Thursday, September 05, 2013

Classroom Memories: For Teachers' Day And Queenstown Festival

This special posting, to celebrate both Teachers' Day and the Queenstown Festival, is written by a dedicated education officer who lives in Queenstown. Ms C.Y. Lin taught English in a secondary school and used popular songs to teach the language to Chinese school students.  Here is her story:

"In the mid-'70s, I moved to the periphery of Queenstown and taught in a neighbourhood co-ed bi-lingual secondary school where many pupils came from the heart of the township - Prince Philip Avenue, Margaret Drive, Tanglin Halt, Stirling Road.  It was already tough teaching the English Language to the English stream kids - more so to the Chinese stream and preparing them for the 'O' level examination.
ABBA I have a dream
One way was through songs - pop songs.  My love for Abba came in handy. Though the principal at that time was no-nonsense and frowned on new-fangled acts, I played Money, Money to illustrate at an assembly talk.  I Have A Dream was used to teach English tenses.
Parents of those days and from such a heartland were too busy making a livelihood to keep their children indoors after school.  A number of those kids of different races found themselves in my home for extra 'lessons' - of fun and games--all speaking in English.  There were also sessions of tennis with the boys at the then Civil Service Club at Portsdown Road. 

Queenstown image from National Heritage Board.
Some were given treats at the MacDonalds at the Japanese Garden - Queensway - the road not the shopping centre.  Class camps at PA holiday chalets run single-handedly saw to more singing of others like Boney M - Hooray It's A Holiday; Brown Girl In the Ring...  No written consent nor indemnity forms from the parents were necessary for their kids to attend.  Such trusting folks."

Original article by Ms CY LIN.
Images: Google.

I thought of another song for teachers' day. Though it is not an appropriate one like Teacher's Pet or To Sir With Love, this particular one has all the ingredients or vocabulary to pass.  Or could it? The phrases and words are all appropriate, don't you think? Take a look:

Did you say, I've got a lot to learn?
Well, don't think I'm trying not to learn
Since this is the perfect spot to learn
Teach me tonight

Starting with the A, B, C of it
Right down to the X, Y, Z of it
Help me solve the mystery of it
Teach me tonight

The sky's a blackboard high above you
If a shooting star goes by
I'll use that star to write, 'i love you'
A thousand times across the sky

One thing isn't very clear, my love
Should the teachers stand so near, my love
Graduation's almost here, my love
Teach me tonight

One thing isn't very clear, my love
Should the teachers stand so near, my love
Graduation's almost here, my love
Teach me tonight, teach me tonight

Happy Teachers' Day!

1 comment:

henri gann said...

Another well written essay. No comments on this ! I don't believe it. You deserve an Excellence Essay Award for this. Congratulations Ms Lin.