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Optional course

I'm wondering if there is any good ideas about interesting English optional course we can open for our students in senior high school.

  • Oct 19 2013: I would like to suggest a fun course with material from several shortened school play in English for high or middle school children. Give them a week to study the play then act out in a class. The non-actors in the class could be asked to critique the technical aspects of the players, or suggest a related or similar play from a Chinese story with names replaced by English names.Students are asked to translate it into English conversation. (the teachers could help in this endeavor.) It will be more fun than merely trying to stuff more English vocabulary into the students' memory.
    • Oct 19 2013: Thank you for your creative ideas. It could be as a try.

      We can translate the Chinese story into English cause they are more familiar with our own country.In this case,they have more background knowledge about the story,which may motivate them to engage in the activities.
      • Oct 19 2013: Anna, I am glad that you like my suggestion. By the way, I was born and educated in China, and later emigrated to the USA at the age of 28. (I even spent a year in studying classical literature in Chinese.) So I would gladly offer you a free service in translating one or two Chinese stories into English. Remember, the selected stories must contain mostly conversation with actions omitted or skipped, because our purpose is to teach practical communication in English conversation, not the acting skills in a drama. (Also, this edited form is more suitable to be performed in a classroom.)
        If you are interested in my offer, please send an Email via TED with the typed story script in Chinese, and it would take a week or two for me to make the translation for you.
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          Oct 19 2013: Brilliant idea bart. If you do this, "translating one or two Chinese stories into English", please post a copy for us here at TED. I would love to read them too.
          http://www.ted.com/conversations/20954/new_earth_short_stories.html
        • Oct 19 2013: If you want an editor to the story after you finish translating it, or you need help with an expression, let me know.
          Having taught elementary school for over 25 years I might be able to help you in any small way I can.
          Really nice of you to volunteer Bart. :)
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    Oct 19 2013: Anna, I just thought of something that could be a real hoot. Just because we say "English" it does not mean we all talk the same ... British ... Australian ... and American in several different manners.

    Turn over several 3 X 5 cards ... on the cards would be a location Connecticut USA .... Brooklyn USA ... Texas USA ... a gangsta USA .... California USA .... Canadian .... Austrailian .... London England ... Cockney of England .... and so forth .... Then the teacher would give a sentence and the holder of the card must answer in the manner of the card they hold. The Texas card may include the phrase Ya All as an example where the Brooklyn card may use the term youse guys while the Brit may say I dare say ole chap .... The rest of the class must decide where this person is from ....

    Just because we say English does not mean a specific place just as we say Chinese does not define the dialect being spoken.

    It could be fun and educational at the same time. Good luck. Bob.
    • Oct 19 2013: G'day mate, that is a bloody good suggestion ole chap.
      Good stuff, eh?

      Name the countries where the English in those sentences originated.....tick tock tick tock....

      1.______

      2.______

      3.______
    • Oct 19 2013: Yes,it is a good idea.

      Not so many students know such differences.
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    Oct 17 2013: I enjoyed Journalism, speech, debate, etc .... all the standards. I have often thought it would be a hoot to have a creative writing course. You could touch on all the areas like a short story ... One act play (including all directions, editorial notes, etc ... screen writing (the actual script writing) .... select a book and have groups develop it for a play or movie (general outline) explaining why they deviated from the original source. Have everyone write a daily (non-personal intimate details) diary just the events of the day. Show a TED video and have everyone write a review on it. Do a food review on last nights (or any) meal. Write a obituary for themselves summarizing their life to date. Write a commercial for their favorite product.

    The point would be to make all of these assignments as fun as possible.

    I wish you every success. Bob.
    • Oct 17 2013: Hi!Robert

      Thanks for your clear and detailed illustration.

