Waygook.org

Symposium => "Open" Discussions => Topic started by: Aristocrat on April 07, 2021, 10:27:37 am

Title: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 07, 2021, 10:27:37 am
I'm having some conflict with one of my CTs, regarding our teaching approaches, and we'll be having a discussion tomorrow. On a personal level we get along great, we've known each other for 5yrs. I got transferred to different schools and left our school after working together for 4yrs and this year I've been transferred back.

The main issue is that she doesn't like it when I deviate from the Key Expressions or vocab, even if they're awkward or contrived. She's got excellent classroom management skills (best I've seen) and is well educated and experienced, but still relies on the traditional rote-memorisation approach and sticking to the textbook.

In recent years, and thanks to my studies, I've tried to up my teaching game to a more Communicative Approach while keeping relatively true to the textbook so my CTs and students aren't completely lost and have a crutch to fall back on. I rely on a hell of a lot of learner-learner interaction since modern studies are proving that the majority of learning, particularly with languages, occurs more Constructivist style group activities (group presentations, discussions etc.) and not with teacher centred approaches. All my other CTs are perfectly happy with this, but she isn't.

I think she understands what I'm doing is correct, but her main concern is the parents. She's become very paranoid with what the parents might say and and complain about. She basically wants the lessons to be ridiculously easy, if even one kid complains that they have to put in a modicum of brain power into working out an answer she's scared that, that kid will complain to his/her mom.

Now, I don't want to make her life difficult, but I'm not prepared to suffer either. After a few years I realised that one of the biggest sources of personal stress was teaching boring lessons. I felt absolutely miserable when all I could do was get the students to memorise silly expressions and random vocabulary. On the flip side, whenever I had the opportunity to teach a lesson on cultural differences, comparing superstitious beliefs in Korea and SA, sports, gaming culture in the West etc. I'd have a blast and usually (not trying to be cocky) the students did too and they actually learned something useful. One of my CTs absolutely loved these lessons and encouraged me to do them as often as possible, I had a blast, even with the extra workload.

I realise I can't do that all the time so it's all about balance.
With the 6th lesson "I have a headache", I tasked them with preparing a group presentation on a particular virus or illness (from a list). They have to introduce the virus, mention 3 ways you can protect yourself from it, 3 symptoms and 3 things to do should you happen to get it. I provided them with a list of useful words and expressions. Their job was to arrange it into a very short presentation, prepare a simple poster to raise awareness and present everything as a group to the class.

She's extremely concerned that they might not know some words to which I replied that this is why I've been hounding her to get some age-appropriate dictionaries and that 4 heads are able to fill in plenty of knowledge gaps and their presentations don't have to be perfect. She's the only CT who has really taken issue with my approach and is so worried with what the parents might think. I dunno, maybe there's a lot going on behind the scenes at that particular school.


We'll see how things go tomorrow. My goal is to find the balance to keep myself, her, the students and the parents happy, probably in that order.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: yolopopo on April 07, 2021, 02:10:59 pm
You mention balance, so possibly do one lesson CA and then one 'traditional methods' (the co-Ts way). After, give a survey to the students to see which they think is better (as they are the 'customer').
     You could 'mask' the survey in a lesson about different learning strategies. Students seem to see real value in recognising, and having a better understanding how learners can differ in their approaches to learning (a foreign language).
      Of course, if you don't like the results of the survey then possibly a mix methods approach should be considered.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 07, 2021, 02:49:02 pm
You mention balance, so possibly do one lesson CA and then one 'traditional methods' (the co-Ts way). After, give a survey to the students to see which they think is better (as they are the 'customer').
     You could 'mask' the survey in a lesson about different learning strategies. Students seem to see real value in recognising, and having a better understanding how learners can differ in their approaches to learning (a foreign language).
      Of course, if you don't like the results of the survey then possibly a mix methods approach should be considered.

That's a good idea, but I've noticed that most students tend to take the path of least resistance and will ultimately be biased to whichever approach requires the least amount of effort or gets the time to pass quickest. My approach is bloated with learner to learner dialogue, in English, and focuses on developing communication skills. To keep their affective filter high (minimal anxiety and stress when speaking) almost all the speaking activities are in groups. Still, it requires thought and effort though I try to keep the challenge within the Z.P.D (Zone of Proximal Development).

Her approach is pretty much listen and repeat back or copy what's written, verbatim. There might be some gap fill exercises, but essentially, it's all about regurgitating the "correct" answer from the textbook. It requires minimal thought and if the students do have fun, it's because they're enjoying animations from a bomb game or getting a perfect score and beating their classmates.

