One of the many opportunities I had this year was to teach English to Chinese first-graders. Every Thursday in the second semester my class would bus over to an affiliated elementary school in the outskirts of Beijing. There we would teach an hour-long English class to a 1st grade class on a weekly topic such as food, animals, body parts and so on. While the goal was to create an immersive English environment, we quickly realized it was difficult to try to find fun ways to teach vocabulary and basic grammar to the students. We used a mix of songs, activities, skits and games to help make unfamiliar vocabulary stick. The kids were full of energy, and I was always exhausted on the bus ride home. Despite how difficult teaching such young children could be, it was a valuable experience that I wouldn’t have missed for the world.
Abigail is currently spending a year abroad in Beijing, China with the NSLI-Y program. She is excited to share her experiences with family, friends, and others on this blog.