Friday, July 9, 2010

In short: it's a blast! I've taught the D1 three times now, and the B6 about 5 or so times. Basically, with the D1 class I announce the new vocab. Words (pen, pencil, next to, Do you have my cell phone?...), ask the students to spell it out loud, and I write it down. Then I'll make up some sentences/dialogues and write them on the board, and we'll all say them out loud; then the real fun starts and we ask each other questions like, "Hi, my name is Apple, who is he? Where is he from?" The main point (and challenge for me) of the classes is to get the students to speak about 80% of the time. For example, last night I wrote a list of personal descriptions (tall/short, talkative/quiet, handsome/pretty, etc.) on the board and had my students and I each choose 3 things that describe them, and 2 things that don't, and practice asking other students about each other.

That brings me to another point: Like I may have mentioned before, the Chinese generally want to adopt an English name that sounds like their Chinese name, regardless of its English meaning. While many students have fairly common English names, some students here have some pretty amazing names, especially the kids: Yucky, Yuki, Yo-yo, Monkey, Banana, Apple (that one's

common), Candy, Roy, Moon (who happens to be dating a Sun), Ziva, Evan (for a woman), Jerry, Eisa, Kate, Cathy, Cat, Christine, Christie, Christa, Herman, Jackie (as in Chan), Peter, Zoe, Coco, Eva (pronounced Eeva), Lily, Winnie (popular name), Sunny, Gen (short for Genuine), Jessica (popular name), Mushroom, Queen, Pig, Carrot, Cherry, Cool, Wing (at least two of them), Sky, Ant, Bingo, and Enson. Apparently some of the other AIESECers at the other school (English Journey) that named one of their students Limousine. There also two tiny dogs here: one crusty and friendly one that lives in the canteen, and one clean dog that lives at the Huangs' house; both are named Lucy!

My B6 class has about 4-5 students, almost all of whom are ~18 years old girls that tell me I'm handsome every single day, bar none. It's basically two, 2-hour sessions a week where we can do whatever we want, as long as it's in English; the BBC Learning English has been a hit, and so are just discussing American and Chinese culture. I'm going to try to throw in some more games, I think they had a bit too much BBC last time.

Teaching the little kids has also been an awesome learning experience; I followed in the regular teacher, Chris', shadow (he happens to also be from MN!), and he's probably the best teacher at Bart. The kids were about 6 years old, and we had them practice asking each other's name and birthday. Then we played games practicing months of the year, like throwing a sticky suction-cup ball on the board sectioned off 1-12, and to recite the corresponding month. For break-time I was the gatekeeper, and had each student say all 12 months before they could leave the classroom. We finished off with a game of Twister in English, and the winner got a "point" (a Bart sticker that goes toward a prize).


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