Teach English in SongjiAzui Zhen - Yueyang Shi

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As an outdoor instructor and glacier guide, I enjoy being outside as much as possible. Spending most of my day outdoors and moving around often allows me to have consistently high levels of energy and motivation. I believe that if an outdoor classroom was used more often, students would be more productive and have a better learning experience. In addition, outdoor activities can be fun for the students and teacher. Creating outdoor activities for students learning English could be especially worthwhile and I have thought of a few ideas on how to base some activities around this idea. Taking the class on a hike or walk depending on the convenience of the location of the classroom would be an excellent engage phase for that day’s class. During the hike, the teacher and students could talk about things they are seeing and experiencing rather than formulating them in a classroom. Students could then sit in a circle the outdoors location, if suitable, and go through a study phase activity where they get to practice the new words learned on the hike. For the activate phase, students could act out a story in groups using their new vocabulary and using props found on their adventure. This could be a creative and memorable way for the students to practice and have fun in class. Another way of incorporating an outdoor activity into a class could be taking the class outside for part of the lesson while using the indoor classroom to accomplish other facets. The teacher could start off the lesson by showing video clips of recent sports highlights common on ESPN and initiate conversation with the students about them. After working on some worksheets or word games to help the students better understand the new words, the classroom could then be taken outside where a game would ensue. If near a basketball court, students could split into teams and take turns guessing correct vocabulary. If they answer correctly, they have the opportunity to shoot a basket and can keep guessing if they make the basket. After the game students could split into pairs and perform as sideline reporters interviewing the star athletes, using as much of what they learned as possible. Some challenges with this method may arise depending on the types of students. Students that may be coming from jobs or school may already be tired from a full day of activities and unwilling to participate in an active class. However, I believe that getting out and moving around would be a benefit to those students as it can often act as a boost of energy. Also, it would be important to take into account whether or not the activity is right for the type of class one is teaching. Class dynamics, number of students, and age all must be a factor when considering an outdoor activity. From grade school all the way to university, I often experienced low energy caused by sitting down for long stretches of time in a classroom. Creating fun outdoor activities for one’s class would provide a level of enjoyment for the students and give them a more energetic and creative take on lessons that could otherwise cause disinterest. I am sure that if circumstances allow for me to exercise this opportunity in my classes I will be sure to take advantage and hope the students will take to it positively.