Friday, October 10, 2008

Teacher Ali

Oh man.  What have I gotten myself into.  I taught my first English classes today for four hours straight.  When I came to China, I never had any intention of teaching English.  In fact, my thought was to completely avoid it.  I always thought that as a native English speaker, I would be terrible at getting someone else to understand the ins and outs of the language.  

So when a friend asked yesterday if I wanted to come sit in on an English class and possibly interview to teach, I thought, hell, why not?  The class yesterday had 35 20-year olds in it, many of them very rude, loud, and not very excited to learn English.  After this, somehow I decided it would be a good idea to teach too.  

Still, it was actually quite fun.  I switched last minute with another teacher, so I teach the level 2 class instead of level 1 (This means that after 13-15 years learning English, about 1/8 can hold on an intelligent conversation.)  My classes had 28 and 12 people in them, and luckily most of them were girls.  Yes girls are nicer.  Yes boys are obnoxious.  Yes I'm very happy to have mostly girls.  And little boys are demons, for the record.  

Anyway, I taught two 2-hour classes.  No powerpoint available to show my wonderful prepared pictures.  Just a blackboard, me, and 20 kids who are older than I am.  

I tried to have lots of discussion and have people speak to the class and play a couple of interactive games, and I think it actually went very well.  Most of them are very shy, and speak so that no one can actually hear, so they need a lot of encouragement.  I imagine this is why their English level is so bad.  But I'll take shy over obnoxious any day.  And there is a girl in each class really eager to learn who will answer my hanging questions.  

I think this will be quite a learning experience for me.  I may want to travel in the future and possibly teach English, (though I rather do something more interesting and useful if I can help it).  Still, I can learn how to keep people entertained.  And hopefully they will learn something.  

Wish me luck. . .

1 comment:

Ingrid said...

Good Luck! That sound like a ton of fun!