Resistant Korean Students
Today was officially the first day of English classes at my university. However, every Monday, I only have one evening English conversation class from 7-8:45pm, so it wasn’t very difficult, today. I entered the class at 6:50pm. There were 13 students there. My Monday evening class is full of working students. They cannot take day classes because of their jobs, so the average age is around 25.
The moment I entered the classroom, I could feel they were all nervous to see me. It was their first day of university, and I was about to teach their first class. I tried to be friendly and speak slowly. Unfortunately, the moment I tried talking to them, nobody would speak English. They were all too shy. I am continually disappointed with Korean students, especially when they meet people for the first time. Koreans of all ages are just too shy. It can be very frustrating. In my class, I have mature working students, but still they cannot function in a normal manner around a foreigner.
I introduced myself and explained the details about my English conversation class. They just listened quietly. As it was the first day, I was not going to have a full-length class. Just I wanted to quickly introduce myself and the class and leave. After I finished introducing about my class, I asked them if they had any questions. Nobody spoke. Nobody raised their hand. The whole room remained silent. This is when I started to get angry (I never show anger to students). I wrote on the whiteboard:
The class is over after you ask me 15 questions.
I explained to them that they could go home after they ask me 15 questions. They could ask me any question about myself, how I score, their future assignments, their homework, anything. I said the power to leave early was in their hands. Nobody spoke. I waited a few minutes. Nobody spoke. They were all resistant to even try. Even knowing they can go home quickly, they still would not speak and chose to stay longer.
I then asked them to take out some paper and write down a question. A girl told me in Korean that she didn’t have a paper or pen. I then looked around and saw that about 7 out of 13 didn’t have any pen or paper. I told them that they could write their question on their phone and show me. Once they wrote down the questions on their phone, they started to ask me questions:
How old are you?
When did you come to Korea?
Do you have a girlfriend?
Do we have to do a presentation in class?
From the time I wrote on the board, and told them that after asking me 15 questions we could go home, about 40 minutes had passed. It took them 40 minutes to ask 15 questions. I think it will be a long semester.
*Thanks for reading. I left some spelling and grammar mistakes in the story. If you find them, please tell me in the comments below.