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Eating a quick breakfast on this rainy Wednesday morning. ^^ #먹스타그램 #삼각김밥
One of the negatives of teaching at a university in Korea is that students are often grouped according to what major they take and not what their level of English is. This results in classes having one or two students who are semi-fluent (having studied overseas perhaps, or private institutes for years) mixed in with a few students who struggle to say their name and how old they are. The instructor is then supposed to make one class fit all. This not only happens in Korea, but in all countries around the world due to administrative constraints.
Teaching Mixed Level ESL Classes: What to Do
It’s not easy teaching multi-level classes. I struggle with it, even after years of teaching in Korean universities.
What I usually do is teach to the middle 80% of the class. The top 10% will be bored with what I’m teaching, but it’s hard to help them in a mixed-level class without actually setting up completely different things for them to do on their own outside of class. If the student has studied overseas and is way above the class level, I’ll often excuse them from actually attending and just make them do the homework and tests, if the situation is really extreme such as having attended an American middle and high school.
I know that the bottom 10% of the class will often not be able to follow what I’m doing or participate in a useful way, no matter what I do. These are usually the students who have given up on English years ago and I often leave these students to do their own thing as long as they don’t disrupt the class.
What about Grading Mixed Level ESL Classes?
These multi-level classes make testing a challenge. For example, on a midterm exam a few years back I did a speaking test where I gave the students some sample questions that I would be asking. I asked some questions straight off the study sheet word for word but changed some questions slightly for the mid-higher level students.
What’s your plan for after graduation? —> What’s your plan for tonight? What’s your plan for after English class? —> What’s your plan for winter vacation?
For the top students, the test is almost edging into the ridiculous because it’s so easy. But for the lower-level students? Instead of asking some questions that have been changed slightly, I would ask ones that came straight from the study sheet. That way, if they really did study they would for sure be able to give at least some answer. Kind of unfair I guess, but there really was almost no other way and a memorized answer is better than just silence.
Speaking activities for your conversation classes
This will be your go-to book for years to come: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. I’m always doing my best to help make your ESL teaching life easier, my readers!
|Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea|
My Life! Teaching in a Korean University:
University Jobs Korea: universityjobkorea.com
I fully intend to live my own life completely without any regrets and enjoy every moment of it!
I find this 3 Day Quote Challenge an interesting way to reaffirm my goals and set me on the right path yet again. Do join in the fun Archana!
Relaxing in the English room in between classes. #teacher #english #셀스타그램
We stopped at the oldest surviving observatory in Asia: Cheomsungdae. At first it may not look like much, but this building was designed with painstaking detail representing the days of the lunar year as well as the days in a month.
"Cheomseongdae is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia.
Constructed during the reign of Queen Seon-deok (632-647), it was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the weather. This stone structure is a beautiful combination of straight lines and curves, and was designated as National Treasure No.31 on December 20th, 1962.
Cheomseongdae was built in a cylinder shape with stones 30cm in diameter. 362 stones were piled up to make 27 levels. Roughly 4.16m up from the bottom there is a 1㎡ square entrance and a space to hang a ladder under it.
The inside is filled with soil up to the 12th level, and the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 26th levels all have long rocks hanging on two areas, shaped as the Chinese letter '井' (jeong).
It stands 9.17m high and the base stone on each side measures 5.35m.
The Vernal Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Winter Solstice, Summer Solstice and the 24 solar terms (also known as the astronomical solar year) were determined by the observation of stars. The pavilion stone is believed to have been used as a standard of deciding directions, north, south, east and west. The 362 stones used to build Cheomseongdae represented the 362 days in a lunar year."
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