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Tuesday, January 18

  1. page Veronica's Page edited ... 11/26 I choose the alien game to teach present simple tense, which is retrieved from the book…
    I choose the alien game to teach present simple tense, which is retrieved from the book "Elementary Grammer Games". My target students are set to be junior high students. This is an intereting game I think. It's kind of like a role play game: The whole class is divided into several groups with 8 people in each one. Evey group would get a set of cards and evey group member would get two cards that are different from other members'. There would be a planet card, which records the identity of the student and his information (students pretend that they all are aliens and live on some exotic planets), and an inhabitant card, on which a picture of eccentric look alien is drawn and by which students need to figure out that the strange visitor they receive is of what planet. My goal is to teach the use of present tense, that is, to express a truth or fact, or a normal status. I would arrange the game before I teach the grammar. However, I would teach some sentence pattern for using in the game. (Ex. I get an alien. Where does it come from? Does it have heads and __ legs?) I would also write down those sentence on the board. Through practicing the dialogue using present tense sentence, students need to find out all the names of the planets in that space and the identity of their aliens. Also, to correct the teaching, I would do a brief demo to show the class how to play the game before they start their own. However, I probably would consider to reduce the part of alien to make sure that the course could be completed in time. After the game, I would teach the grammar. That's all my idea about this teaching material.
    Nearly all the classes I remembered in the whole month were used to prepare our final teaching presentation. Zhuang-Xin, Lily and I spent a lot of time on this final presentation. First, we spent much time on deciding the text we are going to use and identifying the students we want to teach. After discussion, we chose a lesson from the high school textbook which was used by my tutor student. And so, our target student would be senior high school students. Because we want to design our course into a normal form which may truly happen in real high school class in Taiwan, we abandon those interesting teaching styles, like English songs or some interesting but irrelevant to texbook teaching materials, insteand, we would rather focus on the contents of the textbook. The lesson we chose is about The Phantom of The Opera. Our teaching targets would include vocabularies, grammars, sentences from the text and much ingagement as possible. But to design our class both practically and interesting really exaust us. Because high school students, expecially those of Taiwan, have heavy pressures of the upcoming entrance exam to an ideal university, they can't enjoy a quite interesting class however helps little in improving their English. And for us, even after a long discussion, we found that it's too hard to design a class without eliminating either the interesting side or the practical side.
    However, after more than three meetings( which are hard to accomplish for Zhuang-Xin and Lily are all busy :D) and discussion, the result of our discussion was born:

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Monday, January 10

  1. page Lily's Page edited ... During the lecture of this week, we discussed more approaches to adapting the senior and junio…
    During the lecture of this week, we discussed more approaches to adapting the senior and junior high course books and how to make good use of them. However, what interested more is the point that the teacher mentioned in class. In the past, I used to doubt my ability to teach English to students because I am not an English native speaker. I was extremely afraid that students may ask questions that I could not answer immediately, which may undermine their trust of me. If a teacher is suspected by students of his or her profession, it is very likely that students will gradually become unwilling to listen to the teacher's lecture. Therefore, going abroad for further study seemed to be the only way that can ease my anxiousness in the past. However, after hearing of the fact that the proficiency level of an ESL teacher is not that bad as I used to think, I feel much better and more confident of my own. Although there is still a long way to go and a lot to learn before I can eventually become a more professional teacher, the prospect of being a teacher seems not so far away from me any more.
    In addition to what I mentioned above, there is a severe bully event on news recently. Actually, one of the reasons why I prefer to teacher students in senior high schools rather than junior high schools is that I have no confidence in dealing with bullies that happen a lot in junior high. Since the junior high that I attended is quite similar to that on the news(though the bullies were not that serious), I have seen several these kinds of events. I am neither experienced enough nor patient enough; therefore, for me now, it is not easy to stand in the shoes of the students who are "abandoned by the society." I am not sure whether I can be more skilled in coping with students' affairs except their schoolwork in the future, but I will still try my best. After all, to arouse students' motivation is one of the most vital concern of being a teacher.
    12/31 Reflection of Demonstration
    The demo was the first time that I gave a lecture according to the lesson plan my group members planned. During the process of designing the lecture and the demonstration, there was something inspiring whereas I was disapponited with my demonstration to some extent as well.
    What encourages my is the lesson plan of my group. I used to consider myself a teacher seriously lacking creation, which makes not only my students easily get bored but myself feel distressed. However, after brainstorming with Zhuan Xin and Veronica, I found that a lecture on high school textbooks could still be appealing to students.
    Whether a lecture can be more interesting for students depends on how motivated they are to focus on the lecture. Therefore, if a lecture can be the same lively as if students are participating in a game, they definitely will be more motivated. Gerenally speaking, I come up with two factors that may have influence on designing an interesting lecture: experiences and efforts. Experiences have a great effect on how teachers give their lecture. Some of them have positive influence on teachers, so experienced teachers are apt to pay more attention to students' weakness; however, some may have negative impacts on teachers' lectures, which makes experienced teachers give their lectures as if they are doing some daily rountines. Another factor that influences teachers' lectures is effort, how much they are devoted to teaching. Even though it is impossible for unpracticed teachers to desgin a lesson plan without any shortcomings, they can still fine-tune their lesson plans as long as they are willing to observe their students' learning more carefully and more dedicated to their lectures.
    For me now, I am a comparatively unexperienced teacher compared with those in official schools. Although I have the passion to devote myself to teaching and designing lesson plans, what I need to learn much more is about how to make use of every mintute in a lecture more efficiently, or lesson plans will be in vain in the end. After all, my group member spent even more time than a teacher ordinally do. Hence, to be a better teacher in the futrue, it is necessary to learn from experiences of demonstrations and obervations of other teachers.

