Just 23 days in this beautiful place.These past few weeks have left me little to no time for PCV senioritis to set in while I’ve been experiencing that crazy phenomenon of time both speeding up and slowing down. That being said, I need to catch up on all the good times that have been had this May.
At the beginning of May, I got to tag along as cheerleader with 15 of the best English students and teachers from the 4th and 1st schools here in Dundgovi as they made the 6 hour trek up to Govi Sumber aimag just north of here. (got to hang out with gracious Govi Sumber PCV hosts there too.. always a plus!)
My sitemate Anna and I had been working with the students for a while practicing speaking on such topics as “My Dream”, “Mongolian Air Pollution”, “Child Abuse”, “The Importance of Money”, “About World Vision Mongolia” <— who was putting on the whole event. Not the easiest prompts for 10th and 11th grade students to discuss especially in another language alone in front of an auditorium full of ESL learners and a few native speakers… but I was so proud of these kids for their hard work, perseverance, and bravery up there.. I kept putting 17 year old Stephanie up there talking about “Unemployment” in Spanish. Infinitely more impressed with my students then :)
So the competition consisted of 3 rounds, eliminating participants at each stage:
- round one: exam portion covering grammar and writing
- round two: the top 5 from each grade level moved on to the speaking portion where they drew a topic at random and talked about this topic for up to 5 minutes (of the 20 chosen for the 4 different levels, something like 10 of them were from Dundgovi!)
- round three: the top 3 from each grade level then participated in a debate against each other with topics mostly covering the importance of studying abroad… I was so pumped to see a debate here in Mongolia especially a heated one at that!
Oh there also was an English song competition thrown there before which I took notes on for our “Dundgovi Best Song” competition we actually just held this past Saturday (more on that later!)
After getting through all three rounds, the judges tallied up the scores and announced the winners and AMAZING PRIZES!
One of my teachers took 3rd place in the teacher’s category and another teacher took “Best English Teacher” of the tournament… both taking home certificates, medals, cash money, and a DVD player.
One of our 11th graders and one of our 10th graders got 2nd place, won “Best Pronunciation”, got 2 DVD players and a trip to the US!
One of my favorite students, a 10th grader at my school, took home the gold, a desktop computer… and a full ride scholarship to her choice of 150 universities in America!!!!! So incredibly excited for this student and to meet up with her sometime in 2014 :)
All the students and teachers did so well and I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with these two years. They have some great potential and I look forward to seeing where life takes them