Friday, October 30, 2009

Teaching Marathon

Lesson of the Day: "Hush" and charades
Video of the Day: Buffy 4x10, "Hush"
Idiom of the day: "on the nose"
Lunch: some beefy stew thing (pass), carrot sticks, cucumber sticks (YES! vegetables that haven't been rotting underground in a clay pot!), sesame leaves with pepper sauce, rice.
Highlight So Far: 1-2 and 1-3 getting most of the dirty jokes in "Hush"

Fridays are usually my favorite, 'cause (1) it's Friday and (2) I have all grade 1 classes. However, I was a little nervous that today was gonna suck, because I have a marathon day of teaching. Usually, even though I'm at the school from 8-5 every day, I'm only actually teaching for 3 or 4 hours. But because my schedule got switched around so I could go to that conference in Cheonnan for all of the ETAs and coteachers in the province, I ended up having 6 hours of classes, back to back.

It wasn't easy - class 1-1 had trouble staying awake. I don't blame them - everyone has a tough time staying awake for that first period morning class. But it meant that I had to keep the lights on for ANYONE to stay awake, which detracted from the super-creepiness of the show.

Class 1-3 and 1-2 went like a dream, though. After a quick introduction to the tv show background and an overview of how the theme of silence, language, and communication work in the episode (difficult -but possible- to explain), we were off to the races. I paused a few times to explain what was happening, but not many -- the show is beautifully done, and interrupting it definitely takes you out of the building suspense. I'd rather they miss a few idioms if it means they can get the feel of the piece and be equipped to discuss it later.

After watching the show, we talked about it. I tried to ease them into the discussion, starting it off by saying "Did you like it? Thumbs up or thumbs down?" Invariably they liked it - how could they not? Then, "what was your favorite part?" and then "one of the things I like most about this show is that it is funny and scary and romantic, sometimes all at the same time. Do you agree? (all: yes) what parts were scary?" after a few answers I said my favorite scary part. And then "what parts were funny?" and I said my favorite part was when Giles was trying to explain why the Gentlemen had stolen everyone's voices. Willow is trying to mime that the Gentlemen are trying to get people's hearts, but Xander misunderstands and thinks she's saying that the bad guys are after boobs. I used that to define "gesture" and "mime" and the phrasal verb "to act out," and then introduced Charades. I also explained the idiom "on the nose," which you need to know, at least in the version I always play.

I changed stuff up a little bit though - I had them pick from books, movies, tv shows, or video games. Some kids got really into it, while some were totally flummoxed. But since I let them volunteer, usually it was the outgoing kids who got up, and they tend to be the best at this kind of thing. It was great to end classes with lots of laughter and fun, and of course, candy for the winning team. Followed by candy for the losing team. Hey, it's Halloween!

All of my classes are 50 minutes with a 10 minute break in between, except my 8:30-10:30 class, which has a 20 minute break. To get them back in their seats on time, I promised that 5 minutes before the second half of class started, I would show them a video of the greatest Halloween costume I'd seen this year. And I did. Here it is. Then, since I'd promised 5 minutes and that was only 1.5, I followed it up with this bad boy.

When I got back to the teacher's lounge, the nutritionist (seems to me to be sort of like an uber lunch lady) handed me a plate of smoked salmon over lettuce, a cup of water, and a clementine in the teacher's lounge. Amazing! I was a little hungry, since I had carrot sticks and cucumbers for lunch, and it was a while ago. And you really can't lose with smoked salmon or citrus in my book.

After school today, I'm heading to Gwangju to meet up with some other ETA friends to properly celebrate Halloween. Koreans aren't really into Halloween too much, but we're going to more than make up for that. David's friend manages a coffee shop, and he's generously let us come crash it afterhours for an American-Korean bonding cultural exchangestravanganza - with soju and costumes. Can't beat that combination.

It's been a long week, and I can't wait!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making Cookies with Little Brother

When I got home today, my homestay brother was there alone, and he was really bummed out. I've never been a big sister, I've never been an aunt, and I've never even babysat for a boy his age, but I took some guesses and tried to cheer him up.

74 cookies and the pilot episode of the original Transformers cartoon off of Youtube later, and you can see the results for yourself -


*the mask is because my homestay sister has a bad cold... i'm hopped up on vitamin C, but the whole mask thing weirds me out. Hope it works for him, though. :)

Air Show

Today's Lesson: canceled
Today's Swine Flu Count: 20
Today's Lunch:

HSF just came over to my desk with a flash drive full of photos from our family trip to the Seoul International Air Space air show last Saturday.

