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Showing posts with the label Teaching

Eleven Comments From ESL Students

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It's interesting to get comments from students. Through one of the companies that I teach for I have an almost random selection of students. A student pops up, a workbook pops up, and we start. That's where these comments come from. They are mostly translated from Chinese into English, so it might sound a little odd.


Here they are, in reverse chronological order.

1 - Thank you for your patience

2 - Thanks tor teaching me English toningt.In fact,you should teach my little brother,but he is very shy and it is a first day to learn English.I hope you don't angry with him. Thank you!!

3 - Very patient teacher who will guide children in communication, good teacher

4 - Thank you! Ttacher.

5 - I am sorry, teacher, I will not send my heart, only one, do not mind. I really like your class and I'm glad to meet you

6 - You are a good teacher. You teach well. Thank you.

7 - Teacher you are very good ! I like you soo much ! Your class is very fun ! I will study English forever,and I…

"Kinderello" By Jenny (aka Carrie), with some help from Jeff

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"Kinderello" has been finished. I helped, but perhaps less than one might think. At the least, the story itself is entirely not mine. The full story, as it stands, is below. As an aside, Jenny noticed that the name Jenny is very common and another girl in her class was using the name as well, so she now uses Carrie at times, I still call her Jenny. Let me know what you think of the story.



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Once upon a time there was a boy named Kinderello. He lived happily with his mom and dad. Every weekend he played water polo with his father and his father taught him a lot.
Once, Kinderello went to school. His father and mother went to work. Suddenly there was a car driving very quickly and nearly hurt his mom. So his dad pulled her with his whole weight and his mom was okay, but his dad was crushed by the car. His mom took him to the hospital, but it was no use. His father can never play water polo with Kinderell…

Stories With Students: Jenny Writes a Cinderella Parody, and Parker Continues Writing About Pokemon

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Jenny and I were studying 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Poe, but we made a pivot.


Her school teacher had been the one to originally urge her in the direction of studying English poetry. I urge my students to bring anything to me that they want to learn. That's how we end up on such interesting subjects.

Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken' went well, and 'The Raven' was going well also. But Jenny's teacher made a new suggestion, that she work on writing a story. This came up in our conversation, so now we're doing it.

Jenny read Cinderella originally when she was 4, I assume in Chinese. She's been thinking about writing her own version of Cinderella for about a month. I asked her to tell me the basic version of Cinderella just to get a feel for what she felt was important in the story, but she's been thinking about this for too long already and here's what came out instead.

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Exploring the Case Study of an Eight-Year-Old Second Language Speaker's Writing Process Using Transcription and Dialectic

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This is one of the most interesting things I've ever done, and my list includes making a mistake skydiving, being trapped on a ledge and stepping into a crevasse mountain climbing, being hit while running with bulls, scuba diving through jellyfish, whitewater rafting, mountain biking over the cascade mountains, being poisoned while on the beach of the Indian Ocean in Kenya, getting a black eye and a bloody nose in a giant tomato fight, and many other things. My point is, it's awesome!



My article from a couple of days ago was about the Pokemon story that I wrote for Parker in one class, and how he came up with the ideas for his own story. When we started this lesson he said, "If I can write a Pokemon story I will die!" I associate that kind of phrase with teenage American girls, but it basically means it's so good that it's overwhelming.
Here are the notes that we had to work with from our last lesson.


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Translating "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe from English to English

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I have a student, Jenny, that wants to learn popular English poetry. We went through "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost and now we're working on "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe. We are working on the third stanza right now; going over the individual words, the phrases, the lines, and the stanzas. She is doing well. We puzzle through it. I focus on asking questions at first, as we progress my explanations become more clear, I think. That way she can hopefully figure it out before I fully explain what everything means. I do try to go through each stanza after we finish talking about it and give a simplified contemporary version. I told her that I would do that for the first three stanzas and send it to her. That's what I'm going to do right now.



Here are the first three stanzas from "The Raven."


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Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint a…

An Eight-Year-Old Chinese Student, Pokemon, PiratePad.net, and the Narrative Nature of the Human Soul

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I teach English to kids in China every morning and every evening. Sometimes progress can be tough, but at other times it's great. I've been teaching Parker twice a week for the last 16 months. Parker is eight-years-old and loves Pokemon. I've tried to use that before in our lessons, but it's been more distracting than anything. Now, though, we're really on to something.



We had tried to read, or rather have Parker read, some Pokemon stories online, but we ran into some trouble. One, Parker really has a hard time focusing once we start reading about Pokemon, or looking at them, or talking about them, or if one is mentioned a single time. We've been working on that for awhile; easing our way into it.
The second problem is worse. There are tons of Pokemon stories available online. There are many sites online where anyone can write and post a story, Wattpad is very popular. "The Martian" was originally published on Wattpad. The problem is that most of the …