Tuesday, May 01, 2007

With a Bang or a Fizzle

The second term of the year has just begun, and there are changes. For one, I no longer teach two classes. Previously I taught AM4 in the mornings for four days a week, and PM2 after lunch in the afternoons on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. But now, from the start of this term until the end of the year, I lose my afternoon class, gaining extra work at the Student Learning Centre from Monday through to Wednesday, in the afternoons, and all day Friday. My employment level has risen from 0.75 to 1.0 for the duration.

A second change I had wanted to make is to use Podcasting in this blog. I had wanted to record information and instructions for AM4, so as to improve my students' listening skills. I had intended to use Podomatic for that, but somehow I am unable to record my voice. Perhaps there is a firewall that prevents that. However, I haven't given up. I have asked I.T. for help, and a kind man named Michael will see what can be done.

An interesting topic - issue, rather - is one that I have only recently become aware of. Search 'oil peak' and you will soon see what that is. On the first day of term during the one hour a week that my class spends in a computer suite, I asked everyone to do a search and look at as many as 10 sites before returning to the one they liked the look of most. This was just to raise their awareness, so that in class the following day (today) we could continue with that topic.

Today I entered 'oil peak ESL' and discovered a series of 8 English lessons that are on the topic. They seem to be part of the Dave's ESL Cafe site. Then, with 5 minutes to go before class started, I discovered an oil peak game that tries to predict and prepare for the eventuality that an oil crisis may almost be upon us. It is scheduled to take 30 days starting from 30 April 2007 - today, by gum, because of the time difference!

It's scary stuff, but I believe that as ESOL teachers it is important to inform our students and help them become aware of issues that, because of language barriers, may otherwise pass them by. Nevertheless, an article that begins:

Dear Reader, civilisation as we know it is coming to an end soon . . .

I'm curious to know what others think (and concerned).

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