December 17, 2017, 08:34:00 AM

Author Topic: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical  (Read 2454 times)

Offline MaximusPrime

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2017, 09:01:49 AM »
Learning grammar without learning how to use it in speech is like learning the theory about driving to be a good driver but never actually getting to drive. 



Also why my gf has a drivers licence but can not drive. When I tried to teach her I almost had a heart attack.

Offline Kolao

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2017, 12:30:20 PM »
I spent 6 years in Korea and worked with about 2 dozen co-teachers during that time, one of whom was capable of carrying on a comfortable easy flowing conversation in English. There were a couple who had virtually no speaking ability at all. The rest could say what was in the textbook and have basic conversations.

I also came across this textbook, which, amazingly enough provided a more accurate representation of street talk than most, if not all, of the texts I saw or used.



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Online eggieguffer

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2017, 01:17:53 PM »
I spent 6 years in Korea and worked with about 2 dozen co-teachers during that time, one of whom was capable of carrying on a comfortable easy flowing conversation in English. There were a couple who had virtually no speaking ability at all. The rest could say what was in the textbook and have basic conversations.

I also came across this textbook, which, amazingly enough provided a more accurate representation of street talk than most, if not all, of the texts I saw or used.

Ummm, a dialogue between two black dudes about staying out of jail? Not sure that would be received too well by progressives in the US. I take it the book was a kind of jokey book about slang and not a bog standard text book.

Offline travelinpantsgirl

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2017, 03:20:10 PM »
I spent 6 years in Korea and worked with about 2 dozen co-teachers during that time, one of whom was capable of carrying on a comfortable easy flowing conversation in English. There were a couple who had virtually no speaking ability at all. The rest could say what was in the textbook and have basic conversations.

I also came across this textbook, which, amazingly enough provided a more accurate representation of street talk than most, if not all, of the texts I saw or used.
What a load of crap. That is totally photoshopped...lol
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Online eggieguffer

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2017, 03:48:33 PM »
Yeah, I had my doubts but I have seen books similar to that which just dealt with slang. Perhaps not with such an obvious racial element though.

Offline bdannie65

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2017, 08:59:29 AM »
I've been here for a few months.  I read an article recently about the Daegu Metropolitan Education Director (I don't know if that's his actual title, but he's the director of the education system in Daegu) wants English to be an elective with other languages offered as well.  I have to agree.  I'm in the country and majority of my students cannot speak English.  There's a huge difference in the ones who are obviously going to a Hagwon to learn too.  They don't study and everything they've learned from the ground up is lost.  They also don't care, so why force it on them?  I'd rather have students who really want to learn in my classroom than have them mixed, leaving me to yell over the students who are playing around while trying to teach the ones that care to listen.  It's frustrating. 

Furthermore, I understand where the article is coming from, but getting the students to speak is difficult.  They act like I'm asking them to kill a person, lol.  So, I mix it up.  I talk to the shy ones off to the side and allow the confident ones to answer me in front of everyone.  But grammar is important...all of it as a whole is important, actually.  For me, listening, speaking, grammar, and reading comprehension are the most important while writing comes in last, since you can bypass that through speaking if need be.  Unless, you're taking English college courses, of course. 

Anyway, I'm only going to be teaching for two years, but a lot needs to be changed.  I think the government should sit down and have a lengthy conversation with NETs to see where the changes can come from and then try and implement them.  What's going on is not helping and a huge waste of money.  It's way too similar to the American education system of teaching to the test, which is what I was trying to get away from.

Also, I would like to burn my school's English books.  They are stupid and useless and uses phrases that aren't common enough that they need to be taught.  Ridiculous!   
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 09:02:06 AM by bdannie65 »

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2017, 11:15:04 AM »
There's a huge difference in the ones who are obviously going to a Hagwon to learn too.  They don't study and everything they've learned from the ground up is lost.  They also don't care, so why force it on them?  I'd rather have students who really want to learn in my classroom than have them mixed, leaving me to yell over the students who are playing around while trying to teach the ones that care to listen.  It's frustrating. 

1. Kids being required to learn English is a legacy of the North Korean situation.
2. Public school teaching is always going to have some kids in a class who don't care, whether it's math or science or English or Korean.
3. That frustration is part of being a teacher and working with kids. Kids aren't acting crazy, they're acting kid. Kids are gonna kid.

Quote
Anyway, I'm only going to be teaching for two years, but a lot needs to be changed.  I think the government should sit down and have a lengthy conversation with NETs to see where the changes can come from and then try and implement them.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Look at the average thread on Waygook.org and what a shitshow it descends into. The NETs would probably argue more amongst themselves than offer suggestions. Some SJW vs. alt-right/MRA argument would blow up. Someone would rant about Trump. Someone would lecture about "proper English" and start a row between the Americans and the Brits. Some dude who has been teaching for 6 months and majored in history would start ranting about completely overhauling the entire Korean educations system and presuming he knows more than 3 government officials, no one would have any grasp of budget, they'd look at the school system entirely from the perspective of English instead of the curriculum and school needs as a whole, someone would declare we need a whole chapter on veganism/gluten-free vocabulary, and so on and so on.

