Friday, May 10, 2019

Women's Roles Discussed in the Taiwan Classroom

      In the Bread & Roses Curriculum I used with ninth grade ESL students in a Brooklyn high school for twenty years, I had the full backing of a women's liberation movement and support from the school's Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (R.A.P.P.). With Shengang Middle School's eighth grade English conversation enrichment program, I was stepping into uncharted waters.
     I had to remember the children were not just junior high school students; they were from Taiwan. In Taiwan, a male dominated Confucian society anchoring (or holding back) a progressive society, some real-life topics are taboo. Older teenagers might get more out of these  workshops with less nervous embarrassment but the topics won't be much easier to approach. In higher education in Taiwan, conservative deans might not let an EFL teacher use this subject matter in class; there would be more oversight, especially on the topic of "Women's Issues".
     After working with the children almost two school years, ninety minutes a week, workshop topics on women's studies like “Marriage Relationships” "Relationship Abuse", and "The Breadwinner" were still a little over these young teenagers' heads; the less mature among them goofed off in Chinese instead of practicing English conversation. They were capable of understanding the ‘big’ words and sentence patterns, but the role plays put them off. 
     Earlier in the program, we had discussed oppressive child labor. We did a cooperative learning workshop then and the students understood the "5 Types of Abuse" workers suffer (physical, verbal, emotional financial, and sexual) in addition to being overworked, underpaid, and endangered. With the "Haitian Family Budget" workshop, they could see how poor people must live, and with "Living Wage" workshop, they went home to ask their parents how they managed the family expenses. It was time to tackle the topic of "Women's Role in Taiwan." 
    The song I played for motivation, “Love Child”, for relationship abuse, was perfect. The children loved the beat and pounded on the desks. I then explained the song assuming the boyfriend's questions ("Why won't you sleep with me?") answered by Diana Ross & The Supremes. The topic had to be approached carefully with a playful tone. 

(The teacher holds the answer key and goes over the vocabulary in advance.)
The unit "Women's Roles" was started with a controlled composition (CC) called "One Woman's Role." I read it aloud with the students repeating after me. New vocabulary was written on the board and explained in simple English. We then did Step 9a practicing future tense with the text in a whiteboard competition. I then verbally engaged the students in reported speech with Step 6b, turning the woman's role into a more liberated one using the negative to illustrate an opposite lifestyle for modern women.
After the break, I touched on the previous topic of "Direct Democracy" by introducing the Opinion Survey: "Marriage Responsibilities". I read aloud the directions and explained the task. Each student had a copy. I read aloud the statements. After each statement, I asked for a show of hands for their opinion and wrote the results down in a chart on the board: 

    The children were asked to write sentences analyzing the data ("Everyone thinks both husband and wife should cook the meals."). The opinion survey showed that the students believed in equality of responsibility in marriage. But for all the  equality between the sexes these young teenagers supported, in dating, marriage and the workplace, the sexes were not equal.                     
Matrix for "Concentration": 1 point for spelling,
 2 for a match, and 3 for a sentence definition or example.
      As part of the Bread & Roses Curriculum, light-hearted role plays, controlled composition, and music with competitions and
Matrix for "Jeopardy": Easy answers are 20 points,
more difficult are 100.
whiteboard games such as “Jeopardy” question-writing or "Concentration", a word-match and sentence making game was conducted  between the eight teams of four students. But then we got down to the role plays, one called "The Breadwinner" and the other called "Cooling the Relationship." 

