Monday, August 18, 2014

Student Ridiculousness: a Small Rant

Yesterday, I taught an advanced level class where the students are preparing for internships in various locations around the world.  I'm covering the "general English" portion by doing discussion/listening/reading about various topics (that are interesting to me!) like Korea's aging society or workplace discrimination.

There were only 4 students in class yesterday and three of them were excellent, participating in class and trying to figure out new vocab and phrases and actually thinking about the issue and coming up with some constructive responses.

But, one of the students kept looking at her desk and not really participating, at all.  Her answers consisted almost exclusively of "yes," "no" and "I don't know."  When pressed for more details, she would just giggle.  I casually walked over to check out what she was reading and it was some kind of English grammar book, that was almost all in Korean.  And I thought to myself, how bizarre because it seems to me that her time, in a class of only 4 students, with a native English speaker would be far, far better spent actually interacting with that native speaker and the other students.  Like she's going to America in about 3 months, where she will have to actually interact with real, live English speakers on a daily basis.  I just don't get it.  Like really don't get it.

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1 comment:

sdell7 said...

Hi Jackie,
I can completely relate to this scenario. I assisted three students who were selected to visit Boston and tour the Harvard campus. We sat for weeks preparing them for their trip as they would be living with an American family and travelling around the city pretty much on their own. Two listened, one didn't and he came back and said it was sooo difficult and a waste of his time. The other two had a great time and couldn't wait to actually go back.

On the flipside, I was at the Korean festival in Vancouver on Saturday and afterwards ventured to Coquitlam which has a large Korean population. It was like mini Korea and if everyone interacted and lived around that neighborhood, I can understand why they would assume they wouldn't even need English. But that's missing the whole point isn't it?

Keep up the great blog!