Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The English Language Torture Chamber

This month I have been given a special summer class in my first block of teaching (I'm an afternoon teacher again, praise the lord.. or whatever deity you wish... no more preschool for me). The class is called TESOL prep and I have four children in the class. Two 4th graders and two 2nd graders (elementary school). These children come to my school normally on Monday Wednesday Friday, but now they come Tues /Thurs for the next month for this summer class. This class is basically 25 minutes of a Korean teacher giving them a reading test out of a book, then checking the answers, then me coming in and giving them another 25 minute listening test, checking the answers, and by then there's enough time for 5 minutes of hangman, then it's time to go. Thursday I will go over the answers from the listening that they got wrong. This same format will go on for a month. One poor 2nd grade boy in the class looked through the book and asked me "everything test teacher?".... well, I couldn't lie to him... "yes... everything is a test"...

Why would any parent subject their child to this kind of torture? Especially because the kids in this class are particularly low level. I was watching them as they took the test... they were guessing on every answer. Just kill their self-esteem and make them feel like crap for 8 days of their precious summer vacation. Not only that, but make them sit through 80 minutes of torturous test taking two days a week. I wouldn't even discuss the fact that there is a Mon/Wed/Fri version of this class for similarly aged children. These kid's parents are just plain dumb. Why not send them to an English camp where they might actually learn something while having fun?

Anyway, I'll try not to fall asleep as I'm teaching this class for the next month. My finger is going to get a lot of exercises hitting the play button on the CD player.


  1. Jeez, how depressing! I have heard some really dumb "educational" ventures since I've been here, but this one tops them all.

    Maybe you can figure out a way to give them little signals for the correct answers--that way, they may not totally give up at the age of 10.

  2. I know, I got to figure out something... because this class is going to be torture for student and teacher for the next month...

  3. Haha, I'm sure the tuition for that class is at a premium too.