Shane is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, due partly to Jennifer’s aggressive marketing for the school and partly from a few very favorable referrals from current students, which is quite pleasing. My API01 (Adult Pre-Intermediate) class has reopened after a few months’ break, much to my delight. They’re a fun group of people, and their language level is high enough that we can have some very entertaining discussions. Last night was the first lesson of a second API01 class which meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Three students came to that class, and I heard a rumor that one or two more meant to come but couldn't yesterday. They too are very nice people and have no problems making rote sentence-making drills fun and creative.
After the success of the children’s reading and writing class that I taught over winter break, we have opened another one that meets for two hours on Saturdays. At the moment, there are only three kids enrolled in it, but there have been a few people who’ve shown interest and might send their kids over soon. In addition, I have a new adult writing intensive class which meets on Friday nights. Though very enjoyable, that class has been rather tricky. Half the class is much more advanced, language-wise, than the other half. We have a textbook which I don’t particularly care for, because it’s too easy and because it really only works on two verb tenses with little variation. Last week I printed an article from Yahoo about the discovery of a fossil in China which proves that mammals have been on the planet longer than previously thought, and that the role they played in Jurassic ecosystems was much more important than we’d thought too. Pretty interesting stuff. As it turns out, they think it’s interesting too but the language is way too hard. They’ve got the general concept, and do like talking about this subject, but the specific vocabulary has been tangling their poor brains up. To the Chinese mouth, ‘vertebrate paleontology’ is nearly suicidal to pronounce! So I have to find a balance for that class, somewhere.
And, as of last week, I have now completed my second full term at Shane. Three of my classes have finished their final exams and moved on to the next level. CE02, my whisper-quiet girls’ class (some of whom I’ve had since day one of CE01 back in September), is now CE03, and my raucous boys’ class has advanced up to CE04. And my junior high class, which meets for three hours on Saturday afternoon, has finished CJ06 and will begin CJ07 next Saturday. To wit:
There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.
- Robert Louis Stevenson