All Hallow’s English Corner

All Hallow’s Eve is, perhaps not surprisingly for an atheist country, not celebrated much here. Nevertheless, schools and places which cater for younger kids often do Halloween activities – last year we had a Halloween party at RDFZ (which, I believe was not done this year). It required a lot of planning but it was arguably worth it, just seeing how happy the kids were. I had a few students wish me a ‘Happy Halloween’, which is nice, although I don’t really celebrate it.

I had been asked to do an English corner at the university. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, usually it is where a foreigner will go to an area of the campus at a particular day and time of the week (usually Friday evening, it seems), and students will approach and practice their English with them. Yet this is not what I had to do. It was more like an extra class I have to give (I’m supposed to give two each semester). Although my first one fell on Halloween, and I started my class playing the Ghostbusters original theme, the class was not Halloween-themed. It was even more scary than that! It was about the environment!

I brought the students some chocolate because we all had better places we’d rather be. There were about 16 students, some of whom I taught but mostly new students. It went pretty well – better than I thought it was and I was oddly a little nervous. I don’t usually get nervous these days teaching, as I’m used to it, but whenever I have a new class, a little bit of stage fright creeps in.

They seemed to settle in and be engaged with the theme, which was good. The time went quite quickly and I wrapped up a little early. I was going to take the subway back, but, along with a Chinese teacher colleague who came to observe my class (and who took the photos above), we got on the shuttle bus going back to the university. My next English corner is Tuesday, 21 November. I haven’t thought of the topic yet….

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