  We started "Panel of Experts" activity; eight students, one from each group that sat up front with mini-whiteboard and markers. I read the Opinion Survey statements about Marriage Relationships and told them to write their opinion in a sentence; was it the wife’s, husband’s, both, or either’s responsibility. All thirty-two students took turns representing their groups. They wrote and showed their boards when done. When the students got the drift, I extended the questions to be about the role play.  The class was quiet and the responses were mostly on task. The children loved seeing their classmates in the hot seat. 
     After the break, we began brainstorming for the role plays. I paired the students up within their group, told them to choose who would play the roles of Douglas  and Frankie. I want to mention that in both role-plays, sometimes two boys or two girls played partners. The students chuckled but understood the possibilities of same-sex relationships. 
     When some students reverted to speaking in Chinese and playing, I walked around and kept them on task. Mostly they brainstormed. I left only ten minutes at the end of class for one set of partners to demonstrate, but when they did, they took the easy way out; the husband told the wife what to do and the wife complied meekly. I asked them if that was the way it goes in Taiwan relationships. They looked sheepishly about. With TV sitcoms and horrific news of abusive relationships, they had to do better than that. We put off the role plays for the next class. 
Another conscience-raising role play you might want to try is the "'Cooling' The Relationship" scenario.
     Teenage pregnancy is an issue in Taiwan. The data  is underestimated because of the stigma attached to it. An NGO called “The Garden of Hope” has for sixteen years been doing outreach visiting schools in the Taipei area. Abortion statistics are kept low-key and teenage girls are directed to adoption services or orphanages. 
    Confucian principles and conservative constraints on society in Taiwan can oppress students on their way to adulthood. There have been some inroads with AIDS prevention and same-sex marriage legislation, but when push comes to shove, the male's point-of-view dominates.    I was concerned that no matter how I pared the B&R and Community Curricula down, because of cultural beliefs, the children had no index of the subject matter; they hadn’t discussed it in Chinese at school or  home. It is considered irrelevant because is not required for tests or graduation.
      There was English being practiced by those who wished to join in. The children had fun despite the serious nature of the topics. Perhaps it was okay for a foreigner like myself to bring these taboo subjects up. Along with English as a Foreign Language, foreign teachers must share our ideals of an equal society between men and women. The rising of the women is the rising of us all! 
Copyright © 2019 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Living Wage for Taiwan Middle School Students

     We did the Living Wage workshop, the eighth graders at Shengang Middle School . I was afraid, a few weeks ago when the thirty-two ESL conversation enrichment students were given the task of asking their parents to tell them their families' monthly expenses, to see how much they needed to earn to live without debt, that no one would actually go home and ask them, and I was right; no one did. But I played dumb and drew a chart on the whiteboard, anyway, for each student to write his or her family’s eight biggest expenditures, and two more lines for miscellaneous expenses such as pet supplies.
 On cue, the odd numbered groups went up en mass to write figures from their heads, from their friends’ heads, and any other notion to not be singled out. Meanwhile, I went around to the even-numbered tables and encouraged, sometimes cajoled them into action. Vincent, the school dean, was there to give me full support, even suggesting that a thirty ping (Taiwan measure, 1 ping = approx 35.58 sq. ft) apartment in Shengang rented for about 10,000 New Taiwan Dollars ($333 U.S.) a month, just to make sure the students had ballpark figures.
 It all worked out well. Most of the time I engaged the students in conversation, interpreting the figures and analyzing the data: “Rent is the largest monthly expense.” It took the full ninety minutes but it was a fast-paced expose of the cost of living and, finally, showed clearly how wages in Shengang were not high enough for a family of four to cover a good standard of living. The living wage the class came up with, based on the calculated average monthly family expenditure of 50,000 NT ($1,666 U.S.) for a legal standard forty-two hour a week full-time job wages (though most workers are pressured to give unpaid overtime) over four weeks, 168 hours, was about 300 NT per hour; the minimum wage in Taiwan is 140 NT an hour. Our living wage calculation didn’t take into account taxes and a recommended 10% of earnings saved. Granted, taxes are much lower here than in the U.S.; property taxes are almost non-existent. The living wage in Taipei, Taiwan's largest city where the living standard is highest, must be much higher than in the outlying area of Taichung where property value is lower.
It was the first time I did a living wage workshop in Taiwan. In retrospect, I don’t know what I waited for. Perhaps I knew parents wouldn’t be forthright with personal financial details, not with their children and certainly not with strangers. It seems the children didn’t bother to ask. The students knew this was no scientific survey, but one day, when they would need to make a budget, it will be nice to know how much they should be paid to meet their living standard. One day they will realize they are being exploited by their bosses and take action, maybe even ask for a raise; I’d be dreaming to think anyone in Taiwan would organize or start a union, but as Vincent pointed out, it is good for the children to realize how hard their parents work to support their families.  

