2009年9月1日 星期二

The Fall Semester in 2009

We only have one more week to go, then the new semester is about to start. I had a lunch meeting with my boss and other fellow teachers two weeks ago; I wouldn’t say it was a conference, it was pretty informal. Usually, my boss holds the meeting before a new semester starts. The purposes are informing the new curriculum as well as ideas and suggestions exchange. The office clerk told me that I might gain one or two more new students in my class, the rest of it would stay the same.

I’d like to thank Ms. Aiden Yeh, my instructor in Wen-Zao College and Mr. Terry Doyle, a professor in City College of San Francisco. They both left very positive and encouraging comments in my last posted blog. It is a pity that Aiden is leaving for her PhD in the U.K. Although, some students thought she’s very demanding on their school tasks, I still consider Aiden as the best teacher in Wen-Zao College. I really appreciate that she wrote the points about students’ improvements, “Now that you have implemented several lessons already, I wonder what sorts of learning improvements did you see from your students. Were there any? How did you know that they have improved? What were the signs of improvement?Those questions made me think of my teaching in the past and how I should adjust the way to improve my students’ learning.

Most of my senior students are retired; they come to community activity center or church to learn something, meet new friends or just for fun. According to my boss’s command, the classes should be interesting and fun; no more any pressure to them (Some of them have high blood pressure already.) Therefore, there are no quizzes; no tests but only fun activities. My class is so called “advanced” level, so they won’t go to the “higher” level class in the program. I have to admit that we don’t have any criteria to classify students’ levels. Even worse, after summer or winter break, a few of them would say they forget what they have learned. As a teacher, I should be more motivated no matter what the learners’ attitudes are.

In the very first class, I would like to have a fun writing activity as a review for my class. A sheet of unfinished story will give every pair of my students. The story goes like that: …The old couple baked a gingerbread man for Christmas. When the gingerbread man jumped out of the oven, it ran away…It wanted to cross the river, but there was a crocodile in the river… (Now, it’s your turn to finish the rest part of the story.) With this practice, I hope I can see how much English they still remember or forget.

In this semester, we would continue studying the reading, some travel English and movie class. Speaking of movie class, I’d like to thank Terry again. He did offer the very practical and fun materials for me. My students found it a little bit difficult, but they were inspired to keep studying more. I do have good relationship with my senior students. Actually, we learn and respect to each other. I like the words that Terry described, “You have warm relationship with your students and the class was joyful.” I like that expression. I suppose Terry also has a wonderful class; as I can see he is a very caring and warm teacher too. I’m expecting his blog or any stuff he is creating in the near future.

Cindy R Shih

2009年6月23日 星期二

Movie and Performance

It’s the last week of school for my senior students. On June 15, we did the Hen Skit rehearsal on the stage with simple costumes and setting. Some of my students were very talented and didn’t have any stage fright at all. We rehearsed the skit about three times as well as the song. They also gave a few feedbacks to one another.

On June 17, we went to, one senior student of mine, Mr. Wu’s home for the movie class. He has a well equipped audio-visual room for the family entertainment. We decided to move to his home for the movie class, because of the technical problems occurred in the church. But it’s just for this time; we would solve the problems before next semester starts. I was glad two thirds of the class attended. Having this extra class, I could get their feedbacks immediately for the following semester lesson plans. (Mostly, the students would be the same or we might gain a couple of new students.) After watching two times of “The Joy Luck Club” Part 1 ( The narrating introduction and the home party), they did the Activity 2 –Listening Comprehension ,Find out ten differences that you hear from the narrator, and the Activity 4-Answer these questions about this scene. (Multiple choice questions) They found these Activities were kind of difficult for their level though they did enjoy watching movies. According to their suggestions, I might give them the printed out lines of plot (offered by Professor Terry Doyle) or maybe just part of it beforehand during next semester.

On June 19, my students’ performance was the last show. It was going very well; they won lots of applause. One of other English class teachers, Christine, came ask for the Hen Skit plot and the costumes. She said she liked the performance my students did very much.

