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紫砂壶茶楼

桂子落画亭,梅影弄碧洲。胜迹追武陵,美酒流心沟。

 
 
 

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(原创)The 9th Week in Notts,UK  

2006-12-08 15:27:37|  分类: 酒花飘香 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Sun 08 Dec. 2002

    It was Sunday again. Another month passed, that is, one third of the time when I am in the UK was gone. I have to ask myself what I have learned during the past two months.

    First, of course, the listening and speaking ability has been improved. Every day I am forced to use the language, think in the language. In order to survive, I have to use the language to do some shopping, to ask the way constantly when I was on the road to a strange place. I have to concentrate on my attention to the teachers at class or I can’t catch what they are saying.

    Second, I have known some culture of the UK and the way people live here, it is a very good experience for me which I can not learn from the books.

    Third, some new theories of ELT are introduced to us by the teachers. I find some of them are quite new to me, for example, corpus, language awareness and representational, referential etc. I also know some useful class activities introduced by our tutors.

    Fourth, I get some information about education of the UK by visiting some colleges and schools in the UK. Through attending to some English lessons, I have known some teaching methods that the English teachers would like to use. There is an obvious teaching characteristic in their teaching that is teacher always asking questions by eliciting students. Teachers lie stress on students’ thinking and students are very free to answer questions. The class atmosphere is just like that in a tea house. Students and teachers are chatting in the classroom. I think that is real interaction between students and teacher. In many of the cases, teacher gives a topic for students to debate whether they are for the opinion or against . Teacher seldom gives a right answer. Usually students will get the right answer themselves through the group discussion and the debate. That’s really the co-operative work. That is really a teaching method that focuses on students.

    This afternoon I went shopping in Hyperama, a large market, with Mr. Wang’s family. It’s strange that I could use my visa card there and everywhere but buying the camcorder in some shops. I didn’t call Sister Lan yet. I’d better try it in some other shops.

 

Monday 09 Dec.

 

      Chris gave two lessons this morning. He mainly introduced “bottom-up” processing and “top-down” processing.

      This afternoon we were free, the first time we had no lessons on Monday afternoon. I had thought to go to the city centre to buy the camcorder, but was afraid the visa would be rejected again and it would waste my time. So I went into the computer room to look for some materials for my writing and to check my mails.

 

Tuesday 10 Dec.

      The sun was shining with chilly wind blowing. The sky was blue. It was really a fine day, though a little colder than yesterday. English weather is nice and lovely if it doesn’t rain. The blue sky and green grass form a very wonderful painting with some light colourful clouds floating above. Houses stand more peacefully and silently among the tall trees. Squirrels jump from one tree to another, some looking for food on the grassland. Birds are flying over the woods.

      It was a month since I left my former English host family. However, Janet and Ken still missed me and sent a nice card to me. It read: At Christmas time this greeting brings A special wish for the happiest things Merry Christmas Wishes.

      So I quickly sent back a card to them today. I think if I happen to go to the city centre and have time I will go to see them.

      This morning it should be Mike who taught us. But it was said that he wasn’t feeling well. So Chris gave us two lessons instead. He listed 9 teaching methods and asked us to discuss what’s the advantages of each method. We were divided into 9 groups and had a free discussion. I didn’t find it interesting and useful at all, because I knew all of the teaching methods when I was at home. It was only a waste of time.

      It was tutorial time this afternoon, but since Mike was ill, I didn’t attend to the other group.

 

Wednesday, 11 Dec.

     It was wonderful that Professor Ronald Carter, the head of The University of Nottingham English Studies gave us lectures on spoken corpus this morning.

     He gave some examples of text language and real language, asking us to think and compare the difference. It was the first time for me to realise that many of the text languages are unreal in life, just an exercise to practise the language. They are more formal in use. People in real life would never speak like that.

     The real English is more simple, shorter, more informal, using lots of chants instead of sentences and it contains more back channel words. People often interrupt each other during the conversation not as the text language where people are always so polite.

     Carter asked us to think the two questions:

1.      What do you prefer to teach, the real life English or the text language?

2.      And why?

I enjoyed his lectures.

Thursday, 12 Dec

      I visited another school today and came back to the university again without having supper.

