K.I.A-cademy Awards

I’ve tried a lot of things to get my 7th grade ESL students to use their vocabulary. These native Chinese speakers would rather memorize the longest sentence in a novel, from William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom (over 1200 words), than lose face mispronouncing a word. And yes, some want to take on that challenge. However, my middle schoolers got excited making […]

What the F@#K say?

Yeah! Yesterday was my last day of school. Make that YaWei. It was year to be remembered for many reasons, a lot of  classes spinning out of control, making me wonder if I made a difference with the spinners, those born in the Chinese Year of the Entitled Child. But YaWei, my youngest student, helped me put things in perspective. […]

Monkeying Around

So I got a real cool teaching tool for my classroom. Not sharpies or flash cards, but a monkey mask. Slightly used, but just a buck fifty. I started the class by telling the students I saw a monkey in front of the school. They weren’t impressed. As they worked on their spelling words,  I had to use the restroom.  […]

China’s Got Talent

What could be more adorable than a Chinese five year old dressed up as Curly the cowboy? The one re-enacting a dinosaur battle. It was the Chine Speaks English competition in Kunming,  and I got to be a judge for the shortie division ( four to eight year-olds). Participants were judged on their ability to speak English,  not if they could comprehend […]