All the responses about my teaching I’ve got so far either from the students or other fellow teachers are positive. I told them that I got lots of helps and resources from my teacher Aiden Yeh in Wenzao and Professor Terry Doyle. I applied some ideas and suggestions offered by them. Not only my students improved but also I did. I’ve recorded the whole week classes and will combine them into one DVD. I’ll give one copy to Aiden and send another copy to Terry and keep the other one for myself.

Cindy R Shih

2009年6月9日 星期二

Rehearsal and Schedule for Last Week

June 8, I think the whole class had a very relaxed time today. We didn’t learn anything new, but rehearsed the “Hen Skit” and reviewed the idioms with pictures again. In next class, we’ll do the rehearsal with costumes on the stage; I hope everything would go well. We did run out of time to do the movie class, fortunately, my seniors students want to have an extra class that we can watch a clip of movie. So, the schedule for next week would be: Mon. June15 rehearsal, Wed. June 17 movie class, Fri. June 19 semester closing ceremony. Kau-Nan, one of my students would bring his notebook to the classroom that I can play “Joy Luck Club” movie with. And I’ll set the “you tube” film before the Wednesday class starts.

Cindy R Shih

2009年6月1日 星期一

Idioms' Pictures and Rehearsal

May 25, My American friend, Sharon, and my seniors students had interviews one another. Most of the questions for Sharon were like: “What’s your favorite food in Taiwan?”, “Do you like stinky tofu?”, “What’s your first image (impression) of Taiwan?”, “Have you thought about adopting a Taiwanese child?” My 60-year-old American friend, who has two adopted children -- one is American the other is Korean, responded, “I don’t thing I still have energy to adopt any kids.” She also answered all the questions they had for her. At the end, she asked them about their jobs and families. Some of them are homemakers, but they said they are “housekeepers”. So I made some examples regarding impression and image, also talked about the difference between housekeeper and homemaker in today’s class (June 1) as a warm-up.

According to Professor Terry Doyle’s idea and suggestion in the comment of my blog, on May 13 09’, he wrote: … that idioms may be best taught when we show a picture to accompany that idiom. ….. The idea is that the pictures serve as mnemonic aid.I applied this idea in today’s animal idioms review. (The pictures are attached below.) My students all agreed this idea helped them memorize idioms easily.I’ve recorded the idioms review and described what I’m doing with that recording. I also mentioned my instructors, Aiden and Terry, and the greetings from them to my students. The record would be combined with the following classes and burned into DVDs for the study.

We started doing the rehearsal for June 19 performance (closing ceremony). Most of them got a part. (The skit lines are attached below.) We also did the song “Put your head on my shoulder” practice with some movements. We’ll continue to do the rehearsal again next time. I hope we still have time to watch and learn something new from the movies, Joy Luck Club and Bella, teaching materials provided by Professor Terry Doyle.

Cindy R Shih

Don't Put All Your Eggs in One Baskit

Narrator: The chickens are in the hen house. It is more difficult for them to lay eggs because they are no spring chickens any more.
Hen 1: When would you lay your next egg?
Hen 2: I don’t know. It would take me longer than before.
Hen 3: Ha! Ha! You are not young any more.
See! (Show them her new egg and then walk away.)
Hen 4: Look at my new egg! Isn’t it beautiful?
Hen 5: I think mine is more beautiful and bigger than all of yours.
Narrator: Finally, they all lay their new eggs, and talk about where to store their eggs.
Hen 5: Let’s put all the eggs in this pretty basket.
Hen 4: Then we can sell them in the market and buy other foods.
Housekeeper: No! No! No! Don’t put all the eggs in one basket. It is risky.
Hen 3: Where else can we put some eggs in?
Housekeeper: We can store some eggs in the cabinet.
Narrator: They agree with the housekeeper’s idea, but they forget to take the basket into the hen house. The next morning, a sneaky fox comes and steals the basket away.
Hen 2: We lost our eggs in the basket.
Hen 1: We didn’t lose the all eggs, we still have some in our cabinet. Our housekeeper is
very trustworthy.
All hens: Yes, we can always count on him.
Housekeeper: You can put your head on my shoulder.
(All sing, Put Your Head on My Shoulder !)
Animal Idioms' Pictures:

