Journal 5

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Journal 5

Post  Sera Jung on Sat Jun 07 2008, 13:54

Last winter vacation, I participated in ‘Winter English camp’ at chilgok middle school for 2 weeks as an assistant teacher. The purpose of this program was that students had more chances to meet natives and practice speaking English. There were 4 classes, two for 1st grade and two for 2nd grade students and 15 students in each class. Students learned English from 4 native English teachers a day through various activities. Also 4 assistant teachers were assigned to each class to help students understand English better when they had trouble communicating with natives.

As there were not many opportunities for students to speak English in usual English class, they were so quiet and seemed to feel uncomfortable when they used English. Though students had some ideas and answers in mind, they just thought and kept silent during the class. However their participation and confidence were not always like that. Depending on teacher’s competence and activities in class, atmosphere and participation turned out to be rather different.

There was one teacher who just copied some materials from English conversation book and let students read the dialogue changing some words. His voice was so quiet and seemed to be reluctant to teach. Without any interesting activities and chances to communicate with peers and teacher, most students dozed off or had a chat with friends during class. On the contrary, there was another teacher who was energetic and endeavored to motivate students to participate in class actively. She always prepared many activities to help students learn English with fun. For example she brought some handouts to ask peer what her or his favorite movie is and write some information about it. Based on that, teacher let students draw movie posters and explain the stories, actors and most impressive scene of that movie in front of students. Also students demonstrated role-play as a customer or a cashier of supermarket with paper money and items with price tag. Through these activities, students could get chances to speak and use English and they felt interested in class. They started to ask some questions to native teachers and blurt out some English words . When students looked tired, the teacher also showed the class pictures of her country and told students her school life and family. Through her class, I realized again how the role of teacher is important for students’ effective learning and teacher needs to spend great efforts to prepare class and employ various methods.

As an assistant teacher, the things that I did were circulate around students when they did group works and translate some words into Korean or English. And when students did not understand what the native teacher were saying, I explained it in Korean. However, I thought It wasn’t help, rather a hindrance. Though there was a rule to use only English during class, students asked me some questions in Korean. And it reduced some opportunities for students to speak English and communicate with natives. Moreover as I and native teachers did not have enough communication for class and activities before, it was hard for me to know when and how I had to help students. Some teachers even felt burden and pressure as I stood back of the classroom and it was like I was watching them. So I realized in the situation where there are 2 teachers, one Korean English teacher and native English teacher, there should be discussion and communication between them and they should prepare the class together.

2 weeks had passed so fast and I don't know if I did my role well.But as it was my fist time to participate in English camp as an assistant teacher , I could feel atmosphere of class and see how students learn and native teachers teach. I hope what I learned from my experience will help my teaching, when I teach English to my future studetns .


Last edited by Sera Jung on Fri Jun 13 2008, 21:36; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Journal 5

Post  Young on Sat Jun 07 2008, 21:14

You had such a helpful experience, which gave a lesson to you. I would want to take part in that kind of English camp as an assistant. I can't try for some time due to my son, though. It is really true that teachers have a big impact on learners. I hate very calm native English teachers. They shouldn't have become English teachers. Being active is one of the vital qualities that language instructors have to possess. Also, I believe that preparation makes the class perfect. Without proper preparation, however smart the teacher can not be better than one who are well-prepared. More importantly, students know that well, so teachers can't be lazy!!
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Re: Journal 5

Post  Jung namsook on Sun Jun 08 2008, 07:21

Want to delete!


Last edited by Jung namsook on Sun Jun 08 2008, 07:26; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Journal 5

Post  Jung namsook on Sun Jun 08 2008, 07:22

One of the biggest problems in English education is that students are learning from not qualified native English teachers. It happens in the public and private schools all around country. I think we should some regular and strict filter to find out better qualified and experienced native teachers. Without those dedicated English teachers, we wouldn't be positive about English education.
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Re: Journal 5

Post  Kanghoon Jang on Mon Jun 09 2008, 09:48

I think that you already realized how hard TEE classes are in school based on your experiences. I also know how much you need to make efforts to overcome unexpected situations in school. However, if we give up that situation and don't try to find any solutions, what we want to in school would not happen forever. I hope that many people who want to be teachers in the future, keep in mind things that they have had even if there are hardships in school. It is not easy to keep original intentions


Sincerely,


Kanghoon
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Re: Journal 5

Post  Hyun a Ji on Mon Jun 09 2008, 15:46

You had good experience in winter vacation. I think we should have lots of opportunities to communicate with students. You already had lots of experiences. Through your essay, I felt you will be good teacher for students.
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