Monday, December 8, 2008

Uncountable Nouns

This week is the quiz week at school, so during the lesson I don't teach new material, but do review instead, and then the kids take the quiz, and at the end, as I mark it, they play a game. Well, today was the first day for quizzes, and as we were doing review, my 8-year olds surprised me by asking for an explanation of why we say "they are fruit" but "it is A muffin", and "it is jam". So I had to explain the countable and uncountable nouns thing to them (like we don't count sugar, so we say "it is sugar", but we count muffins so we say "it is A muffin"). I suppose it's a simple question, but I guess I didn't expect it to come from such young kids, so it made me really happy that they asked. Well, I had to use Japanese for the part of the explanation because I didn't know how to simplify it enough in English for them to understand, and I still don't know if it's a bad thing to use Japanese for grammar explanations, but something is telling me it's ok to use Japanese. I know that when my Japanese was at their level I would have appreciated grammar explanations in English.

Human brain is a fascinating thing. The way people think is amazing, I think. My kids always surprise me by how much they can do.

Ah, and this brings me to a related point. I would like to read more about the fundamentals of language teaching. I did take a class on language acquisition, but it is not much use for me in the classroom, I am not sure why. I still don't understand some of the basics about how people learn, maybe it's because I have such different age groups and little kids learn differently. Anyways, as a teacher, I don't understand yet what my objectives should be. You know, kind of seeing the big picture. I don't really have a plan of what and how to teach my students because I don't really have a map of how they learn and what the best ways are. So we do exercises, but it's not based on a good map. Man, I miss the OISE library, I could use a trip there right now. I really wish actually that I had teaching background. Figuring out from experience how to teach is great, but I think it's much better to have a solid foundation. So I need to figure out a way of how to study by myself about the fundamentals of ESL teaching, I guess that would mean finding a good textbook on google books.

All right, I still have half an hour before bed time, so I shall go off to google stuff.

No comments: