Teacher-Student relationships? : korea
Preparation for a lesson is not only important for a teacher, but extremely . This is the best time to build a good relationship with your students. Being a Korean co-teacher can be another shitty job, but for different reasons. You are not exciting to the students, but the foreign teacher. Every single school in South Korea is very different when it comes to My experience in teaching at a middle school with co-teachers is not collaborative at all. This arrangement works very well for me because I can teach my students.
Competition, marks and points Korean society is very competitive, and cheating, dobbing people in etc to get on top is generally seen as cheeky at worst.
As mentioned above, however, love of competition can be a great classroom motivator and way of imposing some discipline. Students will also expect regular testing, but this can lead to too much stress, a further prioritising of less important things e.
One possible response to this is to give marks for things you want them to focus on, such as spoken tasks or task completion and paragraphing rather than just accuracy in written homework.
A small but important point is that a tick in Korean means something is wrong, with a circle meaning that it is right. Students can therefore get very shocked the first time they see a page covered with ticks! Bags In common with Spain and most Latin American countries, students seem very reluctant to put their bags on the ground.
In Spain I became convinced that it came from a habit of avoiding filthy bar and restaurant floors, whereas in Korea it might be because the only clean floor is by definition one, like inside the home, that never has a shoe touching it. Whatever the reason, I like to put any extra chairs in convenient places to put bags on, or tell young learners to hang all their bags on the hooks to save them getting in the way.
Navigating the Teacher – Student Relationship in Korea (Part 1)
If students do put their bags on chairs next to them, you might need to be on the look out to ask them to move them when the inevitable latecomers arrive. Seniority and gender Korean society is traditionally very stratified, with different vocabulary and grammar needed when speaking to a higher status person such as someone older, a teacher, boss, customer, or a man if you are a woman.
The higher status person will also expect to initiate and dominate conversations. Koreans will therefore not be shy about asking each other and you about your ages, as it helps put you all in your place on the social scale. The polite forms that we do use are generally used equally by people of both status levels, e.
They might also have to change speaking roles as the younger person who was just speaking as an equal in English will have to now sit down and listen to the other person in Korean. This might explain the tendency of the first four students to arrive at my class to sit at separate tables in silence along perhaps with an obsession with the L1-free classroom.
The habit of letting the higher status person lead the conversation can also be confusing in the English classroom, as I fairly often get an older student often male who dominates the conversation, but that in no way is received well by their partner who is paying an equal amount to be in the classroom, has a focus on speaking skills, and knows that in English they should get a fair say. It must be said, however, that quite a few of the dominating students that I have taught have not had too good social skills, so it might be silly, as with so many other things, to blame this on Confucius.
If you teach Koreans straight after Latin students, however, you will certainly notice a lot more embarrassment and discomfort in the English language classroom. This is a lot easier to understand in Japan, where the Japanese often seem embarrassed and uncomfortable in their own language and culture. Koreans seem a lot more uninhibited and natural in the street, and yet even more uncomfortable in the classroom. One is that students expect a lot of correction but are horribly uncomfortable when they do get it, e.
Others include never coming back to class if they have failed a single test, being uncomfortable with a greeting if they arrive late, and freezing up when I step close to them during group speaking. Methodology and the role of the teacher Koreans spend most of their English language learning classroom hours being taught with grammar translation by Korean teachers with somewhat limited English especially pronunciation and dated materials.
All that is done in some of the largest and most mixed-level classes in the developed world, where they have little opportunity to talk and students not paying attention are just ignored. Some of those things can transfer to their expectations in your classroom, but the stronger effect is them expecting exactly the opposite from classes that they chose for themselves. Things that Koreans might still subconsciously expect from your classes include being able to switch off from time to time mainly meaning staring into space during grammar presentations in my classesand a teacher who has all the answers.
The opposite things that they might expect from your classes include small class sizes, lots of opportunities to speak, lots of individual attention from the teacher, and a lack of focus on grammar.
If you are a non-Korean teacher, they will also expect something from you that they could not get from a Korean teacher, for example cultural tips, lots of pronunciation practice, up-to-date idiomatic language, or improving their understanding of native speakers by listening to you.
You might have also come to the conclusion that most students would be much better just doing one-to-one classes, but high prices, a shortage of native-speaking teachers and visa restrictions that make it hard to work outside schools make this difficult or impossible for most students. Matters on which there might be wildly varying views depending on age, personality etc include pairwork, correction, language learning games, and testing.
Hard work The Koreans have got themselves where they are today, from sub-Saharan African levels of poverty and post-Korean War devastation to developed country status in record time, and mainly through hard work. For example, the two day weekend is a relatively recent innovation and the government is trying to cut down on cram schools for kids that stay open past midnight. Students therefore enter class with an expectation that they will cover a lot, that they will be given lots of homework, and that the teacher will be strict about completing those things.
However, apart from an initial surge of enthusiasm and preparation for tests, the work rate of students is hardly likely to match those expectations. The attitude to games can be unfortunate, because their lack of energy and motivation, along with their inefficient study skills, make some fun absolutely essential.
That openness seems to extend to acceptance of almost any answer to that question, and telling them that you are an atheist is unlikely to cause the shock or even student complaints that it would in the Middle East.
