Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Saturday Workshop

Here is a picture of the students for the workshop I had to teach today. I had to teach "Communication English". At least that was what was written in the meeting room when we had the ceremonial pre-class meeting. I didn't know that was what I was supposed to teach. Lucky I didn't know, because what the heck is "Communication English" anyway? I think they meant was "English Communication". It's hard to break the Manglish habit.

The two Indian guys are technicians, and the rest are office staff. There were supposed to be 21 in my workshop, but these 8 brave souls were the ones that showed up. The gardeners, cooks, and other workers were supposed to be there, but they stayed away in droves. They were obviously very self-conscious about their level of English. One of the gardeners did show up for five minutes, but obviously understood nothing that was going on. He discretely slipped out while my back was turned.

The level of the students varied. The Indian guys English was very good. The rest ranged from okay, to "I can understand most of what you say if you talk slow", to "I can't understand almost anything but I have to be here anyway because the boss says so".

I spent all week getting ready for it. Since I was busy getting ready for the English drama competition since the beginning of April, that was all the time I had. Now that it's over, I wish I had more time to get ready for it. It was kind of fun, and the students seemed to enjoy it, but I know if I had more time, it could have been even better.

I did some work on pronunciation, using a Powerpoint presentation I spent days working on. It explained the sounds of English, and had tongue twisters and jazz chants, and poems for us to read out loud together. After that, we did a running dictation, and some mime activities, which everyone enjoyed.

So what did I get out of it? An envelope with a nice ribbon on it. Inside? 100 Ringgit! (About $30), which was nice. All I expected was a fancy certificate of appreciation. I have about six or seven of those sitting in my desk drawer. I would rather have 100 Ringgit for each one of them instead of the certificates. The money is alot more useful!

(I gave him the award as the best student in the class.
He also got a fancy little envelope with a nice ribbon on it,
but I don't know what, or how much was inside.)