And that's before we get to the fact that half the NET representatives would be hungover (like their Korean counterparts) but unlike the Koreans, they would not have their business case and proposal ready and formatted. "I'll just wing it man, I think better on the spot".

Now, I might talk to certified teachers with experience teaching in public schools back home or overseas who teach at private/international schools and have backgrounds in education or school administration.

But the government talking to NETs and getting their advice is likely to end up a disaster.

Quote
They are stupid and useless and uses phrases that aren't common enough that they need to be taught.  Ridiculous!   

Given the quality and inconsistency of many of the materials offered here, I wouldn't rip the books too much. It's very easy to criticize, it's very hard to put out your own work. 

=======================================================================

Side rant-

If people are wondering why their kids are disinterested, maybe it's because the stories and books involves crap like "We need to share" and "Let's pick up our trash" or "I'm allergic!" Yeah that's what kids want to learn about and experience- more finger wagging and lecturing. Totally not something like "Dinosaurs Ate Our Village" or "Frankenstein vs. Dracula" or My Little Pony and Pokemon Save Spongebob"

Stop turning school into church. Not even church school is as churchy as school is these days.

Offline Mister Tim

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2017, 11:29:56 AM »
WRT textbooks:

I showed a couple German exchange students my high school German textbook, and they both had a good laugh. "What's this?" "Nobody talks like this!" etc. I'm reasonably sure it'd be similar if you were to show beginner-level textbooks for any language to native speakers.

Sure, the textbooks here have some goofy stuff, but that's okay. The point is more to prepare them for higher level classes than it is to prepare them to have fluent conversations with native speakers. They're laying down a foundation, not building the entire house.

That said, though, I've seen a decent amount of flat out mistakes in textbooks here. I've also seen some stuff that crossed the line from "slightly stilted beginner's English" into "this was obviously done with Naver Translate." Stuff that would've been found and fixed by a native-speaking editor, in all likelihood.

I'd say they really should work harder to prevent such mistakes, but honestly some days I need the laugh, so I'm kinda glad they're there.  :laugh:

Offline Dave Stepz

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2017, 11:46:18 AM »
I'd say they really should work harder to prevent such mistakes, but honestly some days I need the laugh, so I'm kinda glad they're there.  :laugh:

With my high school students' conversation classes I usually put up the conversation on the board in stages.  For example, at the doctors, after the doctors greeting and asking what the problem is, I ask them what comes next.  This will usually involve a barrage of the elementary phrases they've learnt.  'That's too bad' 'Can you show me?'  'I'm sorry to hear that' 'You did a good job!'.  Those consolation phrases are a particular favourite.   :P

Offline plan b

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2017, 12:02:46 PM »
There's a huge difference in the ones who are obviously going to a Hagwon to learn too.  They don't study and everything they've learned from the ground up is lost.  They also don't care, so why force it on them?  I'd rather have students who really want to learn in my classroom than have them mixed, leaving me to yell over the students who are playing around while trying to teach the ones that care to listen.  It's frustrating. 

1. Kids being required to learn English is a legacy of the North Korean situation.
2. Public school teaching is always going to have some kids in a class who don't care, whether it's math or science or English or Korean.
3. That frustration is part of being a teacher and working with kids. Kids aren't acting crazy, they're acting kid. Kids are gonna kid.

Quote
Anyway, I'm only going to be teaching for two years, but a lot needs to be changed.  I think the government should sit down and have a lengthy conversation with NETs to see where the changes can come from and then try and implement them.
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Look at the average thread on Waygook.org and what a shitshow it descends into. The NETs would probably argue more amongst themselves than offer suggestions. Some SJW vs. alt-right/MRA argument would blow up. Someone would rant about Trump. Someone would lecture about "proper English" and start a row between the Americans and the Brits. Some dude who has been teaching for 6 months and majored in history would start ranting about completely overhauling the entire Korean educations system and presuming he knows more than 3 government officials, no one would have any grasp of budget, they'd look at the school system entirely from the perspective of English instead of the curriculum and school needs as a whole, someone would declare we need a whole chapter on veganism/gluten-free vocabulary, and so on and so on.

And that's before we get to the fact that half the NET representatives would be hungover (like their Korean counterparts) but unlike the Koreans, they would not have their business case and proposal ready and formatted. "I'll just wing it man, I think better on the spot".

Now, I might talk to certified teachers with experience teaching in public schools back home or overseas who teach at private/international schools and have backgrounds in education or school administration.

But the government talking to NETs and getting their advice is likely to end up a disaster.

Quote
They are stupid and useless and uses phrases that aren't common enough that they need to be taught.  Ridiculous!   

Given the quality and inconsistency of many of the materials offered here, I wouldn't rip the books too much. It's very easy to criticize, it's very hard to put out your own work. 

