I am going to try to get Stephanie to post about her trip experiences. Here are some of her thoughts about teaching English in Korea:
So, after I got out of the hospital (the surgery went great, actually, the IV hurt more than the surgery itself) I went back to teaching little kids at the elementary school. They all stared at me like I belonged in a zoo and when I spoke korean they looked at me as if I was like a talking zoo exhibit. They all find it rather amazing that I understand anything at all. It’s really different how they all go “우와” when i say something in Korean. When our exchange students speak English, no one here (in America) is really that amazed at their “wonderous ability” to say hi and where’s the bathroom and I’m hungry.
So I had my first “class” with “John” who is 10, I think, and “Shell”, two students that I tutor. I had Shell, who is 8, change her name to Shelby because I explained to her that Shell might be a little weird. I could see how a name like Shell would be pretty in Korean, like 나비 or something but I have a Hmung friend whose name is Honey and her sister’s name is Butterfly and her other sister’s name is Angel (which is a normal name, but next to her sibling’s it’s kinda weird), and when you hear your teacher call someone ‘Honey’ it’s a lttle weird. So there was my American culture lesson. I also gave them some vocab words including ‘weird’ and ‘cool’ and ‘kind of’, because since those are the words I pretty much say the most, I thought it would be important for them to know.
Halfway through the lesson, this moped man came in (helmet and all) and delivered 김밥 and ramen. It was like exactly how the delivery guys in 궁 looked like!! I thought it was just some random thing incorporated into the drama… “Anywho” that’s pretty much the only cool thing that happened during my lesson. I also taught a few other people and sat in with some lessons that my aunt taught. What I noticed most among the kids was that they were all super shy. Like, they would say stuff but they would either whisper it loudly or whisper it in my aunt’s ear. What one of my students did was stare at the table while he was talking to me, and I thought that was weird too. I noticed that the kids who are not shy usually learn the best, or are better at English, maybe because they get more practice, or I never hear the full capabilities of the shy ones. My first lesson with the kids is usally just a “don’t be shy, lets just chat” lesson.
So, that is all for now!