During my first year in the teaching field, as I learned a new culture and language and took in new surroundings, I also learned and grew a lot as a teacher. This week I will be sharing some of these lessons learned while teaching ESL in South Korea.
During my time in this teaching position, I got involved in planning weekend programs for our students. It was a great way to bond with students outside of the traditional class setting. Students still learned of course, but we used current news articles or films to show them that formed the basis of our conversations and discussions. Simple questions that led to deep answers and meaningful times together really helped us extend our English language beyond grammatical structures and memorized vocabulary. It gave us the opportunity to teach them idioms and expressions we know and use often, that come up in everyday conversations. It opened the door for the older students in our classes to share the wisdom of their years, and the younger generations to share an enlightening perspective of modern struggles and joys. Culture may be vastly different when you cross the East-West divide, but people are still people. They still love, and laugh and cry and feel deeply about life.