Tuesday, November 23, 2004

wo yao bing sha cafe

i'm drinking a lovely frappuccino type thing right now, if you're ever in Taiwan and want one that's what you need to say. Bing sha - shaved ice/smoothie is not to be confused with bing cha - iced tea...
Anyways, we had a fun school visit today, though it wasn't exactly what we had been expecting... i am starting to expect that more and more, especially with the schools... the chances that we will be observing a class that we would actually be teaching are quite slim... anyways we joined a class of 31 today who were quite excited to have us, the teacher maybe not so much, since we were rather distracting.... we were the cause of both small and large "lesson hijacks" (as my tesol books put it), from asking us to read a sentence on the board for them to coming up to the front and introducing ourselves (closer to the end), and singing a song for them.... talk about thinking on your feet! We sang the "English is fun when we learn it song" which sounds suspiciously like "Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah, Praise ye the Lord!"
It was a lot of fun, but didn't allow me to get the best feel for the class, I can tell that they're pretty low level though, the teacher was translating probably 90% of the time, but they are definitely not using English much, more like learning about it... it's strange to think about the idea that the first time they have really used English in real context might be meeting us... i guess that's partly because my last two language learning experiences (portuguese and chinese) have been kind of a jump right in approach... you definitely retain it a lot more when you need it for daily functioning!

Then we talked to a couple of teachers about the classes we will be teaching, but that's when things got a little confusing... they told us we will be teaching two 1-hour long classes, one will be using Let's Talk in English, and the other one would be a conversational/drama class, with the goal of producing some sort of performance at the end of the semester! well that's the first we had heard of that! I emailed our supervisors at ORTV to see if they have any materials that we could adapt for this purpose, and they said that they want us to use LTE, so i'm not really sure what's going on... will i be scriptwriting?? i do have some ideas as to how their goals can be achieved using LTE, especially since each article is actually a set of dialogues. We could study the magazine and have the students perform some of the dialogues from it, and maybe add their own endings etc. anyways, this is yet to be resolved. I did have a fun idea though:
since we will have pretty large classes to do a drama that gives each person a speaking part, i was thinking that we could do something based on movies (starting from a November LTE article) and then have the students in the drama decide to make a movie, the actors being the other group in the class... anyways, that's tabled for the moment... but hey could be fun!

In other events, i got my box sent away today... my was that interesting... first i packed it hoping that nothing would break, then i made an inventory of the items since i figured i would have to declare them, and even looked up each one and wrote out the pinyin and phonetics (bo po mo fo), only to discover once i got there that there was quite a small space for items, and they weren't exremely concerned about it! anyways, it took at least a half an hour to get it mailed, especially because of communication diffiulties... but it's on the way, i sent it by surface mail, so i have NO clue how long it will take, though my post cards apparently only took 1-2 weeks... does the weight of the mail have anything to do with how long it takes to deliver? you wouldn't think so, but anything is possible with mail.....

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