Let's Talk About English Village

Before coming to Kinmen, I remember reading the website description of what ETAs did there and coming across “English Village.” I had no clue what it was. Yes, I read the description, but already overwhelmed by the enormity of what I was about to undertake in becoming an ETA, I can’t say I parsed it particularly well. So instead I ended up learning by doing…and now you, reader, can benefit from my knowledge, so that you won’t end up in the same position. Let’s begin.

Congrats! You’ve been chosen to come to EV!

The majority of ETAs spend one day a week at English Village in JinHu elementary school. Located in Shanwai, this center has themed classrooms used to teach English in an immersive environment. This means that instead of five days a week spent at your school, you will spend four, and come to EV on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. I come in on Mondays. All of Kinmen’s fifth and sixth graders will come to EV over the course of the year. Each school or class comes for two days, either Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday. Large schools might go class by class, but small schools might come together!

What do they do?

ETAs run three stations at EV. Each station takes about three hours to teach—with breaks, of course. The students who come to EV separate into three groups. In the two-day cycle, it works on rotation, like so:

  • Day 1: Groups go to one station in the morning and another in the afternoon.
  • Day 2: Groups go to the remaining station, and have review/games in the afternoon.

So for me, a Monday person, I teach the lessons two times, once in the morning and once in the afternoon! I like having EV on Mondays because it makes for a more relaxing start to my week, since I know my lesson so well.

It’s fun to go to EV and be able to meet so many of the kids of Kinmen. There’s a huge range of personalities and abilities, and my co-teacher and I find ourselves constantly adjusting our lesson to accommodate the kids!

Okay, now that you know how EV works, let me explain how my typical day goes!

I come to EV and we set up to welcome the kids. They come rocketing in and we introduce ourselves and divide them into teams. Ellen (my fellow ETA) and I teach in the Kitchen classroom, and our theme is movies! First, we teach basic movie vocabulary (ticket, movie) and some genres; afterwards, we get to play some games to practice and give a coloring puzzle. After break, we teach “snack bar” and different foods, with more games. Then we make popcorn with the kids! During the final part, we watch a Disney short film with food in it and let them practice identifying foods, and then have students write a movie review where they can practice everything they’ve learned. After, it’s time to say farewell and hope that they have just as much fun on day two.

Our kids are always very excited for the popcorn, and we let them watch movies in class, so I think that our lesson is pretty popular! We enjoy it too since it’s useful, applicable English that might not have a place in the course of their normal classroom routine.

After lunch, we then come back and do it all again.

And that’s EV!

Author: Ellyse Brewster, 2017-2018