Welcome to Beijing Schools

I got off the plane this morning, in shorts and a t shirt, at 6:30 AM to a temperature of minus 1 degrees! Goose bumps do not go well with a sun tan. It’s freezing!

So after a rest and a change of clothes it was off to see one of the new schools. It was, as usual, a huge event for them with all the kids lining the street outside waving flowers and singing “welcome” to us. I videod it and I’m sure you’d love to see it…. but YouTube is still banned in China so I can’t upload it!

I did get this photo of the kids lining up before they march off home in groups with their teacher.

Then we met all the new teachers and fielded some questions from them. They’re using the IPA international phonetic alphabet, which is one of the greatest obstacles to any first time language learner, and were wondering what to do when it clashed with normal phonics. The easy answer is to say to forget the former and just do the latter, but we had to be a little more diplomatic than that on the first day! But anyway they were very keen teachers and this week’s training should be pretty good.

Then some more gorgeous Chinese food and now I’m absolutely shattered so I’m off to bed!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

5 Responses to “Welcome to Beijing Schools”

  1. Yumiko

    I wish you good luck there!
    But their banning Youtube is a nuisance, isn’t it? We can’t see the welcoming scene and you can’t see the surprise from Lucky (It’s so lovely, Lucky!).
    I’m looking forward to hearing more about Chinese teachers and kids. Ganbatte!!

  2. Flossy

    Sounds like a great start. I look forward to seeing the You Tube video too.

  3. Carol

    Sounds cool. I too will be happy to see your video when you get somewhere that allows youtube.

    I noticed you said ‘welcomed’ us. Do you have a group of genki teachers with you?

  4. richard

    I’m in charge of the Genki English part, then we have a researcher from the University who’s in charge of the phonics programme plus the Chinese staff.

    As these schools are private schools, although for poorer kids, they still have competition so the community seeing “foreign experts” come to train their teachers is a big advantage, especially when one is a very well respected Dr (That’s not not me by the way!)

    Plus of course the kids get very few chances to see real English speakers so it’s a great thrill for them as well.

  5. Rosebud

    What a change in the weather but how colourful all the kids look in their outfits. Sounds like an interesting time you’re going to have.

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