Asian challenge: make it good, cheap, and fun!

<b> Forum for discussing activities and games that work well in the classroom </b>

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Asian challenge: make it good, cheap, and fun!

Post by eslbiz » Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:41 pm

Yes, I wish I had the dream job with a huge library of educational toys, games, books, stationery, assistants, free photocopies etc. Add to that classes of eager to speak polite students who really want to be in class. Being a ten year veteran would help. But it's more like this...

Make it fun
Make it exciting
Don't make any noise that will disturb the other classes
Don't talk about politics or religion
Do it without any materials cost
Constantly be inventing new activities
Stay within the classroom (if I could just take them outside that would be a great help)
And the students number 30-50 individuals
Plus most of them can hardly speak any English
And I'm new at this.


Sally Olsen
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Post by Sally Olsen » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:26 pm

Luckily you have access to Dave's ESL Cafe then! Some teachers don't even have that. There are a couple of threads that have already discussed large classes that might have some useful information. Just go to "Search" above this box and type in "Large classes".
I think it is great that you have to think of fun and exciting ideas and it will make your job a lot more interesting.
To keep the noise down, teach them to whisper, to write notes to each other when they are in groups or give them a large piece of paper to write notes on as they sit in a circle. (You can get free paper at the newspapers - end of the rolls, or old wallpaper at the hardware stores or keep all the contents of the garbage cans near the copy machines and use the other side). Let a couple of groups do their communication on the board and then go over it afterwards as a review of the class.
Flick the classroom lights on and off to signal them to quiet down or get a pleasant instrument to play to interupt the groups when you need the whole classes attention - a flute or multitone whistle.
Get them to wear name tags so you get to know names and make a point to talk to the sleepy ones or the difficult ones outside of class and find out about them.
Spend your breaks where the kids are for the first couple of months and find out their interests, their difficulties and their group loyalties.
Get to know the "great" students quickly and put them in charge of small groups. Provide some kind of activity that will reward good students - perhaps a school English Day where they participate in skits, contests, and so on in classroom teams with all the fun games you discover on

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Korean and english

Post by Rawgreenpower » Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:08 am


Here in a suburb of Seoul --

the use of cassettes or cds works well in conjunction with activity books -

i try to also show I am learning Korean that helps ---

The faster we go from lesson to lesson that works ok----

once you have a better fix on the skill levels of each student-
smiling helps a lot.


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teaching to the sea of chinese faces

Post by Beverly » Sun Nov 27, 2005 12:39 am

I taught at a women's college in PRC in mid Grad school (Applied Linguistics and esl teaching). Luckily my students were ENglish majors and knew a lot of words and grammar already, but the speaking and listening was the struggle.
It might help to read up on Chinese education and know what they are already conditioned to: it is sitting quietly and memorizing lots of stuff. There is a notion that the teacher should know exactly what to teach you, so asking questions is simply an annoying distraction and an insult to the teacher as well as an interruption in the class. Asian people typically don't want to barge ahead and make a lot of verbal errors and risk losing face and being criticised by classmates or foreigners.
But you are in luck in that they have seen some TV, and in general China is in a more elastic mode/change mode these days. Firmly and patiently insist they speak up, try things, participate. Never laugh at them, and discourage them from laughing at each other. (they can be very discouraging of creativity).
But I found that as soon as I could get them doing something make-believe or theatrical, I saw a zanny, delightful - like Chinese Opera, side of them.
They have trouble hearing and forming many English sounds, so study up on pronunciation, and be very patient. It helps to understand some grammatical contrasts in the structure of the two languages - it will help decipher what they are attempting to say and why they make the developmental errors they do.
They are probably learning a whole lot just from listening and watching you. I remember the second day of class one student looked past me and said, I just can't look at you.... you have green eyes!! another student I was going to tutor, when he first met me, was shaking like a leaf to think that he would actually talk to an American in person in English.

Good luck,

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