So it only makes sense, doesn't it? Volunteer longer and make more of a difference. But staying longer costs you more and is much more of a commitment for most people. So why are program fees more expensive the longer you stay?
GeoVisions is reversing this trend slowly. Check out our Conversation Corps--China program. The longer you stay, the lower the program fee. If you can make a commitment to stay for 3 months, your program fee will be less expensive.
Think about it. Your airfare is your airfare. Stay a day, stay a month, stay 3 months. The airfare is the same. "L" visa? $130. It is what it is. Stay a day or stay 3 months the visa fee is the same. Because it is a Conversation Corps program, your room and board is covered already. The GeoVisions advantage is that the program fee is reduced the longer your commitment.
It is true all of our other programs are just the opposite. But we have started with China and we'll begin to make as many changes as we can.
We are including 2 weeks of Mandarin, 2 nights hotel in Beijing with room and board, a half day of orientation and a 1/2 day tour of Beijing. Airport transfers, transport to the host family and weekly activities...just in case you need MORE to do.
We hope you will enjoy this program and this new concept.
Shannon, one of our volunteers headed to Peru, is writing a Blog about her experiences. We invite you to follow Shannon as she makes her preparations and then travels to Peru to live with a family and teach them English.
Shannon is part of the Conversation Corps and will tutor a Peruvian family to improve their English up to 15 hours each week. In return she will receive her own private room and 3 meals each day. She is free to explore Peru days and weekends.
We wish her well. Click this link to follow Shannon and if you can help her out along the way, please do!
Andrew Kolodey is one of GeoVisions' Conversation Corps tutors in France. He started up a Blog: Gonna Travel Well. We recommend you check it out and follow Andrew as he explores France and lives with a family in France and teaches them English.
Check it out and let know Andrew you're following him. Here's the link:
Have fun and tell Andrew we say "hey."
From The Tutor
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 04:00:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Jordan
Thanks so much for the links. All of the attachments work.
There are two children, and I guess when I say children I should specify that they are young adults. The son, Yazan, is 22. He is the one who translates anything that needs to be. He doesn't really need to be taught anything because he's been to the U.S. twice for summer camp programs. His English is very good so I just hang out with him and talk and correct anything that he says in a wrong tense or tell him any word that he needs help with. He's not around for too much of when I teach the rest of the family, he works in the evenings so he's away. I think it's working out better that way though because now they can't ask him to translate, they have to think for themselves.
The daughter is 16. When I first arrived she said she didn't know much English even though she has to study it in school. But now that we are talking more she finds it easier. I help her with her school homework in English and I also brought a magnetic poetry set from home so she likes to play around with that. I have been taking walks with her around the city for the past few days and she can converse with me when we do that. She's realized that she's much better than she thought she was.
The mother doesn't know as much, but she has definitely made improvements because she is around with me and the daughter in the evenings and so if she wants to be in the conversation she tries very hard to speak in English. The daughter helps her with translation, but I have definitely already noticed a difference. Earlier today we talked about her wedding and what it was like when she got married. She described as much as she could. Talking about food with her is helping too. She loves to cook so we talk about how to say different foods and ingredients in both Arabic and English.
The father is the hardest to teach. He knows almost no English, and even in Arabic he doesn't really know how to write much because he said he didn't go to much school when he was younger. I have just been sitting with him teaching him a few words a day. We started with things around the living room where we sit, like curtains, carpet, pillows, etc. He can only work on six or seven words a day he says, but I think in time he will start being able to do more.
Anyway, that's pretty much the whole situation. It's going well so far. They are all very nice and trying hard to make me feel at home. It's not an uncomfortable situation at all, and as we're getting to know each other better it's becoming more fun. Pictures have been a nice way to help with English too. I've showed them some pictures of my family and pets and other places I've visited and they're very interested to see them.
Thanks for your help and I'll be emailing again if I have more questions.
From Help Me Teach
Thank you so very much for your great update. I really appreciate it - and learning about your circumstances. Sounds as if you will have a fine adventure with this family. Just your presence speaking English will be of benefit to everyone. I suspect the father will strengthen in English as he interacts with the other family members and you. You may be quite surprised at the progress made by everyone. It is often a matter of having the confidence to speak out and try the language.
Please keep in touch and let me know if you need more suggestions. Again, thank you. Very best wishes to you for a wonderful adventure in Jordan!
