April 2011


This semester I’ve started an English club, meeting at lunch on Wednesdays. It’s just for students in my department who want to practice their English outside of class time (whether that’s my class or an English language class).

I have really wanted to do this for a while, but my eagerness quickly changed from “this will be great!” to “wait, how do I do this?” How do I help a room of 30 students practice a new language, feel comfortable enough to attempt something difficult,  and actually make an improvement all while eating lunch and in 45 minutes?

Suggestions welcome!

In the first week I asked them all why they wanted to be in an English club.

Student 1: Because I want to learn about all foreigners’ perspectives.

Me: All foreigners’ perspectives?

Student 1: Yes, all!

Me: But I’m just one person!? One American person. I don’t know all perspectives, just my own.

Student 1: Oh, right.

After the first week and actually this conversation, I realized that *wait, hold the phone:  it is not my responsibility to answer ALL their language needs, just like I can’t be ALL foreigners.  Sometimes I can just make things SO much more difficult than they need to be!! A little English club is not going to make them fluent but can be one part in each of their journeys towards fluency. And it can be fun- fun in relaxed way that “class” cannot be. phew.

Here are some of the other responses to the question “Why do you want to join this English club?” (we’re going for content here, not grammar!)

  • I want to learn speaking for travel and international friends.
  • Because I want to develop my English speaking so I will go language student in foreign countries and I want have a lunch time effectively.
  • I want to study English speaking and free talking with foreigner friend. Because this social must have needed. I think important speaking more than writing.
  • I wanna learn more natural English communication. Also, I wanna share each others culture. So I want active, natural time. Also, I want to introduce Korean style, culture to you.
  • For my future! I want to meet many people and I will become global designer.
  • I don’t speak English.
  • I want to speak English well. So I want to study English at the first opportunity. Then I like Karin teacher (*^^*) So when I speak English, I am terrified/remove.
  • Because English is important language that find employment.
  • First, I practice English because English is world language and it’s not a choice but it’s necessary. Second, I can focus on major subject. Third, communicate with other grades.
  • English communication very well/and I want to do. I want to meet new friends.
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Thank you April, for bringing Spring with you!!!


Magnolia- 목련 (mog-nyun)

Two of the professors from my department with a beautiful display of spring flowers! I had to take their picture in front of the tree because as we were walking to dinner we could see  it in the distance, and they kept saying, “Oh, how beautiful, how beautiful!”

By the numbers:

1- week I have to compile all my information to start the contract renewal process!

1- Grandmother, whose death has caused me to feel great sadness and great gladness all at the same time. How is that possible? I miss you!

3- as in 3rd floor. Our English service @ Dongshin Church has been growing so much that we’ve had to move to a bigger meeting space to accommodate all the people! Praise the Lord!!

5- weeks into the semester already!!

6- days I spent with my dear friend, Maryanna, who visited in March from the USA. It was so fun to have a visitor!! Anyone else who wants to come- my house is open to you!!

30- assignments from my Repeat Pattern class are waiting on the table behind me to be graded. (Of course, that’s the main reason why I’m blogging!)

I was cleaning my desk and found the notes I wrote after my first class in Korea. Oh boy, do I remember that day!? I was so nervous and completely lost, with no idea what was up or down. This is what I wrote:

“Sept 1, 2009

FYI- everything opens @9 am, including COFFEE!! (how am I supposed to get coffee before class?)

First class- 4 students.

Everyone is very friendly and nice and warming up.

1 hour- intro and presentation of me

1o min break to happen every hour of class

Next class- INTRO to class, hopefully with more students!”