Monkey see monkey do No spring chicken As a sneaky fos at the hen house

Love me love my dog Raining cats & dogs The cat is out of the bag

2009年5月19日 星期二

Idioms Practice and Skit

May 18, today we started the class with reviewing the definitions or the meanings of the animal idioms we had learned last time. And then I let my seniors’ students work in pair on the practice paper below:Animal Idioms Practice:1. Mary is a very efficient person; she can kill two birds with one stone.2. Why everybody knows the secret? Now the cat is out of the bag.3. Janet’s mother told her, “Find a man to get married, you are no spring chicken.”4. The weather is weird, it was sunny this morning but now it’s raining cats and dogs.5. Before Claire and John got married, she told him “Love me, love my dog.”6. After you are retired, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It is risky.7. Sam is a very stingy man, whoever wants to borrow money from him, he would say, “When pig flies.”8. Look at the strange man over there! His act is as a sneaky fox at the hen house.9. The little kids are so cute; they copy their parents’ acts. It is like monkey see, monkey do.10. Ken was so hungry, he said, “I can eat a horse.” After eating, he was happy as a pig in mud.Skit:Since we’re going to perform at the closing ceremony on June 19, I came out a short story with a few animal idioms and combined with a song, too. (The performance will be recorded.)The story goes:The “no spring chickens” are struggling for laying eggs. It’s getting harder and harder to lay eggs, because they are not young any more. Finally, some hens lay some eggs, and those eggs become very precious. One of them says.” Let’s put all the eggs in one basket. In that way we can take them to the market for sell and buy other food.” The chicken housekeeper says,” No! No! Don’t put all our eggs in one basket that would be risky.” So they separate the eggs; some in the basket and some in the cabinet.Later on, a sneaky fox comes and steals the basket with eggs, he then runs away. The next morning, the chickens find out that their eggs in the basket have been stolen. One of them opens the cabinet and says to the housekeeper,” You are a very loyal and wise servant. We didn’t lose all our eggs because of your good advice.” Another says, “We can always count on you.” The housekeeper says,” Yes, you can put your head on my shoulder.” And they all sing the song “Put your head on my shoulder” together as the ending.I’ve announced to my students that one of my American friends, Sharon, is coming to visit and stay with me from May 22 ~25. She has agreed my idea that she would come to my seniors’ class on May 25 as a guest. She would answer all the questions that my students would have for her. I think it would be a great opportunity for my students to do their English listening and speaking practice.Cindy R Shih

2009年5月12日 星期二

Animal Idioms

May 11, today we got started with a small talk. The topics were like “How was the trip going?”(They didn’t have class last Monday), or “Did you have a special Mother’s day?” (We celebrate Mother’s day on the second Sunday of May.) Joseph impressed me a lot this time, he said “I bought a carnation for my wife and took the whole family to a restaurant.” He also joined the outing last Monday, he added “I went to Wong-lewing village where is famous for stewed pig leg.”

I’ve searched some animal idioms such as “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”; “it’s raining cats and dogs.””Let the cat out of the bag.”… and printed out for my class. They found those idioms funny and interesting. We studied them together and hoped that we could make a small skit from these idioms for the semester closing ceremony.

We learned a new song, actually old song—Last Waltz. I think my seniors students were pretty familiar with the melody that they learned and understood the lyrics quickly.

