During group activities, I’ll meander around the room and chat it up with students who are finished early or not really contributing to the group work. You know, force them to speak English. Kind of my job.
One of today’s conversations went a little something like this:
“So what did you do yesterday?”
“Oh, you watched TV? Cool–what show?”
“[either the name of a show in Korean, or English words which I could not decipher because not only are they said with an accent, but I’m already hard of hearing. Not a good combo.]”
“Um…sounds good! How about you?”
…and so it goes around the table: a few sentences, mostly words pieced together, and then…
“Oh, what game?”
“No, no game, uh–read, [words I cannot understand–see above], uh–crying!” [charades: flowing her fingers down her face to emphasize the crying part. Evidently, she was quite devastated.]
“What? Why were you crying?!”
Then the students at the other end of the table got involved in trying to communicate the story.
“Uhh, SHINee, uh—”
And then I interrupted her, because it clicked what they were talking about.
A few days ago, So Jung explained to me that many of her students were very upset. The world of Korean teenage girls had just been shattered, as they learned that Kim Jonghyun, a singer from the Kpop band SHINee, had gotten a girlfriend. Because you know, if he hadn’t started dating the actress he picked up, obviously his next stop for a romantic fling would have been Gwan Gyo Girls’ Middle School.
I leaned forward, hit the tabletop with my hand, gasped, and exclaimed in a completely over-the-top shocked voice, “He has a GIRLFRIEND!!”
Those kids went nuts. The entire table screamed in excitement that I was aware of the goings-on in their world.
Teacher Points: making a commotion that distracts the rest of the class from an activity you told them to work on.