Zooks teach English for three weeks at Lezha Academic Center

Posted on November 20, 2012 by VMMissions Staff

Albania had never been on our to-do list.

But it was a sense of adventure that took us there this past August, and a sense of accomplishment that accompanied us home. Our mission was to teach in the three-week summer English session at the new Lezha Academic Center (LAC), administered by Klementina Shahini under VMM.

Although not a setting for overt verbalizing of faith, we contributed to the cumulative Christian presence in Lezhë embodied by the school. The experience was reminiscent of our previous short-term English teaching in China in 1998 and Ukraine in 2007.

Our task was to enhance language preparation for incoming 9th and 10th graders who will need to pursue all of their LAC studies in English. The younger generation of Albanians already handles English well. Often when we needed help in talking to shop keepers in Lezhë, they called their teen or young-adult children to translate.

While we worked on some foundational grammar and vocabulary, most of our class activities emphasized conversational communication. So we practiced things like reading a menu and ordering in an English-speaking restaurant. Blindfolded students learned to follow movement instructions from other English-speaking students.

EMHS English teacher Mary Cranston led an advanced class of continuing LAC 11th and 12th graders. She found them eager and alert, very much on par with her EMHS students. Most of Mary’s students had a quick refresher course in chemistry taught by the incoming science teacher Ermal Zylaj. Among other things, Gordon coached the remainder in drafting a constitution for the “Room 11 English Society.”

Our other team member was Linda Miller from Chesapeake who has been a frequent participant in VMM outreach activities in Lezhë.

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Students at Lezha Academic Center with Bonnie Zook. Photo courtesy of author
Students at Lezha Academic Center with Bonnie Zook. Photo courtesy of author

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