China Team Journal

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday June 24, 2010

Thought for the Day:
The key to success is to wake up every day and do the best you can.

Today Leon and I had another successful day. We borrowed Michael’s idea of having the students perform skits in groups of three: one student was a teacher, another a student and the third a parent. We were encouraged by how excited the students were; they immediately got into groups and eagerly chatted away, deciding what to say and what actions to do.

Surprisingly, all groups performed the same scenario: an inattentive/uncooperative student followed by a phone call home and a resulting visit from the parent to the school. One group role-played a teenager writing a note while the teacher was talking, another was sleeping in class and yet another was listening to an MP3 player and refused to put it way.

These same stories could easily have taken place in an American classroom. This led me to believe that perhaps the stereotypical studious and obedient student is not so typical after all in China.

Afterwards Leon gave a good critique of basic stage techniques, i.e. projecting from the diaphragm and not turning ones back to the audience while talking. The activity also was an excellent springboard to talk about, model and practice pronunciation. One notable pronunciation problem was the teacher telling the parent “Don’t late (let) her stay up too late.

Tomorrow we will have the students redo the skits with the expectation that they will improve both their pronunciation and basic acting skills. We plan to continue doing skits; next time giving each group a completely different situation.

Time goes very quickly here. It is hard to believe the first week is almost over.