Teaching International Students: What an Experience!

by - November 03, 2019

Hi guys, welcome back to my blog! Sorry for the long hiatus, I got pretty caught up in work and study. Anyway Im back now and I have something to share, and this time its not a product review πŸ˜‚πŸ˜›

As you know, Im still a student struggling to finish my research. So as a student in USM, my life was all about studying and working (part time, freelance). Then about a year ago, I was approached by the school and they asked if Im interested to teach English classes to foreign students. Of course I said yes! At first I was quite worried bcs I dont have a formal English background (I studied Linguistics), but they said its okay, they believe in me πŸ’ͺ*terharu* πŸ₯Ί

This isnt exactly my first time. Back in 2015 when I was doing my internship with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP), I had the chance to teach Malay language to a foreign student. However that was a looong time ago and teaching my second language would definitely be more challenging than teaching my mother tongue. Anyway, challenge accepted!

The first group of students I taught consists of students from China, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. The second and third groups were students from Thailand, and recently I had the opportunity to teach students from Japan. One very interesting thing I experienced was trying to understand their accents. They speak with different accents influenced by their mother tongues and it sounds unfamiliar to my ears. Tapi lepas tu dah mula faham dan tak perlu minta diorang ulang balik dah πŸ˜‚

Btw ada satu kisah lucu yang pernah terjadi dalam kelas:

Me: Homonyms are words that sounds the same but have different meaning. Can you give me one example of homonyms?
Yemeni student: *angkat tangan* Teacher, example like "bark".
Me: Yes, good. "Bark" like the tree bark and also like the dog bark.
Yemeni student: *looks confused* No teacher, I mean "bark".
Me: Yes thats correct *trying to convince him that he gave a good example*
Yemeni student: No teacher I MEAN "BARK" LIKE BARKING YOUR CAR


*Park = like parking your car or park = the place where you go jogging.
*Arab phoenetics doesnt have the "p" sound

Thailand Students Batch 1

Anyway, Im in love with the manners of my students, especially from Thailand and Japan. They are very polite. Whenever they see me they will never failed to greet me along with the hand gesture. Mereka sentiasa ucapkan terima kasih dan sentiasa senyum. Whenever I passed by them, they will always nod and give way. They are also very proud of their culture and language. Throughout the course, I probably learned more Japanese than they learned English πŸ˜†At the end of each class, the students seemed to be entertained when I say "omaira arigato!" which is kind of like "terima kasih semua!" πŸ˜‚

Thailand Students Batch 2

Overall, teaching is fun but its also exhausting bcs I have to spend my time outside of class hours doing teacher job like marking their tests and quizzes, reading their essays, and preparing materials for the next class. On top of that I also need to write my thesis and papers. #prayformyeyebags

The day we had our class at Queensbay Mall! - Japanese Students Batch 1

Despite the busyness, I felt so lucky to be given this chance. Bcs as a full time student, we usually only focused on studying and in the end when we graduate, we'll be lacking of one important thing on our resume; work experience. For me, these experience are worth not getting enough sleep for πŸΌIm looking forward to more teaching gigs before I officially become an academic one day, Insyaallah.

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