Monday, April 7, 2014

Teaching: the Small Stuff that Matters #4: Patience

As a lead-up to the Busan-Gyeongnam Symposium (this Saturday),I'm previewing what I'll be talking about.

Today's tip is patience. I remember back when I took a Korean class and the teacher would ask me a question. It wasn't hard and I almost always knew the answer but she would only give me about 1/4 of a second before she would just answer it herself. And even after I told her to just give me like 2 seconds instead of a 1/4 second and that it was really annoying, she still kept doing it. Which is when I dropped out; it just made me feel stupid.

People's brains don't work that fast in another language, especially for beginners and they can often formulate answers but it just takes them a bit of time. So be patient. Allow for some quiet time. Thinking time. Ask a question and don't expect an instant answer. An alternative way to "be patient" is to let students answer the questions the first time in small groups or with a partner so that they have some time to work it out before they talk to you.

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