On Monday evenings, I teach a middle school class with four boys and one girl. They are very shy and rarely speak. However, I can tell that the girl’s English skills are very good based on her written work.
Tonight, I got to my classroom and she was the only student there. I decided to postpone my original lesson and have a conversational class with her instead.
Within the first ten minutes of class, I was so impressed by how much she was talking. She speaks very well with some simple grammatical errors, but we were really having a conversation. I asked her why she never participates. She told me that the boys make her too nervous.
We talked about school in Korea. She said that middle school and high school students are required to wear uniforms and are not allowed to individualize them at all. She told me that one time, she wore a ring to class and her teacher took it off her finger and threw it in the trash. I was in shock.
She went on to say how she wishes she was American-born because there is so much more freedom in America. It broke my heart to hear this from a 14 year old.
We also talked about music and books. She loves fantasy books like Harry Potter. I asked her if she liked unicorns. (Because I love unicorns and I have to share my love for them. Obviously.) She did, so I told her about The Last Unicorn and wrote it down for her. We also talked about traveling and cooking.
At the end of class, she told me she had fun! Fun. How awesome is that?
I really hope she stays positive and at least tries to participate more in class. Her speaking skills are among the best out of all my students, and I can’t believe it’s taken nearly four months for her to use them!