Conversations with adults

Anyone who spends a lot of time around children, knows the pure joy of having a completely adult conversation. Nannys, babysitters, teachers, day care workers, parents – we all know the comfort in being able to speak in natural, full sentences without the fear of little minds not understanding or picking up on “adult themes”. 

This week, I was so excited! I was told that my adult conversation classes would be starting! My class size had increased from 1 student to TWO. A woman who is 24/25 and then a man who is 26. I was excited to finally be able to speak with other adults, and to have students who were wanting to be there and not just play games.

I had seen the other adult classes in the hogwan over the last month and was thinking that mine would consist the same type of student. I had a nice hour break between my last regular class and the adult class so I had a little snack, and did some marking and internet surfing while I was waiting.

The first student to arrive was the girl. She walks in and says hello and starts to sit down and get her things ready for class. I return the greeting and ask “how are you today” and then there it was – the blank stare of non-English speakers.

My heart dropped! I was all prepared to have conversations with these two adults, and it was all dashed out the window. Both of them are very low in their English abilities – which is quite rare for their ages. That first class was horrible! Just an hour full of blank stares and confused voices. However, they are paying to be there, not their parents, so I think their determination will be very strong.

I was suppose to be teaching them three times a week, but I think it’s been decided that the Wednesday night classes will be taken over by a Korean teacher who can go over the material with them a second time and reinforce the grammar and concepts but in Korean.

Thursday went so much better than Tuesday since they had that special Korean class on Wednesday. I only had the girl in the regular time, and it went really well! One on one was perfect for us! The guy got his information confused and went to his Chinese lesson from 6-7 instead of my class, so he had a quick 15 minute lesson with me at 7. That’s not ideal since he is lower than the girl but I was able to get the basics of the lesson down and then assign him the same homework.

Thankfully, it really is just a conversational class. They aren’t learning the nitty gritty of the English language, but how to converse with people. Simple things so far like “hi my name is” and “where’s bob?” “he’s in the post office”.

I guess I will have to save all my unaltered adult conversation for ya’ll.

**all images provided via a royalty free image google search**

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4 thoughts on “Conversations with adults

  1. I remember a long while ago I looked into teaching English as a second language in other countries. I think part of it was an escape from my situation at the time. I stalled because I felt I wouldn’t be able to communicate well enough to teach it. How do you find it? Is it difficult?

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    • Since English here is like French in Canada, it’s not too bad. Children have to take it in school so by the time they start hogwans at like age 7 or 8 then they are usually ok. I have one class which just finished phonics and I have to have a Korean teacher there to translate because they can’t understand ANYTHING. The only difficult part for me is that one kid who decides he’s not going to listen and the reward system for the class doesn’t work for him. And the one that does he lies about and then gets angry when he doesn’t get a sticker, then just ignores me the rest of the class.

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