Friday, April 24, 2015

Using English to Teach English

When I have to introduce myself, I would usually say that I’m a crazy English learner. Indeed, I seldom allow my mind to go wander. When doing household chores, running on a treadmill or even taking a dump on the toilet, I must be listening to some English. On top of that, I’ll always have an English magazine with me, picking up useful expressions anytime and anywhere. Getting a lot of input intensively and extensively is how I maintain my level of English proficiency.

Then, I’ve been practicing speaking English one on one online with Pilipino English teachers for a very long time, which allows me to train myself to think in English, rather than doing Chinese to English translation in my head before I say anything. At today’s workshop, I felt I was like a radio host, calling out to Albert to have a live interview on the air. I asked him to give a simple introduction to how this online class works and invited two teachers to ask questions as well. It was so much fun.
During the microteaching session, I got the teachers involved in a variety of activities targeting reading strategies like making predictions, skimming for main idea, scanning for details, summarizing the given text, making connections and so on. Basically, the idea is to get the teachers busy walking around, talking to each other and doing little presentations in English throughout the whole workshop. However, it was really a pity that I didn’t get to try “World Café” this time due to the time constraints.

Judging from the teachers’ smiles during the tasks, I’m pretty sure that they also had fun, too. Also, some teachers came over to ask questions about the online class and some specific details of how to conduct similar activities in their class. It’s good to feel needed and be able to help. As of now, there are six more workshops to go, and hopefully I can try out every task that really helps promote reading comprehension. 

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