To begin the session, Ariela introduced herself and invited the studentsto also introduce themselves by sharing their English/Chinese/Mongolian nameand answering the question, “What is your favorite sport?”. After introductions,the foreign teacher invited the participants to engage with an ice-breakercalled “Chain Story”. The students were asked to use their imagination tocontinue a story that began with “Once upon a time, there was a young girl wholived in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia…”. Each student in the group was encouraged tocontinue the story with a single sentence. As each student continued the story,it took on a life of its own and allowed for the students to get to know eachother and get into the groove of prating their oral English.
Ariela, Foreign Teacher of Foreign Language Department of Inner Mongolia University
After the ice-breaker, Ariela shared an
inspirational video about sports called, “How Great I Am”. After viewing the
video, Ariela encouraged the students to engage in discussion by asking what
sports they saw in the video. As the discussion progressed, the students called
out more and more sports they are familiar with and they filled an entire
whiteboard with their responses. Ariela also posed the questions, “Why do you
like sports?” and “Why do you think people around the world love sports?”
Following the engagement portion of the English
salon, the group was then divided into three groups to allow for the students
to participate in a collaborative discussion. Each group was asked to create a
list of their own “Top 10 Greatest Sports of All Time”. They were asked to
create a criteria for what makes a sport great and then to create their
own comprehensive list. Each sport on their list had to fit their criteria and
they had to be prepared to present their lists and give reasons for their
decisions. After much heated debate, each of the three groups chose a group
member to present their criteria and list to the rest of the salon.
The first group chose the criteria: functional to daily life activity. They argued that a great sport should somehow be relatable to daily life. For example, they chose running as a great sport due to the reason the that humans have been running for thousands of years in order to survive such as when early man had to run away from animals trying to eat him. The second group chose the criteria: national pride. They agreed that a sport is great if it defines people’s national identity. For example, they had the three manly Mongolian sports (archery, wrestling, and horseback riding) on their list because these sports are a huge part of Mongolian culture and identity. The final group had the criteria: joyfulness. They believed that a sport is great if it can bring joy to people. They chose soccer (football) as the greatest sport because of its popularity aroundthe world and the amount of joy it can bring to people.