Get Fluent or Get By (Thoughts on Teaching ESL in China)

The very first memory of me teaching another person was my sister who was in Grade 2 then. Her homework was addition and I wasn’t effective because I was impatient. She asked me how to add 1234+5678 and I answered her to just combine both numbers together. And so she answered 12345678. She got zero the following day and the memory retained to the both of us.

I grew up wanting to help more people as much as I could, including helping my friends in their reports even when I wasn’t even good at it.

At church, helping other teenagers to come to know the Lord was my passion. It was so easy for me to share my life experiences with others because I really wanted to.

It has always been so easy for me to talk about real life issues.

Then when I started teaching in a small college as a career, I was torn. Due to time restrictions and a lot of expectations from a set of rules and guidelines, what would a teacher do if a student does not know how to express himself in English? That’s easy! Encourage him and let him practice. What if the student cannot construct or write well in English? That is hard, but with additional lessons and more detailed instructions, he can do it eventually. But what would a teacher do if a student cannot read at all? The choices are between failing that kid in class or giving him a passing grade and let the next teacher take the responsibility and the blame.

Sadly, that’s what has been happening in the past decade until now to our educational institutions especially in the public elementary schools. And only until recently that I discovered that it has something to do with the education’s government agency that they created procedures and rules and has mandated every teacher not to give a failing grade to a student. Add to that existing policy is that teachers are now not allowed to discipline children. Okay, I am not starting a blame game here because I on the other hand once tried doing the same thing, and that’s so unfortunate.  I had my own reasons way back then which I don’t really remember now, but it has something to do with avoiding discomforts.

From teaching teenagers whom I thought have had enough exposure to English since they were little, I am now teachings toddlers and preschoolers who don’t have any idea what English is all about, and cannot even say “His and hellos”. Now I have a different dilemma: Should I get fluent in their language or should I just get by?

In my Tesol Certification  Training prior to my move in China, I learned to just teach  4-6 vocabularies per 20-40 minutes of lessons. And to give them enough exposure of English, speak only English the entire time. And I decided to follow those principles with matching TPR the first month I got here. (If you are in need of QUICK, fast and legit 120 hours Tesol Certificate to jumpstart your ESL teaching career anywhere in the world, send me an email and I would be glad to be of help.)

In my experience, that’s a 20-feet-tall NOOOOOOOO!

Imagine you meet a new friend in Russia and he tries to teach you 4 vocabularies in his language with matching photos. But without translations, nothing, with just photos and possibly charades, do you think you’ll grasp those vocabularies and remember them all? Probably. But how sure are you that you understood the real meaning of those words.

Take these for examples.

Eating or Spag?
Head or Hair?

Hand or fingers?

Hand or fingers?

With our age, we could just laugh at our silliness when making mistakes in trying to learn another language. But to the young learners, you probably sound like an alien all the time and it is not really cool. And I guess they won’t care at all after your lesson, though they would definitely love you.

Going back to my dilemma, I now have two options: Get fluent in my students’ native language or I would just get by again thinking that the children would grow anyway.

Well I have chosen the first one. I decided to learn Mandarin in my own pace so that I could somehow understand my students, no matter how young they are.

In my first week here, a 4-year-old student asked me a question which I totally didn’t understand while he was busy doing his book activity. But I remembered the last phrase so I used my build in translator to figure out what his question was. “Ni neng bu beng?” means “can you do it or not?” I figured eventually that he asked me if I knew how to speak their language.

And so I started learning Mandarin by searching online for quick lessons and cheat sheets. (I will be updating this link once I have finished doing my own Mandarin Cheatsheets FOR FREE!)

It was painful and exhausting so I asked the Chinese teachers to translate for me. I specifically asked them to be by my side when I teach so I get instant translations. I have always prepared lessons in powerpoints with translations already, but it was still exhausting because most of the time, those Chinese teachers are busy doing something else. I always want to know if the children are able to understand the meaning of what I am trying to teach them so I’d constantly call out teachers from the back of the room and let her translate. But there are times that I’m the only teacher in the room. It had to change. I told myself, I must learn quickly.

