Intrepid Girl Reporter

October 25, 2007, 6:36 am
Filed under: actual transcripts, ESL, games, life on Jeju, skool, students, teaching

Korean students (and by “Korean students,” I mean “three of the classes I’ve had so far today”) LOVE word searches. Personally, I don’t understand this. I hate word searches. I can never find any of the words, and they don’t require any sort of knowledge or skill – just brute looking-force. And as we all know, I’m far too lazy for that. But today classes 1H and 1F finished their travel posters with a good deal of time to spare, so I Googled “halloween word search” and came up with one from Ben & Jerry’s – of all places – and they were the quietest I have seen them possibly ever. 1H in particular is a headache – there are these three students who are always late, always talking, and always disrespectful, and while two of them speak decent English, one is really, really struggling. So I pay more attention to him, because I suspect that part of his acting out stems from his lack of understanding, but then it looks like I’m picking on him. I have to figure out something to hold his interest. Meanwhile, for those of you who went to My College, one of his friends looks like a certain Japan-obsessed, possible-Asian-fetish-possessing old disaster of mine. Seriously. He has the mullet and the weird cheekbones and everything.

Yesterday’s lesson went okay – I got class 2J, one of the Noise-O-Meter classes of two weeks ago, to repeat the date after me and describe the weather, which is more than they’ve ever done before. Two Truths and a Lie worked far better than I Love My Neighbor, probably because it didn’t involve them moving desks, which they clearly cannot handle. 1K, however, is quickly morphing from a class that amuses me into a class that I’d rather drive nails into my feet than see. It was in 1K that a group of students, drawing their Egypt travel poster, added breasts to their camel and labeled it “GIRL camel!”, along with a grotesque King Tut mask that was accompanied by the caption, “This pharaoh is very disgusting. ^_^” Then they asked me to: describe where the chest was on the body, go home with one of them. Periodically I would hear them shout, “Sex!”

I tried 2T&aL with 1G today and it worked fine – one of my students, it turns out, likes rice and pizza but does not like chicken, and even I believed the lie – and with 1H I just let them finish their posters and do the word search, but with 1F and 1E my students finished their posters AND the word search (overachievers), but without enough time to do the full “characteristics” lesson I had planned. As a result, I made up a lesson on the spot, switching the description focus to monsters, which went over really, really well, probably because my students feel a certain kinship with them. I wasn’t sure which second grade class I had today – because I cannot keep track of the numbers always, I tend to think of them by student, and I couldn’t remember if today was Eighties Ricki Lake or Crazy Hair. It was Crazy Hair, and while the monsters discussion wasn’t a wild success – I don’t know if there was ever a moment when everyone was paying attention – I scored a first in that I got Crazy Hair herself to participate. We worked on is/has/like sentences, as in My monster is…fat. My monster has…seven eyes. My monster likes…the dark and I got responses ranging from “My monster likes poop poop” and “My monster likes nose water” to “How do you say ‘people meat’?” These were GIRLS. I can’t wait to see what 1L, which is probably my smartest class of first graders, comes up with tomorrow.


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