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Author Topic: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?  (Read 1515 times)

Offline alexisalex

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2018, 09:23:48 AM »
Here's a question then...

When/if you take Korean classes, do/would you insist that your teacher speaks no English at all and that the class is conducted entirely in Korean?  CCQ/ICQs also in Korean.  Stuff like "open your book" and "turn the page" can be delivered in English so don't worry  :wink:

It depends. If it was a complete beginner's class, I'd expect some English, though not if other students in the class didn't speak English as that would be unfair. Your analogy is not strictly accurate, however, as NETs are employed as co-teachers. If I was learning Korean from two teachers, I'd be quite happy if one of them only spoke Korean, yes.

Yes good point and I agree.  But it feels like some people are arguing that the KET should also be teaching only in English which is extreme in my view.

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2018, 09:38:12 AM »
Here's a question then...

When/if you take Korean classes, do/would you insist that your teacher speaks no English at all and that the class is conducted entirely in Korean?  CCQ/ICQs also in Korean.  Stuff like "open your book" and "turn the page" can be delivered in English so don't worry  :wink:

It depends. If it was a complete beginner's class, I'd expect some English, though not if other students in the class didn't speak English as that would be unfair. Your analogy is not strictly accurate, however, as NETs are employed as co-teachers. If I was learning Korean from two teachers, I'd be quite happy if one of them only spoke Korean, yes.

Yes good point and I agree.  But it feels like some people are arguing that the KET should also be teaching only in English which is extreme in my view.

As a teacher trainer I've observed a lot of Korean teachers. I've seen some classes taught at low Elementary level only in English and some taught at upper high school level only in Korean. It all depends on the class level, the material, the aims, the function of the TTT etc etc.. When assessing a lesson you have to take that into account and decide how necessary L1 is. As long as the teacher knows why they used it and can justify it, that's fine by me. The thing that I can't accept that a lot of KETs do is just routinely translate all their teacher talking into Korean after every utterance. A complete waste of time.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 09:40:05 AM by eggieguffer »

Online Mr C

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2018, 09:42:53 AM »
Here's a question then...

When/if you take Korean classes, do/would you insist that your teacher speaks no English at all and that the class is conducted entirely in Korean?  CCQ/ICQs also in Korean.  Stuff like "open your book" and "turn the page" can be delivered in English so don't worry  :wink:

It depends. If it was a complete beginner's class, I'd expect some English, though not if other students in the class didn't speak English as that would be unfair. Your analogy is not strictly accurate, however, as NETs are employed as co-teachers. If I was learning Korean from two teachers, I'd be quite happy if one of them only spoke Korean, yes.

Yes good point and I agree.  But it feels like some people are arguing that the KET should also be teaching only in English which is extreme in my view.
It's not extreme, it's what you are hired to do.  You are expert in speaking English.  If Korean needs to be spoken, which is rarely, the Korean teacher should do it. 

I've been teaching (with some success, I think) in Korea for more than ten years and have hardly ever used Korean.  In a typical class, my co-teacher does not speak a single word of Korean either.  Occasionally, some Korean is needed/desired, for example, announcing a test, grading requirements, or something like that.  I would estimate that in a week (22 classes) less than 5 minutes of Korean is spoken by a teacher.

Offline alexisalex

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2018, 09:59:59 AM »
Here's a question then...

When/if you take Korean classes, do/would you insist that your teacher speaks no English at all and that the class is conducted entirely in Korean?  CCQ/ICQs also in Korean.  Stuff like "open your book" and "turn the page" can be delivered in English so don't worry  :wink:

It depends. If it was a complete beginner's class, I'd expect some English, though not if other students in the class didn't speak English as that would be unfair. Your analogy is not strictly accurate, however, as NETs are employed as co-teachers. If I was learning Korean from two teachers, I'd be quite happy if one of them only spoke Korean, yes.

Yes good point and I agree.  But it feels like some people are arguing that the KET should also be teaching only in English which is extreme in my view.
It's not extreme, it's what you are hired to do.  You are expert in speaking English.  If Korean needs to be spoken, which is rarely, the Korean teacher should do it. 

I've been teaching (with some success, I think) in Korea for more than ten years and have hardly ever used Korean.  In a typical class, my co-teacher does not speak a single word of Korean either.  Occasionally, some Korean is needed/desired, for example, announcing a test, grading requirements, or something like that.  I would estimate that in a week (22 classes) less than 5 minutes of Korean is spoken by a teacher.

Sorry to clarify, I said that it feels like some people think that the Korean English teacher (KET) should also be only using English.

I'm surprised your co-teacher rarely speaks Korean and it's interesting that he/she only uses it for admin related things, not to do with the teaching material.  Sounds like it's working well though and like eggieguffer said above, it all depends on the situation.

