Friday, June 27, 2014

Global Teaching in Action

What a great week! All groups of students and their accompanying teachers were able to present their lessons to Korean high school students at Suwon High School for Agricultural Sciences, not just once, but twice.

The opportunity to revisit the lesson after the first day of teaching proved invaluable to student  and teacher success.  Through this experience we were able to modify our lesson as needed, once we became more familiar with the needs and abilities of our students.

Most of the teachers and students from our group were under the impression that our Suwon students would be somewhat proficient in English, with about half of our class able to potentially interact with us in English. That proved to not be the case, as only about 3 students in our classes were able to speak with us in English.  It seems more were able to read it, but didn't feel comfortable conversing in it. This meant that we depended heavily on our Seoul National University students to help us translate key directions if students did not understand, or to translate student responses. Big thank yous go out to all of our SNU teaching partners!

In order to work through language barriers, our teaching groups came up with some strategies:

1.Utilize pictures or diagrams whenever possible.
2. Our SNU partners translated much of our PowerPoint and worksheet into Korean, in addition to our verbal directions.
3. Speaking slowly and clearly, while also allowing wait time to allow students to collect their thoughts and process what we said.
4. Show students you care. Most, if not all of our teaching teams introduced themselves in Korean, which was a BIG hit!
5. Enthusiasm and a positive attitude along with patience. These expressions of joy in what you do transcends all language.
6. Allow students time to work together in small groups to process the information together. 

Many of our AgEd2Korea participants tweeted specific suggestions that worked well for them on our #AgEd2Korea feed after reflecting on their lessons. Check it out!

Today we were able to follow up with some of the teachers of the classes we took over yesterday. They said that their students absolutely loved having us come into their school and teach. They had tons of fun and enjoyed learning about agriculture from us.

One teacher I spoke with teaches English at Suwon, and it was her class that Rachel, TaeHeon, and I taught yesterday. She said that the students have shown a renewed interest and drive to learn English after interacting with us yesterday. They were so excited to talk about class and what they learned! She asked if they would be interested in visiting the United States one day and they were very enthusiastic about the idea. Wouldn't that be cool? Having an international exchange with FFA and FFK students would be so neat!

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