Like I said a few blog entries ago I’m doing the Price is Right with my students to practice big numbers and prices, and it’s been going surprisingly well. I thought it’d be too easy for them, but they’ve been getting really into the cultural aspects (I’ve been showing pictures of coins and explaining who each person is, the name of the coin, the value in both dollars and won, explaining the buildings, and also the symbols and America’s motto). It’s also been really nice to see my lowest level kids, who granted are not low level at all, really break out of their comfort zone and shout out the answers to things.
The way that second and third grade students are divided into homerooms is based on whether they’re 이과 (Egwa – science) or 문과 (Mungwa – society). If they’re science track, they take a lot more math and science courses, and if they’re society they study language and social studies more. It’s very strange to see where students fall on either side of that line because some of my best English speakers are science track, including Future Diplomat… However, there are some programs (for example, some of the top university’s medical programs) that will only take students who were science track in high school, no matter how high a society track kid’s math and science suneung scores are. However, I haven’t heard of any liberal arts college program turning away science track kids for this reason… it therefore makes more sense regardless of your actual interests to be science track in high school, especially if you want to keep your options open. As someone who is obviously a liberal arts/social studies/society fiend, this makes me really sad.
One thing I’ve noticed with the second grade society track boys is they all have a strange fondness for using German, at least in English class. Something that distinguishes Changpyeong High School from other high schools (at least, that I know of) is the amount of foreign language offered at school. Sapgyo only had English and Japanese, and hanja (the study of Chinese characters – not the language itself). I’ve had numerous students speak German to me as a joke, and today by the end of class four teams had switched from English numbers to German numbers. “Team 1″ had switched to “Team Eins” so I started calling them Einsteins, which made them giggle. I totally would’ve been that kid in high school. <3 문과