Cindy R Shih

2009年4月28日 星期二


We went through weird weathers in the past few days. It was about to put away coats, sweaters and even jackets, but suddenly the weather changed. On April 27, we got started with “cold” weather (maybe it’s just cool or warm in the States) as our warm-up. “How do you like cold weather?” I asked my seniors students. “I like cold weather rather than hot weather; hot weather makes me sweat.” Jean said. Lucille agreed, “I don’t like hot weather, either. Summer in Taiwan is so hot and humid, and I feel uncomfortable.”

Laura created a story with the same cartoon pictures from last class. Although it was just a common story, I was glad that she wanted to practice English with telling a short story.

Today, we reviewed the song “The Greatest Love” with flash cards. I gave my students, who were divided into two groups, two decks of same word flash cards. While the music was playing, they had to lift up the word flash cards. It seemed to be a small competition; I’d rather say it’s just a repetition. Repetition is very important for seniors’ class according to Professor Terry Doyle’s theory.

Next class on May 4, my seniors students are going out for an outing. That means: No school on May 4. I’ll think about a skit or songs that my students would perform for the last day of this semester, June 19. I hope I can come out with something creative.

Cindy R Shih

2009年4月21日 星期二


April 20, I think my seniors students had lots of fun today. They told the stories according to the pictures (please see the attachment) that I gave them last week. Before doing story-telling practice, we did “outside reading”--- one story from the Bible, Joseph, as today’s warm-up. I took the low-level version that they might catch the main ideas easily. I made my students retold the story with what, who, why, where and how questions. In this way, they could apply to tell an organized story.

There were four stories coming out in class; story 1 was from Nancy’s group, story 2 was from Carol, story 3 was from Joseph, and story 4 was from Jean. I’d like to share the two stories of them; Carol’s and Jean’s were more creative and organized.

Story 2: by Carol
Picture A: A department store had a big sale. A thief stole some clothes when the salesclerk didn’t notice him.
Picture B: After the salesclerk found something wrong, he ran after the thief on the street.
Picture E: They had an argument, and there were some strangers watching them.
Picture C: Finally, the thief admitted stealing. He then kneeled down and begged forgiveness.

Story 4: by Jean
Picture D: My parents were watching TV at home.
Picture E: They then heard noises outside the window.
Picture A: They decided to go shopping. They shopped till midnight.
Picture F: My mom fell asleep when my dad drove her home.

Of course, they made some mistakes while telling stories. But they were still willing to try; and I always admire the good learning attitudes they have.

Cindy R Shih

2009年4月14日 星期二

Making up Stories by Pictures

On April 8, I attended a special online class “Teaching English to Seniors” by Professor Terry Doyle of City College, San Francisco. Thanks to the useful software and websites, modern people can take long-distance courses easily. For some who are computer challenging, like me, it’s a great opportunity to improve English teaching and computer operating skills at the same time.

During the one-and-a-half hour live conference, I got some practical ideas about teaching seniors such as enlarging texts, seniors relevant topics and learning phrases through movie scripts. I’ve printed out all the power point scripts which would become one of my references.

My senior students go to church to take my class. The classroom is, indeed, a conference room where there are no TV set or computer and big screen that I can play DVDs with. Since watching movies is an effective way to improve English, according to Professor Terry Doyle’s observation in his classes, I would at least try to move the class to the equipped chapel and start with clips from movies or “commercial downloaded via internet” (an idea from my teacher, Aiden Yeh) in my class in the near future.

Today, April 13, we continued studying the article that story was about an argument-loving journalist. We got started with our small talk “What situation would you argue with others?” Cherry said, “I usually argue with my 35-year-old daughter while she’s wearing mini skirt. I think it is not suitable for her age.” I asked her, “Does your daughter listen to you?” “No, she says I’m not fashion.” Cherry answered. Meanwhile, I taught them how to use words: in fashion, out of fashion, fashionable… We also did all the exercises attached in the unit.