      Your statement does spark my thoughts. Upon your ideas,I'm thinking of two. One is about food. I think in the course we can let students introduce our country's cuisine in English and get familiar with food in foreign countries.But the procedures can not be boring. I'm still thinking. The other is about advertisement. We can ask students promote one of their favorite products or their used stuff in the course.
      • Oct 18 2013: You can also have the students design a MENU in English, for an imaginary restaurant.
        They would probably enjoy designing it, and then you can act out a restaurant scene where some of the students are the waiters and some are the customers.

        Bring in real food for fun!!! Kids love to eat!!!

        Oh, and take pictures as you do the different creative activities.....you can then make a scrap book of the entire year of class and what a nice keepsake that would make for your scrapbook. :)
  • Oct 21 2013: Juliette, Mary and Anna,
    First, I want to say that I understand Anna's possible course offering is probably at least 3 or 4 months away, so there is no urgency of planning the teaching materials yet. But I have a little further thought on the "conversation" acts and or training for the course content. In my opinion, the main purpose of this sort of training is to prepare the students to be able to speak with either some group of exchange students from the West, or it would serve as a preparatory course for the students when they will eventually go through college and employed as contact persons to deal with foreign visitors. For both matters, we shouldn't train them to be only able to tell only some Chinese stories filled with Chinese names, Chinese traditions and Chinese values while the Westerners might get lost because their unfamiliarity with these terminology or the background.
    So my idea is to include at least one half of the stories come from Western origin/source, so that it would be a two-way communication that would be enjoyed by both parties. Would you agree? If you agree, I would also like to ask assistance from you two Western ladies to look for appropriate stories in English and edit them to be suitable for the teaching material. Since I have no experience with high school teaching, so I would be lost without your help. I do have some experience about the situation when we have difficulties in finding stories consist of mainly conversations. I realized that in Western opera or Chinese opera or drama, one could always fill the gaps between the conversation with a third party monologue to fill the blanks. Also, it's possible to replace the action or the monologue by introducing/incorporating them into the conversation itself.
    • Oct 22 2013: Bart,

      It's kind of you to be active on this topic and give us so creative ideas.

      Yes,only asking students to use English language to go through Chinese stories is not enough.As you said,I also think that students have to get familiar with the background knowledge,such as their life styles,attitudes,economy,politics,culture etc etc,of the target language.Without it,they can not understand language even if they know every word.

      But combining western stories with Chinese ones may not be an easy task. Anyway,I will think and see what kind of Chinese stories are suitable.
      • Oct 22 2013: Anna,
        I think that you misunderstood about the idea of using English conversation in Chinese or English stories. What I meant is that you can use at least 5 or 6 stories separately in one course including some Chinese and some English. You don't have to mix them up at all. However, whether you use Chinese or foreign stories, we must have the students learn the English conversation in the ways that conform to the the modern speaking style of English conversation in order to facilitate their easy understanding when they listen to, or speak in, the English language.
        Normally, the best learning experience for a foreign student to learn English conversation is to talk directly with an English speaking foreigner. The suggested approach probably is the next best. Hopefully, all the students will have the opportunity to play the role of one of the conversation participants, in addition to listening in all the other conversations by other classmates. Also as important, the speaking style should be close to the real structure and custom of everyday conversations spoken between two friends in the U. S. or Britain. So the suggested approach serves both the purposes of "practicing" and the familiarity to the properly structured conversation style.
        • Oct 23 2013: Bart,


          I get it. I have kept the stories firstly.

          You said it. The knowledge we learn in the classroom has to connect with students' daily or real life.You know,in many Chinese schools,students learn to pass examinations not to use it in the real world. So I'm always thinking of using ways to balance those two aspects.
      • Oct 22 2013: Anna, I think that you misunderstood about the mixing of Chinese stories with English or foreign stories. What I meant all along is that you could include at least 5 or 6 stories some purely Chinese (translated into English) and some purely English
        The best way of learning conversation English is to have the students to talk directly to an English speaking foreigner. But if it is rather difficult to do so, then this approach should be the next best. Hopefully, every student could play the role of the conversation participant, in addition to listening the conversations made by other classmates. Moreover, the script for these conversations should be edited so that the speaking style should be as close as possible to conform to the structure and style of the everyday conversation between two friends in the U. S. or Britain. In this way, there will be dual benefits for the students in having the experience of a realistic "practice" of, as well as the familiarity to the properly structured or styled, English conversation.
    • Oct 22 2013: Hi Bart,

      There are sites with free children's stories. One is http://www.magickeys.com/books/
      If this idea moves forward. I think it would be a good idea to take from the resources available on line.
      There is a wealth of information out there.

