What makes a good teaching demonstration?

Being invited to be a judge for teaching demonstration for the fifth time, I’d like to share some of my humble opinions when taking the ultimate test of becoming a qualified English teacher in public junior high schools:

1. Pronunciation and intonation are fundamental and crucial part of the whole process. If you have poor pronunciation and speak in a boring monotone, it would be quite excruciating for the judges to sit through your teaching demonstration.

Cooperative Learning Workshop at Chung Lun

Sharing what I have learned about Cooperative Learning

Gorgeous campus of Chung Lun
Being invited to share my teaching practices with regard to Cooperative Learning many times, I got to sit through all the presentations of participants’ collaborative lesson planning for the very first time today. I picked up many brilliant ideas and definitely will give it a try in my class, and they are listed as follows.
1. Making sentences with a deck of cards + Team Game Tournament
With the given PPT slide shown, students working in groups have to put together a correct sentence from a deck of cards comprised of subjects, verbs, objects, time and so on. To make sure students of all the three levels can be engaged equally, we can call on one of each group to compete with each other.  
2. Story Elements + Jigsaw
This can be served as a framework for students to analyze any dialogues or readings in the textbooks. Also, involved in Jigsaw activity, students work in groups to elaborate on one of the elements by creating a poster and doing a little oral report with it.
3. Jigsaw Reading + Literature Circle
Based on the number of students in each group, divide the text into parts so that each group takes one part and accordingly elaborate on it with tasks like discussion, vocabulary, grammar, summary, translation and so on.

Obviously, Jigsaw and Literature are quite popular among the participants after my introduction to how to implement them in an authentic setting. This workshop gave me the opportunity not only to demonstrate how some teaching strategies are quite useful but “steal” many good ideas from the presenters. 

Teaching English in English

Teaching English in English

I’m a crazy English learner. I seldom let my mind wander. I always listen to some English even when I mop the floor, hang out the clothes, drive on the road and take a dump. I’m very eager to feed my brain with as much English input as I can, such as Taipei Times, Advanced, Biz, Harry Potter, The Kite Runner and so on.

Cultural Exchange with AIESEC Volunteers

I’ve been thinking about how to create a more authentic environment for my students to use the language. Today, two student volunteers from Holland and Australia, Noel and Chelsea, helped a lot with both language practice and cultural exchange. Working in groups, my students did a little presentation about windmills, floating houses, bicycles and the Anne Frank House in Holland.

Teaching Demonstration Filming Project

It is my honor and pleasure today to film for the “Teaching Demonstration Project” with the National Changhua University of Education. The idea is to demonstrate some innovative teaching strategies targeting reading and grammar in textbooks for all the junior high English teachers. On top of that, it is also my privilege to work with those lovely students in雅心書軒for the very first time after its unveiling ceremony at PHJH.

English Winter Camp with Travel English and French Toast

All the activities were set up using only English as the medium of instruction. The whole idea is to create an environment where students have to work in groups and complete all the tasks targeting travel English, including how to go through customs, take public transportation, check in at a hotel, order food at a restaurant, and so on in English. Of course, making French toast is always a popular activity which engages all the students while also helping them pick up some useful English expressions. Here are 6 activities used in the course.

Kuang Ming and Seijo's Skype Exchange 3: Celebrities

"Our teacher told us this was the last time we spoke to Akiko's students. We wanted to give them a surprise. We shouted "Happy Graduation" out loud in Japanese together, and they seemed a bit shocked and also quite glad to hear it."; "I come to realize English is absolutely a magical tool for communication because we can talk about so much with each other without worrying about making mistakes."; "I felt a lot less stressed speaking to them in English today. I tried to say whatever came to my mind even though my spoken English was not very good at all." Well, I just can read their reflection and comments again and again with a smile on my face while also reliving some of the very unforgettable moments during the two-hour session, which is exactly the driving force that will keep me going no matter what.

Introducing the Beauty of Taichung:演武場、光明國中、逢甲夜市

Creating an authentic environment for my students to speak the language and get to experience cultural exchanges are always the main ideas throughout this course of International Education. Toshi, a Japanese English teacher who is also a Global English alumni of the UO AEI, came to visit me during his trip to Taiwan this February. We toured places including 刑務演武場光明國中逢甲夜市 and 東豐自行車道. It was such a pleasant experience for me to introduce the beauty of Taichung to Toshi in English, and I also gained new perspectives from his points of view. What if I could duplicate what I learned and extend Toshi's visit to benefit my students by getting them to make oral presentations about the same tourist attractions?

Cooperative Learning: The 9th Teaching Demonstration

This is the 9th teaching demonstration outside of my school, with students I've never met before and all the English teachers there sitting in the back. Words are difficult to describe how I feel now. Well, let's just say I am completely blown away.

Cooperative Learning: Class Participation and Discussion

Due to this national policy of promoting Cooperative Learning throughout all the junior high schools in the country, I get to travel to many schools to not only share what I've learned related to this teaching approach but observe other teachers' classes and give my professional feedback and suggestions. When it comes to classroom observation, I probably have done this over twenty times, gaining plenty of experience and STEALING many brilliant ideas from it as well. So, I've developed my own framework of participation and discussion in terms of Cooperative Learning, jotting down everything, including the highlights, my questions and suggestions, to share with all the participants right after the teaching demonstration.