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My first English lesson.

I taught my first English lesson today at Mae Nam Primary and it went pretty well.  Well, almost.  As at the latter part of the lesson, the kids kind of lost focus and I started to loose control of them.  My observer advised me that maybe I was too friendly and they don't think I am serious teacher.  Think I need to consider that in my next TP :P

The lesson was basically about animals and opposites.  I took a lot of time printing and coloured my flash cards myself.  I also designed a board game for them to practice their speaking but they seems to be more interested in throwing the dice around rather than speaking the words.

Anyway I took out my instax camera at the end of the class to take a picture of them.  All of them (even those kids not under my group) came and posed for me.  Took just one as they were estactic.  Asking for more.  I just said I ran out and quickly left the classroom before I get mobbed by these kids.

Overall, I did very well for my first lesson but I do hope I could improve better.   I will be teaching these kids again on Friday and I have not prepared the lesson plans yet.   I have another TP on Thursday at the tourism school so I need to work on that first.  It will be the adults I would be teaching coming Thursday and it will be another totally different experience. 

Can't write much.  Have to prepare the lesson plans before I go to bed tonight.

Occupied with homework

I have not been writing for the past few days as I was busy doing my revisions and assignments.  Coming Tuesday and Thursday will be my TP (Teacher's Practice).  I still have tons of things to prepare for the lessons :P.  The class actually ends around 3pm each day and I normally take a break in the pool to cool myself off before going back to my room to study.  Evening time I just meet up with some of the my other coursemates and have dinner and chit chat before retiring.

Today is special as there are no lessons.  So I took a day off to explore the Island a bit more.  Took the morning driving one big round of the Island.  Stopping here and there to take some photos.  Samui is pretty ok for a Tourist spot but it will definitely not be in my "come back" list.  I will explain and write about it some other time :)

It took me almost half of the day to cover the ring road that cicles the Island and I took a short nap before I start to work on my materials for the coming Tuesday TP.  Just finished part of them and decided to write an entry before going to bed.  It's almost midnight here :)   

Grammer 1,2,3 !

I woke up early this morning at 530 am to try to catch some surise.  Too bad it was an overcast and I could see nothing!!.  So I took my Nex and ND filter to take some seascapes instead.  The picture on the left is one of them.  My apologies if the the colour might be off as my netbook is not calibrated.  :P

Today we had a Grammer refresher course in the first part of th morning.  Its a bit stressful for most of us as all of us can speak well.  Some of us maybe writes well but to we need to define what is a Noun, Verbs, Abverbs etc etc etc.... All seems a bit lost. hehehe..  Anyway, we have notes and I was writing a bit later today as I was going through all the materials for today.

Besides the Grammer refresher, we were introduced to teaching methodolgy.  What an insight!! Its really good skill set to learn in how to conduct lessons for non English speaking audiences.  I can't wait for more of such methodology to be taught in class.

Before I signed up for the course.  I was a bit concerned if I could be an English teacher.  You have to understand that I came from a Mandrain speaking family and my English actually improved only after my later part of my secondary days. (All thanks to my teacher Mrs Goh who introduced me to some interesting English books!) Over the years, the language slowly became more natural to me.  Sincerely, I think I improved a lot since I started blogging 8 years ago!  Yup.  I started in 2002 under and kept on writing till now.  I'm glad I did that.  Wrting does helps one improving his language skills.  Maybe I should refresh my Chinese by starting another blog in Chinese?  Nah.. I think it will take too much of my time now. 

Gotto go to bed and prepare for tomorrow's lesson.  I am throughly enjoying the course and I hope I could clear the certifcation.  Our instructor (and mentor) Rosanne did mentioned that some of her students in the last intake flunked because their Grammer could not make it.  I better make an extra effor to study hard :)  One more seascape photo before signing off


Back to school.

I just want to mention that I am currently taking TEFL or TESOL (Teach English as Foreign Language) certification in Koh Samui.  I was keen to get myself such a certifcation as it helps me to find a placement in a local school in Thailand.  Even if it dosen't, it will give me the credibility to teach privately in Thailand.

At first, I plan to take the certification in Singapore. Kudos to a friend and dear brother of mine to provide me the contacts but I find it surprising expensive.  They charge $3000 SGD for the course.  Whereas over here, its almost half of that amount and its internationally accepted.  I got to learn about island tefl through a farang friend of mine in Maesai.  He told me about it and I did a google search.  After checking the price and speaking to the course director Philip.  I decided to sign up for the course.

Let's just say for 3k SGD I get to travel, study in a great environment and a bit better credibility in Thailand as I get to practice my teaching in the local schools here in Samui.  Yup, plenty of practical teaching sessions in the coming week and I will be observed if I am up to the job.  Stress level is all time high now.  Its's been sometime I am back in a learning environment.

We had the first lesson today and its pretty good.  I got to know my fellow students.  Most of them are from South Africa and much younger then me.   And the interesting thing is I am the only Asian here so our course intructor, Rosanne (from South Africa too) keeps asking me about the difference between Asian language and English.  Stress ah!!!

The school ends at 3pm and I get to bike around here and there today.  I have decided to rent the bike for a month for 3500baht.  Much cheaper then 150 baht per day and I gaurenteed myself to have transport which works better for me.  Bikes at the resort seems to be rented out all the time so I was lucky to pick one of the better bikes from the lot.  I actually swapped twice.  First, the brakes were not working.  The second one keeps stalling whenever I stops.  Finally my current one has a broken left mirror but at least its something I could live up with.  I took some photos, none of them that great as I was stills scouting around for a better location to take my favourite subject.  Sunrise and sunset!