      Your ideas are just wonderful Bart. I think once Anna has the go ahead to open the course, she will be happy to use us in developing the activities.

      I look forward to helping out any way I can.
  • Oct 18 2013: Here are some common idioms.......
    TO LEND A HAND
    = to help

    The Smiths' neighbors lent a hand when they were building their new fence (The neighbors helped them build the new fence).

    IN HOT WATER
    = in trouble

    Bob didn't do his homework, so he's going to be/get in hot water! (from the teacher)

    PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS!
    = If you believe that what you are saying is
    true/right, let's bet on it!

    THAT TAKES THE CAKE!
    = That's unbelievable/incredible/ridiculous!

    NOT PLAYING WITH A FULL DECK
    = crazy

    That guy always talks and shouts to himself.
    He's not playing with a full deck!

    PUT A LID ON IT!
    = Be quiet!!!

    TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE!
    = Two people who work together will have more ideas than just one person!

    TO LOSE YOUR SHIRT
    = to lose all of or most of your money

    I lost my shirt at the casino!
    Joe lost his shirt betting on the horses.

    TO LOSE TOUCH
    = to fail to keep in contact/communication with someone

    After I graduated from university, I lost
    touch with most of my classmates.

    PAINT THE TOWN (RED)
    = Let's go out and enjoy the exciting
    entertainment of the city!

    After the exam, let's go out and paint the town!

    A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS!
    = A picture explains things better than words can explain things

    LET'S GET THE BALL ROLLING!
    = Let's start now!
    (usually said about an important project)

    I HEAR YOU!
    = I agree with what you are saying!

    YOU BET!
    = Yes, sure, of course!

    ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
    = Once in a while, occasionally

    I go swimming outside once in a blue moon.

    IT'S A DEAL!
    = Okay, I agree, it will be done!
    • Oct 18 2013: Hi,Mary!

      Thank for your prompt reply!

      It's so detailed .:) I have kept it in my computer.

      The more the better.lol
    • Oct 18 2013: Thats a great start Mary, I can already see the effects on the class, it's hilarius when you tranlate word for word into another language. I do think the kids will enjoy it!
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      Oct 18 2013: I can't find any link or button, so how do I enroll for this interesting English class? :o)

      Thank you, couldn't help but to learn something ...;o)
      • Oct 18 2013: Just click on the doohickey, then go down three thingamabobs, and when a whatchamacallit pops up, just go ahead and input some doodads!!

        Seriously....she is brainstorming to find new ways to help Chinese high school students learn English in a fun way.
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          Oct 18 2013: Wait, let me just get another bottle of my last single malt to get your instructions right ... lol :o)

          And I was serious in my comment too!

          Chinese high school students may outnumber me, yet I can easily keep up with them to lean English in a fun way! :o)

          Especially phrases are so important to learn, because if you don't know them they can easily set you on hold for 5 and more minutes before, if ever, you figure out their meaning.

          Maybe we should ask TED ED if they'll set up a small online classroom for you, half of China, some other happy individuals here and there and me.

          Deal? Or should I put a lid on it? :o)
      • Oct 18 2013: I think the internet is a wonderful tool for anyone wanting to learn new languages.
        Many Chinese individuals, both students and teachers, have come on here with different questions regarding education.

        For me personally it is a real privilege to be able to help them in their language learning.

        I know that 25 years ago when I began to teach, I never in a million years thought that I would be exchanging classroom ideas with teachers from around the world.
        For me it is a great privilege.

