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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm not a teacher and not qualified to do the job.. 

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“Dear Ai,
A friend of mine asked me if I can teach some Korean before he goes to Korea (to teach English). I’m not a teacher and not qualified to do the job. I don’t know what to teach. I know it is a good idea for him to know some Korean to make friends there. I would like to support him. Do you have any suggestions to me? By the way, there is no money involved.” Hana – Korea

“Hi Hana,
Thank you for your e-mail. You should definitely take this opportunity for the sake of your friends and yourself. I know in Korean culture (or any Asian culture), the teaching profession is highly admired and sometimes teachers are seen as “Gods” who don’t make any mistakes. You might be feeling stressed to be perfect. Here in Canada, teaching can be viewed differently. They are highly admired here as well, but they can also grow and learn with their students. You can start this by picking topics you are familiar with. Why don’t you teach Korean culture you think is interesting? Drinking rituals, taboos, dating practices, how to take public transportation, or Korean folklore would be interesting topics. You will be amazed to rediscover your own culture through explaining it to foreigners! This exercise will help you to improve your English skills dramatically. Good luck!”

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