All Set to Help with Your Voyage
In September, our school embraced the innocent and the new as usual. Our vigorous teachers gave a wonderful welcome to those cheerful little sweeties though we were in a hustle and bustle. With those untamed ponies, it was challenging for the teachers of the primary school's High-end English Program to fill the boring language learning with colors, make it vivid and alive rather than just the black and white lines on pages, avoid repetition and above all, make them well acquire the English language usage as well as its functions. Over the last two months, our teachers and kids has grown on each other and we continue get into our stride.
It can’t be more important to connect with the kids at the start. Our teachers came up with novel ways to warm up with the kids including self-portraits and self-made name tags instead of the usual ways of self-introduction, which enabled the students’ self-manifestation and teachers’ precise understanding of the kids. It also helped those shy kids to express themselves in a more relaxed way.
Number learning. We used the game called “Bingo” which ignited the children’s passion and kept them highly focused. They acquired the language and learned the gaming words during the activity.
自然拼读，你是怎么学的？大多数孩子都一样， 张口就来“a,a apple ”.而我们的讲义里藏着一张字母卡片，课上孩子们把每个小字母剪下来，跟着老师一起找字母，练发音，拼单词。
Phonics learning. How do you learn it? When we showed them the letters, most of the kids just blurted out “a, a, apple”. This time, we did it differently. There hides a page with letters in boxes. All the kids needed to do was to cut them out, look for letters under teachers’ instruction and then follow the teachers to pronounce them and spell a word with the letters.
Sight words learning. Here comes the question again. How do you learn it? Just massive reading and memorizing. Why not play a game! The kids sat around and passed the toy moon-cake with the music on, when the music stopped, the one holding the toy needed to stand up and say the word on screen. They got excited as the game went on. At the same time, they memorized the sight words spelling easily.
How do you learn music, art and English language at the same time? Teachers' ingenuity jumped in. We played a video for the kids and then played it again asking them to draw pictures of the words they were hearing without watching the video. You can’t imagine how unique and imaginative their pictures were. They love the craft and drawing for those activities can express their rich inner world.
当然，各种和课程内容相关的有趣视频，更是让孩子们欲罢不能，每看完一次都要喊“One more time”（还要看）。还有角色扮演，制作柱形图等等，孩子们在欢乐中，在不觉中，学到的不仅是纯正的英文表达，还有交融的学科知识，更是动手实操的生活技能。
The videos used are also an indispensable part and the kids love them. Every time after they watch the videos they shouted out “One more time”. Besides all the above, we also learned the bar graph and did role-play. Amid those inspiring activities, children learned not only the authentic English and the integrated knowledge, but the practical life skills with joy without the awareness of learning.
庆贺节日，无论东方还是西方，都是很重要的一件事情。大到国家的节日----国庆，中秋，小到家庭的节日----生日，纪念日。我们本学期的Celebration主题贯穿始终。中秋假期回来，跟着外教学习中秋的习俗，全部用英文呈现。孩子们平常再熟悉不过的情景，他们自然能充分理解英文语言，吸收效果极好。 自己装饰的生日蜡烛，巧克力蛋糕配方， 万圣节孩子们的Jack-O-Lantern(南光灯)，服装展示，trick or treat（不给糖就捣蛋）......让孩子们激动至极。同时他们也明白了我们要庆贺什么，要怎么庆贺。学习主题始终如一，学习内容高度融合，融合中却又不失专业性。
Celebrations, whether in the east or west, is a big thing ranging from the nationwide festivals like National Day or Mid-Autumn Day to family anniversaries like birthdays or reunions. Therefore, it is the theme through this whole semester. We learned customs of Mid-autumn Festival in English right after that holiday vacation. As all the things we talked about were what they have already known for years, it required little mental labor to understand the content and it resulted in a highly effective input of the English language.
How would it work since the children are all fresh new Grade 1 students in a total English immersion environment as they are sometimes confused about even the Chinese instructions? No worries. We have our patient Chinese co-teachers. They give timely explanations and make sure the students understand it and depend less on Chinese. They will give individual tutoring while walking around the class and find when someone is struggling with their learning. And surely by doing so, we achieved a wonderful outcome.
As for the teachers, a meeting for us to share ideas about teaching and academics is essential no matter how busy we are. Thus we have a meeting every week to discuss the details of the lessons for the week. We discuss the possibilities and then agree on the final teaching tools and procedures. But each teacher gets to keep their own features on how to use them. It’s that devotion with great inclusiveness, diversity, and exploration that enables us to present a non-traditional course to the students and help them to achieve what they need with flexibility in a more joyful environment.
Those new little sweeties, innocent and pure, curious about everything, step into our class with great expectations and leave with reluctance. Their day starts with anticipation for our class and also ends with the same. That really soothes us and is the infinite driving force for us to make every attempt to tailor our program for them in the hope of providing them not only the instant joy of self-discovery but the perseverance in life’s voyage and the wisdom for exploring the unknown.