In today’s lesson, I applied the image-concept Professor Terry Doyle offered in class practice. I put eight drawing pictures with characters and scenes on the white board and made students pick four out of them. They then could make up stories in their own ways. For example, if they picked pictures A, C, G, H and put them in the order they liked. They then started to describe what happened, who they were, where they were, when it happened…. There were five groups working on this exercise. At the end of the class, there were no stories coming out yet. They took shrunk-sized copy to create the stories as their homework. (I’m looking forward to their interesting stories; some of them are pretty creative and humorous.) Time flies, we didn’t have any time left to review the three songs we’ve learned this semester. I hope they can spend a little time on practicing with the CD and lyrics offered by me previously.

Cindy R Shih

2009年4月6日 星期一

Practice with Games

Today, April 6, we moved on a new lesson, Unit 14; the story is about a journalist who likes arguing with others. He doesn’t care whom he argue with. Before the text start, we had a small talk: What situation would you argue with others?
The answer from Jean was: “I always argue with my husband while driving; we have different ideas about routes.” I asked her,” Who wins usually? She said, “My husband does. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, he thinks he is smarter.”
Joseph said, “I don’t argue with others. Especially, friends, I think friendship is more important than argument.”

This time I’d like to avoid boring class while working on the texts. I made them a few teams, and then we practiced words and sentences with games.
The first game: Use “air- conditioning” to make more words like, acting, riding, doing, condition..
The second game: I wrote a word on a piece of paper and let them make a long sentence; the longer the better. They both did a great job, but there were a few mistakes in the sentences. So, they learned from mistakes.

We didn’t finish the whole article yet, we were about in the middle of the passage. I’ve taught some vocabulary and phrases: whom, as adj. /adv. as, mind + V.ing, the more adj… the more adj…
I think, today’s lesson went smoothly. Hope they did learn something from me.

Cindy R Shih

2009年3月31日 星期二

Speaking Practice

Today, March 30, we got started with the same warm-up topic which is related with our texts: "What would you do when it is out of power in the summer?"
Lisa said, “ I would go to a coffee shop with my books and order something to eat and then enjoy the air-conditioning there.”
Cherry said, “ If I know it would be out of power in advance, I would plan a one-day trip somewhere. Or I might call on some friends who are sick and stay in the hospital. I want to pray for them and comfort them.” I told them, “This is the best idea I’ve ever heard.”

The second part of the lesson, we moved on the exercise, Unit 13; we did T/F, answer the questions, and fill in the blanks. I made them to speak out more while doing the activities. In general, they can answer most of the attached questions after reading.

We started learning a new song: Greatest Love of All. There are so many encouraging phrases in the lyrics like, “Children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way.” “Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.” “I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow.” “Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.” While playing the music at the first time, I gave them the uncompleted lyrics; I’d like them to improve their listening with this practice. If they didn’t catch all the correct words or phrases to complete the lyrics, it’s still fine; they can do it at home—everyone has got their own CD.

Cindy R Rae

2009年3月24日 星期二

Boring and Fun at the Same Time

Last Monday, March16, we previewed the reading text a little bit. And then I wrote a question on the board for them to think about when the class was almost done. The question was related the unit (13) topic about air-conditioning: What would you do when it is out of power in the summer?
Today, March 23, there were some interesting answers coming out during the warm up.
Tony said, “I would find a flashlight and then light up a candle… “I asked, “Would you then have a candlelight dinner with your wife?” He responded shyly, “Yes, yes.”
Nancy said, “I would go to the department store to enjoy the air-conditioning,” I continued, “and shopping?” she said, “Right, but sometimes not.” I said,” Or you may go window shopping.”
Joseph said, “I would go to the movie theater to see the movies and feel cool there.”
Lucille said, “I would go to the swimming pool to cool down my body and exercise.”
(They didn’t sound like elder people, did they?)

