Actually its been some time since I wrote about my English class. THis time I've got a bunch of kids from China, mainly. What can I say about them? They're fairly hardworking, even the boys (unlike our Malaysian boys I'd say). Some of the girls are quite passive - quiet, with few ideas and fewer words. One or two are quite loud and always ready to give their views. But my favourite is Zhang. She's quiet but is actually one of the better ones - fairly good English, clear pronunciation and always comes on time. Her partner Li Yu is the same, though Li Yu can be talkative at times. I had Zhang last semester too and she was the same - does her work and hands them on time, sometimes quite brilliant ideas but fairly quiet, as if she'd rather hide her light under a bushel.
When we started early last month, most of them had never read a full novel and all of them had never heard of any of the old classics. We didn't have time to do a whole novel but I did a number of excerpts and entry points with a few really good novels - Steinbeck, Dickens and Hemmingway. I hope that they can get on from there. If only we had more time... there's so much I want to do but we have only 7 weeks since its a special semester. That's the best I can hope for. However they really loved the poetry class and when I asked them to write their own poem, at first they all said - How can we... but after I showed them that they could write a poem, they were surprised to find that they really could. It's so satisfying when they get excited about their own work and we even managed to build a folio so that they could have a collection of all the poems written by their class.
THis is the last week of class - next week is the exam and after that they start their holidays. But since this is the special semester, they get only one week break before class begins for the next semester. I loved the previous group - Simulated Teaching. That was a lively bunch of girls. The only boy in the class was Kudret from Turkey. And the girls loved to bully him but I think he kind of enjoyed it too. I do hope I get to teach the Simulated Teaching again - really enjoyed the experience of training young teachers.