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  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Parents views on native English teachers
« on: November 27, 2011, 07:47:57 pm »
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/11/117_99648.html
Interesting to see the different views on NETS. I wonder if this survey will have any impact on the governments moves to decrease NETs.


  • Frozencat99
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    • October 09, 2011, 04:31:36 pm
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Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2011, 08:25:35 pm »
The preference for Koreans with excellent English-skills is most interesting. I wonder if a shift toward hiring NETs for university education (as in, teaching Korean teachers English) will be witnessed.
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  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

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Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 05:44:55 am »
I agree with the comment that the reason students prefer Korean-English Teachers is that they get taught English in Korean, if that makes sense.

In my country we all had to learn a 2nd language and there was no way in hell we ever heard an English word in that class. We, therefore, mastered the 2nd language.  The Elementary Grade 3 textbook we use for English has barely got an English word in it. Everything is in Korean except for the title of the chapter, absolutely pointless.
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Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 06:35:17 am »
Quote
I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I dont think the teacher was very helpful. Personally, I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams, said Chung Yoon-sik, a high school senior at Choong Ang High School.

Many students don't care about actually learning to speak the language, the exams are all written! 


  • Jeff619
  • Expert Waygook

    • 816

    • May 26, 2011, 08:12:52 am
Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 06:52:12 am »
Quote
I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I dont think the teacher was very helpful. Personally, I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams, said Chung Yoon-sik, a high school senior at Choong Ang High School.

Many students don't care about actually learning to speak the language, the exams are all written!
This stuck out to me as well.  It doesn't seem to be about learning English, but being able to pass the exam.  I also found it interesting that the kids preferred at Korean teacher.  My co-teachers speak almost no English in class.  Of course the kids prefer that.  At the very least, they have to break out of their comfort zone when I'm teaching.  I personally think we'd be more successful if we didn't teach with the K-teachers.  It seems pointless for me to teach when my co-teacher is just translating everything I say.


  • ACofOntario
  • Veteran

    • 99

    • September 27, 2011, 01:38:33 pm
    • Busan, South Korea
Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 10:55:21 am »
I agree with what the article says.  Foreign teachers are great for advanced students, but we are rather inefficient for low level students.

I agree with the comment that the reason students prefer Korean-English Teachers is that they get taught English in Korean, if that makes sense.

In my country we all had to learn a 2nd language and there was no way in hell we ever heard an English word in that class. We, therefore, mastered the 2nd language.  The Elementary Grade 3 textbook we use for English has barely got an English word in it. Everything is in Korean except for the title of the chapter, absolutely pointless.

I kinda agree with you, but in another way I don't.  In order to learn a language, you need maximum exposure and use... but on the other hand, if you are a beginner who only knows a few words and expressions, there is no point in sticking you with fluent native speaker who cannot communicate with you. Baby steps.  At a low level, you need translation, interpretation, explanation in a language you understand to learn efficiently.  Or else, the teacher just spews out Gibberish to you.  Imagine going to your first Korean class and being confronted with a Korean who knows zero English. It doesn't matter if he has a PhD in Korean, he would be a totally useless second language teacher.

I also learned a 2nd language, but my experience was very unique since I grew up in a billingual environment... but now that I am learning Korean, I can definitely see how we are mostly for show as English teachers. What I believe we ARE very useful for, is familiarizing Koreans with a foreign presence in their culture.  This is where we are helping them most... I have taught my Korean friends countless things about my culture, and language is only part of it.


  • Yu_Bumsuk
  • The Legend

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    • March 03, 2011, 02:10:36 pm
    • Hicksville, ROK
Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2011, 11:11:02 am »
"Most of them also preferred the placement of native English teachers at only elementary and middle schools. "

That will really change with the NEAT. NETs who can teach it are really going to be needed in academic HSs, and students will not see them as unimportant window dressing. Of course I also expect a lot of opposition to the NEAT and possible delays.




Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2011, 11:23:56 am »
Quote
I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I dont think the teacher was very helpful. Personally, I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams, said Chung Yoon-sik, a high school senior at Choong Ang High School.

Many students don't care about actually learning to speak the language, the exams are all written!

Is he talking about the exams that the KTs themselves write and won't let us see??
I have to agree about the lower levels, though.


