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  • elsbethm
  • Veteran

    • 134

    • September 29, 2016, 09:26:54 pm
    • gangwondo
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2019, 08:00:35 am »
Language learning is facilitated by social context. People learn much faster by not understanding you than through listening to translated sentences from the Korean teacher.

linguistics-CREED constructions-rational-exemplar-emergent-dialectic (Ellis, 2006)

Explicit Learning in the L2 Classroom: A Student-Centered Approach

Ronald P. Leow - 2015 - ‎Language Arts & Disciplines
... “associative-cognitive” CREED, in which each letter represents the mechanisms of Construction-based, Rational, Exemplar-driven, Emergent, and Dialectic.

My experience definitely backs this up.  I have one gr.3 (elementary) class where the HR teacher disappears and one where the HR teacher stays.  The students in the class where the teacher leaves follow instructions wayyy better than the class where the teacher translates everything.

And to answer alexisalex's question.... lots of pictures, charades and tpr, translated words that we build into a sentence, lots and lots of ccq's and circle questioning. It works out surprisingly well.  That being said, I do prefer having a CoT there to check understanding etc in Korean.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 09:15:10 am by elsbethm »

  • Kayos
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1852

    • March 31, 2016, 07:13:57 pm
    • NZ
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2019, 08:36:03 am »
At my main school, my co-teacher comes to class at the beginning, helps me with the book half of my lesson.
Basically, checking in Korean if the students understand the stuff from the book, and helps them to figure it out.
She, usually, takes off after the book part, where I move onto the ppt, and give them more practice with the dialogue; she sometimes stays at this point too.
For grade 1 and 3, things go a lot better with her in the room, mostly on the behavior side of things. With grade 2, I'm fine with or without her.

At travel school 1. Grade 1 goes fine without the co-T, grade 2, only about 2 students will pay attention and try things without the co-teacher present, about 4 students with the co-T present (out of 7 students), and grade 3, with or without the co-T, things always go horrible. Out of 20 students, about 13 of them are soccer students, 12 of the soccer students hate ANYTHING that isn't soccer, and they rarely even listen to the Korean teachers. I've seen them break a door during math class, break a window during Korean class, they've lit a fire during English class too (they got in A LOT of trouble for the fire). The non-soccer students like English, but as most of the class hates English, they will do anything and everything they can to prevent the others from learning, to the point, even in my co-T's class there, literally only 1 or 2 students will pay attention and try to answer questions. I only get a single student in my class there.

And at travel school 2. Before my old co-t there changed schools, she would come to class, help out and all that but, once she changed, the new teacher doesn't come at all.
However, the students at this school are super quiet, and I've watched my co-t's classes there, and the students pay more attention in my classes than in his. So, I don't think there would be an improvement with him there at all; if there is, it'd just be a very small one.

  • lelsasser
  • Veteran

    • 114

    • October 02, 2016, 04:33:26 pm
    • Suwon, South Korea
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2019, 09:46:14 am »
In my personal opinion, and after some research in teaching young learners for one of my MA classes, I think Korean use is beneficial in the classroom, especially for low-level and new learners. While yes, I can speak some Korean, I am nowhere at the level of my co-teacher, obviously. She also studied English education and understand many of the issues that may arise in learning English that NETs may know, but never fully understand.
In our classroom, she teaches from the textbook for 20 minutes (and explain things in Korean to check comprehension), and she is also great for behavior/classroom management.  We teach at a very low-level school and lots of the children come from rough backgrounds. I am so glad I have her because this school is HARD. The other subject teacher (the science teacher), we once went through three in one term because of the students. When it is my section, the Grade 5 and 6s I can usually teach without her help. Unless it is a complex game, they might need some explanation.
If you can have a great working relationship with your co-teacher, I think it can be beneficial, but obviously, not all co-teacher and NET relationships are like that. A NET who has been here for 10 years? Maybe it would be different, but I have only been here for three years.

Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2019, 11:04:50 am »
Could you guys elaborate a bit more on the behaviour of your students? What exactly makes it difficult to teach Korean middle school students? I had always believed them to be very quiet and well-mannered?

Totally depends on the school and the community that supplies that school with its students. Makes a huge difference on those students' attitudes and their general behavior in the classroom.

