Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Right Royal Muddle!

In class I tried rather a radical approach. On Wednesdays I like everyone to focus on writing. However, I prefer that the other skills are also incorporated in some way - holistic (or whole-istic) learning.

So anyway . . .

I wanted the class to work in groups of three or four. They were to spend 20 minutes on a writing task, then move on to the next task. Altogether there are four groups and four tasks. Each group would carry on with where the previous group(s) had left off.

Are you with me so far?

By the end of the morning all groups rotate back to the activity they had started with, which they would then complete and . . . write up! And also public as blogs, this one and maybe their own.


The four tasks are:

  1. Write a description of our class for students elsewhere to read
  2. Write an account of our visit to the campus where we will shift to next term
  3. Write a description of the Australian English class (with whom I'd like them to form a relationship)
  4. Conduct a writing survey (within our class) gathering information that the teacher would be interested in

That is the plan.

And here are the results.

Survey title:

1) What study style do you prefer?
2) Do you like the study style of this morning?


10/13 students have been surveyed. The majority of them like individual writing, and they like their writing to be corrected by William. However, some students prefer Group Writing on certain subjects. Except for a few students who don’t like writing, the rest of them like formal writing.

We also investigated them if they like the writing learning style of this morning. About 2/3 students said that they don’t like it.

Forth Street Visit

On Monday, 28th of August, we visited Forth Street campus at 10 am by a school bus. Our teachers and some conversation assistants went with us. On the way to H Block in which our new classrooms are, a bus driver showed us parking places around the campus.

Kevin Taylor, an architectural consultant introduced about classrooms, bathrooms, a common room, staff rooms, and offices of Administrative officers and our principal. When we were there, we saw Mami, our teacher’s wife, who joined us. During tea break, we had tea, coffee, fruit juices, sandwiches and pies.

At 11 am we went to Bill Robertson library and Student Centre which are opposite H Block. Mr Taylor showed us the Cafeteria where we can buy our lunch.

At 11.30 am we returned to the School of Language at Tennyson Street.

About Our Class

There are 16 students in our class, from different countries (Cambodia, China, Bulgaria, India, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, and Afghanistan) and ages 20 to 60. We are living in Dunedin, New Zealand. Most of us are migrants.

There are three levels in the OPSOL. Our class is the Top Class. Our course runs the full academic year from Feb to Dec, but students may enrol on a semester or even term by term basis. Some of the students are full time students from Monday to Friday. Some are part-time students (morning only, Monday to Thursday). At the moment, 9 of us are full time students, and another 7 students are part time.

Our teacher is William, whose parents came from Holland. He has lots of experiences of teaching English; he is very popular in our class. He is the only one male teacher in OPSOL.

We will study here until the middle of September. Next term we have to move to Forth St.

1 comment:

Rosa said...

Hi William,
I enjoyed reading about your wirting activity. It sounds like an interesting one and I am going to try it out in my class. That way I will introduce the idea of collaborating with your students. Thanks for leaving comments in their blogs!