     Everything we have done in class has led up to the Living Wage Workshop. A few months earlier, the children had done the "Haitian Family Budget" workshop to see how hard it is for impoverished underpaid workers to eke out a living; Taiwan's living standard is higher than Haiti's. I read and we discussed Fire at the Triangle Factory, by Holly Littlefield; the students were confronted with America's history of  unthinkable sweatshop conditions, not far removed from Taiwan's own.  I thought it was time the chickens came home to roost and we'd brainstorm "Living Wage" here, so I gave the children an assignment to ask their parents about common living expenses and waited to see how many would do so. Meanwhile,  we explored direct democracy, doing an opinion survey on "Energy and the Environment".  I was building up a case for direct action for the common good and to improve their English  practicing real-life skills. 

     The Living Wage Workshop is a perfect segue into the last phase of the 8th grade Bread & Roses Curriculum: activism. It explains clearly why students in Taiwan should become better at English skills; how they could change their lives, their community, Taiwan, and the world. The children have the power! Each group would brainstorm a problem and use direct action to tackle the problem for their final presentations, this in a middle school with twelve-year-olds. 
Copyright © 2019 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Chien Tsai Chalkboards

Starting in the summer of 2018, in Taichung, Taiwan, I took on children's English as a Foreign Language classes at Chien Tsai, an after-school center franchise. I met with students once a week for forty minutes for English conversation practice and learning activities; one component of the center's program of reviewing the children's school subjects. After the summer morning class ended, I was offered classes in the late afternoon through the fall, seven classes each week, divided by the children's grades in school. 

After most classes, I took photos of the chalkboard; they reveal what was taught that period. I reviewed them so as to plan for the following weeks.  Mostly in chronological order, spanning seven months, they reveal how I ramped up sequential English language skills, age-appropriate, through a variety of competitions, activities, kinetics, and music. 

I hope you enjoy the children, as I did, on our fun-filled EFL journey by viewing the photos of the chalkboards, reading the blog, or both. I would like to thank my assistant, Michelle, the wonderful children, and the management of Chien Tsai for making this joyful experience possible. Cheers! 
Fall '18 Schedule

Chien-Tsai near American Eagle (location b)

Chien Tsai near American Eagle (location b)
"If You're Happy and You Know It" Song 
"Hello-Goodbye" The Beatles 

Seven-year-olds; Word Bubbles, TPR, and Sky-Earth-Water

Seven-year-olds;  Word Pictures

TPR for the 9 year olds

Word Recognition Bubbles - Spitball target 

Daily Routine Opposites

Opposites in "Hello-Goodbye" by The Beatles 

Opposites with Teaching Assistant Michelle

Clothes and Colors 

Total Physical Response (TPR) Word Bubbles

With an enthusiastic eleven-year-old; Stephanie

 Clothes with 'wear' in different tenses

The parts of the face in colors

His and Her face parts TPR

His and Her face parts in colors

'His and Her' face parts, singular and plural

His and Her face parts in colors with subordination 

Daily Routines 

'His and Her' face parts in colors

Clothes and Face parts 

There is/are in the bedroom

My/Your, with clothes and colors

 Clothes and color you wear

Word Pyramids by number of letters

Color Triangles (a)

Color Triangles (b)

Syllable Pyramids 

Syllable Pyramid word review 
'Putting' and 'Taking' , I am/you are, clothes and body parts

I am putting/taking NOW

'M' and 'S' word initial sound tic-tac-toe 

'Putting...on' and 'Taking from'

'A' with first letter consonants/'An 'with vowels 
I love my clothes & prepositions (a)
I love my clothes & prepositions (b)

Putting 'an vowel/a consonant'
consonants and consonant blends 

Short 'A' and consonant blends
'Spitball-Target Word --Bubble Read-Out

Short A vs. Long A

Prepositions, colors, and shapes

Playground items and colors

 Syllables and stress

Playground, Colors and Clothes

Playground preposition TPR

Short 'A' spelling trial and error, Is/Do questions and short answers 
Assigning parts to sing "Twelve Days of Christmas"