Walking around the show:

Me and my HS bro

I call my homestay sibs by their English names, which is how they introduced themselves to me originally. Sometimes I call them "little brother" or "little sister." But weirdly enough, my entire host family still calls me "teacher," so I'm gonna try to bust out the Korean word for "younger sibling" [동생] and see where that takes us. I think I'm stickin' with Mr. and Mrs. Kim for the host parents, though. Still, the whole "(*knock knock*) teechar! Have a dinner!" thing is a little weird. Or "teechar, I have a your dry clean." Super weird - not only to have someone running my errands (I asked her where I should take my dry cleaning and she said she would show me later. The next day it turns out she'd taken it herself, and that's how it's worked ever since), but also to have someone doing things so intimate as preparing my food each day, handling my clothes, and cleaning my room (seriously) address me as "teacher." Anyhoo.

Homestay brother, aka my favorite person in the world:

He's totally obsessed with the air force, in that way that little kids get (dinosaurs, horses, planes, whatever). His favorite toys are all model planes, he has a ton of books on the subject, and he could identify every plane and helicopter in the air show. Here he is posing with some missiles.

OK, I'll probably write more later, but it's time for lunch, that special time of day where I sit next to the principal and spend an awkward silent hour with everyone staring and marveling over what I choose to eat, since my vegetarianism is still something of a novelty and I'm an American who actually likes kimchi ("no too spicy-uh? wha!"). I'm leaving early today, because both my teacher class and staff class were canceled again. So I taught nothing and did nothing. Not wanting to seem like I was skipping out, I asked if there was anything I could do to help prepare for tomorrow, when the provincial board of ed is coming to hear about some kind of curriculum research and presentation done at my school (nope, there wasn't). For the third Thursday since I got here, I'm here purely for decoration. So I'm going to head out after lunch and go to E-Mart to get popcorn for my kids, since tomorrow is my 2-hour classes and we're watching "Hush" (and scary Halloweeny Buffystravaganzas require popcorn!) and to see if there's anything I can make a costume out of. Something warm, un-cumbersome, and hits somewhere between sexy nurse and the Thing from the fantastic 4. It'd be nice to wear something school-appropriate. The only things I could come up with from my closet last night were a vampire (thanks, mom), which I think would just require black clothes, oodles of eyeliner, light colored foundation, and red lipstick (the only thing I'm missing is the lipstick), or Wednesday Addams (other kids constantly told me I looked like her in elementary school), which I would just need to buy some mary janes for.
Yeah, I suck at thinking of Halloween costumes...

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can't Even Shout, Can't Even Cry...

Today is my last class with the 2nd graders before Halloween. So -

Halloween Lesson: BtVS 4x10 "Hush" (wikipedia summary here).

I made a character guide sheet, which also had some info on the show ("In Buffy, vampires, werewolves, and demons are real. Two main groups fight them - Buffy and her friends, and a secret government group called the Initiative") and on the individual episode ("In this episode, demons called "the Gentlemen" are killing people to steal their hearts. The Gentlemen can only be killed by the sound of a human scream. To protect themselves, they use magic to steal everyone's voices.")

I stopped the video after the dream sequence to make sure everyone knew it was a dream (and to make it look like I was totally confident that it was OK to play a show with multiple hot makeout seshes in a high school classroom) and to match the character names/descriptions from the handout to the people in the show.

In my first class of the day, I had to vamp a little bit (heh heh) because I had some technical difficulties. So I had VLC downloading and setting up as I asked the kids to say words they associated with American Halloween (ghost, pumpkin, witches, candy, etc) and explain their role in Halloween. We got started kind of late, so we only got through half the episode. IMHO, that's better than almost finishing it - this way we can watch the second half next Monday. My plan for that is to watch the rest of the video and then play charades, since they do a bunch of that in the episode.