Common issues when dealing with middle school students here revolve around a lack of motivation to pay attention or to do the assigned work. Instead, they'll try to talk to their friends, draw on the tables and desks, throw shit at their peers, sleep, etc, all while the teacher is speaking. When challenged, especially by the NET, they often rely on excuses they learned while in primary school, which often don't make any kind of sense, and they know it -- they're just used to believing that the teachers are really dumb/naive, and they behave as such. It's common for them to play ignorant, especially to get out of doing work, and will often try to bully group members into doing everything for them. They'll also try to bully their neighbors in general, and, if they can get away with it, they'll also try to disrespect the teachers in some way (like making fun of them behind their backs or mocking the way a teacher might have said something -- sometimes they're just trying to tease the teachers in a cheeky way, but a lot of the time they're trying to make the teacher lose face, so you have to make a judgment call on how to handle it when it happens). Open defiance, theft, assault, and back talk also happen a lot more often than people realize. Then of course you have students hiding out in bathrooms or somewhere on campus to smoke cigarettes, and skipping classes to visit PC bangs or convenience stores. There are also lots of examples of students trying to bully the teachers. Lots of methods for this.

I might see all of this more regularly than a lot of other NETs here Korea just because of the special nature and location of my current school, but I have seen and experienced all of this to some degree at pretty much every middle school that I've worked at. Some students are just smarter about it than others, and  know better about how far they can push and with whom. These are teenagers pushing for status, and if they have other problems going on outside of school, it's going to play out in school, too.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 11:07:08 am by Chinguetti »

Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2019, 11:55:38 am »
I think experienced teachers will recognise that as well, this is basically how you teach kinder/elem. So.. at first yeah if the learner has 0 level, a lot of showing (context) is involved. But the EDP forces the best communication and often that is NOT learnt from us teachers, but from other social groups (friends or TV). The social activity (Piaget) in the NET class induces these constructions to be recognised and then the grammatical understanding of the language 'emerges' from its usage. I had the same but then with Korean, studying Korean grammar and words at a language school was useless, by watching TV and using it with friends I started to 'understand' the language. I see many wonderful teachers here creating fantastically well devised products which they unknowingly create following these scientific principles. (Ellis, 2006; O'Grady, 1995)

Edited to answer your question
how social context is provided in the classroom
A student wants to complete a social task for which he needs to ask information from an 'expert'. (Piaget) Learning a language is therefore not a grammatical endeavour but a social interaction in which language is a tool to extract the necessary information from the social group that person is in to complete a task:

 Which items will you bring with you to a deserted island? Make a list and describe them.  Teacher, what is a jerrycan?

  If you as a teacher give effective feedback (do not correct mistakes but give the student prompts: He not have!  :undecided: Do you mean...He ...d.. He don havu! Well, he...? Then the student learns English from an expert (can also be classmates) because he has to produce a correct message (dialectic) to fulfil a task/activity. This is why your Korean co-T should never translate nor should we 'recast the correct sentence' when we correct students. Just indicate that the utterance was wrong and help them very gradually to the correct answer. ( I think that's Lyster& Ranta, 1998?).

 The better you design your tasks/activities the more learning takes place.
Now, you may have seen me lament a video of a hagwon which had a really great linguistically sound description of their programme, but when I saw the teacher show the programme on Youtube and drill the students I was ROFL at how bad it was. The activity should free you up as a teacher so you can become an expert who walks around and answers questions about the project. The actual language learning takes place while students are doing game/writing tasks or anything else independently without us.
You could facilitate or enhance this learning process in their ZPD by planning ahead and using the grammar constructions purposefully, months ahead when they appear as 'study material'' in a unit. I am actually planning on doing that when I'm starting the new year.

I could actually claim that Korean students learn much more from the NET than from the grammar classes with Ms Pak/Kim/Jung provided Ms Pak isn't translating each utterance into Korean.  ;D

I agree and insist that my CTs use very limited translation and usually, only after I give a cue.

Sadly, we're not living in a perfect world.
We could liken learning English to going to the gym. Effectively altering your physique requires consistent and effective training as well as proper nutrition, hydration and rest; a multi-faceted approach.

No matter how great an English teacher one is, 40min, once a week that isn't augmented by homework, grades and is usually undermined by 'Konglish', terrible pronunciation and anxiety brought on by many Korean English teachers just isn't going to cut it.

Last month, a 6th grade boy gave me a pretty heartfelt letter for teacher's day. He wrote that before coming to my class, he hated English and it gave him anxiety. With me, he explains that English is enjoyable and that he looks forward to improving his English. These days, this kid has his eyes and ears on me like a hawk, during lessons and he remembers the vocabulary and examples I teach.

