Saturday, 13 October 2012

Encounters of the language kind

Sometimes you have to take one step back to take two forward. I've shelved my plans to travel this winter to concentrate on getting even more experience teaching English to foreign students.

                      harvest time in Suffolk

After passing my CELTA certificate in Feburary, I have been teaching foreign teenagers at a local language school, here in Suffolk,  and have now been given the opportunity to extend my experience. I've secured a contract until Christmas to teach adults, in both general English and IELTS, (basic exam strategy in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing).

                      harvest time in the Suffolk dust bowl.

So for now, my travel plans have been put on hold. My dreams are still to carry on with my world cycle trip (part two), but I have decided that the all round experience and opportunity of teaching both teenagers and adults that I'm doing now, will stand me in good stead for the future.

Experience is the key and after what will be a year of teaching in the 'safety' of my home town, I can learn my trade before launching myself on the world's language learners. This experience will help put me in a far better position when I start my travels again.

                      Suffolk harvest

Much of my time  now is spent teaching but I still get time to catch up with my friends. I recently met up for a regular girls' lunch with my old CELTA college friends in Norwich. Needless to say, too much wine was consumed -mainly by me - (I was travelling by train) but we chatted away as usual not realising (and certainly not for the first time!) that time had moved on and it was late in the afternoon before we finished. Oh well, that's girls who lunch for you!

              scenes of Suffolk

I've been working very hard at my teaching in this past year,   especially at making a fool of myself. I can tell you now, it's very hard work being an alien! Even the adults get subjected to my madness when I teach, but they take it well, they just roll their eyes and chalk it up to the unlucky fact they've been put in a classroom with a mad woman!  

 Suffolk cottage

But being an alien does have its uses. It's a great way to revise vocabulary with students and gives them something to laugh about as well. But just in case your're wondering, being an alien involves drawing a 'stick' alien on the whiteboard, and then standing in front of the students with my fingers pointing up from my ears and waggling them about like antennae. (well I did warn you!) The idea behind it, - is that an alien can't understand any English, so every time a student says a word or phrase, they have to explain their definition and then explain their second, third, fourth and (if they get that far) fifth definitions and so on.  Works a treat!

                     Suffolk thatched cottage window

All these 'out of world' encounters means that I'm due a break. (not a moment too soon my students would say!) - so in November,I'm off to Rugby to catch up with friends there. Then hopefully a trip to Bristol.

                   farm machinery in the fields

So with scissors in hand and trawling through the newspapers and magazines looking for suitable pictures and texts for my next lessons, I will carry on learning teaching, and leave you with my photo topic this month, scenes of Suffolk.

(If you want to see the photographs on full screen without the text - just click on each picture).

         recently harvested sugar beet

                               a walk in the Suffolk countryside

 an ancient baler

               Suffolk fields and paths

                               a thatched Suffolk cottage

              and for something completely different - a recent student trip to London


(c) copyright: all text and photographs in are copyright to Deborah Anne Brady: 2012

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