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Author Topic: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.  (Read 772061 times)

donovan

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5700 on: June 22, 2018, 08:30:43 PM »
Iíve discovered how menswear shops can get away with murderous prices for seemingly modest ajeossi polos: They double as athletic wear for your evening business-casual jogs.

Wear it with matching plastic-snap-buckle-belted *pleated* athleformal shorts (MSRP 250,000₩ 135,000₩) and youíre ready to hit the pavement as soon as you park the Equus.

donovan

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5701 on: June 22, 2018, 08:33:05 PM »
I’ve also noticed a lot of collar-flipped polo wearers out there this season since Thunderlips mentioned it a while back. The twist; they’ve been mostly ajummas.

Offline gogators!

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5702 on: June 23, 2018, 01:44:42 AM »
Iíve also noticed a lot of collar-flipped polo wearers out there this season since Thunderlips mentioned it a while back. The twist; theyíve been mostly ajummas.

#metoo?

Online JNM

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5703 on: June 23, 2018, 10:32:31 AM »
Iíve also noticed a lot of collar-flipped polo wearers out there this season since Thunderlips mentioned it a while back. The twist; theyíve been mostly ajummas.

I've noticed a few; mostly on 30~40 European males.

Offline JVPrice

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5704 on: June 24, 2018, 11:47:37 AM »
Do you think they just got together and copied each other as a group, making sure to change the topics so that the essays appear "different?"

Word gets around in my school about what questions I might ask during the speaking exam, for example (all provided to them prior to the exam, but they won't know which ones I'll ask or when), and a pattern gets determined. Then they kind of "coach" each other on how to answer and when. So what I end up with is a bunch of students telling me that the most important thing in their life is family in response to the question, "What are you going to do this weekend?" Because they're all expecting the same round of questions that I might have asked a different class. But I always change up which questions I ask and in what order I ask them for each class.

They try to beat the system by memorizing what they feel like will get them a good grade. Friends tell friends in other classes, and then classmates pass it on to other classmates. I even warn them that this isn't going to work for my exam and why it isn't going to work, and that they actually have to put in the effort to recognize the questions as they're being asked and respond appropriately to them, but there are still always a bunch of students who gamble and lose.

With this, I just found it best to randomize questions with every student, that way nobody can get any ideas of a pattern or attempts at playing the system
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donovan

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5705 on: June 24, 2018, 02:10:01 PM »
Iíve also noticed a lot of collar-flipped polo wearers out there this season since Thunderlips mentioned it a while back. The twist; theyíve been mostly ajummas.

#metoo?

No, I think thatís something else.

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5706 on: June 24, 2018, 09:16:24 PM »
As an aside to address some points brought up by others, I really don't think that a lot of KTs are aware of just how poorly many students perform during these exams because most of them don't listen in on them. They just operate under certain assumptions that kind of act as a barrier to communication and which keep a lot of teachers in the dark about what the students are actually doing and how they're actually performing. I'm basing this on the reactions I've observed from coTs whenever they witness just how bad students' application abilities are in various instances (and which KTs will usually excuse as general nervousness in the moment or something). In KTs' minds, high scores during written exams mean high scores during performance-based exams, too, and when that doesn't happen? It leads to assertions that the NET is using an overly strict grading standard not in tune with the Korean education system, which really isn't the case most of the time. The problem is many of the students don't take the performance part of it seriously and think they can bullshit their ways around it. And then many of THOSE students are also aware of KT assumptions about NETs, and, if they don't get the grade that they wanted, will try to use that as a tool to convince KTs that they were dealt an unfair hand. I know that this can vary from school to school, from student to student, and from KT to KT, but it's just a common pattern that I've personally experienced a lot.

The bottom-line is, I often jokingly ask students who tell me that they're nervous about the speaking exam whether or not they've studied and practiced for it using the study guide that they were given a month ago... and most of them will sheepishly admit that they hadn't. The speaking exam is already ridiculously easy. The standard isn't too high. Expectations are just unreasonable.

With this, I just found it best to randomize questions with every student, that way nobody can get any ideas of a pattern or attempts at playing the system

The problem is that they don't actually have a lot of questions they need to learn to recognize and respond to. That's part of the tragedy here. It's all about memorization and establishing patterns on which to base that memorization on, which isn't a bad method in and of itself, but too many students are overly dependent on it, overuse the method and apply it inappropriately, and aren't too good at thinking on their feet as a result. To make matters worse, I can only ask these questions in so many combinations, so patterns DO still pop up (there's just more than one), and many students try to take advantage of that. When I tested it out, I found that I had the same problem and to the same degree no matter how I chose to randomize it.

