This week, in the often frustrating battle to make my students speak English, I’ve been doing a speed dating exercise with my classes.
After a bit of context setting, vocab work and guided discussion in the first hour, I sit them down and tell them to write 5 questions for a first date.
Many of them simply used the café as a meeting place and did not buy anything.
Management said they occupied seats for 'extended periods,' 'spoke loudly,' 'spat on the floor,' 'flirted' and had 'quarrels and fights'.
This tends to go on until I’ve had a chance to listen to everyone talk, or at least until I realise they’re not bothering to use English anymore.
Since the store opened several years ago, hundreds of lonely, divorced or widowed elderly people have descended on the cafeteria in search of love and companionship.
A few weeks ago I finished my first academic year of teaching Oral English at a university in the Middle Kingdom.
There’ve been ups and downs, yadda, yadda, but it’s been, overall, good. Here’s a short piece I wrote back in March about my favourite lesson.
The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the “persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears that he or she may do something or act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.” Those who are shy, if not socially anxious, tend to experience social situations in a more reserved, tense and uncomfortable manner, especially when meeting new people.
It may take longer to open up and share, which can affect one’s ability to form close relationships.