The Names of Georgia, Part 2

When I started taking Spanish in the seventh grade, the first thing the teacher did was assign all the students Spanish names etymologically equivalent to their real ones. Since my name is Nick, I was given the name Nico. It was a painless way for all of us to feel a little Spanish, and so […]

Spring babies abound

April 24, 2013
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Birds are singing, the sun is shining and it’s obvious that Spring has arrived in Samegrelo, Georgia, though  TLG volunteers in Kakheti and Adjara may beg to differ. But, clichés aside, everywhere I look in my village, the signs are all there. Fruit trees are blossoming, the snowy blanket covering the mountain tops is rapidly […]

Posted in: Life in the Village

Wet Winters in Georgia: Short Impressions

April 22, 2013
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Early mornings, as I get ready for the upcoming school day, the smell of faint embers is crisp in the air these days.  It’s spring already, and wet rainy musky odours mix with that of burning cornstalks in the fields behind the house as the farmers prepare their fields for the upcoming season of planting.  […]

Keyboard Transcription and English Reading

April 19, 2013
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I have lately encountered an unexpected source of interference when teaching my students English: their keyboards! Let me explain. Computers sold in Georgia most commonly have a regular English keyboard – QWERTY, with Latin characters. Russian keyboards might be a far second, and keyboards with actual Georgian characters printed on the keys are highly scarce. […]

Tamar the Great and Patriarchal Georgia

April 17, 2013
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Tamar the Great ruled in Georgia from 1184-1213, the Georgian “Golden Age.” She is called Queen Tamar the Great by some sources, but during her rule she was referred to as “მეფე,”  or “King.” I have been fascinated with Queen Tamar’s reign since I first heard of it at orientation. As an American woman living […]

Posted in: Culture

A Little Lamb

April 15, 2013
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Lesson Plan: Mary Had a Little Lamb Local English Teacher: TLG Volunteer: Neal Z. Grade: 2-6 English World Textbook Level: 2+ Lesson Objectives/Target Language: Objective: To teach the song “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with proper pronunciation Target Language: – “short a” as in Mary, Had, Lamb, As, That, Laugh*, Baaa – vocabulary words in […]

Run at Your Own Risk

April 12, 2013
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Spring is starting to show its pretty face here in Georgia, and along with the budding leaves and bebias being put outside to air, comes a host of new issues — namely, the fact that spring means it’s almost summer and summer means trips to the river with your students and trips to Batumi with […]

No really Batumi: the pleasure is all mine.

April 10, 2013
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Last night I was barrelling and swerving deeper and deeper into a foreign country’s road in the dark, through pouring rain, without a seatbelt, at 130km/h, and praying for the mercy of some obscenity-calling-and-wildly-gesticulating marshutka driver and his companion who continuously assured me I would be in Batumi soon. I’m crazy, and I love myself. […]

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The Pizza Aquarium

March 20, 2013
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In The Long And Short Of ‘It’ I talked about some issues surrounding the “short i” and mentioned that I hadn’t come up with a way to get students to produce a short i, or /ɪ/. After some trial and error, I have managed to come upon a strategy that seems to have worked, at […]

The Names of Georgia

Every TLG volunteer has had the horrible experience of hearing someone say, upon being told about teaching English in Georiga, “What, you mean like Atlanta or something?” Subsequently we’ve probably all had the thought, “Seriously, why do Georgia the country and Georgia the American state have the same name?” Well, to answer that question, we […]

New Directions

March 16, 2013
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TLG was created in order to promote English language education and cultural exchange in Georgia. In accordance with that mission, and with the priorities of Georgia’s new administration, TLG has undertaken several reforms that we’re quite proud of and that we would like to share with you, the loyal TLG blog readers. 1. More money […]

Expectation Vs. Reality

March 14, 2013
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My orientation to Georgia took place 5 months ago at the Bazaleti Hotel in Tbilisi. The 108 other new volunteers and I stepped off of a 36 hour travel day at the tender hour of 4 a.m. and after patchy sleep schedules, blood tests, and our first purchases with lari and visuals of the Georgian […]

Of Matriarchs and Men: an interview with a school Director.

March 11, 2013
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    An interview with Zanati Public School’s school director and literature teacher, Manana Tediashvili. Georgia is a land of local flavouring, from its villages dotting the sweeping hillsides and rugged mountains right on up to its administrative and governing styles.  As an English teacher attached to a tiny village school, I’ve been repeatedly impressed […]

First impressions – Abanotubani?

March 4, 2013
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“Abanotubani?” I had hastily scrawled the word in my notebook, and now fished it out so that I could ask where the baths were. They pointed towards these brick domes protruding from the ground. I headed that way, jumping from one dome to the other. Asking around, it seemed like they only had private baths, […]

Song and Dance

March 1, 2013
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This is a post about why I open every lesson with a song.* I usually start off my new students with something easy and fun – “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” is my favorite for this. Everyone stands, everyone says the names of the body parts, and then we sing the song together. We sing […]