Students will always, always try to beat the system, and they will always try to decipher a pattern, even if there isn't one, so that they can put in as little effort as possible for the highest score as possible. There are always that group of students who think they're more clever than they actually are, and who, despite warnings, must learn the hard way that shortcuts can only get them so far.

Some students actually learn and improve their scores by a large margin in following years. Others keep trying to give me the business no matter what, and I don't know, maybe the students at my school are especially hardheaded and stubborn.

It's a never-ending struggle, and even the most "diligent" student can fall victim to the lure of the easy way out.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 11:22:05 PM by Chinguetti »

Offline Dave Stepz

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5707 on: June 25, 2018, 07:13:41 AM »
Do you think they just got together and copied each other as a group, making sure to change the topics so that the essays appear "different?"

Word gets around in my school about what questions I might ask during the speaking exam, for example (all provided to them prior to the exam, but they won't know which ones I'll ask or when), and a pattern gets determined. Then they kind of "coach" each other on how to answer and when. So what I end up with is a bunch of students telling me that the most important thing in their life is family in response to the question, "What are you going to do this weekend?" Because they're all expecting the same round of questions that I might have asked a different class. But I always change up which questions I ask and in what order I ask them for each class.

There is no doubt they got together, and yes two of them made sure to change a bit to try and answer the question.  It is just the language though.  It isn't 'Papago' because generally that is riddled with crap.  All their mottos, were different.  'Given grateful shade as I was given' 'Do the best, no matter what outcomes come' 'You only live once' 'Don't put off the thing for today'.  Only one of those are actually relevant to free time.  When I was checking the essays, the first time I read, 'my motto...' I thought, ahhhh, that's cute.  Then the second one came and I was a little  :undecided: , then by the third, I was like  >:(

For the essay evaluation, a week before I'll tell the students the main topic, which was 'Free Time' and then as I have six classes, they all have a different question on the day.  So I told them it could be holidays, hobbies or weekends.  What I saw from most students in their notebooks was three or four different essays that tried to answer the possible questions.  That is fine.  Writing is hard for students and it is usually hard for them to get an 'A' as there are always the 's's missing or 'the's strewn all over the place.  This time was no different.  I've done it this way for three years in my high school and it's been fine.  Like I mentioned earlier, I really like reading my students' writing and it is very interesting as it seems to be a release for them to write in English. 

Quote
The problem is that they don't actually have a lot of questions they need to learn to recognize and respond to. That's part of the tragedy here. It's all about memorization and establishing patterns on which to base that memorization on, which isn't a bad method in and of itself, but too many students are overly dependent on it, overuse the method and apply it inappropriately, and aren't too good at thinking on their feet as a result. To make matters worse, I can only ask these questions in so many combinations, so patterns DO still pop up (there's just more than one), and many students try to take advantage of that. When I tested it out, I found that I had the same problem and to the same degree no matter how I chose to randomize it.

Absolutely agree, it is just the system though.  If we were to try and change the system to make it more random, as in not telling the students a topic, then we'd get complaints as it goes completely against the Korean system, which as we know is seriously knacked.  For my speaking test, I have a list with ten questions, and the students pick chopsticks out of a cup with a number written on them, so it is their luck or not.  I remember at school, when I would ask what may come up in the test, we were just told the answers were somewhere between chapter 1 and chapter 10  :lipsrsealed: but usually we'd never ask as we knew we should just do all of it.  I think it's got a lot to do with the sheer volume that (especially high school students) have to study.  It is quantity over quality.  But then again, we all know that. 

Quote
Some students actually learn and improve their scores by a large margin in following years. Others keep trying to give me the business no matter what, and I don't know, maybe the students at my school are especially hardheaded and stubborn.

It is possible.  My students try really hard and honest.  Even on this occasion, this was their first writing evaluation as they are level 1 students, so maybe they didn't 'realise' so we'll proceed carefully.  My co-t will talk to them today and see what they say. 

Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5708 on: June 25, 2018, 07:41:31 AM »
Iíve discovered how menswear shops can get away with murderous prices for seemingly modest ajeossi polos: They double as athletic wear for your evening business-casual jogs.

Wear it with matching plastic-snap-buckle-belted *pleated* athleformal shorts (MSRP 250,000₩ 135,000₩) and youíre ready to hit the pavement as soon as you park the Equus.

Please never stop posting, waygook.org user donovan. You are the best poster.

donovan

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5709 on: June 25, 2018, 08:13:58 AM »
Iíve discovered how menswear shops can get away with murderous prices for seemingly modest ajeossi polos: They double as athletic wear for your evening business-casual jogs.