You cannot also help it when the children would just want to talk to you, get your attention, tell you stories and ask you questions, in their dialect. You have these options: Smile, respond correctly or just get by and just pretend that you are about what they are trying to say. Either way, they’d still love you.

But wouldn’t it be nice if you can somehow grasp the idea of what they want you to know and then you are able to give a brief and nice reply apart from “Wo ting bu tong.” (I don’t understand.)?

I admit, at first I was too arrogant and innocent that I even told the teachers to start speaking in English to give the right amount of English exposure to the children. But I was dead wrong because the teachers didn’t really do it, and the children were amazing at parroting.

I discovered it when after  a few months, the children were automatically responding to “How are you?” and “Good morning/afternoon!” that I felt so proud. But then one time, I decided to speak in their language, and asked the meaning of those phrases. To my horror, no one knew the real meaning of those greetings, how much more the meaning of their “I’m fine, thank you.”. Yes they do know apple, banana, cats and dogs, but that is because they can easily memorize vocabularies because kids are so fantastic! Now I have a bigger problem and I have to level up my teaching skills and communications skill.

It is a challenge to get the children’s attention to teach them how to read and memorize tons of vocabularies especially if it is part of the school’s curriculum, but you have to give your all for them to learn. What’s great about children is that they learn better and faster. And the advantage of teaching in the kindergarten is that you don’t have to give them a grade (but you give them presents). Your main job is to teach them and love them, not to grade them based on their performance. Yes, there are fast learners and there are really those late bloomers. There are those who are quick to finish the tasks at hand and there are those who cannot even open the book and find their way to the page.  There are those who attentively listen when you teach them and there are way too many of them who cannot keep still. Again, you have to choose whether to get the chaos fixed or just get by. This is one thing that I badly needed help on a daily basis. I always ask for a Chinese teacher to keep them still, only then I can do my tricks. I let them watch entertaining videos with vocabularies in it and distribute it to their parents so they will be able to practice at home, hopefully.

One of the translated phrases that I used in my videos.

It is a long journey before one can be able to find success in teaching young learners, but when you know in your heart that you have done the right thing on a daily basis, your works are not in vain. And at the end of the day, you’ll feel more accomplished because you know, you just did not get by.  

How to Earn through WordPress

Okay, you must have known from your OWN research that one can actually earn at home through the online platform. But the question is how to earn from this blogging thing?

As the title suggests, this post will teach you the basic on how one could actually earn a potential sum of money using the WordPress site.

First of: Why Did I choose WordPress to sign up in the first place?

As a non-techie Tita of Manila, it is the most easy to use platform from tons out there.

Based on my previous blogs I discovered today, I have been using WordPress since 2012 and I did not have a hard time manipulating the pages and all.

Almost everything is automatic, I assume.

And yes, I just purchased my official website today to show everyone that you can easily use it even without a single knowledge. How? It has tutorials.

Should I also mention that it is actually cheaper than any other website providers?

I purchased a website in godaddy before but I had to purchase additional WordPress for it and so many others. Sadly, since I wasn’t a techie person, I didn’t even use it a single time because I didn’t know how. Or maybe I was just wasn’t up for it back then.

Do you know that you can earn 20% of your referral’s purchases using the link provided to you? Oh well, I have not learned much from it but I am so excited to share it to everyone and so NOW I am encouraging everybody to have your own websites and start monetizing from your passions!

Step 1: Visit WordPress.com and choose your own domain before purchasing

Step 2: Start Posting Your Contents

Step 3: Develop Your Site

Step 4: START EARNING ONLINE by signing up to WordPress Affiliate Marketing Program. It takes a while before it would wok before they will have to review your account for verification purposes.  Please note that you have to prepare you Paypal Account Details to receive payments from those converted referrals.

This is an Excerpt from the site:

What You’ll Get as a Member:

  • 20% for Every Convert

    Earn 20% of all the revenues your referral generates. That kind of percentage can add up quickly!

  • Unlimited Referrals

    The sky’s the limit! Refer as many clients and contacts as you can, and get paid for every Premium sale you refer.

  • Intuitive Dashboard

    Launch and manage your campaigns from your Dashboard. Track your traffic, view detailed statistics, customize reports, check your payments, & more.

