Well, we made it! We had our last class of our very first semester at BEA. Shally finished up our student conferences. Once again, students had a lot of questions for Shally, especially about our program for next year. We haven't even started the second semester, and our students are already thinking about their second year. I'm glad to see that they're planning ahead! Many of the questions dealt with the number of additional students we'll be enrolling next year, as well as the courses we'll be offering. At the moment, Shally and I have a general outline for our expansion in September 2011. However, during our semester break, we'll be drawing up a more concrete plan once we've considered our school finances.
For our last lesson of the semester, I decided to let the students have a bit more fun than usual, which sometimes leads to complete chaos in a Cambodian classroom. For the first part of the lesson, I handed out out chopsticks to each group. The students then had to make a list of all the possible uses of chopsticks. They came up with some pretty interesting uses. Here are the "Top 10":
1. hair clip
2. conducting an orchestra
3. playing the xylophone
5. flag pole
9. ear cleaner
10. nose picker
After our brainstorming session, students played the game "I am King". Each of the chopsticks were labelled with the numbers 1, 2, 3, and a picture of a crown. Students had to draw lots and keep their number secret. The student who got the "king" chopstick, chose a number, and then gave that student an order to perform. Well, this is where all the chaos started. Students had each other singing, dancing, walking like a monkey, slapping boys, and kissing the teacher. Despite the chaos, it was a great lesson to review infinitive forms.
After Shally finished up the conferences, we had a small awards ceremony in each class. Shally announced the names of the top three students in each course and presented each student with $5.00 worth of school supplies, which consisted of an English-Khmer dictionary, a personal diary, and a plastic carrying case. I got plenty of photos, which I'll upload to our site next week.
BEA is now closed for our semester break until March 14. During this time, Shally and I will be quite busy. This week, we'll be finishing up our presentations for the CamTESOL conference in Phnom Penh on Febraury 26-27. This is an international conference for those involved in teaching English as a second/foreign language.
Shally's workshop will focus on how to effectively use western-published textbooks in the Cambodian classrooms so that Cambodian culture and values are reflected in the lesson. My workshop will center on how to teach business letter writing in the Cambodian classroom. I will use my research from the pre-intermediate course's second writing workshop on the process of teaching how to write a cover letter for a CV. All the materials from our workshop will be available on the website before we head to the conference.
After the conference, we'll be ordering new tables for our library, adding more lights in our classrooms, setting up our library program, and finalizing all the programs for our second semester.
We will still have regular postings while BEA is closed, so we hope that you'll still keep up with BEA news during the break.
Onwards to CamTESOL,
The Bayon English Academy (BEA) is an NGO school that provides underprivileged youth with quality English language education in a safe, clean environment in Siem Reap, Cambodia.