Saturday, March 8, 2014

Teaching Content Classes, with PPT

So, I'm back in Busan after my not-so-brief semi-vacation in Thailand.  And although the chilly weather was quite a shock to my system, all is well these days and the first week of classes went very smoothly.  And, I'm EXTREMELY happy to report that not an hour of my 22 or so teaching hours/week consist of anything resembling "conversational" English.  I'm teaching 3 sections of Advanced writing to 3rd/4th year English majors, a presentation/interview class to engineering students, business English to students who have graduated and are preparing for an internship in the USA and a current events discussion club kind of thing. 

But, teaching content (especially writing) is much different than conversation classes and I'm trying to figure out my teaching style.  Previously, on very rare occasion would I use a PPT (Powerpoint for my North American friends), and instead I would focus almost exclusively on having the students interact with each other, in a student-centered to the extreme, engaging and purposeful kind of way.  And I would generally try to keep my whiteboard warrior activities to about 5 minutes out of every hour or less.  But, there is almost no way to do this for something like Advanced Writing and in fact would probably lead to extreme frustration and confusion for the students (and me too).  So, it's back to the PPT, even though it kind of kills me on the inside and I wonder if there is not a better way.  I've tried to include lots of group work/exploration within the lesson but it's still a lot of me, lecturing.

Anyway, I'm interested to see how this will all work out by semester end.  I'm sure you'll get an update or two!

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