Practicing singing "Twelve Days of Christmas" 
Retelling of "Gift of the Magi"
I found out my assignment in the bushiban today. It has nothing to do with the Community Curriculum and the children are too old for Open Sesame. There are four ninety-minute classes once a week, based on the children’s age: Tues. nine o'clock to ten-thirty, seven and eight-year-olds, ten-thirty to twelve noon, nine-year-olds, Fri. nine o'clock to ten-thirty, ten- year-olds, and ten-thirty to twelve noon, eleven-year-olds. I forgot to ask how many children there would be in each class.  The children will each have a clear book to hold handouts, water colored markers, and writing booklet with pencil. I will use the to interface with parents, the first communication being the lyrics and YouTube video of “Hello-Goodbye.” Parents can make comments or use the expansion activities I will upload and post there. They have four pages to begin with: “Hello-Goodbye” lyrics, “Shapes and Colors,” and “Daily Routines” pp 14-15 from the Oxford Basic Picture Dictionary. If I get farther than that, additional copies can be made. Classes start next Tuesday. 

For the 7 and 8-9 year old groups, I will feel free to use Sesame Street and Open Sesame material including "Hands Up" and the count and alphabet songs. My cellphone and mini-speaker will have to do. I was told there was WiFi but it may not reach the second floor. In any event, I would have to bring my own laptop I believe. 

In about ninety minutes, I will meet my first two classes at the new bushiban gig. I have no idea how many children will be in each; only that the first will be seven-year-olds and the second eight-and-nine-year-olds. It remains to be seen how much differential there will be but I will assume nothing and start with "Hello-Goodbye" introductions. Thankfully, the typhoon passing between Korea and Japan has brought its trail of downpour rain up with it and the sky is clear enough for me to ride my bicycle there. 

The two classes at the bushiban went well. There were 14 nine-ten year olds; the eleven year-olds were 10. The nine-ten year-olds grasped the concept of word pictures and Sky-Earth-Water. They loved "Hello-Goodbye" as did the other three classes. They will be my grammar pattern/vocabulary class. The eleven year-olds can do Reported Speech (RS) and a modified Community Curriculum; more conversational based. The Tuesday classes of eight seven-year-olds and about eight 8 year-olds have their focuses, too. The 7 year-olds are mostly kinetic, Total Physical Response (TPR), word recognition; no writing except for penmanship and copying. The eight year-olds may be on the verge of reported speech - I did introduce it to them, perhaps prematurely- but I need to figure them out more; perhaps present tense RS and teach them the tenses. All four classes have the same 4 hand-outs that will be used in different ways. Only the seven-year-olds were told to bring water markers. 

In an hour I will leave to teach the seven and eight-nine year old groups at the bushiban gig. Work on the word level for the sevens (with kinetic TPR; “If You’re Happy and you know it" song with and sentence level with rudimentary reported speech for the eight-nines. I’ll bring the mini white boards today and leave them there somewhere for future use. I can bring the CD of “Hello-Goodbye” for better fidelity if there's a player or just hear it on You-Tube through Bluetooth on a mini-speaker. 

I had fun at the bushiban gig classes this morning. The ride there is so short I didn’t bother to bring the iPod. The seven-year-olds did the beginning of word pictures and identification of action words used in “If you’re Happy and You Know It…” I added stand, sit, go, and stop. Next week I’ll introduce the concept of “point.” The eight-nine-year olds are up to prepositional phrases with three shapes and ten colors. They can do word picture sentences, though the class is uneven in ability; a few boys seemed stunned in the headlights. I think all the kids, and my assistant, Michelle, like what I am doing with them. The manager seems happy, too. Alas; this will only be a summer gig if they can’t give me good 900 hours in the fall.

