Students in The DREAM Project’s Community English class took part in a photo scavenger hunt to expand their vocabulary and practice giving advice to foreign visitors in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. With English Language Fellow Sally Kuzma and a team of volunteer instructors, participants practiced giving advice in English about topics like where to get a pizza, buy a phone card, and catch a taxi. Groups of students answered the questions by photographing themselves in front of community resources, and practicing questions and answers with each other and native English speakers.
The tourist economy in the Dominican Republic’s coastal towns is a major source of employment. Those with English language skills have access to better paying jobs, and can initiate cross-cultural conversations more easily. Stepping outside the classroom gives language lessons a real life context, builds a sense of community among students, and boosts retention. Many of the participants already work with English-speaking clients in their jobs and are gaining confidence and fluency in this twice-weekly class.