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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Clues teachers need to know to teach our Korean students

By Rosemary PonderSpecial to CSMS MagazineSome teachers are not qualified to teach Korean students, because their majors are not specifically related to teaching EFL/ESL. A survey was conducted with about 150 secondary teachers of English in Kwangju-Cholla region in Korea. The questions centered about teachers’ awareness, perception toward Asian culture, the importance of teaching, the role of using phonetic symbols, degree of integrating pronunciation into teaching other skills and other teaching strategies. Teacher trainers will focus on teaching pronunciation. The results imply that it is necessary to develop training programs based on teachers’ needs in order to train teacher trainers and to provide teachers with more financial and moral support for classroom research on developing innovative pronunciation teaching methods.There are many reasons why observing other teachers and being observed by them can be very helpful to the professional growth of teachers. This will allow constructive and valuable feedbacks in a supportive way. It also exposes different styles and ways of teaching that we probably never thought of before. This will encourage teachers to become more reflective of their teaching.Staff/Student supportAn evaluation of Learning through Language programs must be undertaken. Teachers must be trained in cultural development, awareness and specific ways in which teachers can build and use classroom diversity to promote better learning. The school must continue to employ teachers and support staff from other cultures and that it ensures that staff members are well resourced and supported.The school must promote students support groups for academic and social purposes and that these groups would feed into department curriculum reviews.Parental supportParental consultation and support groups must meet regularly with a senior member of the staff. Polices must be developed to promote the use of parental support in order to foster mother tongue language and culture. These policies will promote culture and language to others and assist in reading, library and cultural promotions. The school must have workshops for parents in the evenings with translators and interpreters to facilitate good interaction. New students, junior students, senior students, teachers and parents will benefit from parental support meetings.Peer SupportThe peer support groups must be established to assist students with extra curricula activities. It must also be used to promote better race relations. These peer support groups are well trained and supported by a member of the SMT.Korean students want supports from students of their background. The support may be emotional, practical and academic. New students usually need time to orient themselves around school.Improving the capabilities of the staff to help them support the ESOL students in the classrooms is seen as an effective way to cater for ESOL students’ learning needs. The maintenance of the students’ first language is important for student’s emotional, social and academic success. There is little formal acknowledgement of the need to support first languages and there are no practical procedures in place in the school at this time.CommunicationThe school continues to find better ways to communicate with all sections of the school community. The students are consulted in systematic ways about important issues relating to learning opportunities for all. In any large organization communication is always going to be of concern. The translation of the weekly newsletter into Korean has been well received by parents. The employment of office staff, teachers and counselors who are native speakers of Korean has certainly helped communication between school and the community.Students also like having teachers from their own cultures. Not only did they provide language support but they also provide emotional support. Parents and students value being informed, consulted and listened to. Parents want to be involved in their children’s career choices. This may include the translation of key information about subject choices.Language SupportA language policy must be developed in consultation with staff, students and parents. This policy addresses key principles, which see diversity as positive and part of our identity. ESOL provisions need to be reviewed in light of the best practice and supporting student learning.Students want specific subject support, such as English, Social Studies and Science. They also welcome native speaking teachers who can speak their language.In the United States, students attend classes for six hours a day. However, most high school students in Korea spend ten hours in their regular classes and an additional six hours or more in private institutes studying for college exams. Competition for college is intense because the universities only accept a limited number of students.All Korean students study English beginning in the third grade. However, the hardest thing about school is language. Cooperative learning is a commonly used strategy in the United States schools; however, in Korea, students rarely work in groups. Strategies for Success with English Language LearnersCreate a comfortable environment by letting the ESOL students know you are concerned about them. Smile and greet them as they come to class. Ask questions about interests, hobbies, or family life. Ask questions to review the previous lesson.Respect students’ first language and culture. Let students respond in their first language if they cannot communicate effectively in English. If someone at your school speaks the student’s languages, ask if they can assist you. Learn some simple greetings and expressions in your students’ languages.Ask students about their country so they can connect what they are learning with their prior experiences. Communicate and collaborate with other teachers. The ESOl teacher can suggest appropriate activities, and colleagues can share strategies that have worked with their ESOL students. Inquire about parents who might volunteer to help in the classroom.Use cooperative learning strategies. Working in groups exposes ESOL students to more language, provides a safe place for language practice, and includes ESOL students in meaningful classroom instruction. Determine the essential knowledge in a lesson. Use visual aids, graphic organizers, and hands-on activities to make the key concepts comprehensible for ESOL students.Be reflective. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to reflect on what worked and how it could be improved or adapted for future lessons.Resourceswww.tki.org.nz/r/esol/esolonline/schools/case_studies/celebrating_diversity/home_e.pwww.kotesol.org/conference/2001/abstracts4.shtmlwww.salisbury.edu/community/tat/December_Tips.htmwww.fcps.k12.va.us/DeerParkES/TR/culture.htm

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