I have to refresh myself on what I started in the two Friday bushiban classes last week. Last week after class I wrote: “The nine-ten-year-olds grasped the concept of word pictures and S-E-W. They loved ‘Hello-Goodbye’ as did the other three classes. They will be my grammar pattern/vocabulary class. The eleven-year-olds can do RS and a rudimentary Community Curriculum; more conversational based.” I can do the “Daily Routine” pages with the 11’s and color shape with the nine-tens. Even do the “Me” Controlled Composition (CC) with the elevens. There are 14 nine-tens so it can’t be too personal. I could do a chain-link sentence construction competition with the 9-10’s based on the “Daily Routines.” Tell them a story about me first, ask about them, and then have them make up a schedule for “Crazy Eddie” using the present infinitive tense. The elevens can change tenses with the same pages. But I want to introduce a phonic component for both, even play Phonic Bingo (PB) with both classes. I’ll bring my Sound Out book.  

The classes at the bushiban had no Bluetooth or CD music at yesterday’s classes; only the students and I singing along to the lyric sheet. I did the TPR with word bubbles and word pictures for the nine-tens along with an introduction to short 'a' all with mini-board and chalkboard competitions. The elevens did RS with the start of ‘daily routines” and present infinitive tense with compound sentences using “before” and “after.” They have to write five such sentences based on the handout for homework. I was pretty tired after the three hours of classes 

In a while I will ride to the bushiban for the sevens and eight-nine-year-olds' classes. I will introduce items in the classroom with the verbs 'take' and 'put' with the colors and shapes reviewed and attach it to the kinetic word bubbles and the song "If You're Happy and You Know It" and introduce the "Hands up" song. For the eight-nines it is the same with more emphasis on prepositions of place and sentence writing. 

In the nines' class, I’ll get to the daily routines for comprehension, talk about telling time, and do the long-short ‘a’ bingo and spelling ‘quiz’. In the ten-elevens', I’ll introduce “too” and “either” about daily routine and preview “before” and “after.” Both classes will practice prepositions of place, the nines with shapes and colors and the ten-elevens with the rooms in their homes, if I can get to that, with comparison introductions of partner’s place. 

I'm off to the Tuesday bushiban classes in a little while; the sevens and eights. I can play "I am looking for a..." with the eights, even do clothes and colors and shapes, but with the sevens, kinetic TPR and comprehension are my goals; I will do "If your happy" and "Hands Up" again with them. The eights get Word Bubbles (WB) and prepositions and RS. Contest winners will get mini Tootsie Rolls seen for the first time on a Taiwanese supermarket shelf. I may be able to show the "Be Human" Betty Boop cartoon about animal abuse to the ten-elevens but the eights maybe not with the 'Emergency' worksheet. I think I will ask the office if I could use their DVD player today. We shall see. I will prepare and bring the DVD just in case.

On Tuesday, the manager of the bushiban gave me my schedule for the fall. The term begins next Thursday at their second location near American Eagle; the Wednesday class begins the following week. Meanwhile, my last Tuesday class at the first location is next week and I think I will finished my last Friday class there tomorrow.  Will get the agreed to 900 per hour to teach 4 1/2 hours (actually 4 hrs. 40 min. but I will forego the extra ten in lieu of breaks a week between the two locations. It looks like I will teach six classes a week, 45 minutes each. 

My schedule is in transition this week. Starting Thursday, I will ride next door of American Eagle on Chung-de 6th Road to the branch of the summer bushiban; next week the Wednesday schedule begins at the original branch, or is it the other way around? I’ll call up later to be sure. 

I remember what I am doing in the 9 different classes I have each week by using the same thread for all; this week it has been "opposites." Going back to "Hello-Goodbye", a good way to remind the kids who we are after being away for two weeks, with the seven-year-olds merely learning "I am a boy/girl" and comprehending the pairs, and the twelve-year-olds able to find opposites for "daily routines" (wake up/go to sleep) the 8th graders "Me" CC ("I am a happy child/ Teacher David wasn't a happy child") and synonyms and antonyms of feeling words with the emphasis on passive voiced adjectives: "I was disappointed by my test score."