Wear it with matching plastic-snap-buckle-belted *pleated* athleformal shorts (MSRP 250,000₩ 135,000₩) and youíre ready to hit the pavement as soon as you park the Equus.

Please never stop posting, waygook.org user donovan. You are the best poster.

#i❤internetaffection

 :-*Love you, man~

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5710 on: June 25, 2018, 08:47:24 AM »
There is no doubt they got together, and yes two of them made sure to change a bit to try and answer the question.  It is just the language though.  It isn't 'Papago' because generally that is riddled with crap.  All their mottos, were different.  'Given grateful shade as I was given' 'Do the best, no matter what outcomes come' 'You only live once' 'Don't put off the thing for today'.  Only one of those are actually relevant to free time.  When I was checking the essays, the first time I read, 'my motto...' I thought, ahhhh, that's cute.  Then the second one came and I was a little  :undecided: , then by the third, I was like  >:(

Okay, sorry, I was a little confused by what you meant before. They might have used a previous essay from a different year or that they found online, then searched for mottos to insert. The topic or subject of mottos is a pretty popular one in Korea in general, so there are a lot of resources for them to pull from. A lot of my middle school students will choose it as their topic for something they're supposed to write, but the language often comes out strange, like in your examples. It wouldn't surprise me if they'd used an old middle school book, lol.

For the essay evaluation, a week before I'll tell the students the main topic, which was 'Free Time' and then as I have six classes, they all have a different question on the day.  So I told them it could be holidays, hobbies or weekends.  What I saw from most students in their notebooks was three or four different essays that tried to answer the possible questions.  That is fine.  Writing is hard for students and it is usually hard for them to get an 'A' as there are always the 's's missing or 'the's strewn all over the place.  This time was no different.  I've done it this way for three years in my high school and it's been fine.  Like I mentioned earlier, I really like reading my students' writing and it is very interesting as it seems to be a release for them to write in English.

Tbf, I don't consider that beating the system but actually trying to properly prepare for or engage in it. It helps to think things through and to practice writing prior to the assignment or to display more than one thought during, especially for people who aren't used to it or if they'll be operating under a time constraint. If I'd found practice essays or more than one essay addressing different questions that they were given, I'd be proud, honestly. That's a lot of effort. But then I'm used to working with students who consider writing three sentences in one go as too much work.

Absolutely agree, it is just the system though.  If we were to try and change the system to make it more random, as in not telling the students a topic, then we'd get complaints as it goes completely against the Korean system, which as we know is seriously knacked.  For my speaking test, I have a list with ten questions, and the students pick chopsticks out of a cup with a number written on them, so it is their luck or not.  I remember at school, when I would ask what may come up in the test, we were just told the answers were somewhere between chapter 1 and chapter 10  :lipsrsealed: but usually we'd never ask as we knew we should just do all of it.  I think it's got a lot to do with the sheer volume that (especially high school students) have to study.  It is quantity over quality.  But then again, we all know that. 

Yeah, this is the part that gets to me the most, is that even when students are basically being given the answers for something super, super simple, many still feel the need to cheat and bullshit.

I'm not trying to trick the students or change the system, the test isn't even designed to discourage memorization. They just need to use it in a genuine effort to produce, and not as a means to play the system. They're given everything that they need to succeed, it doesn't require much effort at all. But a lot of students still blow it off and then expect to be rewarded for it.

Seriously, the speaking tests in middle school are a joke. I'm doing things their way but still have to field the blame when students don't perform as expected.

This isn't anything new or exclusive to English, I've read and heard enough horror stories from KTs in all subjects to know that it's just part of the job, but it's especially frustrating when dogs can recognize simple commands in English better than your students (who've supposedly been learning the material for months) can, and then they tell you that the problem isn't with the students' abilities but with your grading standards.

I'm at a point where I'm going to start having coTs who are still giving me shit about it sit with me during the exams.

Quote
It is possible.  My students try really hard and honest.  Even on this occasion, this was their first writing evaluation as they are level 1 students, so maybe they didn't 'realise' so we'll proceed carefully.  My co-t will talk to them today and see what they say.

If your coT is ever able to get to the bottom of it, reveal their secret to me.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:18:02 AM by Chinguetti »

Offline alexisalex

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5711 on: June 25, 2018, 09:40:59 AM »
Is there anything more depressing than browsing the classifieds on Koreabridge?

Equal parts disgust and morbid curiosity when looking at the state of people's homes/personal belongings  :huh:

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5712 on: June 25, 2018, 10:25:02 AM »
This isn't anything new or exclusive to English, I've read and heard enough horror stories from KTs in all subjects to know that it's just part of the job, but it's especially frustrating when dogs can recognize simple commands in English better than your students (who've supposedly been learning the material for months) can, and then they tell you that the problem isn't with the students' abilities but with your grading standards.

