Whilst I’m still having a bit of difficulty planning lessons, I did come up with an idea earlier, based in part on my Chinese language textbooks I have for learning Mandarin. Each chapter starts with vocab and then has various activities and ends with a conversation. This was designed, I think, to be a listening activity – there are CDs with the books which have the conversations on. But I could adapt this idea and use them as speaking exercise. Usually, for classes you have a lead-in, which gets the students interested in the topic. One class on the CELTA, which a friend did, was about rattlesnakes in the southern states of the US. The lead-in was that the students had to identify different kinds of snakes and discuss them. Looking through lessons from last year also helped and I’ll probably adapt these accordingly.
I could do a lead-in, then pre-teach any essential vocab, and then get them to go conversations. I’ll have to have a think about topics and that, but that might be the easiest way of doing it (not that any of this is easy; it isn’t).
The good news of the title, is partly that that idea came to me earlier, and partly that my letter of invitation has also now been issued. Both my work permit and the letter will now be sent to me, so I should be in China by the end of next week. Indeed, I was told that, as Mid-Autumn Festival is on 27 September – a Sunday – the holiday is from 1-7 October. We have been told to arrive in China by 27 September (though I intend to get there before then), with training Monday 28 – Wednesday 30 September. We start teaching on Thursday 8 October, which is good for me, as I currently only have one lesson on that day.