Teaching ESL

Korean Students
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Author:  wjc [ Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Korean Students

I am used to teaching Europeans and Brazilians , I now have a class of Koreans. Big difference, the energy is so different. Any suggestions or information about culture expectations and on teaching Koreans is really appreciated.

Author:  enjoyinglifeinseoul [ Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:11 am ]
Post subject: 

I have around 5 years experience working in Korea so I might be able to provide some insight.

From the info. I assume you are workiing/teaching in Austrialia. What age group are you dealing with? Are the students there are their own (they want to be there) or did parents/company send the there? How long will you be working with them? How often do you meet and for how long?

Any other information you can provide wold also help.

Author:  wjc [ Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thank you. They are in their 20s. My group changes the biggest it gets is 15. Thay are all on student holiday visas. I have them Mon - fri 3 hours a day.
Many Thanks

Author:  alliejam [ Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi, Are they all there for the sole purpose of expanding their English? I have been teaching Korean students for almost 20 years so if you have any questions pm me and I will see how I can help you.

Author:  enjoyinglifeinseoul [ Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hey there sorry for the late reply: I've been working at an English camp in the mountains and then had a few days off.

Alliejam might be able to provide a little more info. due to the 20 years experience in Korea.

Most of my experience is with kindergarten, elementary, and middle school studnets, however I have worked with some university students.

The older students I worked with wanted to study with me, had descent to high level English, and were quite motivated most of the time.

Education is very important in Korea and for most, middle school and high school are hell. It's about getting the best scores, so you can get into the best school, and then the best universsity.

Most parents are worried about their sons and daughters keeping up with the kids next door, so there is tremedous pressure on the students to study hard. It's not uncommon in the big cities to see youing people spend around 12-14 hours in some kind of institutionalized learning environment.

The point being that by they time they get to uni. it's the first time they actually have some freedom. Since they are on holiday visas maybe they are looking at their time there as more fun time/relax time.

Also while their purpose there is to improve their language skills, the 3hrs. 5 days a week might burn them out a little, especially since they most likely just finished a gruelling semester. I took a 2hr/5 day a week JOrean class and it wore me out.(Of course I was working full time as well.)

Finally Korean middle schoolers to university students can be exremely shy, especially in the beginning. They are embarrased to make mistakes infront of classmates, don't know you or each other well, etc.

I realize that these are just my thoughts on why they might be laxidasical/appear bored in your class and that I have not provided you with what you realy want which I assume is to get them excited about class.

That's a tough one. Do you used a standard ie. often boring text book? Is there a strict curriculum? Things you might try is to approach them one on one or in small groups outside of class or right before/after class and see if they open up a little more. I've had a few students that barely spoke in class, but were little chatter bowes away from the others.

You could also play some games with them. If you've read these forums, even older students enjoy games, especially in the learning enviornment.

Another idea that might be great if it's allowed is to take them out of the classroom. Hold class in a park some place nice (and warm since it's summer down under.) or go to a restaurant or bar, etc. but make sure they know that it is for English class not just play time.

If the school is flexible then you could ask them what they want to study next time. That way they might get excited about the lesson and you could give them some intructions about how you want them to prepare as well.

If when a new class begins they are reluctant to introduce themselves, then have them chat with another student and then introduce that person. It's often easier to talk about someone else in front of a group you don't know.

I don't know if any of this is helpful or not, but I hoped it helped a little/gave you some insight into your Korean students.

Alliejam, I'd like to hear your opinion on my thughts/etc. and also what advice you had for our friend downunder as well, esp. with all your experience.

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