Online oglop

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2018, 10:49:21 AM »
I really really hate the idea of a strict "English only, no Korean" rule in a classroom.  I think that's an easy way to get yourself into a tricky situation.  What if the students don't understand something?  Will you then relax the rule momentarily as your CT translates into Korean?

Speaking Korean is fine in my opinion (as long you're competent and sure of what you're saying).  If it takes two seconds of translation to get everyone on the same page then surely there's no problem with that.  Go for it!

As an aside, I really wish I could find it again but I remember seeing a video of a NET teaching an elementary class and every time the students said something, he would say "마자요".  His coteacher was standing right next to him but every ten seconds, 마자요, 마자요, 마자요, 마자요.  Ok we get that you listened to episode one of Talk to me in Korean, congrats.
there's merit in getting the students to understand something in the target language, even if it isn't exactly what you're focusing on. the whole lesson is a learning experience and it's a good confidence boost to get the students to comprehend something without using thier language, rather than blitzing through the rules/concept in korean and only focusing on the (completely inane) target expressions from the book

i understand you only get, what 40 minutes, of class time, but if something is too difficult or conceptual for the students to understand using english, perhaps the activity is too complex

personally, i never use korean, and have never had any problems with students not understanding. you just have to use a lot of ICQs/CCQs

i'm not saying there isn't a time and a place for korean, but i think (korean teachers, especially, i've noticed) use korean in the class because they are either lazy, not very good at teaching ESL, or unconfident in their english ability and don't want to embarrass themselves

I think that some of us are put into situations where the material itself is too complex and way, way above the level of the students.  I've experienced in many times.  In those situations I would rather my CT or I give the translation in a split second (or at least get them close to it) and then let me focus on activities that get the students to use the vocabulary/grammar point naturally.

I suppose I'm quite lenient on Korean usage in the classroom because I think back to my experiences learning it.  If my Korean teacher had only spoken Korean it would have taken ten times as long to learn something that she could have explained in seconds.

My view is also influenced heavily by the fact I've only ever taught in a technical school (extremely low level English).  I'd probably think differently if I had had experience with other students.
yes. the english textbooks at elementary public schools are probably the worst ESL books i have ever seen. i don't even know where to begin listing all the things that i hate about them. it's also hard if you have multi-level classes

to be honest, i never used the books anyway. i'd just take the target grammar point/vocab from the chapter and make my own lesson based around that. more often than not, students didn't know how to use basic grammar points anyway (even very basic structures like present simple) even after years of english classes. half the time it seemed like the previous/korean teacher had simply been drilling set sentences, and students had no idea what they were even saying/the meaning behind the sentences.

teaching english at public school was nothing but an uphill, pointless struggle in regards to actually teaching english. the best i could do was try to make the classes interesting and memorable. i actually had a student i taught about 3-4 years ago email me recently, telling me some fond memories she had of our classes. so i know i was successful in some regard at least :smiley:


Offline Datasapien

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2018, 10:53:34 AM »
Going to copy and paste my response to the same question from Kor(ea)Share as there's a bit more of a lively debate going on here, and want to chime in with my two pence  :P. I think it's a pretty tricky question with many variables (teaching style, school culture, co-teacher expectations / usefulness, age of the students, textbook difficulty, classroom management ability, classroom dynamics, teaching experience / training ...) so I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all solution, but I also think that everyone can at least agree that English exposure should be maximised and reliance on Korean should be minimised.

My very short answer is yes, using Korean is okay.

My short answer is it depends on your students level and motivation (high level and/or motivation = no need to use Korean).

My 'too long; won't read answer' is:

My opinion, mostly developed from my own learning style when trying to tackle Korean but also from conducting research for my MA, is that learners rely on their L1 when trying to understand new content in the L2 anyway. L2 learning is intrinsically different from the way babies acquire their L1, so a blanket ban on the L1 1) fails to account for this intrinsic difference, and 2) fails to utilise Ss existing linguistic and world knowledge in the classroom. If students know the concept of 'truth' in their L1, they don't need to be subjected to L2 explanations / pictures where a simple reference to the L1 would suffice (for instances where there IS an appropriate translation between the L1 and the L2).

On the other hand, I think teachers have to be careful and use their judgement for when it's appropriate to use Korean. Sometimes it's possible to exclude the L1 (for example, showing a picture of an apple and saying 'This is an apple' doesn't require an explanation in Korean) but for more nuanced expressions or complicated grammatical rules, I think a brief and clear explanation in Korean is much better than a lengthy attempt in English which might just confuse students even further (for example, teaching middle school students the differences between 'should / have to / must / be supposed to'). I'm not advocating an approach where a large part of the lesson is in Korean, but I think never using Korean can do more harm than good in these specific cases.

