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korean University Freshman: a teachers nightmare!
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Kwangjuchicken



Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Location: I was abducted by aliens on my way to Korea and forced to be an EFL teacher on this crazy planet.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolsage wrote:
, ...you are making some progress with the earnest girls at the front.... .


90+ % of my "front row students" for the past 5 years, both college and University, have been male. Just an interesting note. However, I would be interested in knowing if "front row" students for most teachers are male, female or an even mix.
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2003 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolsage wrote:
remember that if you're not getting through to the soju-soaked, cell-phone primates at the back of the class.


The best way around this problem is to change the seating arrangement of the classroom. Nobody is in the back for my classes. If the classroom allows, make the students sit a horse shoe. This way your students have a clearly defined partner(s) for activity work, you have a direct line to them, and the area in the middle is open for larger group work activities, or whole class activities. The whole thing about this is if the classroom, and the number of students will allow for it. I have about 35 students in the freshmean classes and I can just make it work, taking into account that about 5,6,7 students will not show on any given class day.
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2003 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had classes where the front row students were a mix of boys and girls. The girls (young ladies) though weren't your basic Korean female airheads. They were the more extroverted types, and were pretty tough. They were still pretty feminine mind you, but they were also very confident.

Got talking to one of the girls in my English major class who had a problem with some of the guys in the back of the class. Apparently when she spoke up ( which used to be quite often) these guys would mumble stuff in Korean that was a bit negative. I didn't catch it because I'm always up in front of the class. Am now trying to figure out what to do about it. Problem is quite daunting in fact. I thought of organising them into a circle, but there are too many in the class.

This same English major student want's to take off next year, and just study. When I asked her why she said it was because she was upset at the behaviour of the senior students in her university circle. She described how a senior male member slapped her boyfriend in front of her, because the rules stipulated that you weren't supposed to bring a boyfriend or for that matter even have one.


Last edited by Len8 on Mon Oct 13, 2003 2:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korea will be hyerarchical forever it seems. You can't get rid of it, because it's too well entrenched. Senior students can rough up the newbies any way they want, unless of course the newbie is bigger than the seniors.

Was watching the new P.E. students run errands for the older students. Some kind of initiation. Cute young freshwomen running around delivering drinking water to the guys in the gym, and getting yelled at like dogs.
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Mr. Pink



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the finals are over right?

How were your freshmen students in the 2nd semester compared with the first semester?

Did any of you learn anything worthwhile this academic year that you can share with the rest of us?
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even get into the game of try to 'encourage', 'prod', 'motivate', beg', or 'plead' them to do work or turn up on time, got over that in the first year. I simply tie all desired behaviours to marks, make up a clear handout at the start about what will happen, and then follow through. You're late, no reason? Minus one point. Didn't do homework? Minus one point. I keep one blank attendance sheet just for this, and when I take off a point I go right up to them and show them that it's happening, that I'm keeping a record and not just making an idle threat. They get the message very quickly. Also, I let them know that if they are upset that they lost a point and want to earn it back they can do that too, by doing and extra worksheet! Very Happy I also have a 10 point quizz at the start of every lesson about the previous lesson, and results on this get factored in to the final grade. There is no extra time on the quizz if you're late, so that helps get people there on time, and it also forces them to review.


That's my philosophy, don't ask them to put in an effort, make it impossible not to.
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Austen, you just love punishment don't you?
Quote:
Why do so many of you take yourselves so seriously?

I don't. I take my teaching seriously. You clearly don't.
Quote:
You are teaching Freshman courses, which do not mean squat to any person but yourself!

Clearly it also means enough to my boss to pay me a pretty good hourly rate. Have you heard of a thing called professionalism? Probably not. Anyway, it's the idea that if something is worth doing at all, it's worth doing well. Please take it to heart.
Quote:
The first year of university for these kids is a time for them to learn how to socialize, survive, unwind, etc

My dictionary tells me university is a place of learning.
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Instead of being completely full of your own self-importance

I'm not, but you clearly are.
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why not see how you can help your students in a postive way?

I do, you clearly don't.
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Helping others during a test is their way of reinforcing the bond with their new friends and improving their social circle.

