Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ramona Maharaj from the City of Hamilton - How to Engage ESL Students

Teaching English as a second language can be a very challenging task at times, just as Ramona Maharaj from the City of Hamilton knows. She has taught in ten countries throughout the past decade, all of which have required her to adapt to a new situation and culture as well as students and class structures. However, she has learned some tricks along the way that have been effective in breaking the ice with each and every set of new students. Below are some tips of things you can try on the first day to engage your ESL students.

Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton

First, catching them off guard is always a great way to get their attention. If one person is disrupting the class, put him or her on the spot to see how good their English is; and give them a chance to be humbled. If it is more than one person, or even an entire class, making up a fake quiz or test on the first day will let them know you are now joking around; even if you kind of are. 

Next, try and do some activities that are relevant to their lives. Many people on the first day of a language class ask themselves why they are there in the first place. Answer that question by having them engage in an activity that they can use outside of the classroom right away.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Ramona Maharaj from the City of Hamilton - Teaching in Chile

After having a good six months of teaching in Argentina, RamonaMaharaj City of Hamilton had picked up her Spanish quite well, along with a number of other skills and habits that are known as being a part of Latin American culture, such as a taste for yerba mate and knowledge of the local spirits and dances. It had become time for her to move on; and much similar to her route through Asia, she had made the clear decision to explore two more countries on the continent, and had set her sights on Chile and Peru. 

Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton

Chile was going to be the next designated stop, so Ramona hopped on a bus and braved the overnight ride to Santiago, where she then changed buses and headed south to Osorno, which was the site of her new school. Unlike her other teaching contracts, Chile was the first scenario in which Ramona was teaching college-aged students at a local technical school. 

Ramona enjoyed the switch to a more mature classroom. She had a much more flexible schedule and could, for the first time in her career, determine how and when each aspect of the curriculum would be taught. And given her students’ impressive test scores, it would appear as if the ability to breathe had made her an even better teacher.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Ramona Maharaj from the City of Hamilton - Teaching in China

After teaching in both Korea and Japan, Ramona Maharaj from the City of Hamilton knew that she had to continue life in Asia; as the opportunities for ESL teaching were far too good to pass up. Her next assignment was in Shenzhen, China, where she went off to teach at a private school and get a genuine taste of what it’s like to live in the world’s most populous nation.
Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton
Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton
 One of the first things that Ramona had experienced in China was something that she did not get as much as she expected from Korea and Japan; and that is culture shock. Japan and Korea, while both having their own strong presence of cultures, have trouble hiding their western influence at times, while China is a beast of its own. It is country that is so massive that those who are immersed in the deeper parts of the country often never make it outside of the country’s borders, as the landscape itself is so large that traveling as far as a border equates in travel time to international trips for people from other countries.

Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton saw the depths of China through her students, who were so numerous and prideful of their upbringings that it made her realize how truly large the world is.