        TED ED has some real talented individuals.........I do not think I can walk in their shoes.......
      • Oct 18 2013: Oh and speaking of idioms.........and in particular, "Two heads are better than one".....here is a little piece that includes that idiom......Listen carefully!!

        The piece is called "Twisted"...........which in itself is a multiple meaning word:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao2_PmitMrM

        Happy Weekend!!!
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      Oct 19 2013: ;Wow,bravo!
      Mary,you are born to be a great educator!
      How i wish to be your student!:)
      • Oct 19 2013: I would love to go live in China and teach English.
        Are there Americans living there who work as teachers?
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          Oct 20 2013: Yep,Madam.
          In my school,there are Americans teaching optional courses ,and also research courses about international education.
          Unfortunately i didn't attend most of them.But,that's OK.I chose the ones that i was not so familiar with in order to dive into the things i did't know.

          I also see foreigners teaching non English subjects in China.I used to met a lady from France who taught mathematics here.:)
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          Oct 23 2013: Hi, Hermana,

          It's good to hear you want to teach English in China. I think we need many well-experinced foreign teachers like you. And you can teach both English and Spanish. I know in China there're many international schools which may need some teachers. And I've heard some foreigners rent a apartment and set up their private classrooms to teach young kids English in some advanced Chinese residential blocks or foreigner's residencies. But if you want a stable and safe job status, you can choose to teach in some public schools.
          I think you will be very popular in China because you are so knowledgeable and passionate about teaching~!:)

          And you can travel around China and savor the amazing Chinese food~!
      • Oct 23 2013: Yijiia and Yoka.....

        I have researched teaching jobs in China........there are lots of them online.
        This would be such a wonderful experience........perhaps when my children are older it would be possible? Who knows? I never lose hope.
  • Oct 17 2013: Anna, hello!!!

    You are teaching already? That is wonderful Anna.

    Look, here is a link to creative ideas with English language learners in high school.
    Tell me if you can open it.

    http://edtechteacher.org/index.php/teaching-technology/innovative-projects-lessons

    Here is a slideshare presentation.....flip through it, there are lots of ideas.

    http://www.slideshare.net/yamataro670/creative-group-activities-for-esl-workshops

    I hope you can open these two links.....Mary ♥
    • Oct 17 2013: Hi!Mary. Glad to hear from you. Just like we are old friends .:)

      I don't teach in school yet. But I'm going to the school to practice and firstly just watch the mentor teacher how to teach,and I will have the chance to conduct some lessons afterwards.

      According to the principle,It is now very important to successfully opening a good English optional course at school. So I just want to learn more and see if I can get any creative ideas.

      By the way,I can open the link.thank you again.
      • Oct 17 2013: Wonderful!! Here is another link.

        It provides a list of sites useful for ESL teachers.

        I hope you can open it, because through it you can access even more information.

        http://www.teachthought.com/learning/50-incredibly-useful-links-for-ell-educators/
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          Oct 17 2013: Wow, Mary, did you notice that edtechteacher is one big Apple and Microsoft promotion campaign? Are those corporations sponsors of that site?

          Is this an exception or has the US education system become a market for product placement?
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          Oct 18 2013: Q="BTW did you catch the moon over China at 1:39?" A=Not yet!

          Been watching it over Boston since it rose; still stunningly beautiful ...and I sent you Mary, Bernd and Lejan, best wishes brain waves about it:)
          http://www.space.com/23223-mercury-clues-moon-origin.html?cmpid=514630_20131017_13205254
      • Oct 17 2013: Lejan....you might find their "about" section interesting.

        Read on...

        http://edtechteacher.org/index.php/about
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        Oct 17 2013: @ Mary

        I have been on that section yet i couldn't find any reference towards corporate sponsorship. Did I miss something?

        Maybe its just a 'German' thing, because we have strict regulations on product placement and corporate sponsoring within our education system, but it just jumped at me how often brand-names are being used on this site instead of neutral technical terms.

