Next week, the topic for our lessons will be “Music”. Isn’t this the best topic ever? We (me and Tasha) have talked about how we learned English, except in English classes at school. Tasha doesn’t really count, with being half Canadian and all, but for me, listening to music, watching movies and reading books in English has been very important. So we decided to try to tell our students this, cause they’ve said that they want us to tell them how to learn English effectively.
Only problem is that they seem to give up whenever they meet words or expressions they don’t know. And when you’re learning English you’re bound to read/hear phrases you don’t know, otherwise you wouldn’t be learning.. So I guess I’ll keep trying to tell them this and hope they’ll understand that I’m nagging them about it for a reason.
So, back to our topic next week; “Music”. Those of you who know me well, know that music is a big part of my life, so this suits me fine. We’re basically listening to songs and going through the lyrics. This can be done in surprisingly many variations: PowerPoints with pictures to explain words; removing some words from the lyrics and making the students find these words by listening to the song; listening to a song without seeing the lyrics and having the students write down the words and expressions they know; listening to the same song sung by different artists and making the students compare… you get the picture. I’m just happy that I get to listen to music with my students and know that they’re still learning something.
Some of the music I played for them is a little different from the music most of them listen to. The most popular artists here are Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spares and Chinese artists in the same category. Have you ever heard the song “Pretty Boy” by M2M? Everyone here has.. To put it this way, the boy band factor is very high.. enough said.
Filed under China, Teaching
We got our schedules today, and I had my first classes as an Oral English teacher! It was both exciting, fun and scary. Most fun, though (: I like teaching! The students are so respectful, and they seem very interested in what I tell them. I hope I’ll be able to teach them something! My goal is for them to become more confident in using their English.
The grade I teach is Senior 1, so they are 15 years old and would be in VG1 in Norway, or they would be sophomores in High School. I’ll teach 10 different classes, each of them once a week. Today, I had 4 classes, so I started on my busiest day and am a bit tired right now. It was kind of a kick start, but that’s good cause I’ll get used to teaching faster than if I had a soft start. And also we’ve spent a week doing almost nothing, so it feels very good having something to do!
I have two problems when it comes to the teaching. The first one is actually very nice; the students all want to be my friends, have my phone number and so on. The problem is that I’ll teach more than 500 students every week. So I won’t be able to be close friends with all of them, and I neither can nor want to treat them differently.
The second problem is that I tend to speak to fast. This will probably be one of my biggest challenges as a teacher here. I know that many of the students have problems understanding me. I also know that if I speak slower, they will understand more and I really want all of them to understand. Still it’s hard to remember to speak slowly, and the students don’t dare telling me when they don’t understand.
I’m looking forward to meeting 3 new classes tomorrow:) Wish me luck and plese pray that I’ll be able to overcome my problems.
Filed under China, Teaching
I’m in Lishui, about an hour from Nanjing. This is China! It’s not at all like Hong Kong. Me and Tasha keep calling Hong Kong an Asian London. This really is something else, and it’s so amazing to me that I get to be here!
We live in an apartment in the teachers’ dormitory on campus at a middle school (13-18 year olds). The school has 4500 students and 300 teachers, so you can say it’s a little bigger than we’re used to. Lishui is almost the size of Oslo, population wise, and still it’s considered a small town. They laugh when we call it a city cause it’s to small, apparently..
Chinese students face a completly different reality than students in Norway. Some of them get to school at 6 a.m. and don’t leave until 9 p.m. The time in the classrooms with teachers is not this long, but it’s normal to come to school early and stay after classes have finished, reading and doing homework. The students are at school Monday through Sunday, and even if they don’t have regular teaching on weekends, they still have to come to school. They also have a completly different respect for the teachers. No talking or even whispering in class when the teacher is speaking… The teachers here would probably be shocked if they came to a Norwegian class. Norwegian students should learn that they have nothing to complain about!