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Tongue-Twisters and other Games – Teaching English in the College
Thursday, 04 April 2013 Written by Uta Leymann

Teaching English in the CollegeUnfortunately I came rather late during the term, so I could only teach for 5 weeks. I observed one period of an English class in order to get an idea of their level of English. I then began teaching all of the 8 classes with an overall number of 320 students. Every class had two periods a week, a period lasts 60 minutes.

I describe that so extensively because it has time and again surprised me how much I enjoyed the teaching regardless of the great number of students in one class and the, for me, unusually long periods. The students took part with pleasure and great interest, they have a great sense of humour, they are disciplined without appearing intimidated.

So I taught the welding students one period each on Fridays in the morning and in the late afternoon, 55 students, in a rather dark classroom outside the school. Although some of the students sometimes become drowsy, especially in the afternoon, they were easy to wake up again. I have to admit that I could well sympathize with them it being very hot most afternoons, the classroom crowded and so inevitably rather sticky. But even so after a period there I came back in a very good mood, because it was pleasant and inspiring.

In the same way I was enthusiastic over and over again about the positive atmosphere in the school. Students and teachers alike seemed to enjoy being in this school, that included me as well. I think the way the school was designed, all the buildings around the yard, also helped to create a good atmosphere.

In class I did a lot of pronunciation and speaking exercises with tongue-twisters, word and memory games, dialogues, questions and answers beside the appropriate grammar. After five weeks though the teaching came to an end because of tests and exams, which for me was a bit of a pity.

So then I began to collect together with the colleague the subjects that could and should be taught within the one respective two years of training. And because excellent and extensive teaching material was already available in the school, I basically had to condense that and then added dialogues, games, a song, a vocabulary list etc. With the assistance of two medical students from Germany who helped a lot with some of the writing and all of the formatting I could put together more than 30 pages of an English workbook for every student.

Within a couple of days at least more than hundred of the ordered 500 copies were being produced and I was able to show it to the students at the end of term. I could promise all of them a copy for the beginning of the second term.

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