Language Independence: English Wednesdays

wednesdayLiving abroad can be an overwhelming experience. Trying to adjust to the culture, the religion, the food, and the language takes time and causes frustration. Fortunately if you have a guide who has been there before to show you around, you are strides ahead and sure to come away from the experience with a positive impression. Unfortunately, the reliance on a guide can be crippling to your independence in that country. How can someone who spends an extended period of time in a foreign country ever expect to learn the language and gain independence while at the same time enjoying all the benefits of a guide?

Two experiences come to mind. One, the year I spent in South Korea. Two, now as I play the role of guide in the United States.

Continue reading


New Video: Advanced ESL Middle School

Hello everyone!  I just wanted to post that I have added another video to my ESL Videos page (as well as to my YouTube page, NuevoKimochi).  It involves my after school students giving a speech about their new pet alien.  There are 8 students and each is just about as tired as a college student at the end of midterms but they manage to pull of a fantastic performance.  They prepped for 30minutes at the most (that includes drawing their alien and writing a short description) so please keep that in mind.

They are a pleasure to teach and always good sports about whatever I throw at them.  Finally, I am quite aware that I am still a novice when it comes to teaching so I am more than open to constructive criticism.

Until my next written post I am

Yours Truly,

~Dorian Wacquez

Teaching vs. Playing: Classroom Techniques

Everyone is a Teacher, Student.

Everyone is a Teacher, Student.

Several weeks ago I was informed quite to my pleasure that amongst all the teachers and all the classes at my middle school, I had been voted (by the students) as the favorite.  I was, of course, flattered by their kind words and humbled to be so warmly welcomed in such a short amount of time but I could not help but wonder why it was that I was chosen and whether or not it was actually desirable to be so.

Given, there is not much more rewarding and motivating as praise from your peers for your good work.  To me, the worthy and sincere congratulations and appreciation from others is better and more self-satisfying than my paycheck–especially on those sour Mondays or long Wednesdays.  Yet this was something different.  I was not chosen by my peers as the best teacher in Sindorim Middle school, I was chosen by the students.

In college I remember one such professor that all the students admired (and still do) who was formally known as Professor Ackerman (though he preferred to be called simply by his first name) who won similar recognition from us students when I was a senior.  All of the students adored him!  We were positively enthralled to see him anywhere on campus, he was always volunteering and participating in student-let activities, in the classroom he always maintained a high energy level and even managed to remember every single student by name (and he had quite a few students!) Yet, when it comes to what I learned in class I will admit, and not a bit proudly, that my reports and final marks were quite mediocre.  Despite his enthusiasm and personable character, I found it easier to be his buddy so to speak and talk with him as such rather than as a professor.

Then what is the objective of being a teacher? Continue reading