I like multi-lesson arcs that have some sort of direction, especially when they just fall into my lap like that. I think this'll be fun :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Island Adventure

Lesson of the Day: Island Adventure. Including review of "would" and "will," critical thinking skills.
Idiom of the Day: N/A
Video of the Day: "Survivor" by Destiny's Child (oddly, not on Youtube, but I found it here on Daily Motion
Lunch: Miso soup with tofu and mushrooms (yum), rice with chestnuts and ginseng in it (not so much), spicy fish thing (too many bones to actually eat), pumpkin soup, and something that was trying to be cake, but I could tell just from the visual that it was gonna fail. There are few things sadder than bad chocolate cake, so I didn't try it. The pumpkin soup, which I've had other places before and hated, was great. Kind of like if cream of rice had a baby with pumpkin pie. Weird that I would dislike the version I tried at a restaurant but dig it in a high school cafeteria!
Highlight Thusfar: Discovering that my affection for the first graders is mutual. In two of my three classes, kids came to class early. Instead of chatting in Korean or doing work or sleeping, students from both classes struck up conversations with me. They asked about my plans for the weekend, about the specs on my iPod (I had it out to use as a stopwatch for my lesson), and chatted about what they'd had to do that week in school. It was really nice :)

Today's Lesson:
I came up with the kernel of the basic idea yesterday, and expanded it a bit with Sarah's help over tea at Dunkin Donuts later.
My original thought for today was to do something I'd done in an improv class a million years ago, where everyone picks a celebrity or fictional character, gets in groups, and then is informed that they are in a hot air balloon that will sink and crash unless they kick someone out. Then everyone has to defend their own importance.
But I figured that that probably wouldn't take the whole class, especially if my kids didn't fully participate. So I planned to add in a segment about what they would bring with them to a desert island, and somehow connect that to the hot air balloon business.
But then this morning, a lesson plan leapt out of my head fully formed, with flashing eyes and a tasseled aegis.

First, I told them we would be going on a journey by boat, and drew a boat on the board. I announced that I was their captain, and drew a stick figure version of me proudly standing on the prow. I asked them where we should travel (oddly enough, in every class, someone suggested "Mars," which meant I could use the same patter every time. Nice). So I drew some water and vamped a little bit about our sea voyage until drawing some rocks dangerously near the boat, and "crashing" the boat via white board image. I then apologized profusely and admitted that I had never before successfully piloted a space boat to Mars, and probably ought to have stopped trying after I crashed NARO (they were delighted I'd heard about this).

I drew a distant island on the board and told them they had been able to swim to safety. To set the scene, we then watched - ahem - Destiny's Child video for "Survivor". I passed out a lyric sheet for "Survivor" with definitions for the slang stuff in the song (ie "to be broke: to have no money. To be chillin: to be relaxing," etc.) with some words blanked out, so they had to listen to the song to figure out the missing words.

After going over the sheet, the actual activity was all set. They got about 8 minutes to do each of the following activities. After their time was up, I set the scene for the next part of the narrative, and they had to move on with whatever they had.

1. You've crashed on a desert island! Luckily, you were very smart and fast, and managed to take 5 things from your luggage. What did you bring? (I wrote "choose 5 things" on the board, and reminded them they could take 5 things that would fit in their luggage - ie a helicopter was not an option)

2. While exploring the island, you find the 3 people you sit closest to in Miss Kaye's conversational English class! What a coincidence! Together, the 4 of you will try to survive on the island. You find a good place to camp out, but you can only carry 15 items between the 4 of you. Compare lists and decide what 15 items to bring (I write "Compare lists, choose 15" on the board)

3. You are not alone on the island. While looking for food, your group sees a group of people native to the island. They don't speak Korean, Chinese, English, or any other language you know. They are angry that you have invaded their island! With your group, make a plan to stay safe. Will you make friends with them? How? Will you fight them? With what? (I wrote "You've got company" on the board and explained the idiom)

4. Congratulations! You are so smart, you have figured out how to build a new boat. However, your boat is small. You can only bring a limited amount of weight. You must choose - either bring your entire group, but no food, water, or supplies, OR bring food and supplies and choose to leave one person behind. If your group decides to leave one person, you must explain why you are valuable. Why do you deserve a place on the boat?

Thoughts on this lesson: This lesson went over pretty well across the board. It required almost no preparation (I had to make the lyric worksheet for Survivor, but that was pretty much just an excuse for me to listen to vintage Beyonce for a half hour), and it's always great when I can spend more time teaching a lesson than preparing it. This was especially fun with the kids who speak enough English and/or have enough enthusiasm and energy to have a good time with it - one of my favorite groups said for #3 that they would show the island people their PMP (these things are everywhere in Korea - my sibs have one, and I see 'em all the time on the subway) so that the island people would think they had magical powers. Then for #4, they answered that they wouldn't use the boat at all, because "For island people, we are as gods." Obviously, that made me think of this and almost lose it.

I'm recycling this lesson for Monday. I hope it goes over as well with the second graders, especially my super-sullen class, since they sometimes have trouble keeping it together for group work. But I have high hopes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Host Dad Has Relieved Himself of Subtlety

In the car this morning:
Me: Mr. Kim, I am thinking about taking piano lessons. How can I find an academy that teaches piano lessons?
Mr. K: Instead, you should go to a mountain climbing academy
Me: (laughs)
Mr. K: You must exercise more, it is good for health.
Me: OK, but I am also interested in piano lessons. How can I find out where I should go?
Mr. K: I will not tell you. Instead, go to gym.
Me: (now growing tired of the inside joke about how I hate to climb mountains) OK, Mr. Kim.

Then, after lunch (bulgogi for most, rice, kimchi & miso soup for me)
Mr. Kim: (in Korean) your boyfriend hates me.
Me: What? My boyfriend hates you?
Mr. Kim: Yes. You know why?
Me: He's never met you, I can't imagine wh--
Mr. Kim: Because you are getting fat. Every day. More fatter.
Me: (stunned silence)
Co-teacher: (smiling) Korean food is delicious, yes?
Me: (fumbling) yes...
Mr. Kim: (something in Korean)
Coteacher: Mr. Kim says your boyfriend will not like you anymore when you come home if you do not exercise. (to Mr. Kim, but in English, to reassure me) I think her boyfriend is nice boy. He is in love with her. He will not be too sad.
Me: Oh, it's not Nick I'm worried about...(pointed glare at Mr. Kim)
Mr. Kim: you left america beautiful girl, but in my house, you gotten fat, so your boyfriend hates me.
Me: Mr. Kim, quit while you're ahead.

Then coteacher and Mr. Kim discuss relative merit of various exercise plans and tell me which foods to eat and that I should swim or run or whatever. I sort of want to scream at this point, so I just announce that they can clearly have this conversation without me, and leave.

Ugh. Sometimes culture shock is, well, a little shocking. Last weekend, one of my host mom's emaciated friends told me she didn't know a fat girl could be this beautiful, and it didn't really bother me. Oh, she also grabbed my eyebrows and eyelashes to see if they were real. She was clearly whacked. Plus, on the off chance that someone who doesn't know me or hasn't seen me in a while is reading this, I should probably put out there that I arrived in Korea at a size 6 and am now a size 10. So yes, I definitely gained some weight. But no, I'm not massively obese. After orientation, and then after having no adverse reactions when HSM's hungry hungry friend slung backhanded compliments at me for a couple of hours, I thought I was prepared for junk like this, and was surprised that I wanted to smack my host dad across the face. After all, I can't really explain the finer points of my medical history nor American cultural norms to someone for whom English is not their first language and who pretty much judges people's weight as a measurement of their ambition, self-discipline, and maybe even a reflection of their moral judgment...


< teach class >

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Swine Flu: The Lesson

Lesson of the Day: Swine flu and a pseudo-debate about vaccines
Video of the day: here is a NY Times lesson plan (not the one I used) about swine flu. The video is embedded.
Idioms of the Day: "in the air" "in full regalia" "to keep ___ at bay"
Lunch: Grilled pork with sauce and sesame leaves (no, thanks), cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi, rice, spicy seafood soup (yes, please - though I still have no idea how to dissect shellfish with chopsticks).
Highlight So Far: a student-generated pun! See below.

Kids Say the Darnedest Things:

1. A kid in 2-3's example to show she understands what "to keep someone at bay" means. "For example, you are at the bar. Suddenly, an ugly woman comes to you. And she says, 'can I sit here?' Then, you answer, 'Well, I have to go now.' You keep her at bay." Nice.

2. Cartoon drawing of a pig smiling and crying at the same time, next to a cartoon drawing of an H1N1 bacterium. Pig's thought bubble: "I don't have responsible for this pandemic!"

3. From one of my favorite students (who already knew all the idioms) - "When a spring popped up from my ball point pen, my friend said, 'hey look! Spring is in the air!'"
It's the first time I've heard one of my students make a pun! I can't tell you the joy that this brought me. On the other hand, if you're reading this blog, you probably know me well enough to imagine :)

More detailed explanation of my lesson plan (copied from/cross posted on the ETA forums):

Swine Flu and a Pseudo-Debate

Post by KayeD09 » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:12 pm
So this morning, my coteacher informed me that a student was diagnosed with swine flu. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean school is cancelled. In fact, I'm pretty sure if the kids transformed into actual swine, that would not deter this school from show-must-go-on-ing. But it's all the kids could talk about. So I scrapped my original lesson plan for the day and took an hour to put this together. It actually went really well. So here goes:

Oct 20, 2009 [T]
G2 Swine Flu Lesson Plan

Introduce lesson: Today we're going to talk about the new influenza. What are some other names for H1N1? (Ss will call out "swine flu," "H1N1," write these on the board).
Many people are worried about swine flu. Why? What are some reasons people are worried about swine flu? (Wait for answers and respond to them).
One reason people are worried about swine flu is that it is the same type of virus as the 1918 Spanish Influenza (I was surprised to find that my students had read an article and watched a documentary about the 1918 epidemic - this next part might be more lecture-y in schools where the kids can't participate).
Why was the 1918 flu so scary? (Ss: Many people died, it spread quickly, the virus mutated, there was no cure, healthy people died, etc.) Then I did a mini-lesson on the Spanish flu, shamelessly cribbed from wikipedia. I'm at a science high school, so my kids geeked out the '05 gene sequencing , which was cool. I wasn't really teaching new information so much as using the subject as a vehicle to get them showing off what they knew, and therefore speaking English.
Most people in America are not as worried about swine flu as people in Korea are. When I first got to Korea, I was so surprised to see ajummas with masks everywhere! In New York, you might see one person with a mask on the subway. Maybe. But here, I am surprised if only see one person with a mask.
We are going to watch a video from the New York Times about fighting swine flu in New York City ( ... u-vaccine/. In case anyone wants to use it, the link leads to an LP from the Times, but its not an ESL LP. The video is embedded).

OK the rest is explanation so I'm ditching the italics. I paused the video to explain idioms/vocab words: "in the air" "in full regalia" "to keep something at bay," "to take precautions" and "metaphorical." I gave examples for each one and had them guess the meaning. For "to take precautions" I wrote "precaution" on the board and took a different marker and drew a line separating "pre" and "caution." Prefixes are in the govt education standards sometime in middle school, so high school kids should see what you're getting at. I also paused the video when the woman spoke very quickly or with poor diction, and just repeated what she'd said and asked Ss to paraphrase.

After the video finished, I gave students 3 minutes to write at least one complete sentence about something they'd learned. They could define an idiom or vocab word, talk about cultural differences in the USA and Korea re: swine flu, say something about the 1918 flu, or whatever. I walked around the room helping/correcting/waking up students.

Then I handed out articles to groups of 4 students. Half the room got the NY Times "Nothing to Fear but the Flu Itself" and half got "Swine Flu Vaccine Propaganda in NY TImes' Lesson for 6th Graders" (having trouble copy-pasting the links for some reason, but google, they'll be easy to find). They had to write down 2 arguments made by their article. I reminded them that analyzing English articles on science would be something they'll be doing a lot of, and that they can talk about the NY Times article in their college interviews. Then I asked each team to say a point made by their article. They didn't know they had different articles until we wrote their points on the board. In 2 of the 3 classes I've had so far, that sort of tricked them into having a debate as they each defended their article. Then they had about 1 minute left in class to say whether they thought getting a vaccine was a good idea (writing that down on the same piece of paper as the "what did you learn" sentence) which I collected and will correct and return.

It went pretty well, and my coteacher, who usually isn't in the classroom for my lessons, said she was really impressed by the lesson and I appeared well-prepared. So good luck, and, uh, don't get swine flu.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Eat Your Words

I made biscotti today! I like making them, since even though they're a little time-consuming, they're criminally easy to get right (and thus are perfect for making with tiny Korean assistants).
But my mood was somewhat modified when a friend of my host family's came over. She is, without a doubt, the adult offspring of the cool asians and the girls who don't eat anything.
I just had an emaciated Korean friend of the family tell me I was the most beautiful fat person she'd ever met.
I was already considerably taken aback when she followed this up by reaching over, grabbing my eyebrow, and exclaiming things in Korean.
Then I got praised for my exceptional paleness. I told her my mom was blonde, and she asked if my mom was fat. It was utterly surreal.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Playing Drinking Games in Class

Lesson of the Day: Grammar and vocab review, using Kings. For my dear readers who went to college before 1990, you can find more info on that here.
Idiom of the Day: N/A
Video of the Day: N/A
Lunch: bibimbap day! It's my favorite :) Bonus: miso soup with the little noodle-y mushrooms, individual little mini-rolls with custard inside (bizarre, but not altogether un-tasty), and honeydew slices. Win!
Highlight Thusfar: Actually, this whole day's been pretty good. I like my Friday schedule. I'd rather have Josh's Friday schedule (4-day weeks are my goal in life), but mine is really well balanced between class and doing nothing. I like all of my first grade classes, and I have all 3 on Fridays. I have 2 back to back and then one right after lunch, and then a break, and then the "teacher class" at 3:20. Sometimes it would be nice to not have teacher class, so I could skip out early on Fridays when I'm going somewhere, but I'm staying in Daejeon this weekend, so I really don't have any reason leave early. Either I'd noodle around on the internet at work or at home, and strangely enough, it looks better if I do it here. I've got an array of mugs and green tea in the gyomushil and a bunch of Sherlock Holmes novels on my ipod touch - I'm pretty content to chill here until the 4:45 bus :)

So. Today's lesson. My good spirits are largely attributable to how well this lesson went, and how cool the first graders are. Sometimes it feels like I can lead my oh-so-jaded second graders to fun but I can't make them drink (so to speak), but even the sleepy kids of 1-3 managed to get it together to play this game with the rambunctiousness it so well deserves.

My friend Sarah posted a link on facebook the other day to a site for teachers with an overview of how to adapt this game for the beginner ESL classroom. I've already played "Never Have I Ever" with them, which is often a component of Kings, and that lesson worked pretty well (i.e. got them speaking English), so I had pretty high hopes for success.

In fact, I've come to a realization about American and English drinking games in general. And the realization is this: drinking games are a phenomenal resource for ESL/TESOL teachers. While this post will probably come back to bite me should I ever seek a job in education policy, I'll say it -- I plan to incorporate more drinking games into my teaching. Think about it - they're already engineered to be played by people with impaired linguistic facility. Plus, they are easily modifiable (think about how many variations of house rules exist for Kings, beirut, etc), require little preparation on the part of the teacher, and encourage an environment in which students can interact with each other in English and it is in their self-interest to monitor their peers' use of 1L. They also allow me to substitute my own reward and penalty system, where a "drink" is a point leading to a reward or penalty, and they frequently include some kind of physical component -- crucial for these kids' efforts to stay awake.

Of course, it's not the fact that Kings is a drinking game that's so appealing. But I've been looking for ESL games that don't treat learners like elementary school children, and they're tough to find. And for anyone who doesn't remember, high school is the exact demographic LEAST likely to respond to being treated like little kids. They're in that weird space between wearing Pokemon gear with complete ingenuousness and wearing it because it has some kind of ironic, retro, hipster chic appeal. Honestly, people (I hesitate to call them "kids" in this context, though I often use the word in an affectionate sense) that age don't play games other than sports. There's a void between kids games and drinking games, and I'd rather bump them up than down.

Thing is, I actually have the grammar terminology, and after taking foreign languages and teaching English in Northampton and Thessaloniki, I even have the teacher-y skills to break grammar and vocab down into manageable chunks. The hard part, then, is the means of conveying information, finding how to get students to engage with English in ways beyond getting lectured at and "participating" via cloze or word searches or god knows what.

So. Without further ado, here's my lesson plan:

