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Some lovely things

Being enough of an idealist to want to instil a sense of empowerment in my students, along with ownership of their own learning, I’ve been carrying out periodic learning reviews during this semester. These have basically asked students to reflect on their learning and my teaching and the results - whilst undoubtedly valuable - have also been apt to bring me down a peg or six at times. There was the kid who just scrawled TOO DIFFICULT all over his paper, or (worse) the one that wrote ‘I’m so sad I can’t speak to my friends in your class, because your class is too hard to me ㅠㅠ’. ‘ㅠㅠ’ are characters in the Korean alphabet used to represent crying eyes, and in this particular instance they initiated the appropriate response in me.


Exam season



Exam season


Korea Q&A 3: Planning, Gaming, & World Cup!

The third episode of Korea Q&A! Enjoy! Leave questions for us in the comments!

The post Korea Q&A 3: Planning, Gaming, & World Cup! appeared first on Evan and Rachel.


Incheon Denies all New EPIK Teachers!

Incheon City in South Korea revoked the applications for ALL new EPIK teachers suddenly. More to follow? More information in the video above or in this Waygook.org thread!

The post Incheon Denies all New EPIK Teachers! appeared first on Evan and Rachel.


5 differences between Korean and American Elementary Schools

I was recently asked to give a short presentation on my experience teaching at a Korean elementary school. I have been wanting to make more videos in and about my school, so this was the perfect opportunity! I asked two of my best students – Gaeun and Jiyeon – if they would help me out and give a tour of our school in English. They highlighted several things they thought were unique about our school, but I do want to point out that these differences are not across the board generalizations. Rather, they are differences between my current school in Korea and what I remember from elementary school in America (which was a long time ago!).


The Asia Fail

*This piece may have appeared on the web once or twice before, but we’re publishing it again here because we likes it, yes we do.

by Mr. Motgol

In the Old World, people went to the New World to start anew. Once America became settled, folks would head “out West” to shake away their demons, with destinations such as California and Alaska luring folks with promises of riches and rebirth. These were places where no one cared about your history or imperfect past. You were given a clean slate, and only as good as your current effort.


Daily Snapshot: sister, teacher, mother...brother?

There's all sorts of classes, but my favorites are the ones who share my dumb sense of humor, the ones I can laugh and joke with. A great example happened just recently, in my 2nd period 2nd grade class.

We were playing a game in teams, where each team had a mixed up sentence on strips of paper to rearrange into a correct sentence. First 3 teams to finish got points, so the pressure was really on. However, it's really hard to keep track of which team raises their hand first, so...things get a bit silly.

For instance, in the third round, team 4 was convinced, and I mean CONVINCED that they had been the second team to finish. As I'm scanning the crowd, consulting with my coteacher, I suddenly hear the piercing cry of a middle school student in the wild.

"언니!! Unnie! Unnieeeeeee!" 

How To: Get Along With Your Korean Coworkers



Before I write a single word, I want to preface this with my awareness that my advice is based only on my own experience- I am not, by a long shot, the expert on cross-cultural office relations. However, I do get along quite well with everyone in my office, so if that's proof enough for you, please read on!


Step 1: Eat delicious food together.

How to Talk to People in Korea

AKA Slow Motion Teacher Talk.

It's a disease.

The first symptom, as you might guess from my subtitle, is slower speaking speed. Unsurprisingly, if you speak quickly to someone in a language they aren't super comfortable with, they won't understand you. It's the same for me with Korean. If someone mumbles or talks too fast, I can't catch anything, but if they slow down for me, suddenly a world of comprehension opens up for me.

When I first started teaching, I was nervous. When I'm nervous, I speak more quickly. I think a lot of people do this. In an ESL classroom, though, fast talking is not gonna fly (though it is great for saying things you don't want your students to hear). That was the first critique I got from my co-teacher: slow down. So I did. Suddenly, a classroom full of unresponsive glassy-eyed students began to understand me. Maybe not everything I said, but finally I was getting through to them on some level.

Learning to Read and Other Skills

 

It’s still amazing to me how many people are unable to understand text. Now, I don’t mean the people who are actually illiterate, which is a genuine concern, I mean people despite being able to read cannot actually understand what is being said and the context and content fully. Such people are the type who have been gifted with the ability to actually read, unlike so many deprived of the skill, but who cannot use it to living a fulfilling life.


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