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Sunday, February 08, 2009

(ING) Chances for Children

Work sometimes is more than just work...

The past 5 weeks I have been part of one of the Corporate Responsibility activities of ING. ING Chances for Children to be exact. The assignment was simple: join the "Native Speaker Program" and teach basic English to 11-13 year old students from a "hard-learning" school in Amsterdam. The school I am talking about is the infamous Calvijn met Junior College in Amsterdam West. It has been described in the book "Onzichtbare ouders - De buurt van Mohammed B." by Margalith Kleijwegt who is an editor at Vrij Nederland and tries to create an image of the lives of the children of this school and their homes.

The teaching actually is no more than sitting down with a group of 3-5 kids and try to have a very basic conversation with them in English. But since for some of them it is the first time the have English classes it is hard to talk with them. Nevertheless when you hit the right subject they will try to talk a lot... for the boys these subjects were computer games, brand clothing and cars. For girls you should just mention the words kids or marriage and they are happy as can be!

I can really recommend this experience to everyone because it will widen your horizon! That school has "nothing" in common with the schools I went to or taught at (in China). And you also do something good for society! Simply a win-win situation!


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