English Corner & Voice Recording

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2011

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Flag of China  , Jiangsu,
Sunday, November 14, 2010

I went to the Sunday English Corner this afternoon from three to four.  The topic was the pros and cons of the internet.  We discussed all the usual things there are to discuss on the topic, but we were able to make new points because of the differences between personal property and copyright laws in the US and China.  

Some of the students said they're worried that music and movie downloads won't be free in China for much longer.  Charles and I agreed that it's likely Chinese internet users will have to pay for downloads in the near future, but none of us were able to decide whether charging for downloads necessitates implementing new copyright laws.  There's a lot to discuss on the topic, and Charles and the students might have carried on the discussion after I left.

The Sunday English Corner is supposed to be only an hour, and I told myself before I arrived that I would politely excuse myself a few minutes after four.  Despite the given times, English Corner always runs over, sometimes by a whole hour, and the organizers rarely say anything to end the meetings.  I really do enjoy English Corner, but I spend three hours there per week, in addition to teaching roughly twelve hours per week, so I don't feel obligated to stay longer than the alloted time.

At the end of the hour, three of the students who I'd spent most of the time talking to, and who are also in my pronunciation classes, asked me if they could record my voice as I read three passages that they had to memorize for another English class.  I briefly considered whether this was cheating, and decided it wasn't.

The students have to memorize short stories to recite verbatim in class, and they have to get the pronunciation as close to perfect as possible.  They merely wanted to study and practice while listening to a native English speaker read the passages.  I followed them into the hallway where it was quieter, and read the passages into one of their cellphones.

I figured that asking a native speaker to read the passages was pretty ingenious of the students, and made for a good study tool, and I was glad to help them. 
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