Monday, March 5, 2007

School Days

These pictures are of the outside of my school's building. The school is in the middle of a few blocks filled with all kinds of small shops and restaurants. My school is called a hagwon in Korea. Hagwons are essentially private academies that students go to after their regular schools for special instruction. Sometimes it is easy to tell that the students do not really want to be there, but have to attend because their parents want them to improve their English. I have 5 classes and about 60 students total. I have 3 classes on Mon/Wed/Fri for 2 hours each and 2 classes on Tues/Thurs for 3 hours each. Those can be really rough, even though there is a short 10 minute break, 3 hours is a really long time to expect a group of 11 year olds to be attentive. At my school, the students are divided by both level and age. I have 1 basic or beginner class, 2 junior or middle level classes, and 2 senior or high level classes. For most of the class time, we read story books and I ask a lot of questions and try to start conversations. Then we move onto grammar which neither they nor I like doing. The downside to this is having to stick to a strict schedule determined by the school which forces us to move through the material really fast. It also makes us use rather dumb story books. It is hard to make the books interesting and age appropriate, yet readable for the students' level. My basic students have demonstrated their dislike of the books by drawing pictures on the whiteboard before class that show one of the characters from a book - a fat chick called Chunk - being spit roasted over a fire. It's hard not to laugh with them, instead I pretend to be overly shocked and upset that they are destroying a beloved character.

1 comment:

MBach said...

Yay for online journels!!! The carnival was AWESOME this weekend I'll post or send pictures as soon as I get my act together:) XOXO!!!