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    3:23 am

Thursday, January 6

  1. page Alice' Page edited ... Schema When you are teaching a new idea, you should give the students some first-hand, simple…
    When you are teaching a new idea, you should give the students some first-hand, simple knowledge of the idea first. Therefore, the students won't feel like they are learning Greek, something that's totally unfamiliar to them. Take today's "teaching reading" for example. Our team choose an article about the Flora expo in Taipei. The article is filled with information about when, where, and how is the Flora expo going to be. When I first read it, I was a little confused because they were too much numbers, place names, and too full of information. But if the teacher can provide some basic introduction before asking the students to read the article, the students may not feel that confused. So our group decided to that at the very beginning of the class, the teacher will let the students watch a short clip of the Flora expo, so as to build "schema."
    On the third and the fourth Sundays of December, I attended an “English Teacher Training Course” held by the Giraffe Kids’ English Center. The course I took were about teaching phonics and grammar. After I took these courses, I thought about some questions.
    The Muja branch school, which I worked at, has a different teaching system from the other Giraffe branch schools. Normally, the Giraffe system will have the kids start with ABC, and then phonics. By learning phonics and all its rules, the kids will get to distinguish different sounds in English, and then will be able to spell the words according to their sounds. However, at Muja branch, we did it in a different way. We don’t teach the kids phonics at the beginning. We first teach them easy conversations and easy vocabulary. Phonics will be taught later. As I am teaching my students, I found some difficulty. It is hard for the kids to memorize words, for they haven’t learned the rules of phonics before. If I insisted on making them memorize vocabulary, they could only memorize the alphabet sequences by repeating them again and again. But this way of memorizing words is not a smart way. As teachers, we should be expecting our students to memorize words easily. If the kids had learned to distinguish every bit of sounds they hear in a word, they should have been able to spell the words easily. Take the word “bird” for example; they should not memorize it simply by repeating the alphabet order: “b-i-r-d” for many times. I think it may be smarter to let the kids learn phonics first before we make them spell words.
    Jan. 06
    Quite a lot of my friends told me that they think learning English was a very boring and frustrating task. Most of them had started learning English when they were around first grade in elementary schools. They went to kids' English cram school like KOJEN or JOY, but they told me that they don't feel like they learned anything there. They were just going to the cram school and playing games with other kids, but learned no English. When they entered junior high schools, learning English became a totally different thing from which in KOJEN and JOY. Learning English was to get good grades, which will send them into good high schools. Learning English was no fun at all! They were just memorizing more and more vocabulary, and more and more grammar rules. But they said their English ability did improve by memorizing, though their speaking and listening ability did not.
    I was quit shocked at hearing them saying these things. In my own experiences, I had great fun back in KOJEN, and I knew I did learn lots of English there. At the same time, my English grades at school were always pretty good. So I've always thought that learning English in kids' English center is not only fun, but also useful. But what my friends told me was not like what I thought.
    Perhaps there are still too many troubles in our English teaching system in Taiwan. So many people learned English in Taiwan, but so few people can really communicate with this language, even just by using the simplest sentences and words.

