Tuesday, September 19, 2006

You Went Where?

Wednesdays, I am at Seong Po M.S. teaching the conversation and listening sections out of the textbooks. In preparation for class, I was looking over the book. I came to this part and rolled my eyes. These poor kids. No wonder they are having a hard time with English. This conversation is all over the book with different places filled in: "I went to ___," "You went where?" "I went to ____."

There is absolutely no explanation for why they repeat themselves every single time. I find these kids are stumped if you deviate from the standard script. For example, when greeting, if you say, "How are you?" they will ALWAYS respond either "Fine thanks, and you?" or "So so." Even though my three schools all use different textbooks, the student script seems to be very similar. I try to mix it up by saying, "How's it going?" or "What's up?" Or, I ask the big one; they say "Fine..." and I say, "Why just fine?" or "Why so so?"

Last week, at Jisepo, I taught them about twenty different things they could say when asked, "How are you." I was excited to get in there and have them be using these compound, complex sentences telling me how their weeks had been. Today when I asked, almost all of the responses were, "Fine thanks."

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