Wednesday, June 06, 2007


One of my six o'clock classes is a mix of 4th to 6th graders. They're really beginners, and while some of them are doing quite well, others are really struggling. I'm teaching them how to read. Right now we're attempting to master vowel sounds.

An aside. One thing that drives me crazy is the Korean teachers' insistence on correlating English phonics with hangul. It works out okay vowel wise, except when it comes to SHORT i. The symbol they use is,...well I can't type it on my English keyboard - but it equates to a LONG e. There simply is no Korean sound to equate to a SHORT i, (or p, or f, or th, or, get the idea.) After the K-teachers teach the LONG e for SHORT i thing, I get to try to re-teach them to say "ih." It's FISH instead of FEESH. (Or worse "peeshu.") I can't even teach them to swear properly. When I want them to say the bad-speak for "excrement," they end up talking about their bed linens.

But anyhow, with my class we were working on SHORT u today. The text had some good examples, -u- -ut- but, cut, hut. I'd go through with the whole class, "Everyone! Uh, Uht,..." and then call on an individual to try to make out the next three words. I always head to the brighter stars of the class so they can (hopefully) demonstrate how it's done.

But I ran out of text examples, so was winging it on the board. It doesn't really matter if the words make sense,...I'm not defining them for the students. It's all about the reading. But for my mind it's easier to put real words up if I can.

So I was all -u- -uck- luck, duck, muck. Yes, stay far away from the "F" sensei! And then it was -u- -unt- hunt,....uhhhh? Not being able to think of another word, I wrote a "c" and then uttered, "For God's sake, Jenn." and erased the whole thing. English is a mine zone.

"Let's move on class! Repeat after me! -u- -uh- duh, duuuuuh, duuuuuuuuuh."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Too funny! It seems your sense of humor serves you well teacher!