Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Pat's er... PTA Meeting Day

Well, they've got the same letters, so they should be equally fun, right? Yeah, I didn't think so, either. Apparently, my homework load has been getting complaints. So far, I've given out 10-15 minutes per day, plus one to three writing paragraphs for chatting in Korean or talking louder than me when I'm speaking to the class. Cry me a river. I doubt any kid has had a full hour of homework yet.

How little homework should I be giving? Under ten minutes a day? Under five? Maybe that's why these kids have gone to an immersion school for four years and still can't write a sentence with a subject AND a verb. We won't even talk about articles, because that's a pipe dream.

Seriously, my new job is awesome, but these kids need serious work on their English and osmosis has pretty well been discounted as a way to learn. I'm pretty much living proof-- I've lived in Korea for over ten years, but I speak English at school all day, then come home to my English Batcave, and my Korean still sucks. If I were paying big bucks to someone to improve my Korean, I'd be pretty angry at the return on my investment.


Chris in South Korea said...

I haven't bothered giving homework for most of my classes - they'll either pawn off the expectations on their private English tutors who will spoonfeed them the lesson or 'forget' it at home. It's not like I'm giving them a grade that won't get changed by one of the Korean teachers...

Jen said...

I'm the teacher of record for these kids, though. If they go back into the Korean system, the Korean teachers' marks will have more weight, of course, but many of them are planning to go overseas, so their grades from the foreign teachers will have more weight, since it's US curriculum.

Most of my students don't have English tutors, but some (the laziest, I have noticed) go to English hagwon. IMHO The kids might do more with less. You know, if there was a light at the end of the tunnel for them, rather than more classrooms.

Alex said...

My students all do my homework and I give between 5-15 minutes a day, just like you. I think it's important. They tend to complain about the homework if it's repetitive or too hard. Sometimes starting it in class and finishing for homework is good. I try to alternate between writing homework and (more fun) worksheets like unscramble the sentences, crosswords, and sentence decoders.

Persevere! A little homework is good. A red frown face drawn on the back of the hand if the homework is missing is pretty good for making them bring it in. The other students mock them for it for the rest of the day.