I've wrapped up my interviews and now am on to editing! However, the weekdays have been pretty busy so I will probably do most my editing this weekend. I anticipate the introductory movie will be about 4-5 minutes long. Though I'm fearful to work with the sound of the footage since we didn't have quiet spots to interview. But we'll see... No matter what, I'm excited to sit down and make a lot of progress on the video so that I can get a better idea of the specific things I need to fill certain empty spots of the interviews (e.g. photos of the new relocation sight while Marta speaks about Semillero's current need to relocate.) But, so far so good! I anticipate next week's post to have a solid rough cut of the video. And I'm very excited to show the kids, since they've been joking about their celebrity status once the video goes live on the internet!
Now, to address the title of this post... At the end of last week Marta pulled me aside to discuss the struggles of the younger students of Semillero (age 6) and some other older students who are behind in their literacy education. There are about five 6 year olds, a handful of 7-8 year olds, and one 13 years old girl who are all learning to read but struggling immensely as they undertake the overwhelming task. So, although I've been the English tutor at Semillero for the past 5 weeks, Marta asked me to also start working with the illiterate students. It's been slightly frustrating juggling the reading classes with the English classes, but I understand the urgency of working with the illiterate students as early as possible. Though we seem to make better progress in the English classes, I think the reading classes will eventually pay off as the illiterate students start to grasp the concept of memorization.
Working with the illiterate students has definitely been an adjustment. Between focus issues and the fact that I can't write anything out for them, as I am able to do with the older kids in their English classes, I'm still in the process of adjusting to these new challenges. So far I've found that telling stories and drawing pictures have proved to be the most useful in engaging the kids and helping them to remember and associate different sounds and meanings with their arbitrary signifiers. So for now my main focus with the illiterate students is teaching vowels, and then the rest of the alphabet, with the goal that eventually they will be able to piece the letters together to start reading and writing. A daunting task that has filled me with admiration for my wonderful first grade teacher. So, here's to you, Mrs. Orenstein!