Nick and I have been getting tons of questions about what exactly it is that we do here in Taiwan, so I will make a quick post to try and answer all the questions.
1. Do you have the same class schedule for the whole semester?
–No. Our schedules will change from week to week depending on whether or not other schools make an appointment to have a class in our English Village. If no schools make an appointment for the English Village, we will teach English classes at our school.
2. What are your English classes like?
–The English classes that we teach at our school have about 30 students in them. We teach with a co-teacher who is a native teacher who teaches English here. In these classes, the students have text books that they use to learn English. It is basically like a foreign language textbook that you would use in the states. The books cover different topics, and the students have assignments that coincide with the textbook. BUT, the native English teachers have requested that when we teach classes, we use a story book instead of the textbook. They think this will add variety for the students, and it gives us free reign with what we would like to teach. They give us input as to topics they would prefer, but ultimately we make all our lessons from scratch.
3. How is your teaching split?
–Nick teaches the older students (grades 5 and 6) and I teach the lower grades (2,3,4). We do not teach English to K and 1. The most classes we will teach in a week is 20, but as for now, we only have 12 forty minute classes.
4. What is this English Village?
–Our school has a whole wing devoted to the English Village. It consists of 10 classrooms all based around a theme. The themes are: Penghu Culture, Having Fun in Penghu, Penghu Cuisine, Penghu Natural Resources, Penghu Souvenirs, Health Center, Airport, Library, Newsroom, and Water Sports. The lesson plans that we wrote for these rooms consist of vocabulary based on the room’s theme. For example in the Newsroom we teach vocabulary dealing with a news room and news report, like anchor, via satellite etc. Other schools in Penghu county can request to have classes in our English Village. Whenever that happens, they make an appointment and select the rooms they wish to go to, and our English Village secretary will tell us which rooms we are going to teach and when. As far as we know, our students will only come to the English Village from time to time, but not for regular classes.
5. Do you travel and teach?
–Yes! Occasionally, schools on rural islands will request the mobile English Village. These are schools that are so remote, you have to take a boat to get there, so they can’t bring all of their students here. Instead, we go to them! They still request which rooms in the English Village they would like, but we take our ppts and materials there and teach about the room. It usually takes all day, so we teach for about 3 hours and then get to tour the islands the rest of the day until the boat is ready to leave.
I think that covers the bulk of the questions, but if you think of more, post them in the comments section and we’ll try and answer them the best we can 🙂