Special Programs

12 Jan

Well it has been another week of growth, new opportunities and challenges here at the English Village in Paju, South Korea.  It’s hard to believe that I have been here for almost a month already!  I certainly don’t feel like a seasoned staff member yet, but I at least feel like I am more comfortable and familiar with the basics… which is good.   There is still more to learn, that’s for sure!

This past week I had the opportunity to work in a different area of programming at the English Village called Special Programs.  I was told early on by another staff member that the one thing you can count on at the English Village is change. So far I have found that to be true.  It seems that one must always be open for things to be different  – your daily schedule, what area you will work in, who you will teach with…

So I was moved over to Special Programs.  I am not sure for how long… perhaps a week, perhaps for good.  Time will tell.  So far I really enjoy it.  There is quite a bit of diversity in the students and curriculum in Student Programs.  There are also sometimes opportunities to work with and teach adult and college level students, which I like. In this past week I taught elementary and high school students from South Korea, Japan, and even a few students from Russia.  I also taught classes for a group of visiting adult teachers from South Korea, Japan, Thailand and Russia!

It was really fun for me working with and teaching the adults!  Their English level is so high and of course discipline isn’t a problem – so the focus gets to be more on teaching and learning English.  I taught subjects this week like “phrasal verbs” “idioms” and “slang”.  I am finding that beginning to teach English is also serving as a refresher course for myself.  Speaking English and teaching it to others are two different things.

I had to laugh while teaching slang… to notice how confusing the English language can be – words that typically mean one thing, but when used as slang mean something else.  One slang word on their worksheet was “the John” which many of us know is an informal word for the bathroom ( or the toilet, the WC, the Loo… depending on where you are from…)  A student asked “why is it called the John?”  I have no idea.  So I googled it and I learned that the slang term comes from Sir John Harrington who was the inventor of the first flushing toilet.  Who Knew!?

At the end of the week we had a closing ceremony for the adult students and I was surprised to find myself tearing up a bit.  The students all had such bright energy and were such kind people.  Their enthusiasm and appreciation for learning was really wonderful and it was fun to have the experience of teaching and connecting with them.

The cold weather continues on with a new dusting of snow arriving last night.  And so with the cold weather, outside of teaching time it is still mostly hibernation for me.  I am doing my best to cook up a storm in my tiny little kitchen thanks to the wonders of my new crock pot, my latest purchase in South Korea.  Today I am making Jamaican Fish.  Here is the recipe if you’re curious!  Since I don’t have an oven, I am learning there are MANY things you can cook in a crock pot that you would typically bake… sweet potatoes, even brownies!

As always, thanks for reading and stopping by!  Life is good in the frozen land of English Village as I stay warm and settle a little bit more into my world of newness and change teaching here in the northern peak of South Korea.

Photo of Korean women cooking up a storm at an indoor market in Seoul.

2 Responses to “Special Programs”

  1. Dad 14/01/2013 at 19:07 #

    I’m impressed! Dad

    • nancieteresa 25/01/2013 at 01:34 #

      Thanks Dad!

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