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how difficult is EPIK?
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:28 pm    Post subject: Message to Adman....The Showers at KNUE Reply with quote

Well,Adman, it is a good thing you are not expecting primo facilities at orientation...that way you will not be disappointed. The showers are...well..wretched.They are communal(but no,NOT coed).
The other real knock against the showers is that there are not enough of them to adequately handle the number in orientation.It is hot in August,everyone wants to take a shower.Also, of course,if you have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night,it is disturbing to have to walk all the way down there,past your "colleagues" who are often in a drunken stupor by 3am. You just want to take a "P", but you have to run a gauntlet of taunts and bleary eyed bozos who think everyone wants to stay up drinking EVERY night until dawn.

The idea of going to orientation with Austin is ...well...I am glad I will not be there.He may not be such a rabblerouser in person...who knows?I am sure a lot of people would be surprised if they met ME in person.But then again,maybe not. Laughing Laughing

How can you rcognize Austin at orientation? Easy.He will be the guy that immediately rushes over to the kitchen and starts baking apple pies for everyone! Laughing

By the by ,Adman,do you know what province you will be going to yet?Just curious.Of course you do not have to reveal it,if you do not want to.
Well,I will say one thing.Things should be interesting..... Laughing
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Mosley



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:38 pm    Post subject: Austin in EPIK.... Reply with quote

EPIK has taken Austin... the final proof of EPIK's wretchedness... the defense rests....
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adventureman



Joined: 18 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Message to Adman....The Showers at KNUE Reply with quote

Mody Ba wrote:
The showers are...well..wretched.They are communal(but no,NOT coed).


Damn you, Mody Ba you just exterminated any last shread of excitement I was ever holding out for coming to Korea...

Very Happy
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:23 pm    Post subject: Well,You Will Get to Meet Austin Reply with quote

Sorry about the discouraging news about the showers.But look at it this way.You will get to meet Austin.Maybe he will bake for you.
Besides,you can look forward to a long string of entertaining lectures at orientation. Smile (Yawwwwwn!)
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps Mody Ba if you told EPIK that you needed a refresher course they'd get you fitted in again for this years induction course. You would never know your luck untill you tried, huh?
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2003 7:32 pm    Post subject: Nooooooooo! Reply with quote

Well,first Anda,I prefer to call it "orientation',not "induction". "Induction" sounds like some kind of experiment. Rolling Eyes Like,yes,I am going to be "inducted".Sounds ...a bit scary.
As for me going to another orientation...I am sure you have heard that old expression"let sleeping dogs lie".So,noooo,I do not think I will go to orientation(at least for the whole ten days).However, I might drop in to meet Austin,taste some of his apple pie, and so on and so forth...
Actually,after the last orientation I attended,I left feeling distinctly DISORIENTED.
Maybe they should have post-orientation counseling.Someone should suggest that to KNUE.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orientation's not so bad. Much room for improvement in the lectures (quite a few are pointless and dead-boring) but theres some useful stuff to be gleaned too.

If youre fresh to Korea, theres comfort in the companionship of a nice mix of people from all over for a few days. Have some fun while youre at it. Cheongju has a spunky little nightlife district & theres some pubs ringing the campus. By all means get away to Seoul on your weekend -- hanging for 2 days on a sweltering empty campus is not a good plan.

If you make friends, be sure to swap contact info before the last day, which tends to be a chaos of quick departures.

As Adventureman says, its only 10 days. You go through it & move on.

As for obsessing about a shared shower room a full year later -- well, I wonder whats really up with that.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anda.

I have to wonder like others above how you actually use your lesson material in the classroom. That amount of text would snow all of my students -- I've got 2nd-year middleschool boys many of whom cant name the months of the year.

Your stories in fact would flummox most of the teachers in my teacher classes -- I'd have to do all the talking just explicating.

Maybe you are the guru! Please enlighten. How do you present your material? How do you engage your students productively in the classroom? How much do they retain?
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:23 am    Post subject: um Reply with quote

Most English teaching methods are dependant upon having students employing what has been taught in class outside of class. As you would know here in Korea this seldom happens. The other thing is that very little revision is done in class as once again students are expected to be hearing and using what has been taught outside of class.

So anyway high school classes go for 50 minutes here. Students receive four classes of English a week under which there is hardly any revision covered on past vocabulary. If students have to read after their foreign teacher for about twenty minutes on two pages of script that employs the vocabulary that is being taught by their korean teachers and then have to write 46 sentences that also employ basic English vocabulary then they start to learn English word usuage along with how to pronounce the words. So my classes are in fact revision.

As stated before my stories get translated so both Korean teachers and students can check accross the page on anything that they don't understand.

