On my own in Shanghai

On my own in Shanghai

I took taxi to the metro station and then to TaiKangLu. Véronique had recommended it to me. Really a neat place! Lots of little tiny artsy-type places. I wandered around a lot and just checked things out. Lunch in a yuppie place: awful soup but good duck confit. I dunno what confit means, it was just roasted and kind of dry. Then I went to the high-end shopping area that YingYing and I went to yesterday. (I wanted a Sbux chai even though it would be made with a tea bag.) Well, this Sbux didn’t even have a chai tea on the menu. I went to the...

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Hangzhou to Yizheng, back to Shanghai

Hangzhou to Yizheng, back to Shanghai

YingYing and I took a bus from Hangzhou to Yizheng. It is an old fishing village built on a canal. Saw a woman washing laundry in the canal. (photo) the whole place had old decrepit houses and small museums. It was fascinating. There is a more modern part to Yizheng also, but frankly I found the old part to be very interesting. Upon returning to Shanghai at 3:00 we went to a pretty, yuppie shopping area and ate in the DinTai Fung dumpling restaurant. It was delicious but I ate too much!

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Travel to Water Cities!

Travel to Water Cities!

It has been raining here and this morning I had to get up and stand in the rain at 6:30 for 20 min, waiting for a taxi. The taxi took YingYing and me to a train station where we caught a fast train to Hangzhou. After checking into the hotel, we walked around the old streets. Ying Ying told me legends, about the stories of the founding of the city, traditions of pharmacists and scholars being so important, it was an education just listening to her. She told me about the size of disks in front of the buildings indicating the prestige of the...

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Last Day at Concordia

Holy cow. This was my last day at Concordia International School of Shanghai. It was a long hard day. I began by teaching Véronique’s French IV class at 8 AM. Only half of the students were there today, but I did a lesson that involved subjunctive (as Véronique had requested), as well as past tenses, persons, y and en pronouns. It was such a thrill to teach French to real kids! I love teaching kids! The Mandarin teachers came to observe the lesson. I know that they did not follow the grammar we were doing, but I hope that they saw me...

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Concordia continued

It was a nice schedule today. I observed a few teachers, had plenty of opportunity to talk with them. I also met with Jennie (curriculum director) and Ying Ying about how to design the curriculum outline and how to design a reasonable outline of chapters/units/quarters/semesters. Jennie is a joy to work with It seems like there are often directors with a rigid framework that all disciplines have to adhere to. Jennie is only interested in getting a format that works well for maximum progress on the part of learners. What a treat! YingYing and...

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Visitations and Results!

I observed and commented with four teachers today. This is a really nice schedule because YingYing organized it so that i could observe and make suggestions, then com back to see the same teacher on another day to look for improvement. It is wonderful to see that the teachers have all taken my suggestions and tried to implement them. It is a growing experience for all of us! I can see their growth and I also can see when my suggestions were not clear enough. These teachers are all so willing and eager to try new things. It is remarkable!...

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More classroom visitations at Concordia

More classroom visitations at Concordia

I observed and made notes on more teachers today.  I truly am impressed with the teaching of most teachers here. They are very interested in teaching well. They really make sure that their lessons are active enough to engage the students, they speak Mandarin exclusively (using English only to make sure that something is clear.) The only suggestion that is universal is this: Make the students the center of the lesson; do not worry about telling a story. After school I went to Starbucks and had a chai tea bag in a latte and it was pretty good!...

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Concordia International School: Classroom visitations

I went to first period with Stella. It was so cool to see her again; we had met the last time I was here. At that time she was the “travel director” for Michael and me. She is a good teacher. She relates well with students. She had a story about Harry Potter having his clothing stolen and then she showed a slide of him bare-chested! The kids really got a kick out of it. For the rest of the day, I observed several teachers. They were very good. I met with each of them to give them suggestions and my overall impressions. YingYIng...

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Day Two of Workshop at Concordia

Day Two of Workshop at Concordia

Day two went great. I did the embedded reading in French. I had Nini and Paul be the heroes of my reading, using this picture as a slide in the story. Then groups did their teaching. Each group had a Mandarin lesson to teach. They practiced PQA, circling, getting reps, working with actors. I coached each group and I learned a lot of Mandarin. We had teachers from Hong Kong and Macau and Beijing. It was so cool! The only frustration was that we could not get around to everyone and it got to be so long that everyone was exhausted! YingYing and...

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First day of workshop at Concordia International School

First day of workshop at Concordia International School

The first day of the workshop at Concordia was outstanding! I really am happy. There were far too many teachers for everyone to be able to teach and get coaching, but one of the groups who was assigned the Group 1 lesson did their teaching. It was good to see that other teachers with other teaching styles can do TPR Storytelling and be effective. Also giving the entire group a chance to work together on a lesson enabled them to get their questions answered and so imagine themselves teaching using CI. Ever since I got here, the entire school...