=======================================================================

Side rant-

If people are wondering why their kids are disinterested, maybe it's because the stories and books involves crap like "We need to share" and "Let's pick up our trash" or "I'm allergic!" Yeah that's what kids want to learn about and experience- more finger wagging and lecturing. Totally not something like "Dinosaurs Ate Our Village" or "Frankenstein vs. Dracula" or My Little Pony and Pokemon Save Spongebob"

Stop turning school into church. Not even church school is as churchy as school is these days.


Don't you think you're exaggerating just a wee bit here. Not every teacher here is a 23 year old whose only work experience has been as Retail Salesperson.

Part of the problem is that experience and opinions of Native English Teachers are simply not taken into account when looking at curriculum changes. That's a lot of information and feedback which could be compiled which simply isn't.  When looking at changing a company culture, smart CEO's ask frontline staff for feedback. Whether they do anything with those results is up to them, but at least they are smart enough to develop a procedure where all that feedback just doesn't go to waste.

In any business, seek input from your frontline staff, and make changes if they are possible. The operation will run much smoother.

Online CO2

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2017, 12:08:58 PM »
Obligatory shout out to my favourite Tourism website entry.

 :police: *reads website*  Also on Heuksando Island are designated Cultural Treasures such as the Jiseokmyogun, Samcheungseokdeung, Samcheungseoktap, and Banwolseong.

Honey??? Do you want to see Samcheungseokdeung and Samcheungseoktap this weekend?

 :-* That sounds lovely! What bizarre sounding words!

 :police: Then it's settled. We will see these incomprehensible Korean words with no explanation.


Offline Aristocrat

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2017, 12:30:05 PM »
WRT textbooks:

I showed a couple German exchange students my high school German textbook, and they both had a good laugh. "What's this?" "Nobody talks like this!" etc. I'm reasonably sure it'd be similar if you were to show beginner-level textbooks for any language to native speakers.

Sure, the textbooks here have some goofy stuff, but that's okay. The point is more to prepare them for higher level classes than it is to prepare them to have fluent conversations with native speakers. They're laying down a foundation, not building the entire house.

That said, though, I've seen a decent amount of flat out mistakes in textbooks here. I've also seen some stuff that crossed the line from "slightly stilted beginner's English" into "this was obviously done with Naver Translate." Stuff that would've been found and fixed by a native-speaking editor, in all likelihood.

I'd say they really should work harder to prevent such mistakes, but honestly some days I need the laugh, so I'm kinda glad they're there.  :laugh:

True, I try not to be an insufferable, pedantic know-it-all when encountering things like "Can I come in?" in the textbook.
You're right, we shouldn't be too concerned as the purpose of these goofy books are to lay a foundation to build from. However, this is where the problem lies. The natural progression is to transition from rote memorization to speaking i.e.
once you've memorized the '1000 English words', practice forming sentences with them via communication. You'll make mistakes sure, but it's fluency before accuracy.
Koreans generally don't break away from memorization as it's deeply embedded in Confucianist culture, going back to hallowed antiquity. So, they're stuck sounding incredibly awkward when speaking English.

Offline Mister Tim

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2017, 03:14:27 PM »
True, I try not to be an insufferable, pedantic know-it-all when encountering things like "Can I come in?" in the textbook.
You're right, we shouldn't be too concerned as the purpose of these goofy books are to lay a foundation to build from. However, this is where the problem lies. The natural progression is to transition from rote memorization to speaking i.e.
once you've memorized the '1000 English words', practice forming sentences with them via communication. You'll make mistakes sure, but it's fluency before accuracy.
Koreans generally don't break away from memorization as it's deeply embedded in Confucianist culture, going back to hallowed antiquity. So, they're stuck sounding incredibly awkward when speaking English.

Yeah, that's the rub. All too often, language learners will build that foundation, look around, and say "All done!"
Admittedly that's generally because they're being forced to build a new house even though they were perfectly comfortable in the house they already had.  :laugh:

Offline Mr.DeMartino

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Re: S. Korean students think English curriculum impractical
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2017, 04:12:34 PM »
Part of the problem is that experience and opinions of Native English Teachers are simply not taken into account when looking at curriculum changes. That's a lot of information and feedback which could be compiled which simply isn't.  When looking at changing a company culture, smart CEO's ask frontline staff for feedback. Whether they do anything with those results is up to them, but at least they are smart enough to develop a procedure where all that feedback just doesn't go to waste.

In any business, seek input from your frontline staff, and make changes if they are possible. The operation will run much smoother.

In most businesses, the complaints have to be consistent and widespread or be averting some catastrophic mishap from the front-line staff for things to change. Most businesses tune out hundreds of employee gripes and "suggestions" because there tends to be widespread disagreement amongst employees or the ideas are poorly thought-out or they only reflect the interests of that particular division and not the entire operation, or they consist of little more than a suggestion box note/email that is 2 sentences long or is just some rant that delves into philosophy and politics.

If you've ever managed anything, you'll learn how many idiotic "suggestions" the lowest level staff has when it comes to running the company.