Archive for the ‘introduction’ Category

This semester I…

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

“hope I can sleep tight.”

Wish vs. Hope

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

As I don’t have to do a full-blown intro lesson with second grade, I taught my returning students the differences between “wish” and “hope.” We practiced constructing future hopes and wishes, and then wrote our self-introductions on index cards. Students would then come up to the front of the classroom, read other students’ index cards, and the class as a whole would have to try to guess which student wrote which card based on their wishes/hopes/hobbies/hometowns, etc. It was fun.

The way I tried to simply break it down was you use “hope” when something is possible or probable, and “wish” when something is impossible or improbable. For that reason, you can say “I hope I will go to sleep early” to signify that that (going to sleep early) is something that may actually happen, and you can say “I wish I could go to sleep early” when you have important work that you must do, and thus most likely will not be going to sleep early.

We brainstormed verbs in pairs, then I threw my classroom ball and whoever caught it had to volunteer a verb. The class as a whole created a phrase with the verb, then decided if that phrase was impossible/improbable/probable/possible and created a sentence together by plugging it into one of the two grammar structures I had left on the board [I wish I would/could; I hope I will].

Addict -> Break an addiction -> Break my addiction to computer games -> I wish I could break my addiction to computer games.

Here are some funny/sweet/weird ones (and ones I’m a little scared to leave up on the board) my students have come up with.

I hope I can talk to female students [this semester].
I wish I could invade Russia.
I wish I could burn down the school.
I wish I could walk to the sky.
I hope I can cure cancer.
I hope I can confess my secret.
I wish I could sleep in Emily’s class.

Microcosom of Personality

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Receiving these notecards is, as always, so interesting. Not only do I learn a little about my new students, but I learn a little more about the students I’ve already taught and it helps me distinguish them and helps me see them as an individual student rather than a member of the class, which I’d like to think that I already do but when you teach eight hundred students, some of them only once every two weeks, sometimes some of them slip through the gaps and you find yourself not recognizing them. Hopefully with my new mug shot system (I took pictures of all of the students holding up a white board with their names on it – they say that Changpyeong is a jail, so the mug shots are rather fitting) and with these notecards I’ll be able to keep better track of all of my students.

It’s so interesting to see what students choose to share with me. I leave it very vague:

1. Hometown (not much room for creativity here)
2. Favorite music (genre/artist)
3. Hobby
4. **Random Fact**
5. What do you want to learn in this class
6. What is your goal for this year and the future [1st grade]/Name three things that make you happy [2nd grade]

As simple as it is, this separates out the students fairly well because even if a student answers every question with nary a thought, generally he or she has something (normally a hobby or music preference) that will give me pause. The student who wants to impress me, who wants to study English more intensely, who wants to make me laugh, or who really wants me to know him or her tends to be amazingly creative with his or her answers, and often has me immediately reaching for my camera to look for his or her picture.

It’s a really, really interesting way to while away a few hours.

Without further ado, some of my favorites…

2. Favorite Music:
“Sexy”
“My favorite music is hip hop. For example: Let’s get it started.”

3. Hobby:
“My hobby is go outside illegally” [he probably means break school curfew. probably.]

4. Random fact:
“I’ve never had a girlfriend”
“Changpyeong is garbage”
“I have met you before in English contest in Damyang”
“Learning how to draw pictures. I love magazine. I want to be a fashion businessman!!”
“I don’t know why I have to study hard.”
“I like ants and spiders.”
“I bought kimchi refrigerator.”
“My favorite animal is donkey.”
“I want to marry with TOP ㅋㅋㅋ and I love one piece.”
“My good point is height.”
“Today wish is eat real food (because I have a food poison disease) so I just eat rice and water.”
“I like word ‘metal’ and ‘tiger’.”
“My nickname is koala.”
“I’ll get new face. I’ll do plastic surgery. 쉿! It’s secret. Don’t tell anyone. I’ll live new life. Forget me.” [preeeettttty sure this is a joke...?]
“My face is look like moon.”
“I like “BREAD” my nickname is 빵순이. I love BREAD very much give me some bread right now!!”
“I’m unique.”
“My hobby is creating strange food. I love meat a lot.”

5. What do you want to learn in this class?
“I want to learn even profound topics, too (justice, philosophy…)”
“I want to learn about America’s roadside food.”
“I want to know foreign cute, handsome boys or men.”

6. What are your goals for this year/the future?
“I will be a super daddy”
“Becoming a master of NTS (National Tax Service)”
“My goals are going to Korea University and being rich man. Because I can do anything with money.”
“I’ll master hearing English.”
“My goals: traveling whole the world and making the finest Korean film.”
“I want to make a girlfriend.”
“I go to Yonsei University because I want to become a dentist, so, after 10 years if children have a decayed tooth, I treat them with kindness.”

6. What makes you happy?
“Success.”
“Your love”
“I will soon go to home.”
“Family. Friends. Freedom.”
“I’m proud of very very positive. Im thankful for something from little to big always. Maybe I’m most happy girl not this class but also this school. When I reading books, playing with cats, and do my best something I’m happy.”
“What makes me happy is chatting with my friend eating snacks, ice cream or noodle, and taking a walk with beautiful countryside landscape also makes me happy.”

There are so many more, but I can’t type them all, and I haven’t even finished teaching my intro lesson to all of the students. The more I teach the more optimistic I get – these kids are going to do something great one day. I’m excited to see how they develop over the next semester…

Newspaper Article

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Only one more blogpost today, I promise. However I’ll be traveling tomorrow through Monday because of midterms, so just think of this as your payment for those long cold days with no updates.

I wrote an introduction about myself for the school newspaper, and my rockstar co-teacher helped me recruit (i.e. saw students in line for the ATM and dragged them over) students for a picture. They look so thrilled. The newspaper was published today, so here is my introduction!

“Introduction to Changpyeong High School – Emily Potosky

I came to Korea in the fall of 2010 as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, a program that promotes intercultural exchange through teaching, with the intention of staying for only one year. However through my experiences living with a homestay family, traveling all over Korea, studying Korean, and most of all teaching my students, I realized that I was not ready to leave. I enjoy both being a teacher and being a student too much, so I decided to stay in Korea for one more year. I had heard from Ms. Sicat about how amazing Changpyeong High School was, and thus applied to teach here.

Last year I taught at Sapgyo High School, in Yesan county, South Chungcheong Province. That was my first introduction to Korean high school students. I am very impressed by the work ethic of the average Korean student, and after finishing two weeks at Changpyeong High School, I am especially impressed by the caliber of the students and faculty here. Even after such a short amount of time, just by observing the students and the teachers I can tell that Changpyeong High School takes education very seriously. I am honored and excited to spend this year as part of a faculty that puts so much effort and enthusiasm into quality teaching, because education is not only a means for improving job prospects, but it is also a means of improving yourself. I believe that all foreign language study, not just English and certainly not just American English, is important, because it is one of the best ways to learn about other cultures and other people.

As a teacher and a fellow foreign language learner I strive for communicative competence. Communicative competence can be loosely defined as the ability to communicate through knowledge of grammar as well as knowing the appropriate time to use certain utterances. It is impossible to learn a language just by memorizing phrases and grammar points – you also need to know when to use them! It is both possible to say something grammatically correct but completely contextually wrong, and to say something grammatically incorrect but nevertheless understood and appropriate for the situation. My goal as the native English teacher is to impart contextual knowledge to the best of my abilities, because I believe that it is more important to be understood than to be grammatically correct.

I am incredibly excited to get to know all of you. So please, I invite you to come practice speaking English with me outside of the classroom whenever you have the time. I am sure that I will learn a lot from you this year.”