No it's not, it's called cheating, and is not a good habit to learn for the future.
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They will tell you to ease up and to put your students' entire university experience into perspective

I have things in perspective, you don't.
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instead of being overly emphatic about your introductory course.

I'm not emphatic, I just do a good job, you clearly don't. By the way, do you even know what emphatic means?
Quote:
Do you really want to cause your students unnecessary hardships from your inability to understand the nature of your position?

I don't cause my students any unnecessary hardships, I just teach them well. I don't misunderstand the nature of my position, but you clearly misunderstand the nature of yours.

Austin, perhaps it's time for reflection?
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simulated stereo



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: municipal flat block 18-A Linear North

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished crunching the numbers on my final grade. All I can say is it's a good thing the students here fill out their teacher evaluations before they can get their grades.
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Mr. Pink



Joined: 21 Oct 2003
Location: China

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But how were the students? Did they improve or just the same old, same old?
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simulated stereo



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: municipal flat block 18-A Linear North

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't say because I began working at the school in September. Ask again next year.
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of mine did, because I gave them F's for their mid terms, and I told them their grades in front of the whole class. They were pretty thick skinned mind you, because they said "Oh please I want a better grade. I will work harder". And they did. Their performance improved dramatically to my great surprise, and I am now very happy to be able to give them a passing grade for the course.
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Kwangjuchicken



Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Location: I was abducted by aliens on my way to Korea and forced to be an EFL teacher on this crazy planet.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Len8 wrote:
Some of mine did, because I gave them F's for their mid terms, and I told them their grades in front of the whole class. They were pretty thick skinned mind you, because they said "Oh please I want a better grade. I will work harder". And they did. Their performance improved dramatically to my great surprise, and I am now very happy to be able to give them a passing grade for the course.


I had just the opposite. Several students with perfect attendance who got an A+ on the mid-term, and then just disapeared forever Shocked . What's up with that? In 5 years of teaching in Korea never had that happen even once before.
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coolsage



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: The overcast afternoon of the soul

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two levels of freshmen here, depending on how well they did on their entrance exams. That seems to be an inadequate method of sorting them out, because there are frequently better speakers of English in the so-called level-one than in level-two. But if I were to complain about this discrepancy, no doubt I'd get 'volunteered' for level-testing some five hundred students, and I think I have enough to do already. There's a stack of marking, most of it yet untouched , along with the papers from the writing class , the 'cream' of English students, who expect the best that their teacher can serve up. But as it stands, I'll continue to deliver the goods to recalcitrant freshmen whether they're receptive or not. And hey, for now I just want to polish it off and have a sweet vacation in Thailand.
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katydid



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Location: Here kitty kitty kitty...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kwangjuchicken wrote:
I had just the opposite. Several students with perfect attendance who got an A+ on the mid-term, and then just disapeared forever Shocked . What's up with that? In 5 years of teaching in Korea never had that happen even once before.


I had one girl who turned in her one homework assignment to me (where she conveniently said she studied in Canada for one year) Rolling Eyes , never showed up to class save for the midterm, and then totally disappeared. I can't wait to see how this will shape up. "But I want an A!!" Crying or Very sad
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bourquetheman



Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Location: Suwon

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:50 pm    Post subject: Refreshing change.... Reply with quote

Well I myself have been at a top-tier university for the past 4 years and I can honestly say that while I've enjoyed my time here it's time for a change. Yes I understand how the students are under pressure to do well and especially in high it is intense so I do have sympathy for them. I can't say that I've ever had a class that I absolutely "hated" like some of my co-workers but there are some classes that have been hard to motivate.

So having said all this I really want a change of scenery and so I've decided to go teach at a high school. Now before you all say "ARE YOU NUTS?" I must point out that while the vacation time is less (4 weeks) the pay is actually better and is even offering me an apartment for my wife and me. Other university positions including mine either offer "single" housing or no housing at all, or if it is offered like mine, they charge a very large fee. So basically I do not see this as a "step down" but another challenge and I will also see if high schoolers are more motivated than university students. I've taught at an institute for 3 years, and just finishing up my 4th year here so it will be a good experience I think.

Just wanted to offer my two cents.....................
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