Friday, 6 December 2013

What students think

Another of my  English classes consists of students studying human resources. As third years they are a little more competent in their English though the ability level is very wide. I try to find topics that will interest them and also be useful to them. We are together from 9-11am every Thursday this semester. We do a variety of activities including team debating, personal presentations, watching educational videos, grammar, themes linked to human resources, impromptu role-plays, reading and writing, listening and speaking. Themes have included the Christchurch Earthquake, the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior and the creation of nuclear-free NZ, CV's and job interviews, writing media releases, women in management (or lack of), HR in organisations, writing emails, the French in NZ and the establishment of Akaroa.

I like to have discussions but it's not easy getting them to offer ideas and participate in a foreign language (English). I haven't included any photos of them as they didn't want that so I'm  respecting their wishes. I'd like to thank them for their honest input into this blog and their encouraging feedback. So... here are the students' comments....

My first impression of our teacher was that she is very dynamic, more so than us students and we very quickly learnt that she loves France. It's a good thing that we have a dynamic teacher who teaches with energy and gives us  fun activities to teach us English. For example, to learn the parts of the body we played a game: someone had to go to the front of the class and say the name of a part of the body while the rest of the class had to show which part it was on thier own body. it was really fun and different. In class we talk about a lot of subjects such as nuclear-free New Zealand, human resources, equality between men and woment etc. Like that we learned a lot about New Zealand because it's not a 'famous country'. We also learnt things about CVs, job interviews and things relating to our speciality which are useful in finding jobs in Anglo-Saxon countries.

I am very pleased to have a New Zealand teacher because it really helps to know the culture of the country and the real pronunciation of the language. I always had French teachers, which is not bad, but it's different because those teachers, even if they travelled in Anglo-Saxon countries, are not part of that culture. Besides, some of them had a really bad accent. When I go to English class I expect to practice the language as if I were in the country: USA, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia. I know that French is a beautiful language but honestly, I would have liked to be born Anglo-Saxon, so when I go to class I want to learn the customs, culture, anecdotes, the cities, the landscapes. I have to say that with Miss Harrison my wish was granted.

Miss Lawson has an accent which is difficult for us to understand. For the majority of us, this is the first time that we have met someone from this country, but I think it's interesting to hear different English accents- a new experience.

Our teacher never spoke to us in French so we had no choice but to speak English. The topics were very interesting, especially when we talked about nuclear testing in the Pacific. The debates were fun. Personally I'm shy so it was a good means for me to practice speaking and
see where my difficulties in English lie.

The classroom really sucks as it sounds like a goddamned church. People in the class are cool, even the teacher Miss Lawson who seems to really enjoy her class, her work and even France, which is pretty weird.

 I like the energy of Miss Lawson for teaching us on Thursday mornings. At this hour we are like zombies. I like the videos we watch in class (Mr Bean for example). But I don't like the acoustics in the room. In fact, often we don't understand the instructions because there is a lot of echo. We have to speak louder, very slowly and clearly to be understood.

Our class is very heterogeneous: some people have a good level of English but others are backward. It's a shame the university doesn't divide the students into 'level' groups. In this way, students could progress according to their own competencies and at their own rhythms.

After my third year I'll want to leave and do a Master in HR in a university. I really hope, in my future study, that there are English, law and history courses to continue developing my competence.

This place is good for those with long term goals who know how to work and think and its easy to get into and not expensive.

We did a lot of oral work which is good because it allows us to speak English in front of the class. I did a debate on racism. My favourite video was on job interviews because it teaches us how to deal with these interviews and how to do a CV and the differences between English and French CVs.

Miss Lawson is a good teacher because she has, on the one hand experience, and on the other hand she is a New Zealander so she speaks very well. This progresses us faster than a French teacher who speaks English. It's the first time that I have had the impression I'm making progress with my English.

The teaching is motivating and practical but the teacher needs to speak slower for me. In the next semester I think more work on CVs and cover letters would be a good thing. For the past 3 years I didn't take English as an option but now I'm going to take English as an option every semester.

I liked dictation and your accent when you speak English.
I think we need to do more listening comprehension
I'd like us to study a newscast from the USA or a TV series like Breaking Bad or Dexter, or Game of Thrones.


Anonymous said...

Have you read your teaching contract? Putting ANY student info in the public domain (which your blog is) is illegal. You are already set up for a defamation filing given your all├ęgations of mistreatment re: REEDS. For all your high drama woes and complaining - not to mention ingrained narcissism... Legal advice? In short, it's going to cost a lot to battle likely deportation.

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Anonymous said...

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