Good students will pairwork on the stories and make their own sentence ending. Korean teachers like doing this in workshops as they have subject matter on which to talk. They also like making up sentences using the method shown.
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, 1st-year highschool. 50-minute class. 20 minutes of repeat after me, based ostensibly on material taught by their Korean teachers, though I see a fair bit of slang, idioms, & cultural difference in your writing, which I expect is new to them. 46(!) sentences to complete. You say the better students get into it, what about the rest? & realistically, how much time is left after all that for student speaking? I'm genuinely interested in how this works.
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 5:38 am    Post subject: um Reply with quote

Children at the age of two have been proved to know the word usuage of their parents language. They can't yet however pronounce the words nor do they know the meaning of the words / sentenses that their parents are using. Now if you have kids repeating and writing basic sentence structures for 50 minutes then you are getting places. If you have them pair working and thinking of how to complete sentences then you are really getting places.

I'm not worried about what they know or don't know at the end of one lesson but what they will know at the end of twelve months after something like twenty lessons from myself and another sixty from their Korean English teacher.

......................................................................................................
By the time a child begins putting two words together, he or she has already mastered the basic rules of syntax and applies them correctly even in their erroneous speech. It takes the child a little longer to master the rules of morphology.

The evidence then indicates that children do, in fact, absorb a massive number of sentences and phrases but rather than parrot them back, they abstract rules from them and create their own grammar which they then apply to create new utterances they have never heard before. Over the years from 2-7, when language is mastered, children constantly adjust their grammar until it matches that of the adult speaker population.

This critical period between the ages of 2-7 suggests that (first) language learning, like walking, is an innate capacity of human beings triggered by a level of development more than feedback from the environment. That is, so long as a child hears a language-any language-when they reach this critical period they will learn it perfectly. If this is true, any child not hearing language during this period not only should not learn to speak but also should not be able to learn to
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
They need a strongly supportive and rich environment
A prevailing idea is that it is very easy for children to learn a new language and that hardly any effort is involved. However, learning language, even one, is a process that takes many years. Languages are very complex. To learn all their complexities, one needs a lot of life experience. It may not take very long to learn how to carry on a simple conversation (although it does take monolingual children approximately 3 years before they can carry on an intelligible conversation with strangers), but it takes a lot more time to be able to develop the skill to give a formal speech. The environment plays an important role in learning to speak. Children learn to speak only when they hear people talk to them in many different circumstances. Language development in the early stages depends crucially on vocabulary knowledge. The more words children know, the better they will learn to speak and the better their chances of doing well in school. Book reading is an excellent source of help in the acquisition of vocabulary. Book reading in any language, even when a baby can hardly sit up yet, plays a highly supportive role not only in the learning of language but also in the emotional bonding between child and parent. Furthermore, it is an activity that is viewed in many cultures as appropriate for both mothers and fathers to engage in, and it is an excellent way of introducing children to aspects of culture that they may not see in their local environment.

...........................................................................................................
I don't agree on having a so called critical period.
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Austin



Joined: 23 May 2003
Location: In the kitchen

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:02 am    Post subject: What you see... Reply with quote

Anda,

What do you believe is the primary benefit of having a native speaker in a classroom of fifty students in EPIK?

We all employ different methods and many of our students admittedly learn very differently (taking into consideration the different learning modalities). I am not denying that you benefit your students, but I am curious as to how your methods work in practice, and why you have come to believe they are the most efficient and effective ways to help your students acquire the English language.

I personally have come to the conclusion that pronunciation, fluency, targeted listening skills, and speaking opportunities are the areas that I can best assist my students. Moreover, I have come to view translation as an unacceptable teaching method for the long-term success of my students, as they need to begin thinking in English as soon as possible. For example, if I show a picture of a "shoe" to my students, I want to get them to first think "shoe," not first "kudo" and then make the connection/translation from "kudo" to "shoe." Additionally, writing an English word in the phonetic Korean seriously handicaps students' development and pronunciation. The sooner they acquire the phonetic alphabet of the target language, the better prepared they will be for success in their language learning.

Unlike others, I am not a fan of having a Korean teacher in the classroom with me, as I believe it made my students nervous (too many of my former Korean coworkers were quick to correct my students "attempts" at approximating the language, as they saw them as mistakes). I never had a serious problem with discipline that I could not handle myself, but I appreciate why others might need to employ their Korean counterparts.

Anyway, I would like to know more of how you actually employ your methods in the classroom (the particulars), not to "criticize" them, but to see if I might be able to glean something from your methods.