The grammar theme for this week's bushiban classes is Alphabetical Order. For the younger ones, letter order itself, for the eight-year-olds, word order using colors, nine-year-olds routine alphabetical order, and for the oldest ten/eleven-year-olds, routine alphabetical order pairs using "before" and "after". I will follow the theme today at the school's other location. Instead of having nine different grammar points each week to remember, it is easier to have one in different degrees of complexity with the same matrix. 


The wind has died down from the second typhoon to veer north before hitting Taiwan. I took the old bike route to the bushiban near American Eagle instead of pushing against the gales on the flatland between the Han and railroad up to Sung-Tzu Road; the buildings cut the intensity. I taught three delightful classes there in two hours for 1800-$60 tax free. 


I was thinking of ending my association with the bushiban classes I picked up in the summer after this term. I feel like two days of teaching two hours each at Shengang is enough. 


I came home tired and hungry from four classes in two hours and forty minutes and confirmed that I don't want to do this in the spring. The first and third class is crowded and noisy. I promised I'd teach this term, though I didn't sign a contract. There are other things I should do with my time. The class ends in late January. 

I rode in a t-shirt and shorts to the three classes in two hours at the bushiban near American Eagle and enjoyed the classes finding a groove with "Daily Routines" handed out a month ago; I use it for recognition with the lower levels and tense practice with the older kids along with the TPR of drawing a circle around the routine I mention or telling me what clothes the character is wearing during each routine:"He is wearing nothing taking a shower." Even though I know I should be doing something else, like writing or studying Chinese, I still enjoy teaching the classes.


I came up with a new activity last evening at the bushiban; call it "Tell and Show". It starts with a review of facial features and colors and adds possessive gender. For example, "Her hair is yellow." First I go over the vocabulary and explain the possessive pronoun "his" and "her" with the "be" verb, singular "is" and plural "are". I have a head start in Chinese because the word for "2" is "are". The children are divided into teams and given mini-white boards and markers and have sentences dictated to them after I draw the colors in the facial features on the chalkboard. I use the "boy" and "girl" word-morph into pictures I learned years ago. I assign graded points based on the first correct team response to my dictation and then copy the ten sentences on the board. After I total the scores and find the two best teams, they have a run-off going to the board using the sentences I have written there to fill in the colors on the male and female faces. The team that gets most right is the ultimate winner. The homework for the 9-10 year-olds is write 5 sentences based on the picture they colored in in their clear books. The 12 year-olds add the subordinated description added to a Daily Routine action in the future tense. For example, "The woman with a red nose is going to cook dinner." When I went to the bushiban yesterday I had no idea I was going to do this activity but now it is the theme for the week and I will use it with tonight's three classes, too. 

 I like teaching in the bushiban but the complication of seven classes in four and a half hours each week is daunting. A few of the classes are large, over fourteen children, but each one takes something out of me that I think I want to keep for myself. It was okay to teach at the bushiban during the summer Shengang hiatus but I think I will tell the boss I won't be back after this term, unless they want me in the summer again. If I don't teach those two days, I can ride the bike more often up the river.

I had three nice classes at the bushiban yesterday late afternoon. The Word Pyramid matrix I should have introduced on Wednesday I got to with the last two of seven forty-minute classes.


I’m not sure I will tell the bushiban today I won’t continue next term. I am hoping to continue language exchange with Vincent and those two days take up my time. However, I have nothing to do in the late afternoon. Perhaps I should keep it. It’s a nice 900-$30 an hour for almost six hours a week and wraps around the Monday and Friday Shengang classes. I kvetch about it to Leona but I think it’s not so bad.

Yesterday I had no commitments and it was wonderful. I am going to tell the bushiban today that this will be my only term with them; I like my freedom. Even if I am only teaching two hours a day, the rest of the day I am prisoner to it. I have to arrange everything on that day around the two hours. I already do that at Shengang on Mondays and Fridays but there is a lovely bike ride on the Tan-Zih path; teaching is extra, and the content I put into it is vital. Furthermore, when Vincent is ready, we can continue language exchange; that will dictate how two days go; I loathe having two commitments in a day; it makes me tired and teaching feels like work. 

