Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Terrific twice

Today I received the word, “terrific”, twice. Jodi said I am a terrific teacher, and Barry said my English is terrific. I know they are merely a kind of compliment, but I still feel so happy about that. Why not? Without the illusory feeling of compliments, the civilized human beings could not survive even a single day.

There is the main body of my email to Barry in which we discussed how his learning of Chinese assisted his teaching in ESL students (many of them are Chinese). Barry said in this email I expressed myself “beautifully”.

About your theory I have two points. First, you are absolutely right that by presenting your difficulties to learn a foreign language, you “evened the ‘playing field’”. As a teacher, you create a more comfortable studying environment for students. Especially, because many of your students in Flushing library are new immigrants, some of them living illegally, they have a constant fear when they deal with the society, consciously or unconsciously. For many of them, including my early years in America, the public library is the sole way to get contact with people other than their own people. I admire you attitude not only because it is an efficient method to help their English study, but provides them a valuable path to access the society that encourages them to do well on other aspects of their lives in the country. I understand it is the government, the library and all the people working together to create the ESL learning center, but your thoughtful and friendly attitude make the students feel easier and happier. I think this is you unique feature.

Second, since you are not young but you are learning a difficult foreign language, and you have already achieved an admirable success, people will think, for example Henry, they study English many years but they are unable to speak, but you only study Chinese in a short period, and you can talk about the stories in you life, you master a certain degree of vocabulary, and you can self-study. I think this point is important because the fact that you studying Chinese itself is the best example to inspire your students to study hard and give their confidence to do well in their language study.


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