Teaching my first day
Imagine a classroom without desks. Imagine a classroom entirely in a different language. Imagine a classroom focused on just that – imagining. A place where students move around and compete, work together in teams, create and learn in a different language for a whole week. Teaching my first day with ABCi, I was pretty daunted by this prospect. I was surprised – as were the students.
“Vas ist that in English please?”
We sang, danced and played through a half-day of games and competitions in English. The students – puzzled and excited – responded with enthusiasm , and engaged well in the activities. These are designed so that strong and weak students alike are encouraged to get involved, and even after a short period of time the class was communicating in English. Over a full week, the effect is even more noticeable. Students work together to create a theatre presentation, proceeding through activities in the same manner as they would in a normal classroom. They begin with teacher-driven input in the form of games, move through some restricted-output competitions, and finish each day – and finally the week – with some authentic output in the form of their presentation. Teaching the programme is rewarding in a way unlike normal teaching, as the student response can be fairly immediate. It’s great to see a weaker student have an ‘Ach so!’ moment of enlightment a few days into a project week – even if my German is still stuck at a ‘Vas ist that in English please?’ level.