It was an up and down week of excited smiles and deer in the headlight stares. This week can also be marked down in the history of my life as my first week as an English Conversation Teacher. Well, the term "teacher" is a little strong. I'm more of the leader, mediatator, or native English speaker the corrects spoken grammar! But nevertheless I was the head of a classroom and really had a great time.
In this short week, I have come to realize the challenges language teachers can face. I have many students who are so ecstatic to speak English and eager to chat away. While other students who give you a look like "I seriously have to speak English to you," or who would rather write a 100 page thesis paper then speak two words in Conversation class. But the non-talkers are going to be interesting. I'm excited to see their progress, I'm excited to help them break out of there shy shells and I'm excited to help them become eager to speak English.
I may love leading Conversation English but it's refreshing to get out of my English speaking niche and hang in the German world. Or for me instead, I live in like little Asia in Germany. Most of my roommates are from China and I also share an office with Ling, the Chinese Language and Culture teacher! She is so fun and has so much energy all the time. It's funny, because they will be all speaking in German to each other and I'll be excited because i'm understanding a little whats going on, Then out of now where it's rapid Chinese, and then I'm completely lost. Let's just say there is a very good chance I'll learn more about the traditions and customs of China than Germany. But either way, I am learning something new and loving every minute of it.
Last but not least a status update on my conversational German. Oh man! I have some much respect for my students. I understand what is like not to know how to say something or get frustrated when you can say what you want because you don't know the word in the language. Yes, everyone for once I find times I am speechless. No but I'm starting to understand more and more when people speak to me or I hear something on the radio or I see a sign on the street. There is progress...not much but some!
So When in Germany...never give a sweet little Chinese Lady and an American girl vague directions in a German city. We are bound to get lost but we can always find the shopping mall, which ironically is in an old castle. It's like a girl's fairy tale...gorgeous castle, shopping, the only thing missing is the handsome prince. hahahah