Archive for July 30, 2008

Why I LOVE Teaching ESL/EFL Students

I will make a HUGE disclaimer before I quote an essay from one of my Sierre Leone students from 1995, it is just too good to pass up.  As I’m going through papers to file, to keep, and to burn, there is a reason why THIS descriptive essay is a keeper.  Also, this will help to explain why I LOVE teaching.  I taught ESL (English as a Second Language) classes soon after I was married while living in northern Virginia for three years.  We lived about 5-7 miles from the Washington D.C. and we could see the Washington monument from our upstairs bedroom window.  I had writing and grammar classes with students from ALL over the world, it was like a mini-United Nations.  Maximum class size was 25 students and in one case I had a class where there were 23 nations represented, it was an amazing experience!!! 

Quite different from when I taught in China where I had students who all looked alike and had the same linguistic problems. Here’s another reason why I like teaching non-native speakers, I was a judge for an English speaking contest in Harbin, China in in 1987-88.  I had one student who had memorized his piece and the title was something like “Why I LOVE to Smile.” He used the word smile about 20 times in his speech but when he pronounced that word it always sounded like SMELL.  So, it would sound something like this:  “I love to smell when I am with my friends…I love to smell when I win at a game of ping pong…”  You get the idea, I may just dig that out of storage where I saved the hard copy version of this Chinese student’s speech.

Just so you know more about this particular writer, he was a BIG, black guy with a booming voice in the back of the room.  He was a politician from Sierre Leone and will remain nameless because it is not written on his essay, I will keep the spelling as he wrote it. I really think he was trying to butter me up for a better grade, it may have worked. You be the judge.  Also, it just has the title of the essay as my name, Mrs. G. (I will remain nameless)

Mrs. G. is an indiginous inhabitant of minnsota, one of the State in the United States of America.  She is married to a Russian Mr. G. and according to my observation, she is a middle age woman and very presentable in public.
To be honest, she is very beatiful. In supporting this fact, she has a long black hair whic is one of the contributing factor indicating the beaty of a woman. Additionally, her straight nose sitting in-between her doll eyes and small mouth, beatifies the entire upper section of her smooth body.
Furthermore, it is unfair if one doesn’t mention the way she dresses, which truely portrays her beatiful image. In polishing her beaty is her hight which is appropriate for her structure.
In addition, to this already beatiful woman described, is her character. As a teacher, she is having all the qualities, that students are looking for. For instance, she is soft spoken, pontual in class, helpful, and at the same time very friendly.  To be specific, nor matter what student does in class either intelligently or stupidly, she is always there to assist.
Moreover, this charasmatic woman’s status in society is excellent.  To start with, she is highly educated.  In clarifying her Educational Standard, she is a masters degree holder. Therefore has the quality to teach both home and abroad. Due to this quality of her’s she has been not only to the then Soviet Union, but also thought in People’s Republic of China. For such a woman, beaty is part of her daily life.
Finally, it is necessary to note that, beaty is compose of a lot of contributing factors put to gether in a possitive way, which includes interlectualism, possitive character and imagery of beauty itself. All this factors are present in a single human been known as Mr. G.

Now I ask you, what kind of a grade would you give this student?  He DID have the transition markers in place, he just didn’t use spellchecker which might have only discouraged him.  I saw his heart and I love to see my students’ heart in Kazakhstan, I’m looking forward to being back with a new crop of writing students.

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