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