Have to stop here now and do some grammer revisions. 

Arrived in Style!

Prepare to get bombarded with updates from me as I am away from home and arrived in Koh Samui!!!  And arrived in style I did.  I have read about reviewers and visitors claiming the airport in Samui has a distinctive style of its own and will provide a shock and awe when you have arrived.  I was a bit skeptical until I saw it with my own eyes and Yes I was awed.  Its a bloody airport built in a beautiful garden cum resort like structure.   There are no passenger cranes to a big transit hall.  We have to climb down the stairs to board the little beautiful carts that you see in the photo.  The carts will ferry us to the arrival hall is like a little hut like building.  I have no time and more importantly "space" to take photos as it was crowded with tourists.  There is only 1 baggage belt and 2 flights arrived almost at the same time.  Imagine the chaos!   Another funny thing is that it seems I am the only Asian fella among the whole group.  I feel like I am in Europe (heard people speak in French and German).  hehe

Took a mini-van to my resort.  A small nice cosy hut.  Called wife and the kids to report I'm here and told my wife about the journey.  She already a bit worried about the expenses (quite true as the living standards is about the same or more than in Bkk.)

Anyway, Signing off for the night.  There's wifi in my room but its pretty unstable.  Think its being jammed by other users..  Have to post this using my tethered mobile :P

90 days!

90 days!  Finally I get to have my Non-Immigrant Visa approved and got this stamped on the 7 Feb.  Which will last me till May.

I have spent 2 days in Bangkok before I returned to Maesai on the 9th.  It was hectic.  Wife wants to meet up with a friend of ours and we visited her and her child.  The 2 ladies decided to go for a shopping spree.  So guess who is taking care of the kids? :P

Nearly died for 2 consecutive days and was so tired when I reached back Maesai.  I actually wanted to write something that night but was occupied with a reader's email so I took some time to reply to him.  By then, its pretty late and I have no more energy to write anything.

There are still photos of the family in Singapore that I have not uploaded.  Have not even sorted them and yet I need to travel again coming Saturday.  Tomorrow will be my trip to Chiang Mai to take a plane to Ko Samui to attend my TEFL course.

Yes, I am actually planning to be an English teacher here in Thailand and the TEFL certification is one big stepping stone that I need to get a teaching job here in Thailand.  Will write more about this later.  Need to sort some photos and do some packing.  I think I am even more busier then my last job in Singapore.  Think my next entry will be in Samui island. 


A day at the Zoo (Singapore)

We visited the zoo yesterday and I only found time to write this entry today as I was poofed.  It was raining heavily for 3 consecutives days over the weekend in Singapore and it only stopped raining on Monday evening.  We actually intended to visit the zoo since last week but the bad weather forced us to postphone and postphone until I got fed up.  Rain or no rain, we are going on Tuesday.

And what a surprise.  The weather was pretty good that day.  Although it did showered a few drops here and there but its always at the right time and right moment. hehe  Why do I say that?  Because it rained while we were having lunch in the zoo.  Followed by a small shower before girl girl had her pony ride.  Then finally it rain heavily while we were leaving!  So I think we got blessed or something.

The trip was pretty fun.  We reached the zoo at around 10.45am.  I rented a sheltered wagon even a friend of mine ndroo of warned me not to.  The electric sccooters were all out (there were a lot of people that day actually,  I think they too, waited for the rain to stop).  And I sincerely regretted it.  The strollers would be a better option as the wagons are really sucky.  It's big and heavy and the wheels seem ko ya (spoilt).  The shelter is a joke.  One pull on the support and its off... and the bloody handle!!  You can't fix it in an upright position so it just fall down if you stop pulling it.  Bloody 18 bucks for this nonsense.

Anyway, luckliy girl girl is willing to sit in it so its easier for me to watch her movement.  Boy boy is sticky to wify so he oftens stands up in the wagon while we were moving.  In the end, Wife had to carry him for almost the whole journey.  Our bags are in the wagon though so my mum and I took turn pulling the wagon.

We took a stroll along the white tiger trail all the way to the primates before we stopped and ate at the zoo restaurant.. Bloody chicken rice cost 9 bucks.. whoa.. daylight robbery again hahaha. Well, its the only cafeteria so no choice.  Just spend.  Started to rain while we just start eating and the rest of the people in the park start streaming into the cafeteria too.

Just when we moved out and took the tram for a spin, it stopped raininga again so we dropped off at the Afircan wildlife station and continued our journey on foot and wagon.

The kids enjoyed watching the animals.  Especially the giraffe which ah boy just keeping looking at the world tallest mammmal. 

At the kid's park, Girl had her pony ride and the guide at the pony ride station is really a very nice chap.  Chatted with us and even let ah boy sit on the pony for free to take photo.  Should have asked for his name and write a commendation letter for him.  Very good service :)

We then stroll around the area and there was a children's water park.  We had a hard time convincing my girl not to play in it as she just recovered from her flu.  Luckly my mum had a few cherries in her bag to help in the persuasion .. hehe

Finally, we just took the tram back again to the center part of the zoo and its during the tram ride when it started raining again.  We left the zoo around 2.30pm.  Ah boy was already asleep in my wife's arm and girl girl is showing signs of sleepiness.  On the car,  girl already fell asleep.

I did not take a lot of photos this time as the weather was bad and unpredictable.   Will post them once I have go through them.  Now have to prepare the new year eve feast and tomorrow's trip :P