It sounds easy, but I know it is not. That is why I am recording my entire experiences to be of help to be of help to at least one person out there.

Yahoo! As of December 1, 2019, I got an email Confirmation from WordPress that I am now eligible for their affiliate program. So easy, right?

Have I started earning? No, not yet. I have to work on my crafts first and hopefully improve this site into  something worthy.

Okay, to summarize: IF YOU PLAN ON BEING SERIOUS IN YOUR CRAFT, START NOW AND GET YOUR OWN WEBSITE with so much ease.  You can do it for free too!

Forgotten

I don’t know why I forgot about this page for almost seven years. I don’t know why my heart kept pressing me to open the laptop and buy a new website for business purposes.

I woke up early this Saturday morning with a mind filled with ideas that I wasn’t able to go back to sleep. And to my amazement, here I am writing this and putting my thoughts into words while still in bed.

I forgot that I once dreamt of becoming a blogger. Since I’ve forgotten all about it, does it mean I don’t really want it?

Now that I remembered and I am wanting to be back on track, would it mean I DO really like it?

I’ve deleted pages in this blog like the AIE Site (my first workplace that opened my eyes to blogging and E-commerce), my previous business, and my other endeavors.

SEVEN YEARS. Seven years have passed and I am still here, unable to save for the future, unsuccessful, been to a lot of failures, experienced misery in life, did a lot of mistakes, and yet I am still here, experiencing the grace of God in every way.

I know I don’t really deserve a second chance, much more the 10th chance, but I am still here, having that nth chance from the Lord and from my family.

IT IS NOT TOO LATE, DAWIN.

YOU CAN MAKE IT!20190824_154504

Stressed yet Inspired

Stressed yet Inspired

I just read an article about NaBloPoMo, how wordpress is encouraging all the bloggers to write on something worth reading everyday. Did I read it right? Everyday? Oh no! I can’t do it.

Heck, I’ll post anything under the sun whenever I can. 🙂

I would also try to post a photo everyday. uhm, I’m usually alone, so most probably, I’ll be expecting to post my very own photos. Woot!

James’ Journey

James’ Journey

After blogging this morning, I googled “travel bloggers” and found this one after reading at least 10 on the list. 

Journeying James. I don’t know much about him yet but I will find out soon by reading his blog.

My jaw dropped when I stumbled upon his vision of travelling the whole nation in 100 days. I don’t know yet if he finished it on time, or if he really finished it. But I think he did.

And this is my very first review on a certain blog,person, whatever you may call this. 

I don’t have followers yet but I know, someday I’ll have.  As as for now, I am taking his blog as an inspiration to pursue what I love doing. Dreaming 🙂

I will update this article as soon as I finish reading his blogs. 🙂 Whew! This really is refreshing.

 

And yes, I need to right down my Bucketlist too. 🙂

 

Failing to Plan

I always hear this phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”. And I always end up being scared. Not because I don’t have dreams or visions or whatever, but because I have to many dreams, too many wishes, too many desires, that I am having a hard time to really choose what I want. 

One of my weaknesses is that, I don’t know how to focus. Maybe I do know, but I’m not good at it.

Whenever I hear good things from different people, I tend to get too excited that I am adding another vision to the next.

My friend Karen told me that because I have these too many dreams, I am failing to plan already. And that sucks.

Last week, I prayed that God would reveal to me what His plans are. And maybe because I wasn’t really earnestly seeking his answer, He just reminded me of what I do have right now, and that it needs me more than my dreams.

 

I lost my oh so old and loved HP laptop in my shop last week. I was just sad because all of the shop’s files were there. And though it runs so slow already, I still wanted to bless it to someone, and right now all I have is this borrowed laptop, and I have nothing to give.

 

My small business needs me, I know, and yet my heart is torn between this and my desires. I am doing this to remind myself that I really need to focus on my work. My crafts.

Yes, my dreams can wait. And yeah, Dawin, you will never reach your dreams without having enough funds. Gosh!

 

Oh yes, I need to focus on this business that I chose. I will start again. Without enough finances, I will do my work. I need to save up too. It has been a year and I am still struggling. I know I need to be careful in handling my finances.

