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Teaching English

Tutoring Kids in China

I’ve always taught college kids because I don’t like to teach basics. You need to understand English fluently for me to want to teach you which pretty much rules out any child. Until Lion. My friend moved away from Xiamen about a year ago and asked me if I wanted to teach a kid. “He’s … Continue reading »

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Being the Token English Speaker

“Becky, I think I made a friend mad,” a student wrote to me out of the blue. “What happened?” I asked. “I asked one of the foreign teachers for some help looking over my resume and he refused and was angry,” she said. “What did he say?” I asked feeling a little annoyed. Students are … Continue reading »

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Teaching English in China–Final Exams!

Three years ago I came up with a great idea for the final exam in Speaking class: each student has to teach 20 minutes of class. I did it once, three years ago, and haven’t had the opportunity to do it again…until this semester. With thirty students in a class this takes at least 5 … Continue reading »

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How to Teach English in China and Not Loathe Yourself

Teaching English in China is known for many things, but having a fulfilling, enriching life isn’t one of them. In fact, most English teachers end up down one of two paths: they grow to hate themselves, and their job, more and more. They get angry at Chinese things, and basically just talk about how “dumb” … Continue reading »

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Happy Easter from China

Happy Easter from my little bunnies to you.

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Being a Teacher is Worth It

Besides going to mountains this winter break, I had another accidental theme: Seeing my students. I’ve been teaching for so long, and with such a large number of students, that it just figures they are now spread all throughout China and I’d bump into them from time to time. This trip I kept tripping over them … Continue reading »

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Watching China Change Through My Class

Since I got here almost 7 years ago, I have made all my own lesson plans–dozens over the years. They have been tested, honed, and perfected where I know they will get the maximum class participation while teaching something useful. In the past several years, say about four, I haven’t changed much. If it ain’t … Continue reading »

Categories: China, Chinese Culture, Teaching English | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Graffiti in the Girls Bathroom

Just like in every country, there is scribbles and scrawling on the walls of the bathroom stalls. A few short words, a number to call. But instead of the expected “for a good time” graffiti, it has another message. You’ll see this same graffiti in schools across the country. It says “level 4 & 6 … Continue reading »

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Halloween in Xiamen!

Woot! Woot! It’s Halloween time people! While not an actual holiday in China, Halloween is getting bigger and bigger and in Xiamen there are now THREE major events thousands will be going to. And bars, restaurant, and most stores are getting into the spirit with spooky decorations and lots of cut-out pumpkins. And for the past few weeks … Continue reading »

Categories: China, Teaching English | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Lunch Time on a Chinese Campus

If you’ve lived in China for any length of time, you know how important lunch is. No squished sandwich eaten at your desk, or some long ladies luncheon. Lunch is fast and quick for the main event: the afternoon nap. At a college campus lunch is like a flash flood. People start trickling into restaurants … Continue reading »

Categories: China, Chinese Food, Teaching English | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment