Thursday, August 04, 2005

Korean in the classroom

All but one of my classes are very low level. They can't form sentences, have very low vocabulary, and stare blankly at me most of the time. They certainly can't read. And I am expected to teach them phonics from a phonics textbook.

Yesterday we had to work on a page that had pictures of three letter words like bed, pot, log, etc. with the vowel missing from the middle and the students were supposed to decide which vowel fits in the space. There were pictures beside each word to help but since my kids don't know any words it was rather futile.

I began the lesson by writing each vowel one by one on the board and exaggerating the sound it produces. O.. awwwwwwww. A.. ahhhhhhhh. You get the picture. I added an example word beside each sound with a drawing of that word. We went through half the page struggling, the kids guessing, until finally I came to a solution.

Next to each vowel sound I wrote the Korean equivalent. After that the exercise was a piece of cake. Was that helpful for the students or were they just refering to the Korean and not paying attention to the actual sound? I'm not sure, but I am sure that they had no idea what they were doing before.

Today I busted out the Korean again when going over new vocabulary words. I let the kids read the Korean word first then wrote the English word on the board. I think it really helped. How would you explain the word 'and' in English to kids who can't understand you?

Whatever works, right?


At August 04, 2005 10:05 a.m. , Blogger Blake said...

Don't you just love using textbooks that are designed for kids in America who's first language is English on kids in a different country who don't have a clue about English?

Don't forget that the vowels have both long and short sounds (and that's just the very basic stuff)!

At August 04, 2005 9:16 p.m. , Blogger Christopher Olie's Dad said...

check out the web site to see if there are books that might help you.



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