I recently completed a volunteer English as a second language teaching program in China through New Century Education Services. This position not only provided me with valuable experience in ESL teaching, but also gave me a greater appreciation and understanding of many of the challenges ESL students face when entering the Canadian school system.
My first teaching assignment was in Zhengzhou in the Henan province. Here, I team taught a small group of students with a variety of English levels. I greatly valued the one on one interactions this allowed me to have with my students.
My second teaching position was in Shanghai. I participated in a summer camp that enabled students of a variety of ages to visit the World Expo and other tourist sites while improving their English skills. During the day, we travelled to different sites and I interacted informally with the students. In the evening, another teacher and I taught English classes to the students. The work was challenging because it was quite different from the teaching I am used to in Canada, but I feel both the students and I benefited from the experience.
Through my volunteer experience, I was given an intimate view of a different culture and learned many valuable techniques that I can now apply to my current teaching practice.