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Volunteer Class, any tips?

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Joined: 01 Oct 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Volunteer Class, any tips? Reply with quote

Hi All

i wonder if anyone could give me a little advice on something...

I'm a new ESL teacher. i moved to Tainan, Taiwan for my first job a little over three months ago; however, my school is still being built (she was very optomistic about the time frame) so i have nothing to do with my days...

recently, i managed to find some volunteer work at a Christian association that runs a sort of youth club for Taiwanese children.

Anyway, i went today and they asked me to deliver a class.

They don't really want me to deliver an english class per se because all the children are at such different ages and English abilities.

Instead, they just want them to get to know a foreigner and maybe teach them some small fun things whilst practising the English that they know.

I haven't delivered many classes before so i thought that i would post here to see if anyone had any suggestions for my class.

It's going to be an hour and a half. I thought that we could play some school-yard games, and learn some nursery rhymes but i think i need something more to fill the time. Maybe some Arts and Crafts.

Anyway, i'm trying to plan this lesson, so i would be very grateful if anyone could offer any advice. Has anyone done anything like this before???

Thanks for reading

Best wishes

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Sally Olsen

Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you have some good ideas.

Don't forget just sitting in a corner and reading stories with lots of pictures to the younger ones.

You can remind yourself of lots of games by going to the Scout and Guide websites and there are lots of crafts and games available on Of course there are themed crafts and games in any magazine or on the web as well. Hallowe'en is coming up.
Thanksgiving too for us in Canada. They usually suggest games and crafts.

Cook, if there are facilities available.

It might be a good time to search for a teacher's store and get some games for the breaks in your classroom. Table games are fun and can be played by different ages together. Or you can make the table games. Checkers, Chess, Scrabble, path games. You just need a few samples for the children to take off with their own ideas.

If you can scout out some old video or computer games, you probably will be the belle of the ball. There is usually some company that gives old computers to charities. You could go to the school board as well and see if they have a computer repair depot. They often have out-of-date computers that they might "lend" you and will have lots and lots of programs or disks.

I love doing animal balloons and face painting. You can usually find the materials in a party shop, dollar store, or department store or can order them on line. After you make the animals or do the face painting you can put on a play.

You can wander around and find free materials for crafts at the back of stores or in junkyards and thrift shops. It is amazing what is thrown away. Small pieces of plastic can be used to make mosaics, plastic cups can be used for building structures, and so on.

It is fun way to get to know your city and the people in it. I always carried lots of business cards for my school and handed those out when people asked me for English lessons too.
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Joined: 01 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Sally,

Sorry for the slow response in getting back to this. I've given a couple of lessons now and I'm looking for ideas again so i came back here!

Thanks for your post, you've given me tonnes to be getting on with. They really loved playing dodge ball last lesson and then they made a 'keep out' hanger for their doors but im a bit loathe to just do arts and crafts with them all the time.

Halloween is a good idea, that is really getting popular over here...

Thanks again!

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Joined: 06 May 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing that I read can be used and that has been successful for me both teaching ESL in Asia and general ed in the states is drama. Work with a native teacher to pick a well known story, give parts out by their approximate level and the students work together to practice their parts. Another form of drama is role play. Split the students up into groups however you desire and give them a scenario to create a role play for using English. One of my favorite memories from over a decade ago doing this with Chinese students is the creative role plays they developed in small groups. They were eager to participate, used English in a genuine way, and showed some of their culture. (Such as the fact that there are no real “rules” of driving in Beijing and dentistry is handled a bit different in Beijing than in the United States.) Working in groups has many advantages such as providing opportunities for genuine interactive language use, creating a positive classroom environment and promotes learners to take responsibility for their own learning.
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