Before I decide what to do, I'd like to hear her thoughts on how she would like to be involved in the lesson. Ideally, I'd like to focus my lessons on using the Key Expressions, or a modified version of the Key Expressions if I decide to alter them to be less contrived, and her lessons can be focused around memorising the textbook's vocabulary.
 
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: CowboyKubrick on April 07, 2021, 03:05:11 pm
Honestly, her approach sounds detrimental to student development and doesn't best promote their learning.  Implement the techniques and pedagogy you've learned to be beneficial as best you can reasonably do so while still maintaining a harmonious relationship.  Perhaps she might come around a bit if you focus on the key expressions and vocabulary from the textbook (along with other structures and vocab you think would be good to introduce) in the first unit of the lesson.  The textbook stuff is simple and kids can develop familiarity with it and beyond it in that unit, then she can hopefully be reassured that they have that knowledge basis the curriculum demands while you more readily move beyond it in the later units of the lesson.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: starryella on April 07, 2021, 03:05:52 pm
I do empathize with the issue of teaching silly sentences/phrases that are never used in English. I think all of us as NETs would agree that teaching natural conversational phrases is better for our students' functional English ability but I'm not sure how we can get around the issue of standardized tests which actually require them to have memorized these phrases. My Cheonjae book for grade 6 has a chapter called "When is the club festival?" ...What is a club festival????? I have no idea, but somehow my kids have to learn that phrase so they can be tested on it.

I usually try to explain to my kids when something is not common in English (or totally non-functional) and give them practical alternatives... but given that they are not being tested on the more natural phrases I give them, I doubt most of them recall them for long. I had a really good time with my CT last year who liked to take the time to discuss the issues with the text and go into more detail on alternatives (rather than just "you can say this instead!" as an aside). We spent some time dissecting some of the language and talking about when to use something or not. A good example was talking about the phrase "Cheer up!" in the sixth grade book, and we discussed alternatives like "I'm sorry to hear that" and gave some examples of WHY you shouldn't use "cheer up" when something serious has happened. While I'm sure most of my kids didn't retain the more functional language we discussed, my hope is they did get the concept as a takeaway.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 07, 2021, 04:24:03 pm
Selfishly, the main concern is my own well-being.

Since the textbook was not designed with scaffolding in mind, meaning the authors gave no consideration to the most widespread, popular and effective technique in education for the past 100yrs, the only real way to teach the textbooks' vocabulary and Key Expressions is to do nothing but Classically approached drills centred around rote memorisation.

Doing that kind of shit day in and day out might not bother her, but it makes me utterly miserable.

It's not our opinion that her approach is outdated and wrong, it's the opinion of pretty much all educational research over the last 40-50yrs. Still, I'm not trying to change her approach, I just don't want her to interfere with mine.   
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: DocH on April 08, 2021, 02:33:25 am
Selfishly, the main concern is my own well-being.

Since the textbook was not designed with scaffolding in mind, meaning the authors gave no consideration to the most widespread, popular and effective technique in education for the past 100yrs, the only real way to teach the textbooks' vocabulary and Key Expressions is to do nothing but Classically approached drills centred around rote memorisation.

Doing that kind of shit day in and day out might not bother her, but it makes me utterly miserable.

It's not our opinion that her approach is outdated and wrong, it's the opinion of pretty much all educational research over the last 40-50yrs. Still, I'm not trying to change her approach, I just don't want her to interfere with mine.

This makes me wonder what Korean teachers actually learn in their version of teachers' college. 

Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Kayos on April 08, 2021, 09:12:03 am
I have a co-t similar to this too, though she isn't worried about the parents, as she is retiring at the end of this semester.
So what we agreed upon is, I will teach the textbook stuff as is, unless it is really bizzare / or really wrong. Once we get to the bit where we are practicing the key expressions more, in my PPT I'll make the necessary changes for it to be used correctly. I'll usually touch on it when we ready over the study point at the beginning of the lesson, and remind them at the PPT and my co-t will explain it in Korean.
Then, outside of the textbook examples, I'll give them the correct way to use the key expressions that we are learning.

