. What I assumed was going to be a couple of activities with the small English club ended up being a slightly larger affair.
The whole school had the afternoon off for competitions including singing, dancing, tongue-twisters, poetry, and trivia. Also, instead of just being a token English speaking observer, I ended up on the judging panel – which was hard because the students were really (really) good.
I can’t tell you how blown away I was. Imagine the kind of events you might have down with Spanish or French club in high school, now imagine you presented them in your third instead of second language. I’ll admit most of content was memorized, but the two girls MC-ing were improvising the introductions nearly fluently.
For whatever reason tongue twisters are kind of a big deal in Kyrgyzstan and the a lot of work must have been put into perfecting:
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
When it was all said and down prizes were given out and of course I had to give a speech. (Although this time it was short, in English, and the crowd was about as pumped up as they could be – pretty much the best conditions for speech giving in my estimation.)
I’ve been really fortunate to spend some time with these kids so far. They all have really big dreams and ambitions that as far as I can tell they’re on track to achieve.