I can't believe how quickly this week has passed. It's already Thursday and we'll be collecting students' first drafts in today's lesson.
We continued learning about paragraph structure in both the basic and pre‐intermediate courses. In our basic course, I was quite surprised at how quickly the students grasped the concept of paraphrasing to help them write their concluding sentences. Especially in our Basic (B) course, some of the students not only wrote a summary for their concluding sentence, but also added their own opinion of their important day to leave the reader with a strong impression.
I also introduced simple past verb forms through a grammar game - sentence auction. In this game, students have to find the mistakes in a list of sentences. Students then participate in a group auction to buy the correct sentences from the list. Everyone show a lot of enthusiasm, especially since the winning team got chocolate.
The pre‐intermediate course also did very well at understanding the concepts of paraphrasing and summarizing in order to write their concluding sentences. This class, however, was also required to summarize the supporting ideas from their paragraph in their concluding sentences.
The sentence auction was also a hit with them. Shally got a chance to run this activity, which is part of his teacher training, and really got the students into the game. However, I noticed that the students do need more activities related to the use of transitions in their paragraphs. There was some confusion over the use of "Finally" (=used to introduce the last point in a list) and "In short" (=a summary word used to introduce a concluding sentence).
On a lighter note, there was a slight communication breakdown between myself and one of our students due to word stress. One of the difficulties some Cambodian learners of English have is the use of correct word stress. This is mainly due to no access to dictionaries for their studies because they are too expensive for most students. Anyways, one of the students told me that he wanted to be a "sexy fool" teacher. Of course, I was quite shocked and tried to explain the implications of using such an expression linked to the teaching profession. After much frustration on both our parts, I then looked at his outline and saw the word "successful" - not "sexy fool". We then had a short pronunciation session so that such misunderstandings could be avoided in the future.
For all classes, students have to write their first drafts and submit them in today's class. I'm looking quite forward to their drafts since they've showed such great work already in our lessons.
Back to the books,
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.