English Corner

Our English Corner is located at our local outdoor community center. It’s the place where the older woman can do their dancing exercises to dated techno music while the little boys play pick up games of basketball. It is also the home of our weekly English Corner lessons. My students, who now all have English names (including Bruno and Mabel), sit around an old ping pong table and squirm in their seats until it is time to start class. I always try to be as animated as possible when I’m teaching them a lesson. Two weeks ago, my students were learning how to tell time, so I turned myself into a large clock with my arms stretched out and asked them, “What time is it?” I am only guessing that they think that their teacher may be a little bit goofy, but I feel like as long as my students are enjoying the lessons and retaining the information, I don’t care how goofy I have to be!

Every Saturday afternoon I find a nice comfy place to sit, and I spread out all of my art supplies. This is the time when I start making endless amounts of English posters for my English Corner class. Cartoons are drawn for a game of “Simon Says” and an agenda for that class is written. I always try to incorporate fun and new material to our one hour class just to make sure that our students don’t go stir crazy. Last week, my aunt and uncle joined in the fun at English Corner. With sheet music and guitar in hand, we knew that our lesson was headed for success. By the end of the night, there was nothing but the sweetest sound being heard that echoed down the streets; all of my students were singing “It’s a Small World After All.”

We started the lesson with some review from last week, and then moved on to learning about the months and seasons. “December! January! February!” All of my students were full of excitement that night and were shouting out the answers. One of my student’s little sisters comes to class as well. Even though she may only be three years old, she still likes to pipe in and repeat the words with the rest of the class. The only problem is that she says the word awhile after everyone else has said it, which catches me off guard when I continue with the lesson. All I can do is laugh because it is so sweet that she is trying to learn, too.

The last season we learned about was summer and we talked about how the sun is always shining. “You Are My Sunshine” was repeated over and over again until the students were shouting it and swaying in their seats. We realized that the students were really enjoying the singing part of the lesson, so we decided to pull out some more jazzy numbers. “It’s a Small World After All” fell out of the box, and when I picked it up to show my students, there was nothing but smiles all the way around. They cheerfully sang the two main verses in Chinese and sang the chorus in English. The positive energy was simply contagious. All of their parents came over to see what their children were learning. It was one of those sweet moments in life that stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes. It made me think, “Everything is right in the world at this moment and yes, it definitely is a small world after all.”

Til next time.

Peace Love and Happiness