If you are a teacher, you are sure to have done it. "What do you think about this?" you ask naively. Duh. Silence. An artful evasion of all eye contact. You have broken the rules. Teachers talk and students parrot. 'What does the creep want me to say... ?'
A couple of weeks ago I had a bunch of high school students (both genders) for a brief winter course. They'd just survived the ultimate Korean humiliation of secondary graduation exams, and were waiting to apply for universities. Heaven at last - once in you could forget about hagwons or study and catch up on a lost childhood. What kind of sadistic parents would dump them in this last brief shot at an English cram class?
Wasn't I in for a surprise! These characters were **bright** and they wanted to talk. Hey, this job started to look interesting at last. Well, you can't talk with thirty students at once (you can talk at them). I decided to let them loose on a series of projects, which they took to with verve.
Our final exercise was an opinion survey. Australian high school students do all kinds of research now, but this was a new deal for these South Koreans. We went through the basic requirements for questionnaires - open & closed questions, researcher neutrality, reliability etc. Once they had the concepts, it was up to them, in groups of two to four. They chose the topics, constructed the questions and conducted the interviews on anyone handy. My only rule was "this is an English zone : no Korean!". That was tough, but they played it pretty well.
Well, enough blah. What came out of all this? They made posters to summarize the results. I haven't tried to fix any funny English. Click the thumbnails below to see the scans. Yeah, I was taken aback by a couple of the topic choices too ..
[note : the original images are not reduced so you will have to scroll a bit. Reading them would have been difficult otherwise].
MBC music camp accident
The movie industry
Privileged university admission for pop stars
World cup prospects
Student Surveys in South Korea
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