I typically use fill in the blanks, using enough pictures to get the point across, and they fill in the blanks from the pictures. I also like to use a bit more obscure things, for example, if I do a sport one, I might use jousting instead of soccer / tennis / etc. My students love this as they learn a new word, and often find the pictures for them funny. (Though, I likely wouldn't do this for elementary school).
I felt like this has striked a good balance with teaching what they need to know for their exams/tests, and teaching them how to use it correctly. If it's something that I can talk / use with them outside of class, I'll pretend not to understand the incorrect way then too, and that forces them to use it the way I taught them in class. I've gotten my students to stop saying "I'm fine/so-so" when I ask them how they are by doing this, and they sound a lot more natural when I ask them.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Chinguetti on April 08, 2021, 09:39:41 am
I'm willing to bet she's probably had issues with it in the past, plus the curriculum that she has to teach them is completely centered around their textbooks, for better or for worse.

My coTs are a mixed bag, some don't give a **** about what I do as long as the students are engaged, others want me to stick as closely to the book as possible, even when it's awkward, unnatural, or flat-out wrong. A lot of KTs and parents don't see the point in the NET program unless it helps improve student test scores in some way, test scores that have nothing to do with actual language acquisition, so the nail that sticks out gets hammered down.

I try to give them what they want (depends on why they want it, though) while also trying to make it as productive for the students as possible, but yeah, it can get frustrating when the KTs keep saying that something is too hard for students, when, in reality, it's only really hard for the KTs to deal with. I keep that in mind, though, because workplace harassment and bullying definitely does take place, and if I have a good working relationship with a coT, I'm going to try to ease that burden for them as much as I can.

So I will always seek a compromise to include content that the KTs either need or want, but I'm still going to do it my way as time permits. Yeah, I'll use bomb games because my KTs want and expect them, but not for every class, and I'm going to structure the questions in a way that requires real thought, not just memorization. I'll use the vocab included in the textbook, but I'm going to toss in a few of my own, too. If something is strange or unnatural or awkward, I'll still use it in class, but I'm going to make sure the students know that it's strange, and I'll provide them with natural alternatives.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: yolopopo on April 09, 2021, 10:28:14 am
This makes me wonder what Korean teachers actually learn in their version of teachers' college. 



We have a group of trainee teachers in at the moment, so I discussed this with them yesterday. They cover the history of teaching methodology, and then move on to modern/current approaches; using the communicative approach as an umbrella term it would include things such as TBL, PBL, etc. Pretty much what any post-grad course will cover for TESOL.
The trainees said CA is the dominant approach within Korea, but as recognised within the literature and relevant studies (see Li,1998 for example), implementing a 'western' approach in Korea has issues, namely, L2 proficiency of the teacher.

Whilst admittedly dated now, Swan and Smith (2001) give a good (simplistic) outline on how English is/was taught/learnt in Korea, and shows why (traditionally) Korean English teachers hold preference for teacher-centred instruction.

Personally, I think the majority of Korean English Teachers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have the knowledge, ability, and willingness to implement a variety of approaches, but exams such as the Suneung treat English as a science, not as an art.
Therefore, the 'real-world uses' for English in Korea is to pass grammar-focused exams.




Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: pkjh on April 09, 2021, 10:46:40 am
I usually try to explain to my kids when something is not common in English (or totally non-functional) and give them practical alternatives... but given that they are not being tested on the more natural phrases I give them, I doubt most of them recall them for long.
In every single class there are always a few students that actually remember this stuff. Not sure what level you teach, but occasionally I'm pleasantly surprised at some of my middle school students that remember some of the side-comments I've said in class.


I'm willing to bet she's probably had issues with it in the past, plus the curriculum that she has to teach them is completely centered around their textbooks, for better or for worse.
For sure, lots of parental/office politics involved that as NETs we're largely shielded from.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: yolopopo on April 09, 2021, 11:02:45 am

Before I decide what to do, I'd like to hear her thoughts on how she would like to be involved in the lesson. Ideally, I'd like to focus my lessons on using the Key Expressions, or a modified version of the Key Expressions if I decide to alter them to be less contrived, and her lessons can be focused around memorising the textbook's vocabulary.
 
[/quote]

Apologies, I've only ever co-taught at summer/winter camps so I have relatively little experience managing relationships with co-ts. However, what you have mentioned above about understanding the level of collaboration between the two of you sounds like a good starting point.
It might be worthwhile for both of you to discuss your experiences,good and bad, of learning an L2. I found this to be a softer/indirect way of critiquing methods.


Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 09, 2021, 12:07:46 pm
We have a group of trainee teachers in at the moment, so I discussed this with them yesterday. They cover the history of teaching methodology, and then move on to modern/current approaches; using the communicative approach as an umbrella term it would include things such as TBL, PBL, etc. Pretty much what any post-grad course will cover for TESOL.
The trainees said CA is the dominant approach within Korea, but as recognised within the literature and relevant studies (see Li,1998 for example), implementing a 'western' approach in Korea has issues, namely, L2 proficiency of the teacher.

Whilst admittedly dated now, Swan and Smith (2001) give a good (simplistic) outline on how English is/was taught/learnt in Korea, and shows why (traditionally) Korean English teachers hold preference for teacher-centred instruction.

Personally, I think the majority of Korean English Teachers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have the knowledge, ability, and willingness to implement a variety of approaches, but exams such as the Suneung treat English as a science, not as an art.
Therefore, the 'real-world uses' for English in Korea is to pass grammar-focused exams.

This pretty much nails it.

The Korean education system doesn't have anything even resembling and English curriculum. There's also zero discipline policy for public schools, no demerit system, no detention, nothing. Corporal punishment was made illegal in 2009, yes, but you can't outlaw the main discipline strategy and leave nothing in its place.

Korean teachers, at least the well-qualified ones, are essentially pilots who studied Aviation, Physics and trained for years to get their pilot's license... but are only permitted to transport passengers using a bicycle.

However, while there are certainly Korean teachers who can't use the modern pedagogical processes they've studied, many choose and prefer a strong teacher centred approach with rote memorisation because... they can't communicate in English. The traditional approach is a massive safety net.

Either way, what we can conclude is that those responsible for making educational policy are some of the most ignorant and short-sighted morons on Earth.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: pkjh on April 09, 2021, 12:45:34 pm
There's also zero discipline policy for public schools, no demerit system, no detention, nothing. Corporal punishment was made illegal in 2009, yes, but you can't outlaw the main discipline strategy and leave nothing in its place.
They do have a demerit system, those green mileage points. If you get too many of those, it doesn't look good on applications to high schools, or post-secondary institutions. Of course NETs are rarely given knowledge of this, and for those 'lost' students who don't care about finishing high school it doesn't help.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 09, 2021, 01:15:58 pm
They do have a demerit system, those green mileage points. If you get too many of those, it doesn't look good on applications to high schools, or post-secondary institutions. Of course NETs are rarely given knowledge of this, and for those 'lost' students who don't care about finishing high school it doesn't help.

That's a terrible system. It's also not a discipline system.

A discipline system is part of education, not vindictiveness. It's put in place as negative reinforcement in the context of education. In other words, the point is to help learners correct their behaviour; the learner sits in detention for an afternoon or is given extra homework, yes it sucks, but the reinforcement encourages them to control/correct their behaviour and gives them an opportunity to do better. It doesn't potentially ruin their future.

What kind of f*cked up educator would put that kind of thing on their student's permanent record? More importantly, what kind of idiot thought that system was a great idea?
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Mr.DeMartino on April 09, 2021, 01:53:14 pm
What kind of f*cked up educator would put that kind of thing on their student's permanent record? More importantly, what kind of idiot thought that system was a great idea?
Militaries and service academies function on such a system. Probably where it trickled down from. Not saying that was a good decision, just that's probably where it came from, which sort of makes sense at some point in the past of Korea's history and combine that with some person who got to where they were through relentless study and thinks that's how everyone thinks and voila- that's what you get. Maybe it made sense then in like the 60s. Now? Probably not so much.

Now, its effectiveness is dependent on how much the student body tends to value going to a good school. In Korea it might be more of a deterrent than you think. There are some real consequences to going to different high schools and real consequences at home and socially. A student who is facing not going to the high school all their friends are going to will have strong incentive to not earn any more demerits, also same if a girl they like is going there. There is also still some social status tied to academic achievement, so there is that.

At the same time of course, even if it is more effective, there are students with whom it will be wholly ineffective. It's sort of similar to detention- Good deterrent for good students, terrible deterrent and method for bad students. So yeah, the system isn't completely moronic, I'd just say it's not really effective by itself, and by not really effective, I'd say really not really effective (probably only effective for 10-25% of students, maybe 40% tops at high-level schools). It really needs other forms of discipline along with it if it is to work. Even militaries that use demerits also have other punishments such as revoking leave, menial duties, CP in the old days, etc.

Quote
In other words, the point is to help learners correct their behaviour; the learner sits in detention for an afternoon or is given extra homework, yes it sucks, but the reinforcement encourages them to control/correct their behaviour
What follows below is long-winded whathaveyou. You can skip to the final paragraph for the ultimate point.