        I am not against the promotion of the idea to 'new technologies to support student learning'.
        • Oct 17 2013: But it's a private site.....it is not governmental......
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        Oct 17 2013: @ Mary

        I know, I know, yet it is 'aimed' at teachers in governmental institutions, isn't it?

        Product placement is a sneaky way to consumer behavior.

        If teacher keep using the term iPad instead of tablet pc in is/her class, the champagne bottles in Apples PR department will be opened and the rest of the day is declared 'Happy Hour'.

        Thats is advertising at its best! And if a brad-name becomes even part of a language, thats priceless.

        If I am not mistaken, 'Kleenex' is a widely and commonly used term for tissues in your country, even if the brand you are using at home is a different one.

        In Germany, for the same thing, is was the brand name 'Tempo' which managed to spread into common usage.

        Education should not be a promotion platform for corporations, at least this is how my country decided on this topic, and, rarely enough, I agree on this too ... :o)
        • Oct 17 2013: The thing is, and here I speak without true knowledge, but, doesn't it cost money to run a web page?

          Perhaps it is an economic decision.

          Everything in the US is being used to advertise......materialism you know?
          Consumerism...etc etc etc.

          I think a lot of educators who are interested in learning do not pay attention to all those ads.....I didn't even notice it. When I visit a page I'm there to look at the information I need. I just block out all the other fluff....

          I do not own an I-anything..........phone, pad, pod, etc. etc.......zilch.

          But I do hear you, and I do think your point is valid.
          It's good to know that in Germany this does not happen.

          I couldn't begin to distinguish an iphone from an android......a kindle from an ipad.....I know these things are around and people have them and I know bottles of champagne flow freely from the PR departments at all these corporations, but..........not because of moi.

          I usually refer to them as doohickies, and doodads...........oh, just for fun. I like the young people around me to think I'm an old fogey who doesn't know what's happening.
          Remember, cause I'm a blonde, I can get away with it..........hahahahahahaha ;)

          Oh, and Band-Aid is also another brand name. Regardless of the bandage you are using, people will refer to it as a Band-Aid..........the little jingle in their tv commercial couldn't have hurt either...........did you ever see it?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2QnG3DwVW0
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        Oct 17 2013: I am having more and more the impression, the 'blonde' thing is actually a female invention, isn't it?

        Besides those 'days', 'headaches' and 'migraines' it adds a cute little all-purpose every day excuse tool in your toolboxes ... :o) There you go ... pretty clever! :o)

        And as the good teacher you are, you made me learn three things today:

        1) doohickies
        2) doodads

        Which I never heard nor read before, yet found them in the dictionary, and ...

        3) Band-Aid

        Which I didn't know as the product it is, yet for the name it lend to a 'charity supergroup' which became famous in Europe in the mid 80s, with songs like this one:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjQzJAKxTrE

        Thank you! :o)


        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_Aid_%28band%29
        • Oct 17 2013: I am quite amazed that you were able to learn something from me. And not just one, but three separate things.

          I had forgotten about the group Band-Aid....yes.....now I remember.

          I really have a hard time seeing you as German.....your English is perfect, and many times I just assume we share in the same knowledge bank of vocabulary words.

          Other favorite words for doohickey and doodads are........whatchamacallit, and thingamabob, and thingamajig. Oh my, oddly enough the little red squiggly lines did not appear under these three new words, so I know I spelled them correctly!!!
    • Oct 17 2013: Unfortunately I can't open the second link.
      • Oct 17 2013: Oh, too bad.
        I provided another link.
        Let me know how it goes.
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      Oct 18 2013: I am not certain if aspirins work on 'enlightenment', yet you almost got me with my own toolbox allegory ... ;o)

      What does work on 'enlightenment' is a whole bottle of single malt Irish whiskey, by which, from tomorrow on, the 'blonde' meme will work on me again, so stay tuned ... ;o)

      And as you asked for it, let my try to 'speak down' on you by my superior knowledge about beverages.

