students have started reading the book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. They heard about it because the movie is to be released in China soon. They were intrigued by the story & thought it would be an enjoyable way to practice their English.
When I was talking with them about it, they both made the comment that they had never read an entire book in English before, & although they were excited to try it, they were a bit uncertain about their ability to finish the book. Without any motivation to continue reading, it's likely that their fears would become reality.
So I suggested that we create a book club. I'll assign a chapter or two a week, & when we meet we'll discuss any problems they have with the language, as well as what they think of the story. They enthusiatically agreed, & as soon as we decided on a day & time, word spread around the school. Soon several other students wanted to join the club too. One of the other teachers even joined the group just for fun. Awesome.
We had our first meeting today. I could feel the excitement among the students as we introduced the book, talked about the movie a bit, & finally assigned the first 20 pages to read for next week. The most common comment was "Why didn't anyone think of this before?"
I'm really excited about the new book club. Not only will a weekly meeting keep the students motivated to read, it will also be interesting for me to hear their thoughts on the book - divorce, gluttony, world travel, religion, finding yourself - all topics that Chinese people see much differently than we do in the US. I'm sure we'll have plenty of fascinating conversations as a result.