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    5:22 am
  2. page Paulus’ Page edited ... Extra activity: Ss share with other groups. Reflection: Actually Reflection: Actually …
    Extra activity: Ss share with other groups.
    Mandy and
    we want theythem to learn
    doesn’t it?

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    1:57 am
  3. page Paulus’ Page edited ... hand in the script after the class. (15 min) Extra activity: Ss share with other groups. Re…
    hand in the script after the class. (15 min)
    Extra activity: Ss share with other groups.

    Mandy and
    is very
    difficult for students
    this part.
    For my part,
    talkative and
    rebel. They can
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    course we
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    Furthermore, I
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    and interesting.
    Students may feel
    and practice
    again and again
    want to
    attend. However, the
    very meaningless
    and boring also to teachers,doesn'tteachers, doesn’t it?

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    1:54 am
  4. page Paulus’ Page edited ... attend. However, the most important thing is that teachers should also enjoy teaching, or it m…
    attend. However, the most important thing is that teachers should also enjoy teaching, or it might become very meaningless
    and boring also to teachers,doesn't it?

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    1:51 am
  5. page Paulus’ Page edited ... attend. However, the most important thing is that teachers should also enjoy teaching, or it m…
    attend. However, the most important thing is that teachers should also enjoy teaching, or it might become very meaningless
    and boring also to teachers,doesn't it?

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    1:50 am
  6. page Paulus’ Page edited ... 12/17 Reflection Today we discussed a question that I am quite interested in, which is - Doe…
    12/17 Reflection
    Today we discussed a question that I am quite interested in, which is - Does it really matters that if the English teacher is not a native speaker? I have noticed that English cram schools for children always like to use foreign teachers, but they do not care about the educated level of teachers. I had once studied in an English cram school when I was at elementary school. The foreign teacher was from Australia and he had a very strong accent. Students can merely understand what he says and I did not think he was a good English at all due to his lack of teaching method. And I did not think he actually understand the level of us. I think it is better to use Taiwan teacher to teach children English because they will know much better about the situation or level of students. It hard for foreign to think about students' levels in Taiwan since they did not experience the period in Taiwan or they should have abundant experiences and are very sensitive about students' conditions. Though the accent of Taiwan teachers may not be as good as native speakers, I think the most important way to cultivate nature accent is to put students in the right environment. Some of the highly well-educated professors still have accent, so that's not about whether their teachers are native speakers or not. Once being put in the proper place such as America, England or New Zealand for couples of year and then a naturer accent can be brought up automatically.
    12/31 Reflection
    Lesson Plan
    Description of class:
    Target group: Junior high Ss in cram school
    Level: intermediate (Ss are familiar with all forms of tense)
    Length of class: 50 min.
    Aims: (what the T intends to do)
    1. T will first use text extract to provide grammar for the Ss to read and study.
    2. T will increase Ss’ input by having a grammatical lesson and rereading the text extract.
    3. T will try to make sure that Ss comprehend by assessing how they work on the activities and homework as well.
    Objectives: (what the Ss are expected to do)
    1. Ss will learn new vocabulary and grammar.
    2. Ss will learn how to use what have they just learned in the writing activity in class (Ss will practice writing using the same grammar patterns).
    Reading: Taboos and Superstitions of Chinese New Year
    1. (Engage) Ss and teacher have a discussion on the Chinese New Year. What do people do on this day? What do people not do on this day? And it will be better for the T that Ss are interested in it. (5 min)
    2. (Study) T does vocabulary words and then let Ss read one paragraph in the text extract. (7 min)
    3. After they finish reading, T firstly gives brief introduction to passive voice and then asks them to look at the text extract, find and analyse any sentences which use passive voice. (5 min)
    4. (Study) T explicitly explains how and when to use passive voice; T and Ss read the text extract again, and the T has to make sure that Ss have understood correctly. (15 min)
    5. (Study) T delivers pictures to Ss, and explains what will be going on next.
    (3 min)
    6. (Activate) Ss work in groups to practice using the same grammar pattern, and
    try to write a letter to introduce the festival based on the pictures and then
    hand in the script after the class. (15 min)
    Extra activity: Ss share with other groups.
    Actually Mandy and I have discussed for many times and then finally decided to insert Chinese in our lecture. It is very
    difficult for students to understand a new grammar term by using all English. And I think Mandy did a great job on this part.
    For my part, I think I should improve on drawing students' attentions. Since students during junior high are very talkative and
    rebel. They can even fight back if they hate the teacher and lecture, or they may just ignor the teacher and do whatever they
    want under tables. Thus, it becomes very important to make students feel interested in the class and content. Of course we
    can design some game, but we need to ensure they really learn what we want they to learn at the same time. Furthermore, I
    realized how to encourage students by using some appreciation like " It's very good for you to share your experience with
    us" after teacher's suggestion. And doing some fun movements to explain vocabularies is more effective and interesting.
    Students may feel impressed and can figure it out directly. Above all, being teacher is not an easy job, design and practice
    again and again and then teachers can make sure whether students get the idea without feeling bored and do not want to
    attend. However, the most important thing is that teachers should also enjoy teaching, or it might become very meaningless
    and boring also to teachers,doesn't it?

