Class the first week seemed very long, but now, during the weekend, I’m surprised that 1 out of the 3 weeks is already over. We learned 2 teaching techniques focusing on different levels: the young learner and basic language learner methods. On Friday, we were paired with a partner and peer-taught a lesson we prepared throughout Thursday. Unlike preparing a lesson in the states, this was a lot more intensive; I had to practice my actions and my rate of speech. (We also had to create all our illustrations which probably took an hour...) We forget that when teaching English to children who rarely hear it means that they have no idea probably 90% of the time of what we are saying, unless we demonstrate what we wish them to do.
Now, my speech probably sounds very slow, monotonous, and robotic, but because we were taught a few Thai phrases that way, I can see why we have to repeat ourselves 5 times over and over again slowly--it guides the students to enunciate and pronounce their words correctly. That actually leads me to the thought of our instructor, Whittney. She is amazing at showing us how to teach, as opposed to just telling us. With her examples, which we then detail back to her so that she can explain each step, we develop as stronger teachers. She will even ask questions such as, “Did I look at you, the students, when I was doing this step?” She asks us so that we pay particular attention to her actions and the way that it should be done to maximize the learners’ potentials.
I believe sometimes I make it sound that I speak very quickly, but in reality, I generally speak slowly. I have always loved working with young children, so I have always slowed down my speech. However, hearing the speech I use now is EVEN slower, if you can believe that.