TPR and immersion

This is almost interesting enough for me to want to continue teaching ESL.


Asher’s TPR methods have improved a lot since the 80’s and it isn’t only for beginning students anymore. Offshoots of TPR have emerged which incorporate story-telling and writing to incorporate more complex grammar, and another person has focused on the silent method which strengthens foundation absorption (which would NEVER go over in Korea! ha!) prior to grammar & speaking.  I wish I could be taught foreign languages this way.

Speaking of languages, I’m switching back to Spanish.  Korean is just not useful.  Most Koreans berate me for not learning Korean, but it seems the more educated Koreans have always told me to not bother because it’s just not useful in most of the world.  So due in part to my failure to get Koreans to talk to me and due in part to my thinking that it really isn’t that useful and especially since I’m moving to California next March and will probably retire to some Spanish speaking country where hopefully my social security money will stretch farther, I should get a jump start on Spanish now.

Shortcut to Spanish and Synergy Spanish by Marcos Santamaria is THE BEST program EVER.  In no time flat it got me prepared for a Spanish speaking vacation back in the day, but my studies got interrupted/derailed by having to coordinate a huge cancer benefit. I was on a definite roll prior to that and really felt confident about speaking out loud. I’d tried live community college classes twice with crappy results and also Rocket Spanish and Pimsleur tapes with crappy results, but Marcos’ method is more like immersion, or rather, the way you’d learn naturally but accelerated for an adult, so it feels effortless, and is very smart in giving you building blocks right away and what you need when you need it.    Gotta think about retirement, and lord knows I’ll not be retiring in Korea.

Anyway, enjoy these videos about language acquisition.

If only I could roll my damned R’s…

Oh, and tension between the one uptight teacher at my school has mysteriously died down.  Don’t know if it’s because absence makes the heart grow fonder (my services have only been utilized one week for the past month, or if the teacher’s difficulty with the upstart class without me has proven that it’s not me.  But every morning I get greeted with a cheery good morning as if we’re best buddies.  (smack forehead)  I swear, I’ll never understand Koreans.  This repression/tension/erasure pattern is classic…

Fortunately, I really like the other teacher and she actually talks to me a little.  Though she, too, second guesses what I do at times.  Like one student was all excited Jason Mraz was coming to a nearby town, so I played a video of his with English subtitles and I got chewed out for there being no educational point to that.  The point was good will.  Four minutes of good will.  But I guess that’s only reserved for the Korean home room teachers…That’s not okay, but if there’s five minutes left of class I’m reminded to wrap it up.  And it’s totally okay if I give free time…Anyway, the next week I do nothing but give incredibly easy oral exams, the week after that I will probably desk sit as the Korean teachers take my class time for exam prep, then will come exam week, the week following the Korean teachers will probably take my class time for exam review, and then it will be summer vacation.  Like I said earlier – irrelevant.  My job here is totally irrelevant.  Must tell myself what easy money it is.  Easy money.  Easy money.  As I pound the palm of my hand against my forehead…

Three days of the week prior to exams I go on another Native English Teacher PLUS orientation.  Used to hate these, as the workshops are totally useless, but the last two orientations I came away with great friends so am really looking forward to another opportunity to have meaningful conversation with equally frustrated and thoughtful world travelers trying to get through another year in this stress-filled, sometimes illogical, sometimes beautiful, competitively ugly, sometimes xenophobic country.

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