Before class, I made a set of Kings rules that specifically reviewed speaking material we have worked on this semester (they're copy-pasted at the end). I bought 2 decks of cards and a few 1,000 won (~$.90) prizes a couple of days ago.
I also made a few questions that reviewed writing or other material from earlier in the semester. These came into play for cards that have physical / non-English play - for example, if you are the last person to touch the floor on a 4, you can redeem yourself by correctly answering a question from the pile (those are at the end, too)
In class, I first went over a worksheet from last class that I'd collected and corrected. There were some mistakes that several people had made (ex: "I would get married with Girls Generation" - I explained that you can "marry" GG or "get married to" GG, but not "get married with" them, and a reminder that you "go to Japan," unless you're cheering on the Japanese team "Go Japan!") , so we reviewed the correct answers for about 5 or 6 minutes. Then I handed out and talked through the sheet with Kings rules on it, with the kids each reading 1 rule from the paper out loud and me explaining where need be. I didn't expect this to happen, but I ended up having to explain "rhyme" in at least 3 different ways in each class. I guess there's no exact equivalent Korean word? I asked my last class, and even the ones who are awesome at English didn't know.
After the rules were clear, I split the class into 2 groups of 10 each, and had them move their desks to form two circles. I explained that because I would be walking around the room, each group would need a captain to keep track of points. The captains would also be the only people permitted to speak Korean during class, so that they could explain something if their teammates had questions. I got volunteers each time, which was cool, and sometimes more than one (clearly that was resolved with proper application of the rock-paper-scissors formula). With the rules set and the captains in place, I announced that from this moment, this was an English-only zone. Then I pretty much just set them loose for the next 35 or so minutes, and it was great. They were noisy and boisterous, with one group bordering on obnoxious - and it was all in English! Be still, my heart :)

Kings Rules for Miss Kaye's Class
2’s – Make a sentence using [to be] + [adj.] : all sentences must be 5 words or more
3’s - Game of Threes. students count, one at a time, but substitute a clap if the number contains the digits (not multiples of) 3, 6, or 9
4’s – Four to the floor. Touch the floor! The last person to touch the floor loses.
5’s – Ask a friend a question using a future tense verb (if correct, both the student who asks and the student who answers win 5 points each)
6’s – Make a sentence using the simple present tense
7’s – Ask a friend a hypothetical question (“If you [past tense verb] [object], what would you do?” // “If I [past tense verb] [object], I would [present tense verb]”)
8’s – Never Have I Ever (with 3 fingers)
9’s – Nines are for rhymes. Say any word. Then each person must say a word that rhymes. If you cannot think of a rhyme in 10 seconds, or if you repeat a rhyme, you must take a question from the pile.
10’s – Rocks, Paper, Scissors. Tournament-style.
Jacks – Categories.
1st Ss names category, all else name word in that category (ex: animals, American pop stars, CSHS rules, English words that start with the letter “A”)
Queens – Questions. Ask a friend a question. He or she must tell the truth! (students vote on whether the answer is true)
Kings – Kings rule. Make a rule for people who get an answer wrong!
Aces – Aces high, to the sky!
Jokers – 10 points! Add 10 points to yourself, or subtract 10 points from another student.

Right answer = + 5 points

Wrong answer = -2 points

Speaking Korean = -1 point

Extra Questions to redeem losses from physical task cards (3,4,10,A) reviewing previous lessons (Speed Dating/American dating culture; making & answering hypothetical questions, "would you rather" questions, adding noun determiners)

1. If you had a million dollars, what would you buy?
2. If you could change one school rule, what would it be? Why?
3. Would you rather be very popular and have everyone like you except the girl/boy you want, OR have no friends except your great girlfriend/boyfriend?
4. Would you rather have 3 arms or 3 eyes?

5. Would you rather have a time machine that can only go to the future, or a time machine that can only go to the past?
6. Make a sentence (put in order, add the correct articles and prepositions)

Have / you / Brown Street / coffeeshop / yet? / been
7. Make a sentence (put in order, add the correct articles and prepositions)
Like / would / cup / you / tea?

8. Say one thing that is different about dating culture in America and Korea.

Now, if only I can figure out how to use beirut...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

If You Taught A Slightly Modified Lesson on Hypotheticals to Your First Grades ...

Lesson & video of the day - see yesterday.

But here's what's important:
Q: If you could speak English fluently, what would you do?
A: I would travel America with can't-speak-English-beautiful-Korean-Woman

along similar lines,

Q: If you had one billion dollars, what would you do?
A: I would buy a girl.

This one concerns me:
Q: If you had a magic sword that can kill only one person, who you want?
A: I would kill teacher.

from the same student -
Q: If you were the most perfect man in the world, what would you do?
A: I would buy a tree fort.


Edit: I just can't resist. Here are some more gems, now that I've finished grading 1-3's submissions:

Q: If you were to be Girl's Generation's boyfriend, what would you do?
A: I would be happy
A: I would always go to bed early
A: You really don't know?

Q: If you could see Girls Generation, what would you do?
A: I wouldn't be satisfied with seeing them.
A: I'd all take a shower.

