Saturday, November 21, 2015

KuangMing and Seijo's Skype Exchange Round 2

Today, we got our students to talk about music for the second Skype session with their Japanese counterparts. Again, due to some unknown technical problem, two laptops were down right in the beginning of this video conferencing. It was quite chaotic and disorganized then, but immediately I decided to ignore it and made do with the rest three ones.

The midterm is around the corner, and they didn’t know what the topic was until this Thursday. Some of my students were not prepared at all though we managed to create a worksheet as scaffolding to equip them with relevant words and phrases regarding music. To avoid awkward moments of absolute silence, I took over one of the groups and talked with the Japanese students about my visit to Kyoto this summer, which was quite amusing to them. 

Fortunately, the others quite anticipated this meeting and were well prepared. They obviously enjoyed sharing their ideas about music and worked hard asking as many follow-up questions as they can. The wow factor of the whole session was without a doubt two of my students actually played the ukulele and sang an English song with their beautiful singing voice. We rotated our students so that students on the other end must be very impressed. I already told mine that this was the last meeting of this semester; however, they begged me for another one.

Akiko was virtually dragged by her students to the principal’s office to demand to keep this exchange project going, too. After reading her such a vivid description of the students’ determination, I was so moved that I would definitely do my part not to let them down. I think those kids must already know how much their teacher had been through to go this far and make this happen despite all the hurdles in the school. That’s also why I kept reminding myself that I was so lucky and grateful to meet such a passionate teacher like her.   

Overwhelmed by so many tasks, Principal Hu still came over to participate in our second Skype exchange and gave us a pep talk. She encouraged all the participants to seize this great opportunity and really use English in such an interesting setting. However, it was also a bit embarrassing that she also witnessed the chaos at the very beginning. Well, if any other teacher who is interested and wants to give it a try, this is exactly how they have to expect the unexpected. Also, with her resourcefulness, I think maybe some new equipment will be introduced. 

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