My China University TEFL Method -- Part Two

by (Mr.) Clair Lasater
(Seattle)

Retired MIG Fighter in a Local Park

Retired MIG Fighter in a Local Park

This article continues on from My China University TEFL Method, Part One


Here are a few sample second-hour speech topics:

1. “My dream kitchen.”
2. “My dream house.”
3. “Changes I would make to improve this university.”
4. “My favorite sort of exercise. Why?”

You might want to make these speech topics relevant to your overall topic of the week.

In my first article, I provided only two resources to utilize during your first hour with each group. I suggested Aesop’s Fables, and a secular proverb. (Both, by the way, provide powerful lessons about life, and you can use different ones a number of times a semester.)

Other tools to use in teaching are: fun, true, short, outrageous news stories; riddles; and, perhaps, British Invasion group rock (1960’s) played to the class -- along with lyric handouts (available for printing, from the internet. In fact, you can find all of the above on the internet). You can use three or four proverbs and riddles per first-hour session.

You must, I’ve found, provide the lyrics -- either on your main handout, or a separate handout -- for the music trick to work. Your students will write all over these lyrics. They love this. However, without the song lyrics provided, they will sit there in a daze - uninvolved (utilize Google to find the lyrics.)

Here’s how to do the twenty or thirty model sentences that you provide students on your handout. You read one sentence, then they read it. You read the second model sentence, then they read it together, and so on until the end, or however long you wish, or have time to work this.

Call this “rote” or whatever, it’s good for them. They like it and understand it. It works. Ask Li Yang, arguably China’s greatest contemporary linguist.

Remember to compose these model sentences like a native speaker would say them -- and to change topics for them,
week by week.

More about crosswords. Go slowly on the site, so that you do not neglect to print the solutions, as well as the puzzle. Also, on one free crossword site, it is possible to compose word search puzzles. (Easier and faster!) Do the crossword and/or word search puzzles about your same topic of the week.

Regarding the general instructions I provided at the end of my previous article, I suggest that you keep something on hand -- in your briefcase or file folder -- to use just in case you run out of material, before one of the bells rings.

Remember, the sessions are two hours long, not one hour.

About the honor system model sentences “homework”: All your students can recite them aloud, like Li Yang, as they wander the campus during the week ahead!

Biography: (Mr.) Clair Lasater has taught at Hainan University, Maoming University, Ling Ling University -- now the Hunan University of Science and Engineering, Zhangjiajie College of Jishou University, and Shunde Polytechnic College.
He is published in the Guardian, China Daily, The Times of India, and Omniglot.

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