Monday, June 30, 2008


Lately, I've been wondering what people are actually expecting when they sign up for a live online language course. There are a lot of really good schools out on the web and I wonder if the students really get what they are expecting. As a LANCELOT trained teacher, I am trained to teach online using all four skills: reading, listening, speaking and writing. There are many really good virtual classrooms that allow me to teach this way. However, do the students expect this type of teaching or are they just expecting a chat, or a conversation over Skype, Yahoo, or MSN. When I first started looking into this type of teaching--that is what I thought. I've realized that many people think that live online teaching is just that--a conversation over Skype. Is that teaching? Is it effective? Why do the students keep coming back for that type of training? I have high expectations because of my training, but am realizing that until the students are exposed to this type of training--they are happy with free conversation in a simple virtual classroom that allows camera and a chat function or a class where we are just on Skype. Are my expectations too high?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't Quit!

I've had one of those weeks and today I was talking to someone who has also faced disappointment this week and I was reminded of an old poem that was read at my high school graduation. Later, when I was ready to drop out of university my first year, my twin sister sent me the poem as a poster. This poster and the wisdom of this poem has traveled with me to three continents and four US states. Hope you appreciate it as much as I do:

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds seem low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must-but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learn,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow--
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the
night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt--
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit--
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit!!