3 MONTHS. That’s how long I’ve been in Korea and how long I have been teaching you. I’ve done a lot in Korea – jjimjilbang, Dobongsan, Lotte World. I’ve eaten a lot of good food. I love living in Korea. But sometimes, I feel sad. Why? Because I’m all the way here in Korea – it’s good – but my family and friends all live in Canada. It’s okay though because with technology today, I can still talk and see my family and friends back home. Today’s lesson is called Skype Date with Canada. And you will all get to meet someone today from Canada. Let’s find out a little more about who you will meet.
I repeated this eight times in the past week with the PowerPoint slides I put together for my Grade 6 class as my motivation and introduction to the week’s cultural and practical English lesson. I had started planning for this lesson two/three weeks ago and managed to get a webcam set up and the schedule planned out with a couple of friends back home to make it work.
I would like to take credit for this idea but it was something that I had heard about during EPIK orientation.
The Grade 6 students had just finished a lesson about phone calls. Part of my lesson had the students creating questions during class that they would ask a friend of mine. I hooked up Skype, video called a friend, and then demonstrated a “normal” conversation with a friend before inviting the students to come up and talk to this person with the questions they came up with. It was fun and interesting to see the students get all excited by this. They loved seeing and talking to someone new and they loved seeing themselves on camera on the screen as well. All in all, the classes all went wonderfully and I had classes asking me afterwards if we could do it again.
I was anticipating one particular class for this lesson and they didn’t let me down. They voluntarily wanted to perform for D and E. Two girls danced for us and another two sang a part of Justin Bieber’s Baby. Entertaining and fun. These kids are amazing.
I loved hearing the questions that the students came up with. It was interesting to see what always came up that the students wanted to know. And then you have those slightly weird, slightly awkward, and totally Korea-cultural questions that you just don’t know how to answer.
These are some of the questions asked – I’ve compiled the most common and the most interesting:
Do you know Korea? What’s your hobby? Who is your best friend? Where is your favourite place that you have traveled? Who is your favourite Korea singer? What is Carmen teacher to you? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have a girlfriend? What is your phone number? What’s your favourite food? Do you like Korea? How many languages do you speak? Do you know kimchi? When is your birthday? Do you like Carmen teacher? Do you think you are handsome? Do you think you are pretty? How much do you like Carmen? Do you think Carmen teacher is pretty? How old were you when you met Carmen teacher? How close are you to Carmen teacher? Do you know KPOP? Do you know Beast? Do you know INFINITE? Do you know B1A4? Do you know Big Bang? Do you know Gangnam Style? Why did you come to Canada? Is Carmen teacher kind? What is your phone number? What is Carmen’s phone number? Do you love Carmen? Is Carmen your girlfriend?
The last two questions were directed at M – the only guy friend I had for the Skype chats. And if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that the students – Koreans in general – don’t understand that a guy and a girl can be friends. Oh, and I’ve learned to only ask my girl friends for these Skype chats if I do them again. It’s too chaotic when the students are trying to get a love confession out of the guy. They lose all focus.
But regardless, I am extremely thankful for my friends who all willingly and enthusiastically agreed to doing this for me and my students. Thank you to A, M, C, J, D, and E for answering all my students’ questions, no matter how strange, repetitive, or invasive. I have amazing friends.