Chinese start English classess when very young.This is May. May has been taking classes from me for over a year. She was one of my students at the last location and followed me when I dissassociated myself from that school. She is a lovely child, very smart and a good student too. Often you have a smart child that is not a good student. When you get it all in one package it is really nice.
The new class started today. This group is even younger, in the 5-7 year old range. Many can say a few words but the reading skills are not there. They know their alphabet and a few other things. I was not sure if they could do the young learners series from Cambridge press, but I gave it a shot with that book as I have had good luck with it so far. I will probably have to mix in some flashcards and take it a bit slower so they can start to grasp the connection between the letters and word formation. First class pretty good. Michelle helps with Chinese translation and I know a little too. I also am pretty good at the non verbal so that helps alot. Mime is great for verbs, adjectives and adverbs, but not as useful with nouns. It's a great way for me to develop young learner skills, some classes catch on quick, and I always speak English in Class. As I have said before, one major flaw in the English education here is that most of the Chinese English teachers teach in Chinese and that has proven not to work. So by using English only in the classroom, or at least 90% of the time you achieve a better result. They will get plenty of instruction in writing and reading in their schools so having this approach will give a better balance to their overall English Education.
I did my English VCD today as I do every month. I do all of the narration and voices for all the characters on the VCD and book. It is a monthly publication connected somehow to the party. It is quite well done and I work directly with an editor/producer and one computer person to record in MP3 format. It has stories, profiles, holiday explainations and it is completely hyperlinked. When the student encounters a new word, it can be clicked on and then you will hear me saying the word. The book has the Chinese characters for traslation. I usually have one of my students come with me and they perform the Chinese sections. It's great for them to see how it is done and get their first "job" as a performer. Hats off to the production team that does a good job with that. You can take a peek at their website here.
Some of you may have noticed that I took down the posts about Hit, although I felt I was honest, now that my site seems to be able to be seen in China, I thought it best to soften my position. Sometimes a job is just not the right fit for you. This was the case at HIT. I am happy to have had the opportunity but it just was not the opportunity for me. It is an open market now and sooner or later most schools will get with the free market concept of prevailing wage and that should help the teacher, letting those with more experience and credentials to rise to the top. It will also help schools become more well known with the top teachers. Most of us are not here for the money, but let's be honest it is important to everyone, on both sides of the equation.
Larry Rhoe aka worldtour