This week was our first experience with our second site, Woorideul School. Although it shares the same goal, educating foreign students, this school could not be more different from Jiguchan. First, the students are aged 15 to 35 rather than 8 to 14. Second, a large portion of these students do not speak Korean. Lastly, the atmosphere has a much more serious tone than the playful nature of Jiguchan. This tone results in a much more sophisticated attitude needed from us as teachers.
Our work each day is broken down into three periods. The first period is a reading session in which we prepare passages and oversee pronunciation and reading comprehension. The interesting part of this period is that we each have our own class. For the first time during this program, we are teaching independently. As neither a Korean nor Chinese speaker, this is quite a challenge. My students are not proficient enough to hold an english conversation. Therefore, I have to get creative when explaining instructions as well as the paragraphs themselves. I have found that using science passages, such as the life cycle of a frog, are the most effective in that i can draw an accompanying diagram. Not only do the students enjoy commentating on my crude drawings, the pictures transcend language barriers. Everyone knows what a frog looks like regardless of the name you call it. The second period is a conversation based period in which Peining and Melody join my class along with a few more students. We prepare simple and useful dialogues that the students act out and then expand on. The students appear to really enjoy the scripts especially when the teachers get involved. Going forward, we will customize the scripts to incorporate the students names and interests. The third period is a basic vocabulary period for four students who are just embarking on their english journey. Many of the lesson plans from Jiguchan, minus the simon says and hot potato, have proved to be applicable to this period. As a whole, the periods differ vastly and therefore require more lesson planning and creativity on the part of the teachers.
Even though it has only been three days of class, I have already formed relationships with the students. Instead of the babysitter type friendships that were crafted at Jiguchan, the relationships forming at Woorideul are far more mature. Most of the students are the same age as me, so our interests align. A mutual respect exists and within that respect, friendship is fostered. I reflect on one of the students asking us to write a movie date dialogue for the next class. We happily obliged and brought back a humorous script that the students loved.
Although I miss my little buddies from Jiguchan, I am more than pleased with my new site.