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