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