I teach.

I work for a local language school, and teach a mix of adult general English classes and exam prep classes in the evening and children’s classes on the weekend. The different kinds of classes require a range of techniques and teaching styles, and give me a lot of variety in my work.

Of all my classes, I enjoy the kids classes the most. Kids work and study better when they’re having fun, and I’ve always been able to relate to kids and keep them entertained. Over the years, I’ve slowly evolved my own style of teaching, one which can best be described as ‘eccentric’. Here, then, is a typical class that I teach.

Children like set routines. They feel more secure when they know what will happen next. That’s not to say you can’t insert some variation into your classes, but it’s easier to teach kids when they know what they’re expected to do.

My opening routine is always the same: the monster of the day. For the first class with a given group of kids, I draw a vampire version of myself. For classes that I’ve already taught I get the kids to make suggestions. "Monster of the Day" Hence, monster hamburgers, monster babies, zombies, monster rabbits, monster toilets, and so on. Occasionally, I’ll introduce some new vocabulary that you won’t find in the standard young learner course books: ‘cannibal’, for instance. For more advanced kids’ classes, we’ll have a discussion on how best to kill a given monster, the monster’s favourite body part and any other habits the monster might have. Cannibal baby The point is to use the language that kids want to use, that they normally use on a daily basis in their own language.

Social networks

I’ve already explained why I’ve left Facebook. It’s only a matter of time, I think, before many other Facebook users start to jump ship.

This won’t be because of Facebook’s excesses, unfortunately. It will be because something better has come along. I’ve been watching the social network scene, and there are two candidates that look likely: Google+ and Diaspora.

Google+ will certainly be a very polished site when they finish getting the bugs out. Google also has an innovative corporate mindset compared to many other large IT companies, so we can expect a constant flow of new features. Only one thing concerns me.

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About Quy Nhơn

Quy Nhon City

Quy Nhon City

Quy Nhơn is a small coastal city (population 300,000) located in south central Vietnam about 700 kilometres from Saigon, roughly halfway between Da Nang and Nha Trang. The main industries are fishing, furniture, education (three universities) and light industry, mainly furniture. The city centre is situated on an east-west oriented peninsula that shelters a medium size port. The city is bordered by the sea and the harbour on two sides, and by a range of hills to the south, the highest of which is just over 500 metres high.

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Fine tuning…

I’m currently playing around with features and options, trying to get a nice, practical and easy-on-the-eye look. There are plenty of themes to choose from. I’ve just selected ‘mistylook’ as a base theme to work from. The title graphic came from a picture I took from the top of Gheng Rang, a 240m high hill at the southern end of Quy Nhon beach.

Although I’ve got an overall idea of what I want on this site, I won’t really know what I want until I see what I’ve got.

[Update (6-Oct): I’ve changed the theme to ‘Mystique’. Getting there.]


Why this blog?

Well, for starters I’m disillusioned with Facebook. The basic idea is fine, but it’s getting just a little too cute. The various invitations and gifts involving farm animals, poker and so on got a bit tiresome, to say nothing of the daily postings of the irrelevant minutiae of others’ lives. The large number of reports involving Monsieur Zuckerberg’s questionable ethics is also a factor (see here and here and here and… oh, hell, just google for “zuckerberg ethics“).

The main reason I used Facebook to begin with was to keep in touch with family and friends. A blog will allow me to post news and photos and still allow others to respond. WordPress allows a huge amount of customisation and personalisation in a way that Facebook could never do.

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