  • flasyb
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1901

    • November 30, 2010, 12:10:03 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2011, 11:30:53 am »
Quote
I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I dont think the teacher was very helpful. Personally, I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams, said Chung Yoon-sik, a high school senior at Choong Ang High School.

Many students don't care about actually learning to speak the language, the exams are all written!

Exactly. I'll interpret this for those who don't know the high school system in Korea. What he meant (whether he knows it or not) was:

"I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I don't think the teacher was very helpful because he didn't translate everything, speak exclusively in Korean and if I wanted to learn in his class, I had to pay attention. I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams because my Korean teachers can spoonfeed me the answers to the exams and the exam is 60% Korean anyway."
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  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5733

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
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Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2011, 11:44:33 am »
Quote
I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I dont think the teacher was very helpful. Personally, I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams, said Chung Yoon-sik, a high school senior at Choong Ang High School.

Many students don't care about actually learning to speak the language, the exams are all written!

Exactly. I'll interpret this for those who don't know the high school system in Korea. What he meant (whether he knows it or not) was:

"I had a class taught by a native teacher in middle school but I don't think the teacher was very helpful because he didn't translate everything, speak exclusively in Korean and if I wanted to learn in his class, I had to pay attention. I think Korean teachers are more helpful in preparing for exams because my Korean teachers can spoonfeed me the answers to the exams and the exam is 60% Korean anyway."

That is it exactly. Monkey see monkey do, that is what is expected here, nothing outside the comfort zone.
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Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2011, 12:05:21 pm »
Imagine going to your first Korean class and being confronted with a Korean who knows zero English. It doesn't matter if he has a PhD in Korean, he would be a totally useless second language teacher.

I did this here in Korea. My Korean teacher either genuinely spoke no English (beyond, one assumes, "Hello"), or was very good at pretending otherwise. I actually learned a huge amount in a small time, because a) the teacher was excellent at her job, b) there were less than a dozen students in the class, c) all of the students were motivated to learn the language, and d) the teacher had high expectations for us.

English-only kindergartens operate all over this country, throwing small children into environments where they are unable to understand a word. These kindergartens are overwhelmingly successful, because people are built to learn languages, especially at a young age. If there is a real need to speak the language in order to communicate, most people will learn. In the average Korean public school classroom, however, there is no need to speak English in order to communicate to your teacher, so why bother?

Really, I think this argument is overlooking something very important: students with a shared native tongue. The teacher doesn't need to make things clear to every single student -- students can, and will, help each other understand if there's incentive to do so.


  • Paul
  • Featured Contributor

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    • September 21, 2010, 10:28:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Parents views on native English teachers
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2011, 12:26:22 pm »
Imagine going to your first Korean class and being confronted with a Korean who knows zero English.

Heh, no need to imagine. And yeah, it was near impossible to follow. She spoke faster than the average Korean, rarely if ever repeated a word, let alone an entire phrase or instruction. I was able to follow somewhat (and those sitting next to me thus were too) because I'd done a little self study, but most students were learning nothing. Thought of the day: Compare and contrast this situation to a classroom of true beginners with a lone English hagwon attendee. Of course, there were no flashcards or anything visual in this class.

Recall that the very observations that spawned the Direct Method (teaching French in French, English in English, Korean in Korean etc) came from an already established class whose native teacher took over solo for a short span. I hear this story quoted time and time again with no regard to any studies that followed (no academic access so I admit I haven't read the papers) and then the argument that it should apply to true beginners. Or that there are no true beginners in Korea, because, y'know KOREA! It's all about limiting the classroom language you use to that which the students know or could figure out from what they know (ZPD etc etc).

I think the method can and does work even with young true beginners, but you must be prepared to provide instruction in any language terms before recalling these terms becomes a prerequisite to participation. Common sense I know, but it gets overlooked so often. So even just a bilingual vocab list issued prior to the lesson could suffice for adult learners if it's of reasonable short length. In a primary school setting, visual cues are the common solution. I'd suspect the problem creeps up again at high school level because suddenly you're getting into nuances then, rather than plain old vocabulary, grammar and colloquial expressions. It's a whole new ballgame and the methods the students have to cope with direct instruction may break down.

Thank you for sharing that link Jeff. It's always interesting to see some general opinions, even if they do risk being cherry picked by the Korea Times.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 12:44:39 pm by Paul »
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