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Food! Ratatouille! Ordering!

The topic of our second week of classes was food, and of course, the kids were pumped to learn the English words for different foods and how to order in English. We started each class with a quote from the movie Ratatouille¬†and a short clip of Remy and his rat friends cooking a ratatouille dish for the harsh food critic, Anton Ego. “Anyone Can Cook” was the quote that Remy the rat lived by during the film, and it was said by the famous chef, Gusteau. Although the food critic, Ego, did not believe in this quote, he was pleasantly surprised by the ratatouille that Remy cooked (although he didn’t know that Remy was behind this) because it tasted very nostalgic and just like his mom’s ratatouille. It was so good that it literally made his pen drop. After teaching this lesson 16 times in the past week, I thought that I would get tired of watching the same movie clip over and over because this is my favorite part of the movie. However, I actually enjoyed it more and more throughout the week. During our last couple of classes, I realized that this clip was a great metaphor for our English classes. I hope the students are just as inspired as Remy was because just like anyone can cook, anyone can also speak English.


Our second week of classes went a lot more smoothly than our first week. However, I was exhausted after each day of classes this week because we had to keep up the energy so that the students were encouraged to participate. We talked about our favorite foods this week. We went around the class to share our favorite foods, we went through quizlets on common phrases to order foods in which the students had to translate the phrases into Chinese and into English, and then we did some role play to show the students what a conversation with a waiter usually looks like. I was shocked that most of the students were eager to participate this week because we had to push a lot of them to speak to us in English last week. Our patience from last week and this week paid off though, because a lot of the students that were previously too nervous to speak were able to tell us their favorite foods this week and participate in the role play activities. It was so great to hear our students speaking full sentences in English! From the role play activities and quizlets, I noticed that the students had trouble pronouncing the words “fries” (they would say frees), “menu”, and “would”. They quickly adjusted their pronunciation when we corrected them though which really impressed me!

One of my Nanping Middle School classes
POV from the China classrooms
one of our role play activities

This week was the first week we taught a real lesson to our students, and it was loads of fun for all of us. There were smiles all around, whether it be from the fun videos we watched together or from role play activities since the students were all very proud of themselves for engaging in a conversation with other students. It is still mind-blowing to think about how many students we teach each week-I can’t believe that we teach around 150 kids each week altogether! We also created a Wechat group where we can talk to the students, and it has been so much fun because we can chat like friends there. Next week, we are talking about our weekend activities, and I can’t wait to see my students again and see what they’ve been up to. I learn so much each week, and no matter how tired I am after each class, I always want to teach more.

Saying bye to our students is hard because everyone wants to stay on the zoom!