I'm fully aware that my teaching style isn't the most effective way to teach a 2nd language, but the most effective methods are simply impossible to implement in the Korean education system. I learned my 2nd language at school (rarely spoke it at home) and truly sucked at it, but by the end of high-school, I'm confident that I can speak, read and write in my 2nd language at an upper intermediate to advanced level. I was taught through extensive reading, comprehension, speaking and homework.

  • HappyPlanetAbuser
  • Super Waygook

    • 263

    • May 30, 2019, 11:30:16 pm
    • in my car polluting your air
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2019, 12:42:16 pm »
Thx for the kind words. I think this is one of the better threads on the site and an interesting one to read as well. There is not a gold standard, I believe that we all (have) become great teachers one way or the other, but we all started out from the same position: we want to do well for these kids. I am in the midst of having the fortunate circumstance of being able to start completely anew with 5 classes of highly-gifted (IQ>130) 12 to 17-year-olds. I'm especially trying to figure out how to teach my 1st-graders (age 12) because with them I could affect real change but also wondering about how to teach all the upper years, too.

Currently, my students are saying that they liked the methodology of group work, projects and producing output with virtually no grammar at all, but surprisingly, one (underperforming) class said they would have preferred it if they had studied with the course book more. Overall my classes scored significantly higher on grammar tests (CAE-CPE) than the other classes taught by colleagues, completely in line with research results done in 1995 in New Zealand among 300 middle school students. Sometimes even 12 points higher on average on a scale of 100, class of 28-30 High school students.

@ lelsassor and everyone really:
Do you think it is necessary to have grammar instruction first before you introduce a (related) game or activity?

« Last Edit: June 24, 2019, 10:35:04 pm by HappyPlanetAbuser »
Who's ready for another 4 years of Trump 2020!

  • saffaTeacher
  • Newgookin

    • 4

    • January 06, 2020, 01:09:16 pm
    • Gapyeong, South Korea
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2020, 01:22:42 pm »
I don't have one and it's fine. However, for Korean translations, I feel it would help the kids when they don't fully understand. So i make do without one, but it for sure has it's benefits for the kids.

  • 303lmc
  • Veteran

    • 166

    • March 05, 2019, 05:23:12 pm
    • Gwangju
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2020, 03:04:57 pm »

@ lelsassor and everyone really:
Do you think it is necessary to have grammar instruction first before you introduce a (related) game or activity?

Yes, i think it would be helpful I don't 'play games" with my  classes until we have gone over the material. then I start with basic games, and end with a more complicated one. maybe not more complicated just using the material and grammar more

Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2020, 09:37:34 am »
Co-teaching can be effective if done properly. Many schools in America utilize co-teaching and it helps because students are able to learn the material from two different teachers/perspectives. In Korea, I've learned that every Korean teacher has a different definition of what it means to "co-teach," so sometimes they are effective, and other times they are not. If you work well with your co-teacher, then you will see it as effective, but if you don't have a system, it can be extremely tiring and troublesome.

One thing I will say is this: both you and the Korean teacher should be enforcing rules and using English. Don't rely on your co-teacher to always disciple students. There are ways you can get students back on track without even speaking to them (e.g. a student is talking to his friend. You can walk over to his desk and simply tap it. Usually this quiets the student). If you rely on your co-teacher to always enforce rules, students won't respect you and see you as an equal. At the same time, your co-teacher should be using English. This will promote English and improve students' English skills. Only in extreme behavioral/difficult material situations should Korean be used.

My advice to any new teacher coming to Korea is this: set up a system with your co-teacher and make sure it's consistent. If they are teaching instruction and you are doing the game, ALWAYS make sure it's that way. If you teach the entire class and your co-teacher only translates when needed, make sure you discuss how/when their help is needed.  If you don't want any help, say so. YOU MUST TALK TO THEM. Don't just assume they know what you want and what you are comfortable with.

  • Fidel
  • Explorer

    • 5

    • January 05, 2020, 07:44:59 am
    • Nz
Re: Do you really need a co-teacher in the classroom?
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2020, 11:26:43 pm »
Not at all (unless it is legally required of course).  It certainly wasn’t a requirement at the two high schools I taught at back in the day.  For language teaching full immersion without any native translation is proven to be a legitimate and successful option to drive language outcomes.   International students attending NZ public schools for example get no extra ‘translation ‘ assistance in class and make amazing progress being fully immersed in the language.  For behavioural reasons,  not needed in my schools but for younger elementary aged kids possibly but I would figure that classroom management is a competency you need to acquire quickly if you don’t already have it to give you the ability to manage it yourself.