For the past two weeks I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my after school “club activity” class on Wednesdays. I have six kids in that class – the same six kids who are in all of my after school classes. They are among the best students in the school and they all have excellent English skills (for this school). I am supposed to come up with an activity that we can do once a week for 50 minutes. Not really enough time to sink our teeth into a project or teach them something useful.
For the first three weeks, I treated club activity as an extra English class. I stumbled ass-backward into a better idea yesterday. We were all bored to death, so at the end of class, I asked them to help me with some Korean restaurant vocabulary. They seemed to like it, so we spent the rest of class teaching me Korean.
That’s it – they’re going to teach me Korean for our club. My work schedule (55 hours per week) prevents me from taking lessons elsewhere, so these kids get to fill in the gap.
I told them that I am tired of having to point at a menu and say 이것 주세요 (give me this). They taught me some food and restaurant words that I can use. They had fun watching me struggle with writing and pronouncing the words. I think they got some insight into how difficult my job can be. They tried to help me sound out the words as I wrote them (in Korean) on the board, but I was hopeless.
The last part of the class flew by. I knew then that this was the perfect opportunity for me to learn Korean. It also helps them because it forces them to use English. More important than that is the fact that it boosts their confidence. I think it was good for them to see how much I struggle with such simple Korean and to compare that to their English skills.
Until next time.