 

I have too may dues too. Sadly, I am in debt. But I know my God is bigger than my problems. And that if I’d be just faithful in little things, He will then allow me to experience and enjoy the bigger ones. Bigger that what my heart is expecting.

I have learned in life not to expect too much, but from my God, too much is not even enough 🙂

Mommylo

Mommylo died early in the morning last November 8, 2012.

Yes, I did cry but only for a while. I know in my heart, I have spent time with her before she left us.

During her wake, I seldom looked at her. Maybe because I’m still not used to seeing dead people. But because Mommylo is a family, I did look at her. I never cried during those sleepless nights.

The day of her burial, a church conducted a funeral service for her. I did cry but only for a while.

We all accepted the fact that that was the best for her. Dying. Everyone knows her condition. She can’t eat, she can’t talk, she can’t laugh, she can’t stand, and during her last moments, she can’t even move, she can’t even see. What’s worse is, we don’t know if she even recognize us.

It is a Filipino tradition to walk the dead up to the cemetery. I don’t recognize most of the people who sympathized with us. While on our way, I did cry and I cried hard. I was mourning. I was questioning myself what I was feeling. Why would I mourn if I already dedicated Mommylo to the Lord? I thought I already accepted the facts. I thought I was ready. I thought I was.

I did cry. Why? Maybe because I lost someone special.

I did cry. I did cry. Maybe because, I loved her so much and yet I wasn’t able to show her that.

Tomorrow is a new day!

Lately, I’ve been battling not with the world but with myself. One of the most typical scenarios wherein one would feel sick, impatient, disgusted, disappointed, bored, and worst, frustrated. This is no news for anyone who knows me well. Some would think that I’m just being emo-ish: some would try to understand me, some would ask what’s wrong, and some would just don’t care at all.No, I’m not looking for or wanting people to feel bad for me. I’m allowing some people to know what’s really happening to me, to my family, to my work, to my relationships, to my life. All i want is understanding, from the people whom I trust.

I’m not saying that I am not okay. I am totally fine. But depending on the situation is my definition of being fine.

In my latest blog (Friendster/Multiply), I deliberately stated there that I don’t want to blog anymore. One certain reason would be, I can’t seem to find any reason to be happy whenever I blog about myself, about my life. I don’t know if I was able to encourage people, (that was my ultimate reason for blogging before,) not just to express my thoughts.

And here I am again, blogging, and I don’t know if anyone I know would find this out.

I’m not really good with words. I’m not a linguist. And whenever I try to write about something, I can’t seem to find any depth on my work, and so I always end up not being satisfied. Oh well, I am still thankful to God that I am able to come up with a thing like this, others don’t know how to read, others don’t know how to write. Thank You lord! =)

My happiness for today:
A hug from my bestfriend… Though it seems impossible right now.:) As for her, I will really try to be the most understanding person in her life.

Okay, I’ve been sick for 5 days and I’m now ready for tomorrow’s new day.

 

blackhairedcreatureJuly 16, 2009 6:11 AM

I had my hug!

This definitely made my day…

Yey! Thank you.

I made a mistake when I said that something is impossible right now… Tsk! 🙂

The Master’s Weakness

It was April of 2008 when I graduated from my university of 8 years,finishing Bachelor of Science in Nursing. June 2008 when I took the National Licensure Examination for Nurses and it was August when I heard the news that I passed. It was October of same year when I started working. June of 2009 was the time that I enrolled for Master of Arts in Nursing course. If I am serious and patient enough, I could finish this in two years. Plus the fact if i can come up with my own thesis. Yes, that is my weakness so far.

Alright. I decided to take this thing up, of course, for my own good: professional growth, personal satisfaction, advantages of having an advantage, etc. But now, I’m really having a hard time because research works and reports have piled up right in front of me. And I almost felt like having this regret of taking this.

Honestly, there is the possibility that I will leave the country sooner or later, and I won’t be able to finish what I have started already. There is this certain rule at school that MA students must finish their studies within 5 years. Just in case I’ll leave the country later this year or early next year, I have this plan of staying abroad for at least 5 years. Whew!

I need guidance, I need counseling. I need strength, I need wisdom. I need my God.