Student 1: Teacher, teacher! Where you go to school?
Me: Wales! Does anyone know the capital of Wales?
Student 2: DOLPHIN!
Our students came from areas surrounding the small beach town of Montanita, a popular tourist destination on the coast of Ecuador. The overall class environment was quite lax – if I remember correctly, one of our students rode in on a horse, bare-chested and casually entered the classroom as if it was a perfectly natural thing to do. I guess it was the norm there.
The majority wanted to learn English for their small businesses in town. Stall owners, taxi drivers, hostel managers, surf instructors, waiters… you name it, they all need English to communicate with their customers, who often don’t make the effort to learn Spanish before they travel.
When it wasn’t our turn to teach, we’d chat to them outside before class, or listen to one of them perform songs he’d just written. They were all genuinely nice people to around. They came with a lot of enthusiasm and motivation to learn, which is always a bonus for any teacher.
I couldn’t have asked for better students to practice on.