June 21st, 2005

Teaching English Outside China

Seeing as I will soon be returning to the world of proper TEFL teaching (No more than 16 students to a class! Chairs you can move around! Staff rooms! Students who bring notebooks to class!) here are some really useful English teaching links I've come across recently:

www.tesall.com is great for jobs, lessons plans and also for links to the best ESL teacher's blogs all over the world - they were recently kind enough to feature a prominent link to my article about Tefl as a Missionary Language.

www.doyoutefl.com will soon be a great resource if you've left teaching, or if you've moved on to another school or country. It's basically a TEFL version of that site I've forgotten the name of where you look up and get in touch with old schoolfriends, and is just starting up, so obviously the more people who sign up soon the better. The people who run the site are extremely helpful at offering TEFL-related advice too.

www.developingteachers.com is a site more for serious teachers, particularly for people intending to Do the DELTA, like what I am. They have very detailed lesson plans to look at and use, and lots, and lots, and lots, of really useful teaching tips.

The Da Shan Dynasty part 7: Down With The Da Shan Dynasty!

Several of my students don't know or have already forgotten who Zhao Ziyang was. But they have all heard of Da Shan. Da Shan is 'China's favourite foreigner', renowned in every corner of the Middle Kingdom for his dashing good looks and his complete mastery of the Mandarin Chinese of Beijing. He arrived here from Canada in 1988, and since then, according to his very informative webs...excuse me just a moment, one of the students has a question.

Yes, you there, you had a question?

"Yes, sir."

Don't call me sir. My name's Richard. What's your name again?

"Jamily, sir. Er, Mr. Richard."

Jamily? Your name is Jamily?!? What's your question, Jamily?

"Well, sir, it's just that...I was thinking about that story you made us read, sir, Mr. Richard. The one about the picture. By that guy, er, Oswald Wo-'

Oscar Wilde, Jamily. What about it?

"What, sir?"

Don't say 'what, sir?' It's ... oh it doesn't matter. What's your point, Jamily?

"Well, I was thinking, because, you know, Da Shan came to China in 1988, sir, and that other guy, the one you asked about yesterday? I did some research, and I found out that he was locked up under house arrest, sir, Mr.Richard, in 1989, so I thought-"

Are you suggesting that Zhao Ziyang was like the picture in the attic, while Da Shan is like the-

"Yes, sir, exactly, Mr. Richard, sir! And Da Shan is like the guy who couldn't, I mean doesn't, get any uglier!"

That's bollocks, Jamily.

"Thank you, sir"

No, I mean it's preposterous. It's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard in my life.

"But sir, just think how much better things would have been! And just imagine all the wonderful things he could have done on behalf of other gay people in Ch-"

Jamily, I never said that Zhao Ziyang was gay!

"Well, sir, maybe just a little bit bi-"

Jamily! This is just too silly for words. Sit Down! Stop calling me Sir!

And change your name!

"Sorry, Mr. Richard, sir."

Right, sorry about that, now where were we? Ah yes, the blog. According to Da Shan's very informative website...

Just a moment. I need to think.

You know, maybe that kid Jamily - Jamily! - has a point.

It does kind of all make sense.

In fact the more I think about it...

Right! I've thought about it.

It's time for the Chinese people to stand up once again!

Down With The Da Shan Dynasty!!!

It's time to establish a People's Republic of China!