From The Tutor
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 18:55:26 -0500
Hello. My name is Shelby. I'm staying with a family in Jordan and was just emailing to get some tips on teaching. The kids of the family I'm staying with can speak English fairly well, so it will be much easier with them, but the parents hardly know any. Anything you could tell me would be helpful. Thanks!
From Help Me Teach
Thank you for your message. It sounds as if you are in quite an adventure in Jordan. Congratulations on your new family.
How old are the children and how many are there? It is good that their English is at a higher level so there can be interaction on many levels. I am certain that as they show you their world - in English - their vocabulary will improve. Are you helping them with English homework? This often gives direction to how tutoring can go forward. Having them explain to you what you are seeing (parks, everyday affairs, etc.) can only enhance their English skills.
Attached are some suggestions on how to work with the children and the family. Most are discussion topics but many can also be used as writing topics or as creative launching boards. Please let me know if the attached are helpful or if your situation calls for a different direction.
Also attached is a listing of Internet sites that offer creative ideas for many different ages. Concerning the parents: This can be more challenging, as they would, I am certain, like to have help on their own adult job or daytime lives. Some of the attached discussion topics might be used. If there is Internet access, this is a great way to teach vocabulary on various subjects, including news articles or anything having to do with science or history. If they are willing to give you 'classes' in English about the history of Jordan, this would be a wonderful learning experience for you and a good confidence builder for them.
I hope the attached will be of help to you. Please let me know if you receive the attachments and if the information helps or if you need anything else according to your circumstances. You are in an amazing part of the world filled with history. Have a great adventure!
From The Tutor
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2009 05:31:55 -0800
Subject: lesson plan ideas
This is my fourth week in Madrid and I need some new fresh ideas to keep the kids interested. I´ve got a 5 and 10 year old boy. I just took on some neighbour girls (5 and 7), who are hyper and hardly know any English (which makes it difficult because I don´t speak any Spanish). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
From Help Me Teach
Sounds like a tough assignment. Actually, you are under no obligation to take on incoming neighbor children. I suspect they are hoping to join because you are so good. A bit around the fringes as joining you. Are we lookng at formally structured time or other activities? With this bunch, I would suspect the more activity the merrier. They need to show you what they wish to do. If this is a shared time with your own 'charges, then you need to re-assess your primary commitment. You are not obligated to those young people coming in later around the edges. Stopping this will take a bit of strength.
Just me: Personally, I would not include others at this point if that does not feel comfortable and does not help your program. Also, this was not part of your iriginal 'charge.' I have the feeling that right now this is not comfortable to you. My underatnading is that your primary objective is the family and their children (This is what they have asked for) - And that is where your energies need to funnel. Quite often, neighbors in surrounding areas learn about a GREAT person (word of mouth) who has joined a family. Wow! There you are and want to do wonderful things at the moment. Time for you to draw lines. What is your primary assignment? Does it include the neighborhood? (This could grow into full classes, etc.) How do you feel about excluding other children as you teach your own? How to adjust when you teach them and - Is it within the home or elsewhere? Might be good to include the hangers on with zoo/museum/park walks. Anything else is really off limits beyond your own charges. You need to draw the lines.
As regards your own charges: I would suggest art and activity in any form - self-expression, museums, parks, that which is around - all in English - if this has not yet been exhausted. Vocabulary! How does it enter into a sentence? Colors, form, activity, anything they may wish to just let you now about. Interesting age span. And especially how they can express themselves and explain. Not only to you, but also to their parents. You are a member of the family and this could be their sharing time. The 10-year old may balk a bit, but I suspect there will be sharing at the end - And in English where the words permit.
How long is your 'assignment' in Madrid? What are you looking at beyond this adventure? It is obvous that you are a good teacher. Let's see what we can do with the attachments. Also, please check with Dave's ESL Cafe on the Internet for great ideas. Are you able to access the Internet? If not, then I need to know so I can provide other materials.
Hope this is helpful. Let me know how things go. Given the attraction you have for other children, your own ability to take young peole into your world, and what is happening, I know you are a very good and caring teacher. You need to make some choices concerning you, your location and situation. Might need to draw a few lines and let yourself enjoy the experience.
Please see attached as a possible idea help. I would truly like to learn from you what is going on there. You plunged in - and into a family with certain wishes. I sincerely ope that all works out. What is the length of your program? This will help me in the future as the children grow into the language and those working with it.
Check out the attachments and let me know if anything is helpful. I continue to learn. Very best wishes! I hope to hear from you!