As I mentioned in our last blog, our workload has increased a little with it being the summer holidays here in China. What better to do with all this free time, than come to extra classes, run by many of the private schools here in China!
Our extra classes are off curriculum, though they all have a textbook alongside them. They cover all ages and abilities, from kindergarten students to senior students, covering vocab and grammar, and phonics. On an individual basis, our workloads don’t increase too drastically as we only teach one of these extra classes each, but we teach that one class every day for 4 days a week, including one day of our weekend! This happens every summer and winter holiday, minus the days that are public or national holidays.
I (Sam) have been tasked with low-level seniors, and Callum has been charged (again) with a level 2 phonics.
My seniors are a good laugh, even though one or two of them started with no English at all. I have 5 boys, and when they know the vocab we’re learning we’ll change it ad-lib style to something more exciting (last week we learned ”bellybutton”). Every lesson we’re up, running around, and on their break they’re tasked with talking to as many people in the bathrooms, kitchen, and office as possible. That not only helps them practice their English with someone other than me and my wonderful teaching assistant, but also helps to make others’ days – last Friday they had to make as many people smile as possible (we had just learned “beautiful”, “handsome”, and “a good sense of humour”)
Hell, maybe this week I’ll teach them an English joke… do you have any suggestions?
Aside from our summer courses, we have also started to swim. The week that I bought a card with a Chinese friend for an indoor swimming pool not far from my home, was the week the pool in our complex was filled and opened. We have been in a few times; how can you not when the entrance fee is the equivalent of £1? Its relatively clean, and although it’s busy and a little small, it has a wonderful view of the stars when it gets darker in the evenings.