Merry Christmas! I hope your holidays are going well. For us we just got evaluated. Sounds very un-holiday-ish, doesn’t it?
Well on dec. 10th we had Aaron Luse and Lourens Laurretti come out to the island and test us in order to help us continue to progress in learning. How this was done is not like your Spanish teachers test in high school. That’s because those testing us don’t know the language that we are learning. So what we did looks like this.
In the morning all four of us sat out into the village. We walked over to the house of Antone Baule. Antone is someone we use often for language and has gotten a customed to what we do. Sitting under his house and around the fire. We began by trying to fit in with the culture norms of showing gratitude and respect. It’s important that we learn more then the language, we also must learn the ways of life as well. In America we don’t even have to think about how to do this. It’s entirely second nature and when visitors combs over we instictevily know what to do. You see our evaluation is not just on are language levels but also are culture levels.
Okay so after we all passed around some local nuts and everyone got their portion of the current newspaper, we began our language eval. It started off with Aaron asking us to name 10 objects around us. He then had the people say those 10 names in order to check for accuracy and pronunciation. After that we moved into what is called TPR. Aaron would get an object and put it in a location and we would then say what he did in the local language. The people would then repeat it. After this Aaron worked a serious of events. It was like this.
“Aaron stood up and grabbed an axe and knife. He then walked around thous house , up to the fence, he then followed the fence line and then came back to a tree on the ground. He sat down the knife and began chopping the tree. When he had cut a piece off the tree he then grabbed it and the knife and carried it back to the house. He sat the axe down on the fence and the firewood next to the fire. He then broke the wood and started a fire. Grabbed some food to cook and placed it on the fire. Afterwards he washed his hand and sat down. When the food was cooked he pulled it out and ate it. When he was done eating he then got up and went to a place to sleep.”
Alright my job was to tell everyone around the fire, which was now a crowd, what Aaron had done. After this task we then were given commands that we needed to give to the people and their job was to do what we were trying to ask. Then the people would command us to do other tasks.
Okay then we were asked to describe what our home country was like, specifically during winter. Next describe penguins and their lifestyles. Ohh and describe what would happen if the Penguins came to the island. Fun fun. Lastly we were tasked with describing mystery animals such as porcupines and retell children stories. The point of an eval is to get you to the point that you are not at so that you know your limits.
It was a good time and we are pleased with our progress and can definitely see the growth in our ability to talk in the language. We are not done but we are better prepared for the road ahead and have better vision for the work that is coming.