Angus MacKay’s blog # 5&6. DTLC

Blog #5

In this post I’d like to talk about something often swept under the rug by EFL teachers (and all teachers come to mind). Bad lessons. Let me explain first that there is no such thing as an unteachable class, only a teacher unable to inspire them.

With that being said, even the best teachers will face a class who are unwilling to participate in activities or paying attention. One particular class that comes to mind is my year 10 class at the beginning of the week which is heavily male-dominated. To give perspective this is a 47 person class of big characters, where there is seldom a quiet moment, or every student in their correct seat. From our first lesson together, I knew they were going to be difficult, however through the method of trial and error I quickly realised that competition and rewards were the key to get through to them. With their competitive nature in mind, I started pinning them against each other in education based games, using their energy to keep the games exciting and fast paced. This energy, as well as being enjoyable for the students involved, also attracts the attention of the remaining students, who are then by their own volition partially involved. Tough exercise in their work book? Split them into teams and have them race to put the answers on the board. Boring grammar exercise, have students make a basketball shot with a soft toy after every correct answer they give (only students that have finished the work sheet though- now watch how quick they do the work).

From the games to the hilarity naturally caused by children, my toughest lesson of my week has gradually become my favourite lesson of the week. In next week’s lesson I have planned to create a ‘3rd-party team’….TEAM TEACHER. Although I think they may have met their match, I firmly believe this will be what is needed to push them to the best of their abilities (lets see how well they work with the prospect of a sticking it to their teacher) and admittedly a bit of fun on my end.

There is no such thing as an unteachable class, only a teacher unable of inspiring them.

Blog #6

Transport and travel in Hai Phong

The population of Vietnam, like many South East Asian countries, use motorbikes and moped’s as the primary form of transportation. You will find no difference in Hai Phong, where bikes outnumber cars 100-1. Moped travel is probably the easiest way to get around the city, with the initial cost of the bike very affordable, and petrol even more so. Although, if this isn’t your speed, many choose electric bikes able to be both self powered and peddled. If, again, this doesn’t take your fancy either and you prefer 4 wheels to 2, taxis are cheap and always on hand.

In terms of public transport The long distance buses to destinations such as Hanoi, Vinh or Ha Long Bay are a reminder of home, with express routes and comfortable reclining seats. I have never needed to take a local bus around the city(although it’s on the bucket list!) For longer journeys I have heard ‘sleeper buses’ are of a good standard and value for money. The speedboat to Cat Ba takes 45 minutes port to port, and can accommodate your bike for a small additional fee, if needed.

Apart from that, you’re almost always walking distance from a corner selling ‘bia hoi’, or somewhere that sells noodles or sticky rice, and why not enjoy the warm night air and views of the city as some post food exercise?

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