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!"
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.
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.|
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.