Международного Молодежного Центра
International Youth Center
Located in Nerekhta, Russia, a town about six hours from Moscow, the International Youth Center sponsors year-round educational, recreational, and social programs for youth and their families.
Currently I am working with the Summer Program “English +”, which is a summer camp designed to immerse Russian children in English. This is done by coupling native Russian speaking instructors with native English speakers and having them teach a variety of activities including sports, team building, social skills, and of course English. Honestly I am so grateful to Heidi Erbsenfor introducing me to this camp.
My role at the Camp is head Sports Instructor where I work with my partner Ivan to teach sports through English.
Sports is an essential and enriching part of the MMC learning process. Through active learning we attempt to create an environment where children are forced to think organically in English while also challenging their bodies. This means that children learn to respond to English quicker, to ask for what they want quicker, and to cognitively process information and instructions.
Usually I start the morning by running a morning warm up! Although each warm-up is different the children are able to learn basic phrases and body parts each morning or at least review them. Plus, it’s a fun and exciting way to get ready for the day!
After breakfast, I then teach for about three hours. Here I have taught Soccer, Roller-surf, Archery, Basketball, Volleyball and many others. Each hour is a different age group of children. This challenges me to explain sports in basic English and to then translate small phrases into Russian to ensure that the children understand. When the children aren’t at my lesson they rotate through an English class in and an arts workshop.
After, I have a bit of free time, that I use to see the surrounding area or to speak and practice Russian with my colleagues at the Camp. Each person I have worked with has been extremely helpful. Many have even sat with me for hours at a time teaching me new phrases and helping me improve my grammar, pronunciation, intonation, and vocabulary. Each of the native Russian camp leaders has made me feel comfortable with messing up and has helped me to speak organically.
In the evening I also provide a hour long optional sports station where I speak a mix of Russian and English. After that there is normally, a play, a disco or an “Olympic” event in evening. This is the average day at the camp but there is also forest camp and other events that allow for unique days. Each week I also have a day or so off which I use to travel. Because the foreign staff are volunteers the camp pays for our travel and hostels, which in my opinion, is an amazing deal. There are about three sessions or groups of children throughout the summer. Between these sessions are a few free days which I also have used for travel. Honestly each day at this camp has been extremely memorable, challenging, and filled with daily lessons. I am truly grateful to be here.