Teach English in Xujia Zhen - Weihai Shi

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Working with kids is always fun, but full of challenges. They are sociable, curious, cooperative and have broad interest. At the same time, their attention span is small, they can be distracted easily, bored and they are more tend to turn to their mother tongue. Nonetheless, they are the most rewarding among all students. While working with children of pre-school age especially when they have a different nationality than the teacher, the teacher should bear in mind that they can be confused and get bored easily just because they don't understand him or her. Most language schools in China have two teachers in the classroom: a foreign teacher, who is responsible for teaching and related issues and a Chinese teacher who has a function of a teacher assistant (TA) and is responsible for communication with parents and official school works. Considering Chinese culture, communication skills among people could differ from that of the West which might cause challenging difficulties at the beginning of a foreign teacher's work. First of all the teachers should clarify with the TAs, the roles, responsibilities, and contributions of each party. Children are keen to use their mother tongue more when they see the TA who is also a native. They also expect the TA to translate everything for them and, to be honest, some teachers and TAs can't resist the temptation, too. This is why it is vital to make the TA familiar with the lesson plan and the nature of activities in order to have effective cooperation. A teacher should always speak in English showing he or she expects the same from students. In extreme cases when children don't understand the word or sentence, translating assistance from the TA is acceptable. Teacher's speech must be clear, simple, and short (mostly for instructions). Though the teacher is the main person who decides on topic and activities it is quite useful to consider TAs suggestions too as they know the culture more and can give some important hints to the teacher. Children are energetic, love to have fun, so the class should be as active as possible. They like to play different games, do easy exercises, help each other. The teacher should also follow this and make the class enjoyable. Realistic and cartoon picture cards, real objects, role-plays, pair and group work, drawing and colouring stationery, colourful materials, video materials, interactive whiteboards, small rewards, etc are integral parts of the lesson. Some outdoor activities help to review the material a real environment. Activities must be changed frequently in order to keep students interested. It is useful to have song breaks, especially that children love to repeat the lyrics along and dance. It is a must for teachers to sing and dance with them. Traditional desks are not useful. Better to have small comfortable chairs and tables. As working with children, it gets harder when it comes to discipline. Unlike adults, kids bring their mood and problems which might affect a whole class session. Though some cases can be under the control of the teacher, certain problems are out of his or her control. Focusing on the Chinese environment, one of such problems can be parents' expectations. After 2-3 months from the start of the course, many parents expect children to speak with sentences and know at least basic structures. It is extra pressure on kids especially when they are not the leading ones in the class. Chinese teachers and schools usually avoid talking about problematic behavior of children and do it only in extreme cases. In most cases, they prefer to keep silence. Chinese have a different writing system, so it takes a long time to teach children Roman alphabets. As most of them can't even write in Chinese (kindergartens pupil), it is even harder to explain the concept of writing. Those who know how to write simple Chinese characters have difficulties obeying the line rules when writing English words or sentences. They are keen to write all letters on the same level which is wrong when scribbling English words or sentences. Considering the advantages and disadvantages of English teaching to Chinese pupils it should be mentioned that, it is fun and even after a tiring working day the teacher may enjoy the happiness and love from the children.