Sentence Sense - post by Angela Mailander, Ph.D.

In 2002, I went to teach at Jiangsu University of Science and Technology in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, P.R. China. In my spare time, I volunteered at a local kindergarten to test Dao of English in that setting. Since I don't speak Chinese, I worked with a partner. Li Yongchuan was a young teacher who had won't five awards for her work. She and I were given 45 minutes per week with each group of kids, and anyone who has ever taught a foreign language knows that this amounts to a virtual death sentence, but I had made a commitment, and so we set to work. Despite the draconian constraint, those children generated their own, 100% error-free English sentences within six months of a practice they enjoyed. They told jokes that sent the whole class into joyful giggles, and they shared original insights.


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