From K-pop to noreabang, how to successfully integrate Korean culture into the English classroom was the featured topic at the Jeju chapter of the Korean Organization for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (KOTESOL) meeting June 20 at Jeju Tourism College.
Guest speakers from Dongguk University were Sherry Seymour, Daegu-Gyeongbuk chapter president, and Maria Pinto, KOTESOL publications editor.
Seymour delivered her workshop on working with Korean culture positively in the classroom, by integrating everything from K-Pop, to TV dramas to noraebang. Jeju KOTESOL member Brett Ivan Crehan felt that it was an area greatly neglected by many foreign teachers in Korea.
“We all too often hear of problems in the classroom stemming from lack of cultural understanding, but as foreigners in Korea, we must take positive steps towards embracing Korean culture through English,” he said.
Workshop participants discussed issues that often cause conflict between foreign teachers and Korean students, such as teaching styles and cultural roles. Solutions discussed included moving beyond seeing culture as hierarchical and recognizing the equality of different cultural practices. Seymour felt this was an important conceptual difference.
“It’s important to move both sets of professionals beyond Western-centric, or Korean-centric worldviews if we are to realize a truly global education”, she said.
Following the success of this month’s meeting, next month KOTESOL will hold a picnic at Halla Arboretum in Shin Jeju. The July meeting will focus on team building and group dynamic activities, which could be adapted for all age groups and English-speaking levels.
This is a free event and visitors are welcome to bring a guest to enjoy what will be an active and relaxed summer gathering. The meeting is from 3 to 5 p.m., July 18 at the Halla Arboretum, which is due south of Nohyeong Rotary in Shin Jeju.
All English teachers, Korean and native speakers, are invited to attend KOTESOL meetings. Membership is encouraged but not necessary.
For more information on KOTESOL visit www.kotesol.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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