Due to some unexpected technical difficulties, we were unable to upload photos while in Baotou. Here are a few now which show some of the highlights of our experience.
1. The 2012 Amity Summer Education Program Volunteers
2. The Baotou “Foreign Teachers”
3. Churches are alive and well in China
We went to three church services at three different churches; each time the congregation numbered at least 1500, with the sermon lasting 30-40 minutes. In one case everyone applauded the minister after he spoke!
4. Teaching Chinese teachers in Baotou
The Baotou program was held at one of the best resourced secondary schools in the city. The school was not air-conditioned, but drinking water was available and floor fans kept the air moving on hot, humid days. Each classroom had a computer console enabling us to teach with Power Point presentations, audio clips, and scenes from movies.
Both the opening and closing ceremonies were formal events. We were seated at the head table on stage with the Chinese teachers – our students – sitting in the audience. These teachers came from various parts of the Baotou region; many of them teach in remote, rural schools. Speeches by our hosts – from the Baotou Bureau of Education and from the hosting secondary school – were translated into English.
The 100 Chinese teachers were divided into four classes. Each “foreign teacher,” as they called us, taught one course. The courses and their outlines were provided by Amity. A fifth course, “English Corner,” was taught jointly by us the first week with all 100 Chinese teachers together; the following weeks small groups of the Chinese teachers had the opportunity to lead the class. The content included activities, games and songs using English vocabulary of course (e.g. Simon Says, tongue twisters, word scrambles, charades).
Our teaching objective was always to improve the oral English of the Chinese teachers. We encouraged learning activities that required dialogue with a partner or discussion in small groups. Below are some classroom scenes.
Each class took the four of us out for a delicious meal before we left. Our hosts from the Bureau of Education also took us out — to the grasslands on the outskirts of the city, where Mongolian culture is featured, and to the desert about an hour from Baotou.