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Friday, 26 February 2010

Yuna Kim Wins the Gold

Yuna Kim stimulated a lot of Korean national pride today as she won the gold medal in women's figure skating at the Vancouver Olympics.

Also of note is that she won by a landslide and set a new world record for points.


My students and co-teachers were happy!:)

(this link: I did not make the vid, and I am not in love with the girl, but I think it is an endearing tribute nonetheless)

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Yuna Kim

Congratulations! Yuna Kim, South Korea's star figure skater and reigning world champion, won the short program today, beating her rival Mao Asada of Japan. I heard the cheers through my windows as Koreans around the city erupted the moment she finished skating (and that was how I knew it, as I wasn't watching--no tv/cable--but rather tuning into the official Olympics internet site). Kind of a cool moment. Of course I talked about it in classes today with my students:)

The free skate/long program is yet to come. Good luck to her!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

La Ti Da

I haven't been posting lately due to computer problems, but I discovered that if I switch to Firefox some of the problems disappear. So I am sending IE to 'sky country' (one of my students' favorite expressions).

Hello Firefox. Different, but I think I can adjust. What I really need to do is get a new computer, as this one is 4+ years old.

Whiteboard Pics

These pics are from the same 'beginners' class that I talk about below. A few days ago one of the best students in the class, a very nice and bright and sweet girl, surprised me. The day was rainy, and in writing the date and the weather on the whiteboard I had drawn a picture of a cloud raining. When I wasn't looking, this same girl drew a pic of a boy standing on top of the cloud pissing down on some children.

I had to struggle to control my laughter while telling her that wasn't 'nice'. Then I thought, after she erased it, that I should have taken a pic.

So here are some other (tame) pics. The kids like to draw on the wb before class starts.

A Teaching Moment

There I was, starting class with my little Korean kids (not quite beginners after a year). I was checking homework and giving out stickers, when I looked up and saw that some of the kids were teaching each other (in my eyes; to them they were just mimicking me and having fun).


The beginners book for the class comes with a big set of vocabulary cards, large word cards (10 inches?) with colored pictures. I learned long ago a quick game called 'slow reveal' in which the teacher covers the front of the card and slowly pulls it into view. As the teacher is doing so the students have to guess, based on the part of the picture they see, what the English word is. A quick but fun game.

After I had done it a few times with this class I solicited volunteers (these are little kids, remember, so to get them to stand up in front of a class takes some coaxing, except for the dramatists, and then you have to watch out) and had them lead the game. They did quite well.


Anyway, there I was doing my normal start-of-the-class stuff, having left the day's word cards out on a front desk (intentionally, having overcome my fear/irrational bias/teacher-centered views), when I noticed that some kids had appropriated the cards and were doing the 'slow reveal' game with each other.

They had picked up the word cards and were getting each other to guess the English words.

How could I not love that? They were teaching each other!

Not in the way I would do it, and I had to resist jumping in. I watched them for a few minutes to note the interplay, and then inserted a question--"What is it?"--into their actions, but they made me so proud!:)

Ahh, the teaching moments . . .