Goddamn, that's savage and so true.
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Offline JVPrice

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5713 on: June 25, 2018, 10:30:07 AM »
Getting rather burned out with all this talk of pointless speaking tests and cheating students. I also just learned last Friday that it's illegal to fail students. There's almost no purpose, huh?
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Offline alexisalex

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5714 on: June 25, 2018, 10:35:02 AM »
Yeah I don't know how you guys all stay motivated.

I feel like this is all a huge waste of time  :sad:

Offline kyndo

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5715 on: June 25, 2018, 10:43:12 AM »
Getting rather burned out with all this talk of pointless speaking tests and cheating students. I also just learned last Friday that it's illegal to fail students. There's almost no purpose, huh?
It bothers me less when I mentally adjust my internal grading schema: anything under a 70 is a fail, 70-85 is a C, 85-95 is a B, and 95+ is an A.  :undecided:

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5716 on: June 25, 2018, 11:06:00 AM »
Well, there are the good students, and despite how much I hate the speaking tests themselves as they're kind of symptomatic of larger issues, I actually do enjoy interacting with the students on a day-to-day basis. Having a good relationship with them usually improves student attitudes over English in general. Most of them still hate studying it, but they come to learn to like playing with it, and it increases their confidence levels. For the right students, this can even provide a huge boost in their motivation to learn English more seriously. Even students that start off terrified of speaking English at all normally end up feeling comfortable enough to experiment with it by the end of the school year. This is what I get out of it.

The speaking tests are only two weeks out of every semester that I've got to worry about. It's just a small smear.

As for not failing students, their motivation is supposed to come from their entrances into certain high schools and colleges. While they may get to graduate, they will not get accepted into the schools of their choices if their grades aren't up to par, which is a big deal here in Korea because it can make or break your career path.

Offline Dave Stepz

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5717 on: June 25, 2018, 11:43:01 AM »
The system isn't good, but if you don't agree that all studying should end in a test then you can teach students interesting things that they will remember and you find interesting to teach.  You also take your little victories where you get them.  Whether you're not allowed to by crappy co-ts, or students think they're wasting their time, is another thing.  But them's the challenges, I suppose. 

My co-teacher talked with the students and they said it was their hagwon teacher who gave them a kind of template for this essay, so they could change little bits to answer the question.   :rolleyes: Firstly, what a div.  Whoever told them, used some really stupid phrases, and ones that anyone looking at it could tell they were not the students original ideas.  I'm going to go over it again and then we'll decide what score to give. 

Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5718 on: June 25, 2018, 11:44:11 AM »
Regarding not failing students, etc:

It's dumb, but it's just one symptom of a much bigger problem here: forced egalitarianism.

There are a lot of examples that are tangentially related. For example, senior citizens ride public transit for free. All senior citizens. Whether they're a multimillionaire or someone who picks up cardboard all day to support themselves, they all get this benefit. There is absolutely no reason that affluent people need to be provided with free public transit after a certain age, but everyone has to be equal.

Recently an allowance was introduced for all parents with children under five years old to receive 100,000 won monthly, in an effort to increase the birthrate. Again, independent of that family's income bracket, everyone receives it. Again, there are a lot of compelling practical arguments against providing people who are already wealthy with the same allowance as families or parents who are struggling financially. But, everyone has to be equal.

So, it brings us to school. Unlike western countries, where students can (I'm sure there are exceptions) move ahead or be held back according to their performance and ability level in school. But if that was tried here, the cries of 'unfair!' would be too many to manage, because everyone needs to be equal.


Obviously I'm really oversimplifying all of this. But there's a very strong "well if I can't have it, they can't have it" mentality, which is covered up by very superficial 'we're all a big family, Korea!' veneer.

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5719 on: June 25, 2018, 11:55:26 AM »
Well that was... interesting.

I went to my classroom, turned on the projector, plugged it into my laptop, but then rather than seeing my laptop on the screen, we were treated to the CCTV feed from one of the admin offices.  :laugh:

Apparently some people are here today installing a new system of some sort, and in the process it seems they mixed up some of the wires & connections running through the ceiling. We got the CCTV feed, and presumably the security office got a nice view of this week's listening activity. It was pretty funny in retrospect, but it seemed less funny at the time, since the result was I had to teach the entire class without video (so long, multimedia presentation I worked so hard on yesterday!).

It really makes me wonder why these maintenance things always happen during school hours. There have been many other times in the past where maintenance workers come in as I'm teaching a class and carry on with their business. I asked a KT why they don't just have that maintenance done after school hours or on weekends, and was just told "the workers don't want to do it then."

Okay.