Friday, May 02, 2008

The MMCE Blog

This year I am teaching an "international understanding class" at the university. I call it the "Meeting of Multicultural Educators" or MMCE. In years past MMCE members have formed 5 to 6 "common learning groups" with each group studying a different country. The highlight of MMCE is the "Breaking Down National Stereotypes Discussion" where members of each country being studied come and we have a big discussion about the validity of the stereotypes of the various countries. In the last MMCE meeting (we do not call MMCE a class), the different groups teach each other about their countries of concentrations. In MMCE, we have also spent time studying Geert Hofstede's 5 Dimensions of cultural values as a way to consider the root of misunderstandings between members of different cultures and ways to prevent them.

One of the weaknesses of MMCE in previous years has been that most of the knowledge that we have accumulated has been superficial or trivial information about countries. Rarely did we focus on serious issues we and other countries face and how we can perhaps cooperate to solve these issues. Thus, this year I have added a "global issues" element to MMCE where each CLG focuses more on studying a global issue than a country. Tim Grose's Global Issues in English textbook has served as an invaluable reference for how I can encourage MMCE members to teach each other about their global issue of expertise in English. MMCE has a blog where I write the minutes of each meeting as well as post materials and video of the meeting. MMCE members write comments on what they learned/experienced. If you are interested in the blog, please have a look here.

17 comments:

Maruchan said...

Hello, Jimbo.
This year MMCE sounds interesting! I hope that MMCE members can acquire a more international way of thinking through activities.

Maruchan

hyungwlee said...

Hi

I am a publisher of THE EAST; the only English newspaper, which is mainly focused on the East Asian information (at the beginning of every month, more than 12,000 free copies are distributed throughout the London area, particularly, where East Asian Networks are established).

I looked at your blog the other day and have been wondering if there would be any chance that we could publish some of your interesting articles on the paper.
We think some of your blog articles should be very helpful to the Westners who are interested in Asian Culture.
The East cannot afford to pay for your articles right now (as we are non-profitable organisation). However, if you wish, we can still offer you:
1. Advertising space
2. Link to THE EAST web site blog section

We look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Hyung Wook Lee
Publisher
MBA(Edin)

THE EAST, The East Asian Monthly Business Newspaper,
Elephant Consulting Limited, 37 Charter Court, Linden Grove,
New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3BN, UK
Tel : + 44 (0) 7912 608 321 / Web site: www.theeast.org / E mail : publisher@theeast.org
Registered in England & Wales, Company No. 6254454

Alex Case said...

Thanks for the tip on the Global Issues textbook- unfortunately I don't get to take part in anything as interesting as MMCE, but I reckon I could probably adapt it for my IELTS classes.

Chris said...

I like the word association activities in Global Issues. They should work well as a jumping off point for conversation or research, and make the students more aware of the problems and cultures of the modern world. I'm interested in hearing how well the book works in the classroom. Keep us posted.

steven said...

Hey Jimbo,

I came across your blog tonight, and just wanted to say that I've found it very informative and intriguing thus far.

I just returned from an 8 month teaching stint in Cambodia, and am interested in pursuing more ESL teaching opportunities.

cheers,
steve

David said...

Hi there.
I just recently saw your blog and thought, "Hey maybe this is what I've been looking for." I've been trying to find resources on how to become an english teacher in Japan and this blog made me think that talking to someone with firsthand experience might help me a little (well... more like a lot!). I really don't know where to start class-wise when looking at going to college to become an english teacher in Japan. I'm already going to take Japanese as a foriegn language and I'm going to major in english education. Plus, the schools that I'm looking at all have "study abroad" programs set up with Japanese schools. Other than this I don't know how to go about plannig courses for this type of career. If you could help me out that would be great, if not then thanks for reading this anyway. My email is phelpsds@gmail.com. Thanks again.

Girl Japan said...

You offer excellent ideas and resources for us teachers here.. I enjoyed reading your post.

Dutch said...

Hello and good luck.

It's nice to know their are web sites like this one.

Here's something that may be of interest.

-Samuel Shem, author of “House of God,” has written his latest novel, “The Spirit of the Place.” It’s available now and is considered Mr. Shem’s most ambitious work.
Please visit http://www.samuelshem.com for more information-

It's available now. I've read it twice.

warsawcoach said...

Hi Jimbo,

Thanks for producing a great blog. I teach and write in Poland and I've just written a piece about my observations - looks like I'm stereotyping- woops! I'd be interested in participating in shared learning on the international theme. George
www.georgesandford.pl

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Luis said...

Hi Jimbo, i just found your blog and its quite interesting =)
I always wanted to teach in Japan too but because im not a native speaker i cant teach English, only Portuguese.
Can you give me some advice about it?
My email is Luisp3nt4@gmail.com
Best regards,

Luis Pinto

Alex Case said...

Hey Jimbo

Shame to see your blog's not active. And still top google result for "English teaching blog", pretty impressive!

Anonymous said...

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Teaching English

Teaching English Literacy in Asia said...

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Amanda said...

Hi Jimbo-
I'm interested in teaching English in Japan. I've substituted off and on for years, here in the U.S. If you've got time, shoot me an e-mail. I'd like to ask you some questions and find out more.
-Amanda
golf-chic@hotmail.com

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