WOW!! It’s hard to believe that a year ago around this time I was in an Antigua Guatemala studying Spanish, one-on-one in the the school courtyard where the weather was perfect & the classes relatively easy. Spanish verbs conjugate the same as their French counterpart, conversation was coming along & could get the gist of a story in the local paper. The odd day the lesson would be incorporated in a shopping trip in town or a chicken bus ride to a neighboring pueblo. It was pretty cool & was even offered a job when I returned.
Now a year & 23 countries later I find myself in a different classroom halfway around the world, in Bangkok Thailand where it’s HOT, studying, of all things English grammar a necessity in a TEFL course. I can assure you that learning Spanish was a walk in the park compared to learning proper English grammar. If it’s hard for me, a native English speaker, I can only imagine the work an Asian speaker will have to do to become proficient in it. However that’s why I am taking the course, to teach English to others in a place where it never snows.
“The best laid plans of mice & men—“ can’t remember who said it or the exact ending but my weekend study plans went all awry as just couldn’t get in study mode on Saturday so spent it researching the continuation of my trip through Borneo, Indonesia & onto Oz. Then procrastinated Sunday morning away going out for breakfast as I needed change for the washer & dryer but couldn’t go to early as wanted to pickup a 6pack & can’t buy take away alcohol here before 11.
Finally picked up a book while waiting for the laundry to wash & dry. By 7 I had the module on the problems in teaching English to Asians read & a rough plan for my presentation drawn up, finding information in 3 different books but was too tired to think straight so had a cool one & rested to midnight when I got up all bright eyed & bushy tailed, to put the finishing touches on the presentation, then rewrite my TP lesson plan for Wednesday evening’s class. Did however have to use a section of the grammar book to complete my presentation so the weekend’s plans weren’t a total loss!
Updating Thurs. morning, hump day for the week has passed & actually we are now on the downhill slope of the course. The worst of this week from hell has past rather smoothly with a C grade on Monday’s presentation, Wednesdays exam went well as did the TP lesson in the evening, some helpful constructive criticism on the lesson but that’s to be expected on a first try, haven’t received grades yet but confident of a pass. That only leaves the grammar exam tomorrow to finish off the week so we shall survive.
Received marks, apparently the normal mark on a first TP usually falls between 6 & 7 so my 6 1/2 is there, however the B (that’s 3 in a row) on the Thai culture & teaching exam made up for it.
Lost a classmate yesterday as after looking over the exam questions he asked the trainer if he could try the course again in the next session & left. No surprise at 19 he wasn’t mature enough to handle the intense workload + a new live-in girlfriend, same thing will likely happen again but such is life.
Next week is shaping up to be a tad busy with a final presentation Monday morning, a TP in the evening, an exam Wed. morning followed by a TP in the evening, another exam Friday & at this point in time 2 TP’s with children’s classes on Sat.
The dreaded grammar exam actually went not that badly with probably a C or possibly a B.
So went week 3, a prelude to the week 4 the “real” week from “Hell” where T & T owns our soul in exchange for a TEFL Certificate!