the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Friday, October 27, 2006

Good Students

First, look at this photo! It's Apple Park here in town. See the mountains?!? This was two weeks ago, and it's not quite this warm or beautiful anymore. But it's still great. The Japanese class had a BBQ there and we picked some apples too. People here love apples the way people in Iowa love corn. Actually they probably love them more, apples are cuter. Anyway.

Right now all my good students have one thing in common: I didn't teach them. All my good students are motivated by something. They love western music or movies. They took a trip to the US, or London or Australia and loved it. Or they know someone who lived or studied abroad (I am also surprised at how many people in this town have been to the USA). For these students I am only a medium. I provide a way for them to improve themselves.

Other students are just generally curious about me, or they want to try out their English skills on a "real person". I have to find a way to turn that curiosity into motivation.

I played the elementary school game "Around the World" with my advanced freshman today. I used pictures of -ing verbs instead of math flash cards. For those of you who don't know, in "Around the World" you put two students together and flash a card to them. The first one two answer moves to the next students desk. The object is to make it back to your seat. It was a big hit! And it improved their speed.

Hopefully it will work as well with the regular freshmen. I go to the advanced class by myself, but I go to regular with a Japanese teacher. I need to work closer with the freshman teachers...


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