Thursday, May 20, 2010

A step in the right direction

In general, I have very few complaints about how my school handles teaching English.  And they really do a lot of things right, so I'm quite happy here.  One thing that they started was this English cafe.  My uni has lots of international students studying theology and they are all fluent in English since their program is English-based. So, for a few hours each day they get paid to hang out in this area and free-talk to whoever comes to visit them.  And lots of my students have gone and reported back to me about how it went.  They seem quite excited about it.  A guy from Pakistan, a woman from Nepal and someone from the Philippines are the people that I've heard about so far.  I think this is an amazing idea for the following reasons:

1. Free-talking with someone who doesn't teach EFL all day long is a whole different world.  It's the real world in fact.

2. The students can hear different accents besides mine or the North American one that they're generally used to in Korea.

3. I hope eyes are being opened to the possibilities that exist outside of Korea.   And they can see that other people have mastered English, even though it's not their first language.

4. It's relaxed.  No tests, no attendance, no classroom.

5. You can go speak English with your friends.  It's more fun and not so scary.

1 comment:

John from Daejeon said...

As an incentive, I let my young students watch episodes of "The Amazing Race Asia" to get a look at the rest of the world and what knowing more than one language can actually do for you. They were really amazed to see two brothers from Seoul during the third season speaking quite well in English, it was just too bad that their chicken wrangling ability wasn't as good and they were eliminated in the second episode; however, a South Korean woman did make it into the finals of the first season with her Malaysian boyfriend which brought up a couple of interesting discussions in class with some of the elitist/nationalistic students.