Have you ever addressed high frequency words in the development of your teaching style?
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Thomas



Joined: 25 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in EPIK for four years. It was pretty difficult at first to prepare for classes because of the following reasons:

1. Often my schedule fluctuated weekly or daily... sometimes I would travel to various schools throughout the week and may or may not be informed of the level/size of the group would be.

2. Cancellations and changes happened often even if I had been informed of who I would be teaching.

3. Lack of a clearly defined curriculum for any level (and usually no guidance teacher you are visiting... often they just say "Free conversation")

4. At first, I really had no idea what I was doing. I was a certified teacher (New York State Social Studies 7-12) but didn't know how to really teach English or much about korean education system. And, there wasn't anyone to help me... don't rely on EPIK to help you, orientation will teach you nothing useful and you may have no other EPIK contacts near you.

5. Yes, you are supposed to have a co-teacher. Normally they will fob all of the lesson planning off to you and they will try to avoid doing anything. Are they lazy? NO. They don't want to lose face in front of their students AND they want to learn how other teachers really teach. This is a good thing.. as soon as you are able, do your own planning... that way, you can avoid dumb, useless lessons and take responsibility for your own work.

MY ADVICE:

1. Set up a gneric set of lessons that link together and can be spiralled out for difficulty. For example, in my travelling lesson folder, I had 9 lessons ranging from topics of "Me", "My family", "My Hometown", "My Hobby", etc which were each designed to expand in difficulty depending on the level of students. I could teach the same topics for vocabulary (lower level), cultural exchange and basic questions models (middle school), or creative writing/speaking (high school). kids loved them, the teachers liked them, we all looked good, and everyone wa happy. From there I added more lessons on the same design.

2. For teacher training... don't harp on grammar a lot. They want to learn from you what they can't get from Koreans: slang is good. real usage is good. Cutural differences. I made up a bunch of dialogs based o practical situations (At the post office/In the supermarket/At the travel agent). In the dialogs I used REAL English, with shortened words/slang/idioms and such. Teachers loved this (I had a related word vocabulary bank at the bottom). My most popular class was held once a semester and we did swear words... they learned how to really use them...

3. Be very open and patient. Try to make things usable across several levels. Save everything and try to recycle them.

In closing, it took me the whole first year to develop enough good material to use. Over the next 3 years, I expanded and improved upon those while adding more. What bothers me most about EPIK is that I compiled the best of my material into a 128 page book for the Chungnam Office of Education and it was never used (I was told to send it in so they could use it as a resource for new EPIKs during Orientation) apparantly because the supervisor was re-assigned and the new one didn't want to use something from his predecessor.

Anyway, hope this helps the original poster
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Anda



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Um Reply with quote

First off everyday English is made up by at least 85% of high frequency words. What I write is more.

Students here are presented with about 350 new words per year through middle and high school so they are supposed to have about a two thousand word vocalulary by the end of high school. OR twelve hundred words by the end of first year high school. So nearly all the words I use automatically come from this basic vocabulary. My stuff is presented in context.

There are two ways to translate being grammar translation or word for word translation. I go with word for word as I'm worried about my students learning English word word order along with word meaning. With grammar translation there is no way for the student to know which word is which so it is fairly useless the way it gets employed.

I have clearly written what I do in class apart from the fact that I have a loud voice and make what I write sound as funny as possible with word stress etc. Students have a choice between repeating and writing or doing squats. I get results and I'm quiet popular as a teacher. I teach about half of my classes by myself at the moment. The students where I work are low level students as it is a special school where very few students will go on to Uni afterwards.


Last edited by Anda on Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mody Ba



Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 3:21 pm    Post subject: Schwa....Anda.....Thomas Reply with quote

Schwa..my remarks about the showers were generally in a joking vein.Obsessing?Don't tell me you also do a little amateur "psychology" in addition to "teaching".I know liberal arts provides"broad training",etc.blah,blah Laughing but....
The showers ARE pretty patheitic(unless they have changed them)...sort of the thing you might expect to find in the Central African Republic. Whoops! Guess I am "obsessing" again. Smile
Yeah...orientation is BORING.Some guys chose to stay wasted a good deal of the time.I suppose that is one way to get through the ten days...
The food was pretty good.The lectures...'most everyone agrees they need to be changed.
Anda a guru? Nah.I will give him credit for being a survivor and having a sense of humor.And obviously he has had some experience and developed a few lesson plans.Which is more than you can say for probably the majority of people in this program...a lot are just putting in their time aimlessly until their contract ends. So I will give Anda his due..he has learned the secret of survival here.Even if he is not a "guru"
It is obvious from Thomas' post that he is a rare person,an EPIK who actually had some training in education.I amsorry they never used his material that he developed because a new official did not want to use material designed during his predeceesor's stay.Provincial politcs.That one does not surprise me at all.
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