Today’s lesson would be a little bit boring, I thought. I needed to explain the instructions of the sentences and grammar and also translate the meanings of the paragraphs. It took me about 30 minutes to finish the text teaching. Later on, we moved on the fun part--- song time. We started learning a new song “Imagine – by John Lennon”. There was some very useful vocabulary in the lyrics. I had written some nouns like: heaven, peace, world, possessions, brotherhood… on some pieces of paper (A4 size). While listening to the music, they held up the word that they were holding to match the lyrics. They did a great job and had lots of fun; they acted so energetically. It's hard to believe that some of them are at their 80s!?

Cindy R Shih

2009年3月16日 星期一

Talk in English can be fun

I think my students had lots of fun while practicing conversation in English yesterday, Mar. 16. I made all of them work in pair talking with the handout. Some of them did a pretty good job; those dialogues were like:

A asked,"What's your favorite fruit?"

B responded,"My favorite fruit is pineapple." "Do you like pineapple?

A responded, " No, I don't. It's sour."

C asked, "where can I try Taiwanese local food?"

D responded, "You can go to Rei-Fong night market?

C asked, "How can I get there?"

D responded," You can take bus number 94."

E asked, " What is seasonal fruit now?"

F responded, " It's bell fruit (wax apple) ?''

E asked, " Do you like it?"

F responded, "Yes, I do. How about you?"

E responded, " Me too."

( I taught them they can also say " I do, too." or "So do I." And I found their favorite topic is FOOD.)

This kind of conversation went on about 20 minutes, and then the new student, Tony, just entered into the classroom. As Laura didn't have a conversational partner, she turned to him immediately.

Laura: "Why are you late? Did you forget this class?"

Tony: "No, I didn't. I had some matters."

(After his explanation, I told them Tony's words meant, "I ran some errands this morning."

And then Carol asked me, " What's the difference between errands and chores?" I answered," For example: Going to banks, paying bills, mailing letters.... are errands; cleaning rooms, doing dishes or laundry.... are chores.")

We had a reading time yesterday. The article posted below:

Reading Unit 13 Copied from: Intermediate Steps to Understanding
OXFORD University Press
Mr. Hodge was a chicken farmer. He had hundreds of chickens, and sold the eggs and the meat and got quite a lot of money for them, but he lived in very hot part of the country, and he found that his hens laid hardly any eggs in the summer. So he decided to put air-conditioning into his chicken-house so that the hens would lay well all through the year and he could get more eggs and in that way earn more money.

The owner of the company which sold the air-conditioning came to see him, and when he saw Mr. Hodge’s house, he thought that he might be able to persuade him to buy some air-conditioning for that too.

“Your wife would be much happier and more comfortable then, “he said to Mr. Hodge. But Mr. Hodge was not interested.
“My wife doesn't lay eggs,” he said.

After taking turns reading out loud, I interpreted some key words in the passage.

Like: lay, laid, laid ; lie, lied, lied ; lie, lay, lain those verbs are easy to get confused.

Laid hardly; how to use hard as a adj. or a adv. also what "hardly" (adv.) means? .. so that,

..in that way.... We may talk about" which" and "that" more next time. And we'll do some exercises attached in the textbook like T/F and filling the blanks. I hope they'd still have fun.

Cindy R Shih

2009年3月9日 星期一

Conversation Pracice

Yesterday, March 9, there were a couple of students sharing about their stories during the winter vacation or Chinese New Year or Lantern Festival. We also used the handout which I gave them last time to practice conversation in pair. There were some groups of vocabulary regarding places, spots and festivals that they could apply to useful sentences. They could pick words like: Lantern Festival, Love River to make up dialogues.

For example, student 1 : What do you do at Lantern Festival?
student 2 : I watch lanterns and fireworks by Love River with my family.

Before finishing the part 2 grammar, we reviewed present tense and past tense.
I wrote some questions on the board for them to practice:

1. " Where is your mother?" "She's out."
2. "How much are these postcards?" "Fifty cents."
3. Terry worked in a bank from 1987 to 1998.
4. "How did the accident happen?" " I don't know. I didn't see it."

