On Teaching English in English

Octavrian Press

I have a love-hate relationship with my after school English classes.  I hate them, because I feel like they’re mostly babysitting sessions.  Long periods with a dozen unruly second graders with no goals, curriculum, or accountability.  However, I love them because they are the only classes where I can teach English in English.

It seems a little strange that so little English is spoken in my regular classes given they are ENGLISH classes.  This is particularly odd when given the fact that I as a native teacher, am present to handle all the speaking aspects of class.  However, I find it more and more common that Korean English teachers only want their students to listen & repeat in class.  They’ll have students translate phrases and do worksheets, but no genuine communication is done in English.  If I try, I’m often quickly followed with a Korean translation.  This makes for especially…

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