Thursday, December 09, 2004

Today was the last day of classes for the semester at the ELC. Whoo-hoo! As a present, I got a little taste of redemption, and perhaps can be persuaded to believe I didn't totally waste my teaching time all semester.

First of all, this morning my students had to present their book reports as the culmination of their 3-week book reading project. They were taken to the bookstore and set free in the mystery section to select any book they wanted to read. Then they had 3 weeks to read the book, while keeping a reading journal to help them remember vocabulary and keep track of the plot. At the end of the project, they had to turn in the journal, a book review, and a reflection paper on what they thought they had learned or gained from the project. Some key quotes from the reflection papers:

"This time skim[ming] is very important skill when reading a novel. At beginning, I think skim[ming is] just don't look those difficult words while you reading, but I was wrong. Skim is choose the words you think is not important and if you didn't know the meaning it won't affect you understanding the whole story."

"I think the most important thing I learn is how to enjoy to read books."

"At the beginning when I started reading my book, I was kind of slow and very hard to concentrates, but after when I read until 50 pages, I felt I am much faster than before, and I also learned a lot new vocabularies."

Then, at the end-of-term party tonight, one of my good students, Takashi, told me that he actually enjoyed keeping his blog this semester and will continue to write on it, (or a new once, since it can't be "Takashi in America" anymore.) He also said that he wants to keep reading English books and would like to be able to ask me for advice about what to read. Yay!

To top it all off, I also got an email from a student from last year, Hans, who wrote:

"When I studied with you, I wrote many essays, and journal. Since back in Korea, it is rarely. I've never written any essay in English. So terrible to me. I reflect on my conduct. Maybe, you are teaching many Korean students. Please tell them. For improving Englsh ability, steady efforts are really important things."

I have had some impact. Hallelujah!

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