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korean University Freshman: a teachers nightmare!
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like oral tests too Lemon for the reasons you mention but we are forced to give the written standardized test which is so grammar focused we need the time to get them ready for it since even their grammar skills are so low. It gives us no time to get them ready to do an oral test, then there is textbook the other foreign teachers chose (we didn't vote for it) that has little in the way of conversation activities.

Its maddening that our freshman course is titled "English Conversation" and we do little in the way of conversation since we have to give these grammar focused exams.
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steroidmaximus



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: GangWon-Do

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheating? CHEATING?!

I've failed 4 students this term already for cheating. I make it very explicit in the syllabus and in class that I do not tolerate cheating. If I catch them cheating, it's an automatic F in my class, no second chances. Some attempt to take the chance anyway, but they are doomed if I catch them. I've been asked to lighten up with this, that I don't understand Korean culture; well I do understand that cheating benefits no one, especially those who will be requesting your service as a college graduate in English.

I've seen some rather ingenious methods used by cheaters, and some down right blockhead approaches as well. Maybe we should start a thread on this: how do Korean students cheat? Now that would be an interesting and useful read. . . Very Happy
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've been asked to lighten up with this, that I don't understand Korean culture


I've heard this as well. It's a puzzling argument.

If I was to make a post saying, "many Koreans cheat - it's in their culture... they're big fat lying cheaters..." I'd be called "ethnocentric" or worse by the Koreans-can-do-no-wrong crowd. Funnily enough, they're the same people who make the argument that teachers should lighten up on the students because we foreigners don't understand them.

Well, I know what I know. And I know that if I give a written test to my classes, having tried in the past, 40 percent of the students will have no hesitation about cheating. This would get them bounced out of any North American university. But not here. "Culture".
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is any cheating that student gets a big fat zero. I'm very explicit about this. I don't fail them for the entire class just that particular point of assessment.

It's only happened 4 times in three years.
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Austin



Joined: 23 May 2003
Location: In the kitchen

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 9:11 pm    Post subject: Lemon...aid Reply with quote

East meets West...

Capitalism, as you know, came from the West, and it is centered on the notion that if I have an idea first, that I should be able to profit from it.

On the other hand, Communism, from the East, is centered on the premise that whether you have an idea first or last, every individual should be able to benefit from that idea.

Why do you think we are required to assess our students in the first place?

Do you doubt that culture or history is a valid explanation for the concept that one person's knowledge should or should not be shared for the benefit of all?

Is it any less valid than the reason why you think cheating is wrong?

Which is to say, each individual should be measured by their individual production (sounds like capitalism to me).

Who is really using culture as an excuse?

Check the mirror.

SCSA

BTW, contrary to your claim, cheating is also prevalent in U.S. universities, especially plagiarism, and U.S. professors are struggling with how to effectively deal with it.

Check some of the latest statistics online and prove me wrong!
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posco's trumpet



Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Location: Beneath the Underdog

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 9:19 pm    Post subject: I haven't many problems with Korean Freshmen... Reply with quote



Last edited by posco's trumpet on Sat Dec 06, 2003 6:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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katydid



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

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I hate is how much of a broken record I was the past two weeks of class "Please sign up for an exam time with your partner! Please double check your exam time! Write it down! The test will not be in my office, but in the classroom!" They signed up for a 15 minute exam between the hours of 1:30 and 4:00. I posted a sign on my door saying which classroom the exams would be in...I thought I did everything, made myself perfectly clear...

And you know what? I had 6 no shows for my freshmen class. Now 2 of them probably got the idea that they would have to perform a miracle and get an A on the test in order to barely pass the class (wind up with a final grade of 60). OK, whatever they want...
Two others supposedly had some sort of conscription thing and could not make the exam. They knew what my office hours were on Thursday, but came up to my office a few hours later (according to one of their friends) and were very surprised to not see me there. Go figure. I'll be kind with them, because god only knows how the Korean government works...they may have found out about this thing just yesterday. But they are going to have to set up a time with me to retake the exam, if they can first provide a piece of paper that says "I was with the army during that day and time." Sucks for one of them, too, who was doing sooooo well in class.
And then two other girls didn't make their exam time, but did manage to find me coming into my office two hours later, at like 5:30 p.m., and they were demanding I give them the test! They couldn't even come up with a good excuse as to why they BOTH did not show up. One girl wanted to take the exam with the other class I had, then wanted to take the test right then and there, apparently not realizing that my life doesn't revolve around hers.
I really don't care about this so called policy we have. It might be one thing if these were kids that really did practically kill themselves to get in to university, but where I teach, it's all about the won, and no one had to pass an exam to get in here. That should change next year, and so I wonder what sort of students I'll be dealing with then.
Anyways, 2 of my classes are finished. Actually, I feel good because the remaining two classes have for the most part, a lot of good students in there, and so I hope I won't have anything to top the stories I have just told here come Monday and Thursday.
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JennyJJ wrote:
If you wish to be a professional, put on a professional attitude, it is more than half the battle.


