Building the English Language Society I Never Had

Ever since I was appointed the Head of the English Language Panel in my school, I've been put in charge of the English Language Society which was previously pretty much dormant & abandoned.
I spent many nights having wet dreams fantasising about what I could do with all these young innocent unexposed minds.
There were a lot of possibilities!
My mouth watered at the thought of all that I could do with my new found power.

One thing was for sure....
I'm going to build the kick-ass English Language Society that I never had & currently only have in my wildest dreams.

These are my foundational principles to building the English Language Society I never had:
Only the Best Students
I cannot emphasise this more.
Only the best things can come from the best students.
The best here means students who are most able to follow instructions. Language proficiency is secondary.
There are no heroes or divas here. Only people who are willing to learn & labour.
They are the foundation of my society.

My English Language Society is strictly invitation only.
English Language teachers chose the best students from their classes.
They were then given a specially designed invitation letter.
Everyone accepted the invitation. =)

Nurture Student Leadership
Like any organisation that will live beyond the founder, the members have to lead themselves.
This is not easy for a school like mine where the students are accustomed to being spoon-fed & waiting on their teachers' hands & feet.

Thus, I'm taking things step by step.
First, I have identified & are building up leaders from those who are most eager & malleable.
When they carry out their activities, I have to give specific instructions & monitor them closely.
If they stumble, I have to make them aware of their mistakes, explain the consequences & suggest corrections.
I will also have to give a post-mortem after every activity so that they can build on their strengths & improve on their weaknesses.
Eventually, they will gain the experience that will allow things to run without me.
Then, I can show them how to teach others like I have taught them.

I also involve the students in as much of the decision making process as possible (if not all of it).
Teachers usually only have to monitor or give consultations.

Exceed Expectations
The students were not born yesterday. They've probably seen most of what I have to offer.
The challenge for me is how to exceed the expectations of the school.
How can I reinvent something they have experienced before to make it better?
They need to open up their minds, broaden their horizons & be inspired.
So I have to constantly think & live outside the box.

For example, school activities lack the 'cool' factor.
My mission is to make the society 'cool', exclusive & desirable.
After all, which student does not want to be associated with 'cool'?

It begins with an image. The logo of the society will have to be 'cool'.
I got the students to discuss the year's insignia, colour & motto.
From that, I designed a 'cool' logo with the help of another teacher.
This logo will be incorporated in notices, banners, the t-shirt & lanyard tags of the society.

don't you think this logo has the 'cool' factor?

Extend Beyond the Society
It is important that my society lives for those outside the society.
The purpose of my English Language Society is to promote the English Language & facilitate activities involving as much of the school as possible.

Many activities were planned for this year & some have already been carried out.
Next week, I will share the plans for Teacher's Day.
We've also got the exciting English Language Week coming up in July. Lots to share about this one!
You will be enriched! Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. The banner doesn't have the cool factor. It just seems...


    Lame.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How many freaking clubs in your school actually have a similar logo that is designed based on the ideas of students?

    ReplyDelete
  3. ive been appointed as the head of english panel as well. What i did was, i tried to turn the english board and the english room at my school into something that looks 'cool' and artistic.. i'm still working on it and try to make my english periods as 'windows to the outside world' as students at my school r not exposed much..they r like stucked in their own tempurung..so the room must look extraordinary and offer experiences they had never seen :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. None. The school don't even give a dam about the club activities. It's up to the committee to decide.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous14/5/10 18:57

    Nice! Inspiring! Two thumbs up! Pat in the back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow this is a good attempt to let the students see their own potential. and the school. and yours too.

    Good Luck Jarod!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Farah: Good job! Glad to know that there's someone else in this country with a similar vision! =)

    Vio: Thanks for your feedback. Perhaps you have something to learn from this & put into action at your school.

    Arthur: Thanks, buddy!

    Steph: =)

    Izzy: Thanks! If they dont see it, they are either too proud or too blind! =)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Why only "best students" are "invited"? Hmm..... I can think of some reasons, but perhaps it'll be best to hear ur side of story. I remember taking a calculated risk to invite a student to become the Leo Club president. To see her flourished was awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At that time, I planned for a society with the best students because we were spearheading a completely new movement in school to promote the English language & shift the perception that English is a difficult & useless language.
      It is not easy to change a deeply rooted culture. I need the best to begin the groundwork.

      Why the best students?
      -People look up to them. If I want to shift the perception of everybody, I need to get their leaders or their idols behind me.

      -A Society that looks outward. The way that I ran the Society back then was not like most schools: merely doing intra-Society activities.
      We were conducting activities at the school level, involving ALL students from ALL levels of proficiency. I needed people who were capable of leadership & could adapt to changes.

      -Set a benchmark. Once the students got an idea of what I expect, I can start to relax the conditions & involve weaker students with unique skills & good attitudes like I did in the year after.

      This decision was part of my master plan to remove the biggest obstacle to the learning of English: the mindset of the students. I wanted to change the existing culture & make English a desirable language.

      After 2 years of doing that, I believe I have succeeded. I could see the changes in the students's attitudes towards English. They were using it more with each other, more interested, more motivated, etc.

      Delete
    2. Wow. It must had been challenging when you started with the "new culture" of selection, but I could see the fruit of this challenge which you took on. Kudos to your effort! :) I hope at that time there wasn't opposition party among your peers. That would be a bigger challenge if they existed. I'm glad to know your students' attitude towards this language changes. It will help them a lot when they finally reach tertiary level. Those who are willing to help themselves by learning will pick up the language. Keeping an open mind, so to say. It'll be something I look forward to experience when I visit, the language exchange and all.. I wouldn't mind picking up some Iban :P I remember when I was in sec school, the English panel used to have English Language Day and Malay Language Day, and if we spoke the wrong language (or other languages), we'd have to pay 10 sen of fine. Prefects and monitors would be fined 20 sen (50% extra). It helped us with both our languages. Everything went to the ELS and Kelab BM, I think.

      Delete

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