Wednesday, 18 June 2008
Teaching English to Students who actually understand!!!
Last Saturday I went to an 'academic' high school to help out with an English seminar. It was a real pleasure to 'teach' students who understand a bit more than "how are you?" and "how's the weather?"
Though, I use 'teach' loosely - we played a lot of games, all in English, and then had to cook lunch. As the main JET at that High School is American we were cooking an 'American Lunch' - hamburgers and rice crispy treats (which I think are kind of like the LCM bars you can buy in the museli bar section in Australia).
Hamburgers were easy - I had no intention of using my hands to mix the meat, but I was perfectly happy to let all the kids have a go AFTER they had washed their hands (I did have to eat the hamburgers eventually). The school had ordered in proper cheese - cheddar that tasted really good, not plastic sliced cheese, and we had some other salad fillings to put in the burgers. Someone joked that it was almost a balanced meal, and thus not really American... but I did explain that we weren't aiming for Maccas style burgers.
The rice crispy treats were easy to make - melt butter and marshmallows, stir in cocopops or rice bubbles - but aren't something I would hurry to make again. After all, Kelloggs makes a perfectly acceptable alternative.
After lunch we had a treasure hunt. There were 12 English clues to follow and then a sentence to de code. My team wanted to run - EVERYWHERE!!! Lucky I did that fun run training or I would have died! We actually managed to finish in the hour allotted - a feat only managed by another team - but came 3rd overall for the day.
The whole day ran smoothly, in fact I think they do the same thing every year, not that you would have known that from how stressed the English teacher was. In the week leading up he kept emailing us with all kinds of requests/suggestions. He wanted us to bring water because it would be hot (and apparently they don't have taps at the school), then he wanted us to bring towels in case we became sweaty, and finally he asked us to clip our fingernails for the cooking exercise.
Now, as many of you know, I have been a terrible finger nail biter forEVER. I am currently in a non biting stage, and have even been wearing bright nail polish to school and no one has asked me to take it off! So as you can imagine, I am quite enjoying having long fingernails, and was not about to chop them off! So I took off the purple nail polish and just tried to hide my hands all day - and as mentioned I didn't stick my hands into the hamburger meat!