I quote this again for it is the only thing that works for me, in keeping up a pretext of professionalism. I have found taking it easy with them, joking around with them, or trying to joke around, listening to what social things they have to say at the beginning or during class time help the whole mood. Sure it is class time, and I give my lesson, but going to class knowing that you are going to be socializing and acting the part as some kind friend/teacher for that hour or two hour class, make everything go a lot smother for me.
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 11:31 pm    Post subject: korean University Freshman: a teachers nightmare! Reply with quote

We are supposed to be conversation teachers as I see it, and I guess if we throw in a little grammar here and there it aint gonna hurt. Do most of us university teachers actually get semblances of coherent sentences from our students to-wards the end of the semester, and are our students more willing to speak in English?

Theoretically we should imbue them with the spoken beauty of the English language, and perhaps convince them that there is more to it than using it to get from a to b. If we can do that then we must have very special talents. I don't have any wonderful skill along those lines, but I do my best. I would like to hear how some of our teachers are actually making their students speak.
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steroidmaximus



Joined: 27 Jan 2003
Location: GangWon-Do

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Austin:

that's the bottom line? ROFL

ok Mao, we get your 'point'. Remember, this is a society that is currently remodeling itself on democratic, capitalist principles. As such, the need to reform standard academic practice exists. "Oh, they cheat in the US too", doesn't hold water, since in the US students often get the boot if they're caught. Plain and simple. Here, 'probation' and 'expelled for intellectual fraud' don't exist in the lexicon of Academese.

If cheating were accepted, why not just give everyone A's, or hand out crib notes at the beginning of the exam?
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posco's trumpet



Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Location: Beneath the Underdog

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Last edited by posco's trumpet on Sat Dec 06, 2003 6:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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katydid



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

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL One more thing I need to share....

In this less than wonderful book we're using, I have given my students an opportunity to get extra points through completing Language Focus exercises. One of the sets of questions practiced using What's (his/her/your) name?"
It became completely obvious that one student had not put any thought into completing these exercises and just blindly wrote what her friend did when she answered the "What's your name?" question with her friend's name.
If you are going to cheat at least do it well.

Katy
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not a cheating incident here but an example of how dumb my freshmen have been. Last semester I gave a listening pre-test to a class that met at 4:30P. I read the question slowly 3 times and they had to write the answer

1) Q: Whats your name?
A: 4:45

I got this answer from at least 5 of 18 students who took the test

This semester I've seen many of the freshmen girls who live below us completely befuddled on how to use the elevator. So I asked this question.

"You are on the first floor, the elevator is on the 3rd floor, you want to go to the 5th floor. What button to you push?"

7/10 answered "down". So I taught this as a lesson, yup a lesson on how to work the elevator. Has it helped? Nope, Still see kids doing it. I'm putting this as bonus question on my final.

so young and so stupid
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katydid



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

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 3:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL I am embarrassed to say this, but this happened when **I** was in university:

My dad came to visit. The lobby was on the 4th floor, my room was on the 14th floor. To get to my room as I was moving in, my dad pushed the.....


down button. When I asked him why, he said "Well, you want the elevator to come down, don't you?"

Jinja!

Katy
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Len8



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Location: Kyungju

PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2003 6:55 am    Post subject: Korean University Freshman: a teachers nightmare! Reply with quote

I have found that most of the freshman need to be spoonfed. You've literally got to hold their hands right through the midterms and up to the finals. The only way they are going to do any good on their exams is to tell them what the questions will be, and then review them and practice them during the semester. I do this in line with another posting on this thread about "crib sheets".

Now because I do it this way I give them dialogues to comprehend, and learn, and other topics which are way harder than what I would normaly give if they were independent thinkers. My philoophy is "If I am going to hold their hands, then they are still going to have to work." The dialogues I got off the internet, and there are 12 of them and they have to become very familiar with all of them. There is an A part and a B part for each dialogue. I choose either an A or a B part for any 3 dialogues and the student has to give the other part. Certain concepts and words are getting reinforced this way, and I think that's what they need more than anything else.

As far as actually getting them to speak as is mentioned in another posting, I use the word sheets from the popular blue ESL handbook. They're words grouped under many topics, and I divide them amongst the class members. The class members then get in pairs and practice on one another i.e. they describe their topic and the other partner has to figure out from the description just what it is. After they've practiced for a bit, I pick the best students whom I already know to get up in front of the class and describe their topics. Nothing like using one of their own to get them interested. There is usually a hushed silence when one of their classmayes is able to describe something clearly and coherently in English.
They of course have to guess what's being described, and the peson who does get that part right gets high fives from the rest of the class. Anyway that's one way to get them motivated to speak. Usuallu when the other class mates see one of their own speaking well ,they get envious and try much harder.

It's also very difficult to get them to come and organize testing times and places. They wont.you as a teacher have to set the time and the date for the test, and if they don't show up then they have to have a good excuse. Your good students you will already know, and if something happens to one of them I normally try and find out why.
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