Saturday, May 10, 2008

On for Tomorrow

I've blogged a couple times before about getting to know some folks here who are part of an English club that gets together every other week to practice English for an afternoon. Well, I've been asked to lead a session for tomorrow (as I also mentioned before).

We're going to talk about places you'd recommend visiting, and places you wouldn't recommend, and why. I think that will give people lots to talk about, because they all know some places to visit. And it's also potentially helpful for when they meet English speakers visiting here.

I've emailed with a club officer about the logistics, and it's interesting to see our different approaches. When I want to split folks into groups, I do a quick count off thing. And then if I want to move folks around between groups, I have one person stand up in each group and move one group in one direction. And another stand and move one group in the other direction (usually thinking of a circle sort of). And if necessary, have someone else stand up and move two groups over. And so on.

But they always make up lists of which people will be in which group ahead of time, and write them on the board. I'm not sure if they're making a conscious effort to balance groups or something, or maybe they know that someone just doesn't like a different person?

Wish me luck!


  1. i have no idea how this english-practice session is organized, but assigning groups at the beginning of each session could just reflect a cultural preference for order.

    i suspect your students will enjoy mixing it up a la musical chairs. it probably is a good idea to switch at least 2 at a time, so those shifting don't feel alone in a group that has already had some discussion.

  2. Kathy A. We do switch around groups totally (my method does, and so does the one my mentor here uses).

    I was trying to resist a broader cultural reading. I think it's often easier for visitors in a culture to go with broad cultural readings than to think about individual choices.

    For one thing, as a classroom teacher, I break people into groups several times a week; for most uses, it takes too much time to put people in groups as individuals. But my mentor here only puts people in groups here once every month or two, so maybe he thinks it's important enough to put in the time?

  3. you're right; i was making assumptions.

    this must have happened already. hope it went well!

  4. Thanks, it went well :)