Another thing related to religion is that the traditional Korean customs that you read about may be specific to one religion, depend on religion, or at least not be performed by committed Christians. With kids it is often due to having their parents pack too much into their days and so finishing a piano class 10 minutes before your class which is a 15 minute walk away.
I have a feeling a lack of knowledge of their own limits is also a factor with my adult students, as students demanding more homework in week one have often burnt out by the end of the course and the extra copies of worksheets that they ask for usually go unread.
This is also famously how Korean companies operate, by setting impossible targets and almost reaching them through sheer hard work and slog. And she knew it. She knew she was horrible at her co-teaching duties, but she was the youngest teacher in the school, and she had been given them to do, despite being completely ill-suited to it. So I smiled, and thanked her profusely for her terrible efforts whenever she made them. And asked other teachers when I really needed something.
And she was grateful to me for that, and when I really needed her to do something, I could get her to do it — because she knew I was making her life as easy as possible. The financial officers are in a better position to help you with pay problems than your co-teacher. As for your relationship with your official co-teacher — make their lives as easy as possible, and thank them a lot.
You are not exciting to the students, but the foreign teacher probably is. No matter how good you are at English, the native teacher will be better. Also, more so than your official co-teacher, you can mess up your Korean classroom co-teacher very easily.
Correct their English in front of the students. And having someone point out your inadequacies in front of a group of people is embarrassing everywhere. Having said that, it is possible to work well with, and have a good relationship with, your Korean co-teachers.
I have doubts as to whether it is really a good use of resources to have two teachers teaching the same class together — but it can lighten both your workloads, and make life easier for both of you.
Yes, this person was so embittered that they made not one but two blogs detailing their perceived hurts and bad treatment as an English teacher. They also took the ill-advised step of recording their co-teachers as an example of bad co-teaching. What do you think? All I see is dreadful teaching from the foreign teacher. Not everyone is meant to be a teacher, but this is someone with no idea how to teach a language class.
Practice the dialogue with the person sitting next to you.
- Having a good relationship with your Korean co-teachers
- Navigating the Teacher – Student Relationship in Korea (Part 2)
It seems like extraordinary stoicism while watching a car-wreck, to me. How do you help someone giving a lesson that bad, short of clubbing them over the head with something and teaching over their comatose body? It seems like an inverted list of personal irritations. More than that, I think it is too specific.
The best co-teacher I have at the moment routinely breaks rules 1,3, 4 and 8. She frequently comes late to class, always sits down, and uses her phone during class, none of which I have a problem with, because: Standing up for no reason is painful, and as far as I can see, pointless.
She uses her cell phone when there is nothing for her to do. She trusts that my prepared materials are fine, and that I can teach them. In pair and group work, she gives individual attention to weak students. A lot of possible roles The respective teaching roles you may have with a co-teacher range from you doing absolutely everything, and your co-teacher not coming to class, to you being reduced to nothing but a human tape-recorder.
The one time a co-teacher tried to do that to me, I just stepped up and started teaching. At my last school, I worked with dedicated English teachers; I taught two classes a week with each of them, and we did each class five or six times.
15 cultural differences in the Korean classroom
It was appropriate for us to plan them together, divide the teaching responsibilities, and have written lesson plans. Here are some other co-teachers at my current school: The 1st grade teacher comes to every class. He is an active participant, explaining things in Korean, and teaching the slower students separately while I do activities with the quicker ones.
He also helps maintain control, which I appreciate; 1st graders are wild. The 5th grade teacher occasionally turns up and watches the class for ten minutes before leaving again. She is my official co-teacher, and has the best English in the school.
15 cultural differences in the Korean classroom | nickchinlund.info
Why does she do that? Because those classes run smoothly, the class is very small, and honestly, there is nothing for her to do. He tries to stop the evil 4th grade girls from tormenting each other. His English is especially weak.
He is doing the best he can.
The 2nd grade teacher comes to my class with a novel, from which he will look up occasionally to tell the students to be quiet, and otherwise takes no part. Neglectful of his duties! Does nothing to help!
And his view is simple, and one I actually agree with. And this is, I think, an important point: Stop the students from stealing my things and throwing them out the window. You have to be able to do that, or honestly, you just suck at your job. How did I handle it? It is a different culture, and age has its privileges here.
Sometimes it is important to stand up for yourself; more often, I think, it is better to let things slide, because there are probably other, larger battles you will have to fight. As is often the case, the question is, is this where you want to spend your accumulated goodwill?
For me, that always goes to avoiding painful, pointless, non-teaching related responsibilities viz. An ideal co-teaching relationship When the best co-teacher I ever had came to our school, I asked her for her thoughts on co-teaching. You are in charge, and I will help you.
And you help me. I still think it is the simplest recipe for a supportive co-teacher relationship. She was really bright and could tell a bad idea from a good one instantly. She always wanted to make the lessons more communicative, less teacher-centric, which was what I wanted to do as well. One time I wanted to redo the way we taught the first lesson of the textbook, which had a lot of listening and drill-and-repeat in it. Over time our lessons together became incredibly smooth.
She knew when to translate what I said, and when not to. She was so good at this, in fact, that I measured my skill by how often she translated for me.