I’ve mentioned in other posts that Koreans are not good communicators, at least when it comes to dealing with westerners. I don’t understand exactly why that is, but there seems to be a profound disconnect when it comes to understanding what we are trying to say. Of course, the fact that most Koreans don’t speak English is a major factor, but there’s more to it. There is an inability to figure things out when presented with limited information (within the context of communicating with westerners).
Every non-Korean-speaking expat in Korea has a wealth of stories about communication problems. This is especially true for teachers, as many of us are the only westerners in the entire school. I had one such episode today.
I deviated from my lesson plan today when I realized that none of my students knew what rhyming was. At first, they couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea of an English rhyme. I explained it and gave several examples. Once they seemed to get it, I started to quiz them. I went around the room asking each of them to come up with a word that rhymes with the word I’m saying.
Me: Ok, guys. Great job! Time for a new word. DOOR.
Student 1: FLOOR.
Me: Nice job!
Student 2: POOR.
Student 3: ….uhhhh….
Me: Here’s a clue. Can I please have some _________.
Student 3: CHICKEN!!!!
Until next time.