      We were organised to visit Nottingham Bluecoat School today. At 7:50 I caught Bus 36 to the city centre, then changed Bus 77 directly to the school.

      At 8: 45 I arrived at the school. Chris was already there meeting us. We 11 students were divided into two groups showed around the school first. It’s a language school with more than 1200 students aged from 12 to 18. We saw the ceremony of a day performance by some students who might be in their turn  to do it. After that we began to attend lessons. We were told to teach the kids Chinese characters and the kids might be teaching us some French. So the teachers divided all the classes into several groups with one of us Chinese visitors in each group. At the first lesson I was in a group of 5, at the second lesson, I was in a group of 3, and in the third lesson, group of 4.

     The kids taught me some French of saying “How are you, goodbye and thank you” etc. I taught them Chinese Calligraphy. You know I was good at this. But I have never taught a foreigner to write Chinese words for so long a time, nearly an hour altogether. I first told them that there were five basic strokes in the Chinese Calligraphy. The first was a dot, of course with many different changes in shapes. The second was a horizontal, which we always wrote it like a bow. The third was a vertical, sometimes like a needle and sometimes like a pillar. The fourth was a left falling stroke with some changes in form and the fifth and last was a right falling stroke, which always appeared like a wave with three ripples. As I was introducing, I wrote all of these strokes for them to learn. They found it very interesting. I then taught them the numbers from one to ten, then hundred and thousand. They were learning very fast. When I wrote three lines for three, one of the boys said I knew four, it was four lines. I then asked how to write hundred, must we draw a hundred lines, which caused them a laughter. After that I taught them the daily sentences “how are you, goodbye and thank you”.

       They asked me many questions and ask me how to write their names in Chinese for example Chris, Heather, Laura etc. I wrote for them and they felt very excited and happy. Then they asked me about the Chinese animal year and I wrote tiger in Chinese with different styles. They found it mysterious in seeing so many changes and now and then the teacher would join them. At last I wrote some poems of Tang dynasty leaving them each as a souvenir. They were so happy. I said goodbye in French Au revior to them and they said zai jian in Chinese.

       In the afternoon I attended a German lesson in Year 12. The teacher used a method of discussing, as they always did in England. I didn’t know any German and just sat there seeing the students laughing and shouting sometimes at class. They really had a very relaxing atmosphere. The teacher sat on the table for most of the time listening to students, which were quite different from China.

       At three o’clock we left the school.

       It was really unusual that it was snowing this afternoon in Nottingham though only for a little. It announced that the winter was really here, but I didn’t feel cold at all. Some of us felt cold and they wore many clothes. I felt I was very strong and in good health.

       Feng invited me to her new home just opposite Djanogli City Technology College, which I had visited some weeks ago. Her hostess, a glass ornaments maker, was at home meeting me. I stayed there talking with her and the hostess  for a short while and went back to the university.

 

Friday 13 Dec. 02

      Last night I had a funny dream. I dreamed of a large block of grassland with a long slope. A lot of animals wanted to climb up the slope from the low place. I saw tigers, lions, giraffes, deer, zebras, dogs etc. all mount the slope easily. But there were some little white fat pigs with very short legs trying to climb up the slope. They tried again and again but failed every time. Suddenly I caught sight of a little white fat pig flying over the grassland with long white wings that were just like those of a large bird. Then I saw all the pigs flying over the slope successfully.

      I wondered why the pigs in England had wings and could fly like birds. All the animals sang and danced in the white snow when the pigs landed on the upper grassland. It was strange that the tigers and lions didn’t attack the other animals but joined them in playing. I was still watching the pigs with the long white wings running and jumping on the grass when the alarm clock in Mr. Wang’s room woke me up early in the morning.

      When I told the dream to the Wang’s, they all laughed. Anqi, the little girl, laughed louder. I didn’t know what the meaning of my dream was. Mr. Wang said jokingly that maybe I could ask some professor in The University of Nottingham to analyse it.

      I had no lesson today and was not arranged to tour. So I first went to school library to do some reading and then went to the computer room to do the usual things.

Saturday 14 Dec.

    I sent a letter to SST, my son. He is collecting stamps, So I try to gather some for him, but it is difficult to get some since people seldom write letters now.

There is perhaps something unstable with the PC at home, SST couldn’t contact me through yahoo messenger. Such things have happened many times recently.

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