Math Game for Young Learners - FUN at Home or School!

  (I have just blogged the following onto the Beijing Kids magazine website Forum in China.  They have expressed interest in my ideas, so, from now on, that's where my best ideas and thoughts will go.  Nice to have an appreciative audience...

ESL Lesson Sample from "EveryChild"

Choose a simple skipping chant.  (Even children who cannot carry a tune can have good rhythm and can clap or skip to these rhymes - a highly poplular activity.) We used a modified version of  "Tiny Tim":  I have a little brother. His name is...

A Logical ESL Program for China

EVERYCHILD  English – a radical new way to teach ESL  © (formerly known as “Total English”©) Rationale: Our program is based on forty five-years of classroom experience and on the research findings of the Dr. Nonie Lesaux’s  ESL (Harvard...

English for China...and Jamaica

I suppose I should be content with having contributed in at least a small way to English-teaching in both China and Jamaica. Jamaica was a long, long time ago.  We (Materials Workshop at the University of the West Indies, 1973/4)  fashioned a...

Schooling today...

There was a time on this continent when children were schooled at home.  Many parents (those who can afford it) are returning to that model.  Most will tell you that this avoids the negative socialization many children experience and that it is really...

Comparing Young Learners - China, Canada, Jamaica

Twice in the past month I have had  primary level Canadian students cut me off, contradict me, and insist that what they were doing was perfectly acceptable - even though they were totally incorrect.  Now, I understand defensiveness and "My teacher...

Why Principals don't last in China...

I suppose it's "a power thing"... driven by the profit motive.  Just found myself explaining the following to a parent in Beijing: Unaccredited schools in China (even if they have "International" in their title)  are under the control of the...

Learning Disabilities - Neuro-physiological roots

James Rhem, Executive Editor of the American National Teaching and Learning Forum (www.ntfl.com) has written a scholarly article acknowledging the link between the individual's neuro-physiological condition and cognition. One can only hope that the...

Too much phonics slows down Reading

Repeatedly, while working with young children who struggle with the "phonics first" craze, I note that they stop to sound each letter of a word.  This is futile given the inconsistency of vowel sounds in English. And it slows down the reading process....

Is there space for new thought in Education?

As more and more research surfaces to validate my observations that failure in school is linked to lateral dominance and vision/hearing anomalies,  one can conclude, once again, that there are no "dumb" people among us, - just varying neurological and...

New research linking "handedness" and Language Difficulty

This from Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford: Gene discovery supports handedness, language-related disorders link Washington, Nov 5: Scientists have identified a genetic variant, which influences...

The Enigma that is China

China remains an enigma.  Now that I’m back in Canada with time to reflect on what I learned from four years in Suzhou and Beijing, certain specific episodes stand out. One of these was watching young teenage girls learning about foot-binding. It...

ADHD...finding the appropriate metaphor

Thinking back on working with an ADHD-type ten-year-old boy the other day, I am trying to come up with an apt metaphor to try to define the way his mind works.  I need help with this.  Is focusing on a subject, trying to hold the thought,  like...

Memories of stripping feathers for down...1949...

And now for something completely different... I arrived in Canada as a snot-nosed five-year old from four years in four Allied Refugee camps in Germany.  The year was 1949 and it was a cold February in Meilleurs Bay, about  10 km from the dam on...

A PhD in experience?

When lamenting to an associate in China recently about not having had time to aquire more credentials between overseas postings, he made the comment that I was under-selling myself, that I already had a PhD "in experience".  But in the real world, that...

Ambidexterity and Finnish Research...YES!

So the Finns have concluded that ambidextrous kids are twice as likely to have schooling problems.  (Surprise me!)  Danger is that now people will conclude that being ambidextrous means you're gonna be a little dumb, and that's the WRONG conclusion! ...

Team Player or Gang Member? from Beijing

To follow up on my earlier comments re bullies being appreciated in Chinese private schools: Yesterday a colleague - an ESL professional - was told she would not have a position here in September. I was, frankly, more than a little surprised....

Eye problems in China

Somewhere I read that a child's eyes do not actually fully develop until about age 8.  If this is true (I will research again), it occurs to me that the Chinese should not be surprised that so many of their children have visual deficits. Asian...

LD in Asia... Same Symptoms Worldwide

Well, at least these traits seem common in the students I have taught in Ontario, Quebec, Jamaica, Finland, United Kingdom, and  now,  China... I've seen the studies that indicate that Chinese kids have anomalies in different parts of the brain...

Teaching in China... Yikes!

There appear to be certain classifications of people who come to China to teach.  There are those like myself who are retired and need to remain active in the field.  For us the lower wages don't much matter because we  are drawing pensions at home. ...

Teaching in Beijing..again.

Had to come back to test my theory.  Now am ready to go home at the end of June and set up a private tutoring company.  In China I just help line the pockets of someone else. Have met some wonderful Chinese people; the entrepreneurs who set up...

Teaching in China - Power and Profit Motives

From my experience in both an international school and subsequently at a small private ESL school in China, I think I can conclude that the difficulty in making any meaningful contribution in that country lies in the lack of clearly defined power...