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.