Thinking about my classroom through the eyes of my non-English speaker makes a pretty funny portrait. I, and the other students in my class, have taken to acting things out to help her understand. This on-going game of charades is really more of an art than a science, but sometimes the results are pretty funny.
Today, I had the kids writing in their "first week of school journals." Obviously, my friend couldn't write, but I was trying to explain the assignment to her so she could draw her entry for right now. I was just trying to give her the message that she should draw something she likes about school. So, I and the other students at her table were trying to give her the word school. I had my hands over my head trying to show her school house. The kids were all following suit. Then, I tried pointing to myself and saying, "teacher" and the kids and saying, "students." I tried to show her me teaching. It seemed like she got the message, so I tried to draw a smiley face and pointed to her. She looked a little hesitant, but she started drawing.
She wound up drawing several accurate rendering of t-shirts with smiley faces and frownie faces in the center. Whatever she thought I was asking her to do must have seemed pretty strange to her.