Today was the main reason for popping over to Korea, two Genki English workshops at the KOTESOL Symposium. Korea is much further along than Japan, but still runs into the same sorts of problems, i.e. how to get the kids having fun whilst still progressing with their lessons. Hence the workshops went down great. Everyone seemed terrified at first, but a quick run through one of the songs and everyone was acting just as crazy as your average 7 year old.
Content wise it was basic songs ( What’s your name?, How old are you?, Where are you going?, I can do it!, Thank you ) with some basic games ( such as Mingle, Harry Potter, Leapfrog ) to illustrate the main points which are the Genki English rules, and the ways of motivating the kids, i.e. it was pretty much similar to the online workshop. It’s amazing how many MAs and Phds there are in Korea, and most people seemed to have a very good knowledge of TESL, so it was cool to not have to explain why the songs work, but to just do them. Except for the Leapfrog game which tanked because I forgot to do the Rock, Paper, Scissors song first, sorry about that!! It would have been cool to talk about the online Phonics games, but the net was down in the room (actually in Japan I don’t think I’ve ever had a room that was even supposed to be online!). Phonics seems to be huge over here though, probably to combat the “Konglish” syndrome, which is similar to what we have in Japan with the non-English alphabets interfering with pronunciation.
It was great to present to teachers who were so eager to help out and participate, and it will be really good if we could work out a full day workshop next year.
Then afterwards everyone was invited out to a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, which was lovely, and I got to chat to loads of people. Then out on the town for lots of great chats about new ideas, waiters who do the Tom Cruise cocktail juggling, and one of the best Saturday nights out I’ve had in ages!