When Skies Are Grey, China style...

by   |   03/06/2016   Comments  [Jump to last]

I'm an English teacher and have been in Asia, mostly Thailand, since 2007.

More recently, I've taught in Vietnam and, currently, am a few months into my second spell teaching in China. Last time, it was for kids, in Beijing; this time, I'm teaching grown-ups in Foshan, southern China.

Point is, yes I'm on ToffeeWeb because I'm an Everton supporter. This means I've been carrying my feelings on all things 'Nil Satis..' and Blue for many, many years, now. Goes without saying, perhaps.

Very recently, I also decided to 'do' an 'English Corner' (a presentation and discussion etc on the teachers own thing, basically) on 'The Ups and Downs of Following Your Team'. I broke into the subject of football, Everton specifically, gently (although most of my students know exactly who I follow in England!) by getting a few thoughts on their own favourite sports and possible 'passions'.

I used PowerPoint to put together (admittedly, containing a few of the more detailed facts and figures, from the usual internet sources) a presentation on Everton, our history, longevity in the English top-flight, some past-managers, trophies etc but also related such slips or near-slips from grace as that heart-stopping 3-2 comeback against Wimbledon all those years ago!!

Of course, none of this info is anything new to ToffeeWeb members, but the passion we all feel for our team(s) back in England was apparently quite a revelation to my, mostly quite young, Chinese adult students.

I got some of their thoughts on how they felt about, how closely they followed, some more 'Chinese' sports, such as basketball, badminton, and 'ping-pong' but they seemed genuinely amazed at the passion we English carry regarding our beloved football teams, notably 'my' Everton, in this case, of course.

To cap this off, as I also have done a few 'singalongs' with these same students (whilst introducing my ukulele!), my final slide contained the lyrics of a song which I, rightfully, hoped they might all recognise.. 'You are my sunshine.' Except, after a cursory, vocal-chord limbering pre-run, I then told the students that this was actually also my team, Everton's, song... hence it's introduction, here. I also asked them if they could think how we could could slightly alter the lyrics shown to make the song 'specific' to the team. They weren't sure.

Click... click... click... and suddenly the word 'Everton' swept down to cover all the instances of 'sunshine'!! A few rounds of 'You are my Everton..' later and arms were swaying in the air!!!

I loved it, THEY loved it, and (you never know!) maybe our love for the blue shirt has inspired a few new Goodison Blues in this neck of the woods!!

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