2 Canadians in Korea

Welcome to our blog. It's designed to give people back home an idea of what it's like living in South Korea and to allow you to follow us on our journey.

I've been blogging a lot of facts and I feel I should say that some of it is copy pasted from books, the internet and the signs that I took pictures of at the tourist site itself.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Teaching English in South Korea

I figured since we've been here for over 2 months we are due for a blog on teaching since that is what brought us here.
We work for a school called a "hagwon" which is a private school. There are countless numbers of hagwons in South Korea and several franchise chains, the people who own our hagwon owns 3 of them within 30 mins of each other. Any parent who can afford to send their kids to hagwons do in the hopes of giving their kids the extra edge on the competition. The hagwons are located in business buildings across the city and feel more like an office than a school. Some hagwons are very well organized and some aren't but most franchises probably have a curriculum to follow which makes teaching way easier since you don't have to research your material, but just go to the next lesson in the book.

I have 10 classes that I see during the week and there is a well organized rotation between them. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I have the same 7 classes and Tuesday, Thursday I have the same 3 classes with 4 free periods to do some correction and prepare for my next classes. Each class is 45-50 minutes depending on the class and I have anywhere from 5-10 students but most classes are under 8 students.

We are 3 foreign teachers and 5 Korean teachers at my school and this is my work space in the teachers lounge. I have a Korean partner teacher for each class, so if I teach them on Monday the Korean teacher teaches them on Tuesday and so on. If a student is absent, the Korean teacher calls their home to let them know what they missed and so they can do their homework to not fall behind. That phone on my desk is mostly used by Jade, the Korean teacher who sits next to me, and she calls most of my kids when they are sick. Sometimes the phone rings and I want to answer it as force of habit with my previous job (I tried to get the phone on 2 rings max) but then I remember that I won't be able to speak to the person calling anyway.

Since most of our students come from rich families we do get the spoiled kids that won't listen and do what they are told, which ruins it for the rest of them. When they are bad or they don't do their homework, they get detention like this group did, although they still look like they are having fun. These kids are 13-15 years old and have regular school starting at 8 am, they go to various hagwons throughout the afternoon and end up at our school from 7:15 pm until 8:50 pm. Then they had detention, which was probably until 9:45 pm. They then had to go home, do their homework, sleep and be ready for school at 8 am the next day, just to do it all over again.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey guys.

i know this has nothign to do with the post.. but i see that u have a weather link up. http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/KSXX0003_c.html this one is of changwon... thats if u want one closer to home.. anyway enjoy see ya tuesday.