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The Older Korean Expectation

 
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Keepongoing



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:33 pm    Post subject: The Older Korean Expectation Reply with quote

Had a long talk last night and was told that my adult students only want to receive. They do not like the interaction and discussion that sometimes occur in my grammar classes. They want me to be like their old high school teacher. They basically want a totally teacher centered approach and dislike the student centered approach that was strongly urged in my university studies. They want me to "teach for the test>" While stating that they also, somehow, want to become more conversant in English???? They explained that memorizing and test taking was the [iKorean Way! I hear this from the older students. I teach grammar 6 hours a day and they know it better than me, however they fail to apply it. These various, interactive exercises are challenging and relevant.
I am using Azar and believe it to be one of the better text. Perhaps I should dig up Grammar by Rote? They told me that Western teachers in Universities teach exactly like the old high school teachers? They told me that they just want to receive. To passively sit there while it is all being done for them . Simply put, I do not think one can be conversant in a language with lots of interactive exercises?

Any suggestions? Any good books or websites on how to appease the varied needs of the Korean adult student?

Thanks
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PatrickSiheung



Joined: 21 May 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my adult classes I teach from a book with many example conversations and grammar exercises. A typical class goes like this for me:

We practice reading the introductory conversation (pronunciation work)

Next I teach them the grammar. I explain the rules and write down example sentences from the conversation we just read.

After they understand the rules of the grammar, each student makes their own conversation. I usually get two students to talk to each other outloud. I write what each student says on the board and I correct their grammar as we go along. It's fun for me because I'm not bored just standing there. They aren't bored because they are getting a chance to apply the grammar. And since they are constantly writing what I write on the board, they don't feel like they're just talking. Understand what I mean?
I often write down other relavent sentences for them to memorize, too. Just different useful phrases.
By the end of the class, each student has filled a few pages in his/her notebook. Everyone's happy.

Hope this helps!
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humanuspneumos



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:00 pm    Post subject: I wonder if it's only a sense of control they want? Reply with quote

Older students tend to like control. Dr. David Nunan was the one who triggered something in my thinking on this subject- so, I won't take the credit. He has written a fair number of books on teaching English.

So, to see if it only boils down to control over content- put a list of ESL medicines on the board that you would like to teach. Leave the old sock of spoon feeding them in the middle of choices. If it's only control they want- you can gain a measure of it back by giving them several choices.

1. Korean Herald Discussion/Reading
2. Bla, bla, bla, text book
3. Describing your honey-moon
4. What is your favorite movie and why?


You'll notice that # 2 is what they say they want- you teaching content. It's worth a try to gain control back by giving them a sense of it.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suck it up and give them what they want. It may not be what is best for them but if it's what they want, then give it to em. They're paying for the class afterall....
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have had the same problem with my adult classes. Some students can speak, but just wont. It's mind boggling. They want to sit there like sponges, and not put any effort into speaking. Makes me wonder what the hell they want to take the class for. They'll never be able to write fluently, not at their age anyway, and I doubt that they will ever be able to read very well either. Still all they want to do is sit like dumbies. You know like the deaf ana dumb Marx brother.

Thanks for the suggestions in the previous posts. Will try to implement them
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Trinny



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slightly off topic.

Azar is one of the best grammar book I've studied with. You need to convince your students that they will never learn English without practicing.
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Keepongoing



Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 4:11 pm    Post subject: I disagree Reply with quote

I disagree that I should turn my back on what I know serves the goal of effective teaching so as to appease the masses. Perhpaps they are customers but I am a teacher. I have been trained to be a teacher and to turn my back on my own convictions is in violation of professional integrity. Sorry for being too serious here but I don't want to Suck it up and give them what they want, itt may not be what is best for them.

If I was a surgeon in some primitive society and the locals believed their practices were correct yet I knew that they would fail to achieve the deisred results; what should my professional response be?

Yes they are customers, but I am a teacher. Flexiibility is needed, I know, but I care enough about what I do to want to do it successfully, so if something does not work I am not going to make that ineffective method the bigger part of what I deliver.
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TheUrbanMyth



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: It's not a superiority complex when you really are superior

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: I disagree Reply with quote

MASH4077 wrote:
I disagree that I should turn my back on what I know serves the goal of effective teaching so as to appease the masses. Perhpaps they are customers but I am a teacher. I have been trained to be a teacher and to turn my back on my own convictions is in violation of professional integrity. Sorry for being too serious here but I don't want to Suck it up and give them what they want, itt may not be what is best for them.

If I was a surgeon in some primitive society and the locals believed their practices were correct yet I knew that they would fail to achieve the deisred results; what should my professional response be?

Yes they are customers, but I am a teacher. Flexiibility is needed, I know, but I care enough about what I do to want to do it successfully, so if something does not work I am not going to make that ineffective method the bigger part of what I deliver.


Come on...you're a hakwon worker. If you worked in a public school back home or even in a Korean public school you might get away with this. But hakwons are not schools first and foremost. Working in a hakwon is a business. And like every business if you don't take into account the customers' wishes you go bankrupt or get fired. BTW using the analogy of a surgeon is kind of comparing apples to oranges don't you think? You're not saving lives here.
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William Beckerson
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: I disagree Reply with quote

MASH4077 wrote:
I disagree that I should turn my back on what I know serves the goal of effective teaching so as to appease the masses. Perhpaps they are customers but I am a teacher. I have been trained to be a teacher and to turn my back on my own convictions is in violation of professional integrity. Sorry for being too serious here but I don't want to Suck it up and give them what they want, itt may not be what is best for them.

If I was a surgeon in some primitive society and the locals believed their practices were correct yet I knew that they would fail to achieve the deisred results; what should my professional response be?



Your professional response should be to go to a place where they actualy want teachers and leave the song and dance jobs to those who are willing to do them.

And I think you've been in this country long enough to realize that you're not really teaching here. What you are doing is filling a role that any warm white body can fill.

If you cant accept this because of your professionalism, I honestly feel that leaving Korea is in your best interests. It'll keep your sanity and your ethics intact if you do.
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