Teaching Kids Again…

cfbc_kids_sm1.jpgAfter my first experience teaching kids in a group, I was more than hesitant to agree to teach another group. But this one promised to be a one-time deal. They were mainly pre-teens and younger teenager (downside) but the proposition was to teach six different groups of kids in a summer camp for an hour each without a repeat performance (upside). Knowing that I’d have some guidance from the teacher organizing the whole shebang, and would be helping her out to boot as the native speaker teacher she’d arranged had bailed out, I agreed.

The scariest part was when I got about five minutes notice that I would be addressing an auditorium full of the 100+ children and their parents. I spoke for probably less than a minute in English, sat down, and then watched as the organizer struggled to translate my address – she later told me she hadn’t even been listening.

I ended up playing the game of Alibi with four of the groups, and doing a “imagine you are a typical American teenager” roleplay with the other two. I checked in advance with their main teachers about level and appropriateness, and they agreed that these would be fine. The Alibi groups started out with some vocabulary brainstorming – and some had just finished a lesson on teenage gangs so were full of crime words like arson, mug and ditch class. They all enjoyed it when I hammed it up and acted skeptical when the “suspects” offered explanations for diverging stories. We summed things up with a discussion about how life as a teenager in their country compared to life as a teenager in the US.

The roleplays with the lower levels were nothing remarkable – I gave them my answers first and elicited the questions, then had them answer questions in pairs as if they were American teenagers…receiving 100$ allowances and attending classes for two hours a day, driving to school in their own Ferraris…but they enjoyed “being” someone else.