Monday, December 24, 2012

Movie Review: Please Teach Me English

I was recently lucky enough to catch the 2003 Korean film called "Please Teach Me English" (영어완전정복) on TV several days ago. It's definitely a must see for every English teacher working in Korea. It gives a little insight into how Korean adults feel as they attempt to conquer the English language.

It's the story of a Korean man and woman who sign up for an English class at a hagwon (actually filmed at YBM Jongno). The girl, named "Candy" works in a government office and often needs to deal with foreigners who have problems. The man, named "Elvis", will soon meet his sister who was put up for adoption as a baby and grew up in America. Both want to speak English badly, but both struggle something terrible with the language. Their native speaker teacher isn't much help to them either and quickly gets frustrated with their lack of progress.

Elvis is a bit obsessed with the beautiful English teacher, but Candy has eyes only for Elvis. Unfortunately, Candy is a very awkward, geeky gal with no coordination or tact... her every effort to catch the attention of Elvis goes unrewarded. However, he does discover that while he's totally unattracted to her, he can actually think of her as a friend. The two of them try to learn English and deal with their own personal problems together.

This movie is an oldie but goodie. It's worth tracking down and watching if you can. If you've got some basic Korean skills, you may not even need subtitles since the characters spend most of the movie trying to speak English (however, sometimes being able to read the Korean subtitles is useful to figure out what they are trying to say). Anyone who has taught English in Korea will definitely relate to the characters, particularly one side character who has a problem with his electricity bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment