The day begins.

Last week’s English teacher workshop has turned sonsengnim into a consumer.  Yesterday boxes of DVDs and videos arrived, some questionably suited to middle school girls, the volume questionable given how much class time one can reasonably devote to showing movies, a, and movies that by the time you get to them all of the students will have seen, if they haven’t already, b.  I was not, however, actually supposed to offer my opinion when asked.  Invariably, he disgrees with me.

“Well.  I think you don’t need to buy sequels.”

“Why not?”

I didn’t know how to properly phrase “Because sequels almost always suck, so this will save you money.”

And: “Well, this movie is in French: Le Grand Bleu.”

“There are subtitles.”

“In Korean.”


But the dialogue is in French.  And the idea that our students would be able to a. read subtitles fast enough to keep up or b. understand most of the vocabularly is, I  mean, why do I even have to say it?

I should tangent for the record here: I am in no way calling my students stupid or blaming them for what they can’t do or complaining about their level.  My inability to come up with things that really work for them is a source of frustration.  I think if I worked with high level students I would be a better teacher.  But I think that a good teacher should be a good teacher to any level.  In any case, the fact remains that there are usually one or two students in any class who can convey a complete thought in English in anything like the time required for conversation.  And I’m not talking correctly articulated thoughts, just the thought, in its entirety.  End tangent.

So he wants to spend like $1000 on English movies.  And this morning walks in with something called “Winnie the Witch” that comes with an activity booklet.   “How about this?”

“I don’t know.”


“I *don’t* know.”

Don’t you have to teach from a textbook?  He also purchased a book by some mega-church pastor that is subtitled “Seven steps to living at your full potential.”  He and his dictionary will be at that one for a while.  So far I have had to explain what it means to “let go of the past,” the difference between priest, pastor, minister, preacher, and clergyman, and what exactly does it mean to “get rid of” which is an odd expression when you think about it.  Especially from an ESL standpoint.  ‘What exactly is this rid, and why when you get it do you have nothing?’


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