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08

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Quick Write 081611 “My thoughts on Camp”

If I had been offered to be a lecturer for a 5-day intensive learning camp last year, I wouldn’t have accepted it. This year, supposedly since the 3.11 earthquake, my mindset has been changed. I’ve started making a gutsy decision to do something that I’ve never done before or have ever avoided trying, and something that looks very challenging but supposedly rewarding. If this whole camp thing is to be summarized briefly, it would be “much better, more fun, but a lot more to learn than I expected.” I learned what kinds of materials are appropriate for the learners of those levels in this learning environment, and how teachers should introduce the materials to them. Besides technical stuff, I learned that one of our important missions is to maintain their health conditions, both mental and physical, to survive this tough camp. The students studied for more than 8 hours including 6-hour class while sharing a small room with others for 10 consecutive days. Plus, bad mobile phone reception on the hill-top lodging hindered them from communicating with their friends. It was easy to tell that they could get stressed out in the course of a long stay. I changed my initial lesson plans every day, every hour by checking the students’ conditions and motivation, but that was not enough to satisfy all of the 48 students’ needs and wants which vary from person to person, or even day by day. A harsh comment on anonymous students’ survey I read just before leaving the hotel let me down all the way back home for sure, but gave me an opportunity to deal with negative feedback. This was our first English learning camp without enough preparation time and various planning options, but we pulled that off anyhow. We had 92 students and no one gave up the camp. That’s something. I’ve just found that one of the camp participants posted nice photos on Facebook. Those photos will keep telling me that most of the students had a good time and enjoyed intensive learning with us. Hope they achieve their goals sometime very soon.

(30 minutes / 351 words)

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This is "Pub House" where we had a party.
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Aya

Author:Aya
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