At the end of the class, I explained some vocabulary in the lyrics of the song "Put Your Head on My Shoulder." And then they sang along with the CD played. Because I let someone to record the class while it proceeding, some of them acted nervously. But, I do hope they would learn something from me and improve their conversational skills.

Cindy R Shih

2009年3月2日 星期一

How to improve my students' speaking skills

The elderly course has started on March 2. According to my schedule, we'd have :

(1) Small talk: How was your winter vacation or Chinese New Year or Lantern Festival or Valentine's Day going?

(2) Grammar Review:
Simple Present:
1. _______________ TV very often. (we/not/watch)
2. How often _______________ her hair? (she/wash)
3. I enjoy travelling, but ________________ very much. (I/not/travel)

Simple Past and Past Continuous:
1. The phone _______ (ring) while Sue ___________ (cook) dinner.
2. When I ______(get) to the office, Mike and Jane ___________ (work).
3. I _______ (hear) a noise, so I ______ (look) out the window. PART 1
Present Perfect:
1. A: Who’s that man?
B: I don’t know. I _______________ (see) him before.
2. Mark and Liz are married. They __________ married for five years.
3. A: Do you like London?
B: Yes. I ______________ there four times.

1. This house ____________ (build) 100 years ago.
2. Where ________ (be) you born? “In Los Angeles.”
3. We ___________(not/invite) to the party last week. PART 2
(3) Learning a new song:
Put Your Head on My Shoulder

There were three of them sharing the stories regarding their winter vacation or holidays. Cherry who can speak better English said that she went to an amusement park with her daughter and son-in-law. During the description, I caught a mistake she made. She said, " They took many beautiful pictures FOR me." I got this opportunity to teach some terms about photograph.

I didn't finish the two parts of grammar review. We just finished part 1, some of them still had hard time using correct modals; 'cause modals have no meanings in Chinese.

Most of my students would like to improve their speaking skills. I'm planning doing it. Next time we would practice some useful conversational sentences that can be used while travelling. We are also going to learn the vac. of the lyrics (Put Your Head on My Shoulder).

As for me, sometimes I am confused about the translations of tourist spots in English. For example, a famous Taiwanese aboriginal amusement park named, Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. But I hadn't learned the accurate name before Cherry mentioned. (I thought it could be : Nine-Aboriginal-Tribe Culture Village something like that.) I myself should work on it as well.

Cindy R Shih

2009年2月22日 星期日

Teaching The Elderly

Most of Taiwan people experienced what buxiban ( supplementary school) is like. Usually, students go to buxibans after school for their further entrance examinations. As for the adults, they go to buxibans to skill themselves better to fit their jobs or get promoted in the future. Since English has become an international language, lots of Taiwanese found it important. Even the elderly found English very useful especially while going abroad.

I used to teach young students, who were7-15 years old, English in buxiban in the evening for several years. A couple of years ago, I decided to get back to Wenzao language college evening program to develop my English and teaching skill so that I quit the job. I was very lucky that I got a position while a Presbyterian church establishing the community school for the elderly in the day time. There are three levels of English classes in this program. I teach the third level which is called "advanced" class, but it may be just about the level of basic to intermediate technically.

We have Spring: March to June, Fall: September to December, semesters that the elderly can attend to. As the class gets started, I usually like to have a small talk in English as a warm-up. And then we'd have reading and practice time. Sometimes they would learn one or two English songs during the semester. They won't have any quizzes or exams according to my boss' demand. How can I know if they have learned? We do activities or games! There are about 15 people in my class; a few of them are retired teachers, one is a retired pharmacist, one is a retired sailor, one is a half-retired business owner, and the rest of them are homemakers.

Well, I'm excited as well as nervous about getting involved in Aiden Yeh's study group of University of Birmingham. I perceived that this is an approach to learn more professional teaching skills for free. But I'm a little bit afraid of some academic terms or "British words" that I might not get it. Since this is a quite precious opportunity for me, I'll try my best and keep my blog up-to-date weekly.

Cindy R Shih