 At the bushiban, I spoke with Michelle when she handed me a schedule of the winter camp and asked if I could attend a few dates. I told her I was going to leave at the end of this term but that I didn't want to; that I loved teaching the kids. I was afraid it was too much for me. She changed my mind easily telling me how the kids loved me, so I modified my decision and asked her not to tell the manager. I'm afraid I won't have time to do the other things I like, but the truth is, one of the things I like is teaching there. 

When I asked Michelle to confirm a WiFi would be available for the Season's Greeting Power Point (PPT) I'll show the children next Wed. and Thurs. It dawned on me that I could make a PDF as I did for the copies the agent made for the Yuanlin enrichment and show it on my laptop instead of going on-line; WiFi wouldn't be necessary. The only problem with the PDF is there is no audio or live video; I still need to go on-line for that. 

Today there are four forty-minute parties at the bushiban. No one told me to have them; they're my choice. I will bring cookies, candy, chocolate, iced tea, and ice cream for one class. I told them they could bring whatever food they want. I have little cups and spoons. Hopefully they will sing the songs I taught them; "12 Days of Christmas”, "Jingle Bells" One class will tell me the cartoon story of "Be Human" and sing the song with me. Tomorrow there are three more forty-minute parties. 

The four little parties at the bushiban went well; the kids and I had fun and they practiced English, too. The first two classes identified words from their handouts and put them on the board as I handed out candy, mini-chocolate bars, chips, and ice cream for groups accumulating ten points in board games. The third class went over “putting” and sang “12 Days of Christmas”; the fourth class had special green tea Haagan Das as they did a collective write-up summary of “Gift of the Magi”. The ice cream was kept cold in the fridge until five-thirty at their location a few blocks away near Eagle. Today I have three classes there with mini-parties. It is a little too many little parties and the novelty is wearing off. 

The third class yesterday forgot the Betty Boop cartoon I showed them the week before about animal abuse. They only wanted to think in Chinese at the party. Today, I will go easy on the seventh graders; maybe have them do a CL re-write of "A Christmas Carol" or "Gift of the Magi" and play Hot Potato instead of Musical Chairs in the cramped room. At least I had good English party classes at the bushiban. The high level Wednesday did very well with the "Gift of the Magi" retelling.  

I hope CT bushiban is telling parents coming in that I was the lead teacher at American Eagle down the street for four years until I quit. I hope American Eagle loses business because of me. I know they have already from the children who left after I was pulled from their classes to teach others, and again after I left; suffered so badly they begged me to go back.

The program at CT has local Taiwanese teachers with my coming in once a week for enrichment in seven classes. Leona's sister says I should ask for a raise from the 900 an hour I get; I teach seven classes for 40 minutes each. I may ask for 900 a class or 1000 an hour when they give me my schedule. If they give me 5 hour-classes that would be 500 more a week. If they give me 7 40-minute-classes. That would be about the same. In any event, it would mean $33 more a month. 

The last class of the fall term at CT bushiban doesn’t mean much as I will do a three hour day next week and two three hour days the following week leading up the Feb. 2nd Lunar New Year and five day holiday for all. I did short ‘a’ for the little kids with prepositions ‘in’ and ‘on’ with the playground and boy-girl worksheets; did the same with more detail for the upper class introducing long ‘a’ sound and spellings. The next two weeks it will be the same with reported speech between classmates and teacher, but I will concentrate on English-less games like Battleship and Pokino. 


 At my second winter camp day at CT bushiban, I introduced dominoes and battleship, Hot Potato and Scrabble, two little pyramid puzzles I've saved since early days in Taipei, and a box of wooden puzzle games from Brooklyn. My only regret is not playing Hot Potato with the seven-eighyyear-olds, but I did play Simon Says with them; Battleship was too difficult for most of them. I played two rounds of Scrabble with four teams of twelve-year-olds replicating the game board on the chalkboard so they could get the rules; some children couldn't spell a single word. At the last of three winter camp days, I'll play non-board English games like PDQ, Collective Sentence story, Alphabetical Words, Animal Vegetable or Mineral, and Telephone. 
Copyright © 2019 by David Barry Temple. All rights reserved.