It’s official . . . there are basically three weeks left until final exams. I can’t believe it. It seems like this semester has just flown by. I think it has been getting more and more interesting as well. I was really excited to be able to do the story “The Man who Planted Trees” with the students. One of the benefits of this semester, is the students are able to handle challenging materials that push them to their limits – like the story about the man who planted trees. With all of the challenging things we have been doing, I actually think the students are gaining new vocabulary and fluency this semester, which are two of my main goals. I think we still have a ways to go with grammatical accuracy, but I figure that as long as they are able to understand the world around them, and as long as they are able to make themselves comprehensible to the people around them, they are on the right track to success at university. I guess that is the two fold mission of the EAP program – facilitate the students understanding of the world and their ability to make the world understand them. In any case, I feel this is one of the most successful semesters so far.
Another exciting thing we have been able to do this semester is see the movie “An Inconvenient Truth”. The best part about this is that no one fell asleep during the movie! Teachers are often hesitant to show videos during class time . . . especially longer movies. Usually I follow the “20 Minute Rule” which is that teachers should never do more than 20 minutes of anything because they students will start to drift off and become bored . . . or worse . . . unruly! However, I only had two days to show “An Inconvenient Truth”, so I had to divide the movie up into two one hour segments. That’s almost triple my 20 minute rule for each day. The great thing was though that Al Gore was such a compelling speaker, and the students were so interested in the topic, that no one drifted off. Now the fun part begins on Monday when we decide if we believe Al Gore or not . . .