26 June 2007

Class discussions

I've had a lot of interesting class discussions with my adult classes in the mornings. This is a bit surprising in itself since classes start at 6:30am when my brain is still asleep.

The book I'm using for topics has short (one or two page) articles on Korean perspectives on certain issues. The usual length of a time we spend on an article is about 2 or 3 days. The article about marriage and divorce in Korea lasted for about a week. We got into such issues as sexual compatibility and good or bad reasons for divorce. Most of my students are Christian chuchgoers and some said there were no good reasons for divorce. The oldest student, a staunch Christian lady completely opposed to divorce, surprised me when I explained the term "sexual incompatibility"; she said, "I think this is good reason for a divorce." The discussions (and debates!!) were really interesting...

Another student told me a story when mentioned a business-speak saying ("Work smarter, not harder."):
Two farmers were neighbours. One farmer worked hard from sunrise to sunset cutting his fields without stopping and the other farmer took frequent breaks and sat around for a while during the day. At the end of the day the hard-working farmer looked in his relaxed neighbour's yard and saw that the neighbour had gathered twice as much hay. "How did you gather so much hay? I've been cutting all day but you have stopped to rest frequently and still have more hay than me." The relaxed farmer held up his scythe and a stone, "While you were hacking at the grass I sat down and sharpened my scythe to a razor edge. The grass was cut without effort."

Well, it's not exactly as he told it but more or less. Sounds a lot classier than "Work smarter, not harder" doesn't it.

I have to say that all of my adult students are interesting people and I look forward to the morning classes despite having to get up so early. They all have their own reasons for learning English and they vary in their ability to express themselves. Some of them are really shy when they first come to class because they're afraid they'll say something wrong but I encourage them to ignore mistakes and just talk freely. The fluency will come if they speak more. I'll turn them all into firebrands and public speakers maybe. :D Well, not likely, but they do at least talk a lot more than when they first come to class.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are having a good time. Love the work smarter story...hmmm I wish it could apply to my work place! But you know that the laws of work physics don't somehow apply to where I am working...don't ya!


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