      Rule of tongue #1: Never mix alcohol, if resetting 'enlightenment' is, what you are after.
      Rule of tongue #2: The 'single' in single malt indicates exactly the absence of a selection of beverages, even of its own kind.
      Rule of tongue #3: Foreign words such as doohickey, doodads, whatchamacallit, thingamabob and thingamajig will never leave the mouth of a none native speaker as fluently again as under the impression of at least a whole bottle of single malt Irish whiskey. Single malt Scottish whiskey shall do as well.

      End of superior knowledge.... :o)

      What you don't get to see about my perfect English is all the copy/paste action that I am doing here. This not knowing, often leads to the false conclusion by the native speaker, that the 'knowledge bank of vocabulary words' shared to be of similar origin, whereas it's just the same ... :o)

      But seriously, what's left from my childhood dyslexia is a persistent weakness in grammar, even in my native language. In German, this isn't noticeable at all, neither in speak nor in writing. On the contrary, as I receive many compliments about the 'purity' of how I use my language. Yet never ask me why I do, what I do, because I can't explain it in grammatical terms as it is just a feeling to me.

      Any language, any accent, has its unique melody and to whistle along in harmony, or at least somewhat close to, one does not need to know the mechanics how to compile scores. On this I never managed to convince any of all my language teachers.
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      Oct 18 2013: I didn't even came to rise my second, even better, argument, that no parent on earth starts communicating with their newborn by introducing the basic principles of grammatical structures ...

      And I remember it as if it was yesterday, that I spontaneously alienated by my teachers idea in elementary school to teach me something about my own language which I didn't need to speak it. What a waste of time! What is it good for? To correct myself, because of rules I learn years after I learned to speak? Till this very day, I still don't get to see its purpose. Imagine all the hours and extra hours in dyslexic course I wasted for nothing!

      Imagine how many dragons I could have slayed and princesses freed instead, as the knight I was in those days ... :o)

      But maybe you can let me in on this secret although I don't put much hope in it ... :o)

      Yes, I tortured myself for two minutes watching Bruce Almighty and as predicted I missed the humor in case there was any. But now I know that this coffee man, whose name I already forgot, and his donkey, whose name I never knew, lives on roofs and/or balconies and severs freshly brewed coffee on demand through open windows, while it remains mysterious to the audience how he managed to get hot water in the first place.

      Not being a hopeless moron but for some, I assume, this has to do with the 'almighty' part of the title, right?

      And when if not now, this is your moment to 'speak down' on me to demonstrate the almightiness of your knowledge regarding this film. As long as you don't make me watch the whole thing, I believe anything you are willing to tell me... :o)

      I call this a day, and see you another time.

      Cheers ... :o)
  • Oct 17 2013: How about public speaking, debate, or a drama class where they have to put english plays on
  • Oct 23 2013: Anna,
    Thanks to Mary's recent post, I have found 2 western style student stories from the reference web site she included in her posting. They are quite suitable (but need to be shortened) to play out in the class. Unless you have already had some other options, I hope you will at least look into the web site and find the following "books":
    "Second Thoughts" by Carol Moore.
    "Who did Patrick's Homework" by Carol Moore.
    If you think it suits your purpose, you could highlight and copy them into your computer storage, and later on edit them to suit the class presentation format at you leisure.
    Again, we are ready to help whenever you need us.
    For your convenience, here is the address in Mary's posting.
    http://www.magickeys.com/books/
    • Oct 23 2013: Bart,

      You are so kind.I have found the story you mentioned. And thanks Mary,this is a good resource.I can find many stories in different levels. What's more,it's free.:) Easy to copy,print and restructure.

      I will let you know If I need help.

      TED is really a wonderful place where we can exchange different ideas in language teaching.
  • Oct 19 2013: Songs and to a lesser extent poetry. When i studied Spanish and Russian they did this. I have no natural talent to learn languages So it became jjust a way to learn about other countries. If you try others will try to speak in a language you understand.
    • Oct 19 2013: Hello!George.

      Actually I like poetry because of its beautiful lyrics and rhythm.The thing is I don't know how to practice my skills in writing poetry. So I can't teach my students.

