Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Recap of the trip

Tim and I got home from our trip about one week ago. I'm so sad that I didn't have the chance to write in my blog while I was away! I guess I will just have to do a recap. Hopefully the memories are still fresh in my brain . . .


In China, I taught a small group of high school girls. I used materials from Non-stop Discussion Workbook and Can’t Stop Talking, both of which are written by George Rooks. Specifically, I used the “desert island” discussion topic and the discussion that is centered on current world problems. I also used materials from Conversation Strategies by David and Peggy Kehe.

I think my class went really well. The lessons I planned provided students with an opportunity to speak English in an authentic way. They really seemed to benefit from it.

In addition to doing discussion topics, my students and I talked about culture (differences between U.S. and China), played the “Tell Us About” game (thanks Suzan!), and played Scattergories. VERY MUCH FUN!

A few things I learned about teaching . . .

1) Going with the flow in a classroom is more important than following a strict schedule of activities.
2) A teacher can explain the meanings of words to students quite well without even speaking. Body motions and facial expressions can go a long way!

Korea - week long camp

Here, I taught a group of nine 5th grade students. This camp was an English/Bible camp. It was really difficult to teach the students about God in English. I think it makes more sense for students to learn about God in their first language. Nonetheless, everyone had a lot of fun.

What I learned about teaching . . .

1) I learned that warm up activities/games are really important! One day, I didn’t do a warm up. Instead, I went straight into hard teaching. This was a huge mistake! The students were way less interested in the material. They were fidgety. All throughout class, they kept saying, “Game! Play game!” If only I had eased them into the lesson with something fun . . .

Korea - 3 week camp

This was my favorite part of the journey. I was with my students for two and a half hours every day for three weeks. We really got to know each other!

Here, I got to apply all that I have learned from my education at Northwest. I made my own lessons and materials using the knowledge I have gained thus far. I am overwhelmingly pleased to say that my education has paid off. My class was very successful. My students learned English and had fun doing it! Thanks again Suzan :)

Insights I gained about teaching . . .

1) Presentation, practice, and production are all essential stages in the teaching process. One day, I thought my lesson was too easy for students; so, I decided to skip practice and go right into production. OOPS! Even though my lesson wasn’t “new” for students, they still needed to practice the language that I was teaching. Because I skipped the practice stage, my production activity was chaotic.
2) Having competitions within the classroom really spices things up and motivates students to try their best.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leaving for China and Korea

Tim and I only have a few days before we leave for China and Korea. We leave on July 5th and return on August 17th. I am looking forward to the long plane ride to Korea so I can watch a ton of movies and do nothing but SPACE OUT. All the prep work for the trip has worn me out. Planning lessons. Making materials. Trying to figure out a water purifaction system for China so we don't ROT ON OUR INSIDES. Yeah, I've been busy.

I hope to write here while I'm away to keep track of how all my lessons go and whatnot. It should be exciting.