As someone who frequently found himself in detention during one phase of my youth, I think for recidivists, it doesn't have much of a deterrent or corrective effect. For good students, certainly, but its not like anything super bad is happening so the deterrent effect isn't that great. I mean, in high school I once got In School Suspension for socking a kid in the face. One day of ISS. Did this do anything to make me regret what I did or deter me from getting in another fist fight? Not really. What changed was about a year later I finally realized I had been a bit of a dick that day. I'd say either personal counseling or brutal physical labor are better deterrents. Something that really makes you stop and think before you do something OR really tries to address the problem.

Deterring bad students with detention is like deterring crime with having to spend a night in a holding cell. That's not really a deterrent. Heck, holding (and detention) were both almost like a party sometimes. I mean, in some cases you just get to chill out and relax. Other times everyone is laughing and joking and having a blast. Also, the person in charge of detention, a lot like the COs, is probably talking and bsing with you too. I mean, it's not like teachers volunteer for detention. They get assigned to do it. You get some teacher having to stay an extra hour or two on a Friday afternoon while the rest are off to whatever TGIF they have going on, they're going to want the time to fly-by as well.

Also, if you have an optimistic personality, it's really hard to make something a punishment sometimes. Such a person will always find something good about the situation. Like, when I had lunch detention, I got extra food and it was kind of fun doing dishes in a weird way. Do good honest work and try and figure out how to do a task efficiently and so on. Get to learn stuff. Then there was the detention where I had to copy Bible pages. That was good- Same as jail: You do spend some time with the Good Book. Dictionary page copying detention? Alright, learn some new words. Just sit there quietly detention? Alright, either sleep and I have a good imagination I can entertain myself. Bored Teacher detention? Spend the hour talking. ISS? All the fun people are there from time to time- and you get to chill with Dr. Abdul-Aziz and he'll talk to you about life (probably actually the one good, corrective part of detention was talking about life with Dr. A-A). I mean, none of those really worked. I never was a super delinquent or did anything habitually bad, but yeah, regular busts for petty stuff, and you're in and out.

What is the solution then? I really think a mixed approach is what you need. Students are different. If some relentlessly driven academic type is threatened with demerits, that could have a real effect. On the other hand, for students who are really energetic, detention could be effective. For students who are physically lazy, some kind of work or exercise might be effective. And for students who seem to only respond to force, CP might be appropriate.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 09, 2021, 02:54:14 pm
Militaries and service academies
...are not schools for children.

If a former employer has it in for you, you could at least omit your record of working there from your C.V.
If, for whatever reason, you get one of those demerits on your school record, there's no way to get it expunged. It's worse than a criminal record, which can at least be wiped from your record.
You'll never have the opportunity to go back to public school to change you records.

What follows below is long-winded whathaveyou. You can skip to the final paragraph for the ultimate point...

I landed myself in detention, constantly, as did many of us here. Pretty much all of what you've written is purely anecdotal, that's not going to cut it. What you seem to be making a case for is some kind of Humanistic/multifaceted approach. In reality, that's not going to work unless you're the most accomplished and experienced teacher on Earth. You're also assuming your classroom size, allotted time, school policy and a myriad of other factors are going to magically blend with this ad-hoc discipline strategy you've concocted.

I'm talking about Philosophical approaches to education based on decades of research as well as theories in Psychology (in this case Behaviourism, which while traditional, has flexibility and a track record of actually working over many, many years). These aren't my little pet theories.

Get or read this book. 300pgs how to effectively manage a classroom and an entire chapter making a case for detention and how to implement it... it's not as simple as "Go to detention, you bad boy!" Detention is part of a 20-step programme when it comes to discipline.

https://www.worldcat.org/title/educators-guide-to-effective-classroom-management/oclc/900404037


Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: DocH on April 09, 2021, 10:33:08 pm
We have a group of trainee teachers in at the moment, so I discussed this with them yesterday. They cover the history of teaching methodology, and then move on to modern/current approaches; using the communicative approach as an umbrella term it would include things such as TBL, PBL, etc. Pretty much what any post-grad course will cover for TESOL.
The trainees said CA is the dominant approach within Korea, but as recognised within the literature and relevant studies (see Li,1998 for example), implementing a 'western' approach in Korea has issues, namely, L2 proficiency of the teacher.

