Dimitra has been coming to our sessions since we started Heart & Parcel and loves cooking as much as we do. She moved to the UK with her husband and two young boys around 10 months ago. She was a hairdresser back in Greece and wants to continue work over here once she is happy with her level of English. She speaks Greek, Albanian and a good amount of Italian and is now starting her journey of learning English here in Manchester.
She tells us that she likes living here because of the people and that her sons are happy at school here. However, she does still miss certain aspects of Greece: the food, her family; mum, sister…. and the balconies out there. Why? Because the clothes dry much more quickly that way.
We asked Dimitra if she would like to lead our next session in English, and she happily agreed. It was a great session, where Dimitra demonstrated to the other mothers from Marlborough how to make these little parcels from Greece.
We started off with tea and chat. This was great as we shared stories about speaking another language and having those moments where you feel self-conscious. We had all experienced it! So we shared ways of overcoming this. It was really great to see that other people had been in this situation.
We started making. This worked well for English language learning because when Dimitra was doing the making, Clare was eliciting full sentences from the learners by asking them to describe what Dimitra was doing. We turned this into with instructions by using adverbs of order (first, secondly, after that, next finally) and we had a full recipe (you can view Dimitra’s delicious recipe here).
Then it was our turn to try making. We all got together, rolling out the dough, cutting, folding and filling.
Our favourite part of this session was when one of the other ladies exclaimed that the Greek rolling pin Dimitra was using (a huge long stick) was also popular in her country, Kurdistan. She continued to show us all how it was done, rolling out the dough thinly, wrapping it round the stick and then whacking it back down onto the table to make it bigger and bigger. It was brilliant.
After all the work was done, we sat down and started with a bit of grammar work whilst the parcels were cooking.
The ladies really want to understand the meaning behind past continuous (I was doing) and past simple (I did) and when to use the two. So we spent a bit of time talking about examples and situations when we could use the two constructions.
Overall a great session. Next month will be our last one before the summer here and we are hoping to get some Kurdish cuisine going!
Special thanks to Dimitra for sharing her recipe and teaching us! It was delicious.