Q: If you were a CEO, what would you do?
A: If I were the CEO, I would cut down a prize
A: I would sell my company
A: If I were a CEO, I'd try to cut cost by massive lay-offs.

Q: If you were Kamizo Touma, what would you do?
A: umm...shit dame

Q: If you spoke English fluently, what would you do?
A: If I spoke English fluently, I would go England to trip alone.
[ed note: that is dangerous. I do not endorse tripping alone in a foreign country, even if you do speak the language fluently. I cannot stress this enough - use the buddy system]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If You Made a Hypothetical....

Lesson of the Day: Making hypotheticals; vocabulary for "If I Had a Million Dollars" by the Barenaked Ladies (including Kraft dinner/mac & cheese, tree house, fridge, Picasso, Art Garfunkel)
Video of the Day: an unofficial but super-useful version of the Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had a Million Dollars

Students listened to and watched "If I Had a Million Dollars," filling in blank spots on a lyrics worksheet. On the back of the worksheet was"word help," since my students groan when I say the word "vocabulary." Some words I defined in English ("fridge: refrigerator") and some in Korean (hope they're right, since I used my cell phone dictionary and prayer for the translation), and we went through them after listening to the song once. Then they listened to it again and wrote down any famous rich people or big companies whose pictures appeared in the video.
After that, we went through a worksheet on forming hypothetical questions,

A sample of some questions and answers from 2.1, a class where I had to repeatedly wake up at least a third of my students:

Q: If you saw ghost, what would you do?
A: I would kill the ghost
A: I would make as friends

Q: If you were time traveler, what would you do?
A: I would go back and change test

Q: If you were an invisible man, what would you do?
A: Go to third floor
(editor's note: the third floor is the girl's dormitory)

Q: If you saw a Entertainer, what would you do?
A: I would hug them (her), autograph.

Q: If you became a blinder, what would you do?
A: Cry
A: Kill himself.

Q: If you feel empulse to someone kill, what would you do?
A: I will kill.

Q: If you were most smart in the world, what would you do?
A: I'd develope you
A: I'd develope time machine

Q: If you had a time machine, what would you do?
A: I'd back middle school student
A: I'd back baby

Q: If you were the your mother [father], what would you do?
A: Make his son musician

And then there were these wildly creative answers:
Q: If you were rich, what would you do?
A: Sleep.

Q: If you were the university student, what would you do?
A: Sleep.

Q: If you were to be smart and to have special ability, what would you do?
A: I'm sleep.

Q: If you had a hamster, what would you do?
Q: If you were the hamster, what would you do?
A: Sleep
(editor's note - student interviewed 3 other students, all answered "sleep for both questions.)

Q: If you were the teleporter CEO, what would you do?
A: Run away and sleep

Last, but not least, I'm not sure how to take this one:

Q: If you were native english teacher, what would you do?
A: Make a tomb

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Would You Rather

Lesson of the Day: "Would You Rather" game, 'l' and 'r' pronunciation mini-lesson
Idiom(s) of the day: "too little, too late" and "thrill of the chase"
Video of the day: JoJo "Too Little Too Late"
Lunch: orange juice box, fish paste soup, rice, shrimpburger (fried shrimp patty, lettuce, tomato, and sauce on a bun), radish kimchi

I feel so pleasantly teacher-y when I can make a smooth transition from the idiom of the day into the lesson. Today we went from explaining "too little too late" and "thrill of the chase" to practicing pronouncing them, to watching the music video and filling in missing lyrics, right into playing "would you rather," a game that demands the students practice "w" and "r" pronunciation. Nice.

After the lesson, I had 4 minutes left over (pretty much the most awkward possible amount of time), so I asked the kids to use it to think of and write down one last "would you rather," to be turned in to me, as sort of a comprehension check.

A few of the more arresting submissions include:

-You're now at the Germany in the second world war. Would you rather choose to be a Nazi or a Jewish?

-Would you rather more higher or more beautiful?

-Would you rather like your husband/wife or daughter/son? (*editor's note - I choose to read this as a choice between affection for your spouse vs. affection for your genderqueer offspring. Thanks, Smith College)

-If you can make only one a person from human to mouse, would you rather make mouse Han-gi or Woo-yoerl?

And my personal favorite -

-Would you rather go Paris or Chekov with you girlfriend/boyfiend?

I mean, really, there are so many fabulous things about that sentence. I don't even know where to begin, except to make sure everyone's clear that "boyfiend" is not a typo.