Whilst admittedly dated now, Swan and Smith (2001) give a good (simplistic) outline on how English is/was taught/learnt in Korea, and shows why (traditionally) Korean English teachers hold preference for teacher-centred instruction.

Personally, I think the majority of Korean English Teachers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have the knowledge, ability, and willingness to implement a variety of approaches, but exams such as the Suneung treat English as a science, not as an art.
Therefore, the 'real-world uses' for English in Korea is to pass grammar-focused exams.

Well, fair enough. 

However, I never read or hear about ANY Korean teacher working and communicating with the NET and explaining this to them. As you said, they have the ability.  So, that just leads me to believe they are either lazy, incompetent, resentful or just love setting up NETS to fail, in their own passive-aggressive way(s). 
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Kyndo on April 12, 2021, 07:19:57 am
Well, fair enough. 

However, I never read or hear about ANY Korean teacher working and communicating with the NET and explaining this to them.

The corollary of this, of course, is that you've never read or heard about any NET sitting down and discussing the topic with their coworkers, which really is something all of us should be doing on a regular basis. The blame on this failure of communication in this particular situation is definitely 50% on the KET and 50% on the NET.

Also, just so that you can never use that example again, *I've* had a few different coteachers talk about this with me. A lot of teachers, especially the younger ones are pretty interested in comparing and discussing the differences in teacher education between Korea and other countries. Great topic for generating friendly arguments!  :smiley:
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Aristocrat on April 12, 2021, 08:15:43 am
The trainees said CA is the dominant approach within Korea, but as recognised within the literature and relevant studies (see Li,1998 for example), implementing a 'western' approach in Korea has issues, namely, L2 proficiency of the teacher.

This is very true, though I still doubt CA is the "dominant approach within Korea". In all my years I've yet to see the English language divided into competencies and any of them taught in a CA manner. Perhaps it's the dominant approach that's taught
at university, but even then... it makes no sense.

No domestic educational degree wouldn't take into account the national curriculum. Korea's English curriculum, if you can call it that, couldn't be more incompatible with the CA. If universities are going to maintain that CA is the dominant pedagogical approach that is taught then it's all for show.

L2 proficiency is a big issue though. My CT has taught as a contract English teacher for 13yrs. We've taught together for 5yrs and her English has not improved, there's no excuse. Not once have I seen an English novel on her desk, the only time she'll read or watch anything in English is if she has to.


 
Whilst admittedly dated now, Swan and Smith (2001) give a good (simplistic) outline on how English is/was taught/learnt in Korea, and shows why (traditionally) Korean English teachers hold preference for teacher-centred instruction.

Personally, I think the majority of Korean English Teachers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They have the knowledge, ability, and willingness to implement a variety of approaches, but exams such as the Suneung treat English as a science, not as an art.
Therefore, the 'real-world uses' for English in Korea is to pass grammar-focused exams.

Even the approach to maths and science, in Korea, is outdated, it's not Constructivist.

I agree that once Korean English teachers get to school, they throw away everything they learned at university and just teach they way they were taught at school, which is a Confucian educational approach.
Title: Re: Finding the balance in teaching
Post by: Mr.DeMartino on April 12, 2021, 02:39:34 pm
...are not schools for children.

If a former employer has it in for you, you could at least omit your record of working there from your C.V.
If, for whatever reason, you get one of those demerits on your school record, there's no way to get it expunged. It's worse than a criminal record, which can at least be wiped from your record.
You'll never have the opportunity to go back to public school to change you records.
Oh I agree. I'm not saying I agree with the system, Just that I understand where it came from and the mentality that started it. But time has marched on since those days.

Quote
What you seem to be making a case for is some kind of Humanistic/multifaceted approach. In reality, that's not going to work unless you're the most accomplished and experienced teacher on Earth. You're also assuming your classroom size, allotted time, school policy and a myriad of other factors are going to magically blend with this ad-hoc discipline strategy you've concocted.
Well I wouldn't say that. I mean, there's not much that would have to be done to say, have a teacher choose between some type of counseling, detention, physical labor, corporal punishment, and maybe a few others. Basically one of the problems is that two of those have been eliminated as "barbaric" but the fact is that some students do not respond to other punishments but will respond to those. It's not like you'd have to build some new facility at the school and have a bunch of equipment

My comments on detention are in regards to detention as I experienced it, which I think were fairly typical for American children or at least children in my state, given that I experienced their various forms at several different schools (Private, Catholic, Public), That being said, detention might be quite different elsewhere.