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Q: Are "english corners" becoming more like Lessons?

This is a question for those of us who have been teaching for more than 4 years. Many contracts are now asking for an EC to be conducted. Some schools are using this as an excuse to add a "free" English lesson (Drunk along with a lesson plan. I have always thought an EC should be for those who choose to practice their skills while learning to listen and respond more. Some of these ECs have 40 kids in them. What do you think?

1 year 3 weeks ago in  Teaching & Learning - China

 
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Emperor

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I never had to do one as part of my contract but I did one as a favor about six years ago, to a group of uni kids 'eager to practice their English and talk to a foreigner'. Yeah that description turned out to be crap, I should have known better. I'd been to a few before that and they were ok so I thought how bad could it be?

 

It was awful. I went there prepared with lots of discussion topics, everything from video games and pop culture to embarrassing anecdotes and relationship advice for me. After about 15 minutes I was convinced those kids spent their days licking the lead paint off walls.

 

An English corner is supposed to be a place where people practice their speaking and listening by having a discussion. Those kids though.. it was like they'd all had a lobotomy. I'd ask the group or an individual a question to try to get things moving and get blank stares. Nothing. Often not even an attempt at a reply or even a facial expression.I know they could understand and reply because I got enough feedback to know they were following but it was literally like talking to the family cat.

 

I ended up thinking f##k them all and made it into a sort of class, I just spent the rest of the 90 minutes talking about grammar.

 

If you do end up having to do corners, be prepared for anything. 

 

 

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1 year 3 weeks ago
 
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Posts: 3967

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I never had to do one as part of my contract but I did one as a favor about six years ago, to a group of uni kids 'eager to practice their English and talk to a foreigner'. Yeah that description turned out to be crap, I should have known better. I'd been to a few before that and they were ok so I thought how bad could it be?

 

It was awful. I went there prepared with lots of discussion topics, everything from video games and pop culture to embarrassing anecdotes and relationship advice for me. After about 15 minutes I was convinced those kids spent their days licking the lead paint off walls.

 

An English corner is supposed to be a place where people practice their speaking and listening by having a discussion. Those kids though.. it was like they'd all had a lobotomy. I'd ask the group or an individual a question to try to get things moving and get blank stares. Nothing. Often not even an attempt at a reply or even a facial expression.I know they could understand and reply because I got enough feedback to know they were following but it was literally like talking to the family cat.

 

I ended up thinking f##k them all and made it into a sort of class, I just spent the rest of the 90 minutes talking about grammar.

 

If you do end up having to do corners, be prepared for anything. 

 

 

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1 year 3 weeks ago
 
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I have no idea for what they need this EC because when I teach them there it was awful. I talk with myself only. Maybe 3-4 of my class tried to make conversation with me. Anyway it was not obligatorily. It was my choise. I wanted to do my best with them. 

 

Anyway it was nice experience. I just could recommend them to write college term paper and to study with native speakers. Maybe it will be much more helpful for them, but not so easy.

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49 weeks 2 days ago
 
Posts: 1308

Shifu

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I'd like to know if there is anyone who has ever had a successful English corner?

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48 weeks 6 days ago
 
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EC is actually just a cover for them to ask the Critical Question:

 

Do you like Chinese food?   

 

    today I looked right at her and said No.   haha,,, friggin' numskulls

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48 weeks 6 days ago
 
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