As for interactions outside of the class, I think you have to play it by ear depending on the particular student. If they're high level, full English conversation. If they're intermediate or low level, allow them to use Korean if they're struggling but provide the English they need afterwards: don't have 100% Korean conversations with your kiddos. For the low level kids, I think just getting them to like you and interested in your classes is a battle won, so don't discourage them from talking to you by feigning ignorance at what they're saying.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 10:56:38 AM by Datasapien »
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Online eggieguffer

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2018, 11:08:45 AM »
Quote
(for example, teaching middle school students the differences between 'should / have to / must / be supposed to'). I'm not advocating an approach where a large part of the lesson is in Korean, but I think never using Korean can do more harm than good in these specific cases.

Assuming Korean students have had all these explained to them in Korean, how come they never know the difference between 'have to' and 'should'? Maybe using Korean wasn't effective in this case? Maybe giving simple examples in English would be more effective - e.g. Korean boys have to do military service, people should do exercise. 'Have to' is a rule or law, 'should' is a good idea. There doesn't need to be a lengthy explanation. The complicated grammar, the students can only understand by being explained it in Korean is usually the stuff they never produce correctly anyway.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 11:17:28 AM by eggieguffer »

Offline Datasapien

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2018, 11:22:35 AM »
Assuming Korean students have had all these explained to them in Korean, how come they never know the difference between 'have to' and 'should'? Maybe using Korean wasn't effective in this case? Maybe giving simple examples in English would be more effective - e.g. Korean boys have to do military service, people should do exercise. 'Have to' is a rule or law, 'should' is a good idea. There doesn't need to be a lengthy explanation. The complicated grammar, the students can only understand by being explained it in Korean is usually the stuff they never produce correctly anyway.

I agree that that is a relatively simple difference to highlight in English. But if I'm honest, the exact difference I was thinking of when I thought to use that as an example was between 'should' and 'be supposed to', where as you said 'should' is just a good idea but 'be supposed to' indicates an element of expectation from a third party.

People should exercise. People are supposed to exercise.

But anyway, this was just one specific example of a general point I was trying to make, that sometimes using the L1 can be a better choice.
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Online eggieguffer

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2018, 11:39:55 AM »
Assuming Korean students have had all these explained to them in Korean, how come they never know the difference between 'have to' and 'should'? Maybe using Korean wasn't effective in this case? Maybe giving simple examples in English would be more effective - e.g. Korean boys have to do military service, people should do exercise. 'Have to' is a rule or law, 'should' is a good idea. There doesn't need to be a lengthy explanation. The complicated grammar, the students can only understand by being explained it in Korean is usually the stuff they never produce correctly anyway.

I agree that that is a relatively simple difference to highlight in English. But if I'm honest, the exact difference I was thinking of when I thought to use that as an example was between 'should' and 'be supposed to', where as you said 'should' is just a good idea but 'be supposed to' indicates an element of expectation from a third party.

People should exercise. People are supposed to exercise.

But anyway, this was just one specific example of a general point I was trying to make, that sometimes using the L1 can be a better choice.

I have had to explain the meaning of 'supposed to' before but only to classes of adults with enough English to understand my explanation. The only example of grammar that's too advanced to explain simply and comes at a very early level of learning in my experience, would be use of articles. Or maybe 'there is/there are' as in 'incorrectly saying 'there has' or 'there is good.'

Another example of where Korean explanations of grammar don't seem to work is the use of the past perfect. Students I've come across who have all had this explained to them in Korean all seem to think it's used for distant past.

Online oglop

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2018, 11:48:24 AM »
haha. yeah, 'distant past'. i've heard that a lot, too

similarly, so many students seem to think 'will' is 'distant future', compared to 'be going to', which is 'near future'. apparently their teachers taught them this when they were at school

Offline daelight

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2018, 02:46:22 PM »
Interesting opinions everyone has on here.  ;D

Online T.J.

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2018, 04:24:55 PM »

"team three" not sam modem, "rock-paper-scissors" not dawi-bawi-and-so-on.




마자요, 마자요, 마자요.



Excellent examples supporting the argument that NETs should speak English only in the classroom.
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Online Mr C

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2018, 10:22:13 PM »

"team three" not sam modem, "rock-paper-scissors" not dawi-bawi-and-so-on.




마자요, 마자요, 마자요.



Excellent examples supporting the argument that NETs should speak English only in the classroom.
Oh, for heaven's sake.  That computer isn't equipped with Korean.

Online eggieguffer

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Re: Speaking Korean to students; yes or no?
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2018, 07:57:30 AM »

"team three" not sam modem, "rock-paper-scissors" not dawi-bawi-and-so-on.




마자요, 마자요, 마자요.



Excellent examples supporting the argument that NETs should speak English only in the classroom.
Oh, for heaven's sake.  That computer isn't equipped with Korean.

It was about speaking anyway, not writing.