Fall Semester 2017
Christopher Martin ESL Instructor
We are now in the month of November which ushers in the upcoming holiday season for those of us from North American countries as well as those from Europe. With regard to Canada and the U.S., the holidays begin with Thanksgiving, first celebrated by Canadians in October, and then by Americans in late November. The highlight of this particular holiday is if course the Thanksgiving Dinner celebration.
For my students, I am introducing words and phrases that are directly related to this holiday including the names of dishes that are traditionally served, special greetings people might offer to one another, as well as other holiday references. I will also present a short slide show featuring images of the Thanksgiving celebration including families eating dinner, the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and a depiction of the first Thanksgiving celebration shared by the Native Indian peoples who were the original inhabitants of North America and the Pilgrims who came from England. In fact, as I teach my students, this day signifies a time when people generously helped one another to survive and thrive. It is a time to reflect and give thanks to the people we love and who help us every day. I ask my students to name a few examples of those who do just that, especially here at Huamei. In particular, I ask them to think about those people who help make our lives comfortable here at school including the gardeners, the cleaners, the cooks, and even the bus drivers who bring us back and forth every week.
The students love to study these holidays, especially as they lead up to Christmas and ultimately, the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival. They gain an appreciation for these special times of the year, how they bring family and friends closer together, and to acknowledge the special meanings of these important days as they relate to our cultures.