As many of you may remember, last winter we opened an ESL class for our farm crew. Before working at Eatwell Farm, I had lived in Ciudad Guzmán, Jalisco, Mexico and worked as an English as a Foreign Language teacher for two years. Naturally, I was thrilled when Nigel approached me with the idea of teaching on the farm. Each Thursday we set aside an hour and a half to devote to English. We usually warm up by reviewing the contents of the box, and at this point they know the names of most of the 60+ crops we grow. Other topics we’ve covered include exchanging personal information, talking about family, and describing health problems. Right before the holidays in December we ordered textbooks, and we’re all excited because this week will be the first time we get to use them.

From day one I have been really impressed by their enthusiasm for the class, and I always look forward to meeting with them. Teaching English to the crew has really given me the chance to get to know them as individuals, and although we can’t cover a lot of material, it has definitely sparked their interest in the subject. Many of them have asked me to give them music and listening activities in English to practice at home or listen to while they work. Nigel, Lorraine, and I also agree they have become more confident since we started the class, and it serves as a team-building activity as well.