Beginning English Lessons with Rodrigo, Ivonete and Thiago



On Wednesdays, Celises takes a 40 minute bus ride (that feels more like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland) out to have a 2 hour lesson with a married couple. Their names are Rodrigo and Ivonete. They are in their late twenties and have an adorable 5 year old son named Thiago. They live in a really nice, new apartment building. Celise and I arrived at 11 a.m. Ivonete was home with her son, who had stayed home sick from school. She was so excited that I could come to meet them. Her son didn’t really seem sick, and I think she just wanted him to meet me. I was flattered.


Rodrigo came home and we began the lesson. Both Ivonete and Rodrigo are new beginners to English. Celise has only been teaching them for five weeks. She met them at the local farmers’ market she attends every Thursday, and they ended up asking her for classes. They hadn’t done their homework, so Celise thought it would be best if they tried to make conversation with me. This gave them a chance to hear a different English speaking voice.


We began with introductions:


What is your name?

How old are you?

Do you have children?

Do you have brothers and sisters? (Rodrigo’s answers was very funny because he said he didn’t know how many brothers and sisters he had. He told me his father was a truck driver who had many wives in many places and that nobody knew the answer to this question!)

Where are you from?

Where do you live?

Where do you work?


We then moved on to more specific questions about time and the days of the week:


What time to you start work?

What time do you finish work?

Which days do you work?


We then talked about what they do and don’t like:


Name three things that you like:

Rodrigo said he liked beer, soccer and vacation. Ivonete said she liked food, soap operas and her family.


Name three things you don’t like:

Rodrigo said he didn’t like work, cleaning and mushrooms. Ivonete said she didn’t like beer, exercise and cleaning.

Celise then made them ask me different questions from a list they had worked on previously. The asked me things like:


Are you cold?

Do you like orange juice?

Tell me your last name.

How old are you?

IMG_2871 (1)


After the class was over, Celise and I were invited to stay for lunch. Ivonete laid out an amazing spread of food that took up the entire table. They said a prayer before we ate. We had cooked slices with meat with sausage in the middle, brown rice, beans and salad. For desert we had oranges and bananas. We laughed about how differently I peeled my orange than they did. They used their knife to remove all the skin perfectly, leaving the white inner part as the skin. Then the orage was cut in half, and they sucked out the juice and the pulp completly. The white skin acted as a little cup, that they turned inside out when all the fruit was gone.



This experience with Rodrigo, Ivonete and Thiago was one of the most touching experiences I have had so far. It was so incredible to be invited into their home and be honored as their guest. They even asked me to come back next week! I gladly accepted.




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