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    1:48 am

Wednesday, January 5

  1. page Angel's Growth =) edited 9/17/2010 I have never really given much thought to how a teacher can teach his student. Thoug…

    I have never really given much thought to how a teacher can teach his student. Though I was taught differently when I went to the US in third and fourth grade, after I came back to Taiwan, I just went right back to the traditional language teaching. Sure, language (English) classes were quite boring, especially in senior high, but I thought it was normal for the teachers to teach that way. It wasn’t until I came to this class that I realize that the method the teachers were using was called “Grammar Translation Method.” Having been in America for almost two years, I agree with language acquisition. In an environment without people who can speak your mother tongue, you have to force yourself to speak the language you’re learning in order to fulfill your needs. When I was an assistant counselor at YMCA English Camp, I realized that the goal of the camp was to create an environment where the students had to use English as their first language. We were supposed to speak all English, even when talking to other counselors. I loved the atmosphere. If I were an English teacher, I would try my best to increase my students’ exposure to the language. As an active person, I enjoy learning while having fun. Therefore, I would like to add more activities while learning, making it fun for my students.
    Today we learned about how to plan a lesson. In planning a lesson, there are some important features. The first thing we should know is what our target is. If we want our students to progress, we need to keep a list of what our students have learned so that the lessons would not repeat. Also, I think it' very important to prepare an extra exercise in advance in case the class ends sooner than planned. When I was the assistant councelor at YMCA, we had to face this kind of problem quite often. Usually, the foreign teachers finished the class earlier and so we had extra time to do things. However, without preparing any activity beforehand, we kind of panic and could not come up with something fun for our students. After a few times though, we would review what they learned that day and play a little game so that they can earn tokens (it's a little reward).
    We also discussed how to make junior high textbooks more interesting. In my opinion, I believe every teacher has the potential to come up with a creative lesson. It's the reality that makes it hard (and a little impossible) for teachers to teach that way. They have the pressure of helping students receive higher grades and get into good senior high schools. Perhaps only English cram schools for kids in elementary schools can teach that way.
    I really liked the way Sam and Renee done their teaching. I think it was very attractive for kids. How many times do you see a teacher walk in wearing Christmas hats? I also like the auction. I think with more people, it will be more interesting (but due to the number of people in our class) because kids will really be competing with each other to get something they want. As for writing a letter to Santa, I think IF the teachers have time, they can actually send the letters to the kids' parents (it's just a thought that suddenly occurred to me).
    Lily, Veronica and Zhuan Xin... their lesson plan is amazing! It's so fully detailed! However, as a true teacher in the future, I think there might not be enough time to do all this. But it's good nevertheless. I enjoy the trailer a lot (it makes me want to watch it again). For the X FILE, in my opinion, some words might be hard for 10th grade students. If there was time for the "Raoul's Journey," I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun. It's sounds so appealing to me!
    As for Paulus and Mandy, I think it's more similar to the real classes in Taiwan. The way Mandy explained the grammar was very clear. However, I didn't quite understand it because I never learned English that way (so it's my own problem) =P. The way they taught it seems more practical for classes at school. As for the other groups, I think it's more possible to be taught at cram schools. It's sad but true in Taiwan.
    This Friday, it's going to be our turn. I hope we can do well!

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    8:10 am