The Importance of Teaching Stories to ESL Students

In my experience, I’ve learned the hard way that kids NEED lots of visuals and physical movement, which, when incorporated by the teacher into a lesson plan, can be used to one’s advantage in teaching basic English. Stories, especially story-telling and story-making, all provide a plethora of great options for familiarizing early learners with English sounds, words, and basic sentence structures. Stories also give young children a much-needed outlet for creativity and cross-cultural learning in addition to building their English language listening skills.

Online Teaching: Big Drama on Day One

Here we are into the initial days of the 2020 spring semester during the Covid-19 virus outbreak. As my colleagues, students and I are stuck across the globe, we are diligently trying to follow the directives of our higher ups to comply with the government’s solution: e-classes over Wechat. Imagine trying to teach courses over…

Waiting out the Novel Coronavirus

I was supposed to head back to Beijing a week from today. The extent of the epidemic didn’t really hit me until my returning flight with Delta was canceled last Friday. Of course I’d been following the news like everyone else, and I’ve been dutifully checking in daily with my location and health status along…

Halloween 万圣节 2018

The week of October 19th-24th, I gained permission from my school to take a break from our readings to teach solely about one of my favorite holidays, citing it as an “important part of Western culture.” The students seemed to get a kick out of my costumes, and were pretty attentive for the duration of…

Settling into China (Again)

This summer really flew by didn’t it? My last two months and a half  were mostly spent traveling to see friends and family and spending time with my husband, Mark, and our little dwarf hamster. We were able to squeeze in a visit to a few places we had been meaning to go to such as…

China’s Strange Obsession with Peppa Pig (小猪佩奇)

Remember, back in May of 2018, when a meme on Facebook made the rounds saying, “China banned Peppa Pig for being too Gangsta?!” I remember reading it and laughing at the time, but now I can’t help wishing it was true. Peppa Pig is a British children’s cartoon centered on a young anthropomorphic she-pig, named…

Yes, I am Asian: Asian American.

 “Ay, you! What province you from, again?” “Are you sure you’re American?” “But your face looks Chinese…eh, maybe you could be from Xinjiang, but no, not American.” These are the types of greetings I get every day in China from curious taxi-drivers, to cashiers, to grandmas who want to tell me that I should know…