      Not only my students,also for me,I have a lot more to learn .

      By the way,I'm thinking if there is any poetry appropriate for pupils around 10 0r 12 years old.Maybe I can study from this level.:)
      • Oct 19 2013: Anna, I learned a technique in a writing workshop.

        The professor took a poem's format, and then blanked out some spaces, and had us fill in the blank with our own words and personal information.

        The poem she did it with was Two Friends by Nikki Giovanni......look.......

        Two Friends

        Lydia and Shirley have
        two pierced ears and
        two bare ones
        five pig tails
        two pairs of sneakers
        two berets
        two smiles
        one necklace
        one bracelet
        lots of stripes and
        One Good Friendship


        In the workshop, the professor taught us that you can create a template of the poem with empty blanks for two students to compare each other and rewrite a whole new poem. As an extension activity the students can draw a picture of each other illustrating the poem. The finish product could then be used to decorate the class. It really makes a beautiful bulletin board.

        Here is what the template would look like:

        Two Friends by _____________ and ____________

        ____________ and _____________ have

        ____#______ ______adjective______ ______noun______ and

        ____#______ _______adjective______ _______noun______.

        ____#______ _______noun_____

        ____#______ pairs of _______noun_______

        ___#______ _____noun_____

        ___#______ _____your choice of word______

        ___#______ _______noun______

        lots of ___________ and

        One Good Friendship


        So a new poem would look like this:

        Anna and Mary have
        Two brown eyes and
        two green ones.
        Twenty fingers
        Two ponytails
        Two pairs of sunglasses
        Three rings
        Two i-phones
        Four bracelets
        lots of interesting ideas and
        One Good Friendship

        How's that? You can google children's poetry ideas and get lots more creative examples.
        Isn't teaching wonderful? There's so much creative teachers can accomplish!!
        • Oct 21 2013: not until now
          and nobody rides a rabbit
          But you are the champiion without a doubt.

          Actually i think something like this is a good idea as it is fun. Thanks for a link.
          I imagine that communication does not have to be perfect A few common phrases and Pidgen and gestures are often enough But more than that the kids in the link are having fun.
        • Oct 22 2013: Mary, Please read my recent comment on top of this conversation. Thank you.
        • Oct 22 2013: Mary!
          :)

          This is what I want. You know,I want to write English poems,but I can't. I reviewed some poems but actually I still don't now how to write a poem.

          Now the template and the way to write our own poem you indicated above is very useful. Although the poem is simple,it connects to our own experience and life. I like it.

          And I love the poem you write about Mary and Anna. I do wear sunglasses.lol
      • Oct 20 2013: Good job Mary M., but I mainly meant reading it aloud. There are many good collections of poens. Since it rhymes, it is easy to remember. This is true of the Norse Sagas, the Koran, and what I would call the Old Testament in the Christian Bible. The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Aenid. But since they are working on English Anhy collection would be good.
  • Oct 17 2013: a class of idioms cliches or even modern popular sayings that is unique to that language. compare it to the similar sayings in your own language. You can start off by translating the sayings literally word by word and let the class guess what the equivalent saying is and vise versa. I think that can be a fun class.
    • Oct 18 2013: Thanks!
      I have kept your suggestion. It will be interesting for them to compare the two versions,Chinese and English,about idioms cliches. Also,they can learn cultural difference between two languages from such course,I think.

      Maybe firstly ,I can search for some useful idioms cliches in English which are used frequently by native speakers currently. Cause I think those idioms that are little chance used are not very useful for our students.

      So If anyone knows about this,please comment.:)
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    Oct 17 2013: My first thought was having classes Skype with other classes from different part of the world, would help kids learn English and other subjects at the same time. So I just web searched class to class Skype and found this https://education.skype.com/ to me this would be a great teaching aid.
    • Oct 18 2013: Thank you so much !

      I found the web you sent to me wonderful.

      Not only for the students,I'm also interested in it.