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Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Woke up at 2:30 AM. It is nice to awaken at a weird time because I called Michael. It was afternoon back in Colorado and it was good to hear his voice. At the school I met with Jennie, the curriculum director. I was able to explain to her how TPR Storytelling should create different instructional techniques but also that the curriculum should be based on what the students can do rather than list discrete details of a language program. She understood the ACTFL  Proficiency Guidelines. Since she is the curriculum director, she was eager to see...

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First Day at Concordia International School of Shanghai

Walked to the school because it is near my hotel. I toured the entire school, met all kinds of people. Worked with YingYing Reed (the Director of Mandarin for the school) about plans for the workshop. I observed LanYing McQueen’s 2nd grade class. Amazing! The kids were so excited and they were just screaming out in Chinese!  They truly knew exactly what she was saying. It is such fun to see these little English speakers be so confident and comfortable in Mandarin! They had made up original stories and illustrated them. Then they pointed to...

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Arrival in Shanghai

Arrival in Shanghai

My hotel room in Diamond Court is FABULOUS! Majorly huge apartment-like! A study, a big living/kitchen, a walk-in closet, bathroom. On the 16th floor with a fabulous view. YingYing gave me a huge gorgeous basket of fruit, snacks, throat lozenges, eye puffiness thingies, hair thingie, just amazing! I love this hotel room! I can’t get on Facebook or my web page, but there is an Ethernet cable and that works for email and (limited)...

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Day Two in Brandon

What a cool group of teachers! We got to do some practice teaching and it was so much fun to see them implement the skills immediately after hearing about them. Charlotte, a German teacher, is a natural! There was lots of engagement and enthusiasm. Many of them are familiar with AIM and so they were very interested in the similarities and differences. I want to thank Delphine Holian and David Bebbington. They planned and put on the conference, and they did a super job. Since Brandon is pretty far from the airport, they even helped me get a...

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Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

Brandon, Manitoba, Canada

This was new format for a two-day workshop because the teachers came after a full day of teaching! It started at 5 PM and went until 9 PM. It was especially fun for me because I did the story in Spanish. That was fun to do since I do not get many opportunities to teach a workshop using Spanish. I had taken a morning walk and found this adorable ”carrito rojo” — I took a photo and we used it for transportation in the story!

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Colorado Springs TPR Storytelling Workshop

A good group of teachers gathered today: teachers of German, Chinese, ELL, French and Spanish. I did a French lesson in the morning, all three steps. It went pretty fast, but at least we had time for acquisition/learning and then actual practice in the afternoon. Teachers planned a lesson in their language and then taught the other teachers.There is enormous individual teacher growth when being taught by colleagues who are learning the method. Thanks to all of you for participating with so much enthusiasm!

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Maine: Day Two

I love these folks! They are super-with-it; they completely “get” comprehensible input, they totally understand how crucial it is to go slow and to guarantee comprehension, to get many repetitions, etc. It is fun to talk with colleagues who are so advanced. I did the workshop on “TPRS for Levels 2 – AP” in the morning. It was rewarding to see the enthusiasm of the teachers and to hear their ideas for how to apply the tools to their own lessons.  In the afternoon I did a “Reading” workshop. Many of the...

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Maine: Day One

Skip Crosby has been organizing annual autumn workshops for language teachers for several years now! He is not an organization, yet he puts on these super workshops year after year. He gets different presenters to come and work with this great group of teachers. It is really cool. There were teachers from out-of state, also! In total there were 50 attendees. We used a lovely large room at the University of Southern Maine. I did a workshop on classroom management in the morning. It worked out well, because typically there are so many questions...

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Visit to Nagasaki

Visit to Nagasaki

Martha’s husband Senri took me to Nagasaki today. I will leave early in the morning, so it is good to get close to the airport tonight. We had lunch on the wharf, then went to the art museum and then to the Nagasaki Bombing Museum. The bombing museum was very interesting. Not anything left in Nagasaki from the bombing, but there were some artifacts in the museum. Mostly pictures. It is just a horrifying event to learn about, especially since the selection of Nagasaki appears to have been so random.The museum was swarming with school...

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Day Three: Shimabara TPRS 2011

Day Three: Shimabara TPRS 2011

Third day was another home run! The teachers taught an embedded reading to the “class” of adults and kids who showed up for the English lesson. Many of the students were here for the second day, since they had been invited to come for one day or two days of free lessons. What is most impressive is that everyone, and that means EVERY person, understood every single word of the reading! By the end it was a text of 457 words and they completely understood it! The teachers were excellent and they all succeeded. It was so awesome.  I...

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