Thursday, 17 June 2010

Miss Gwangju 2010

OK time for my first post, Sophie has talked about arriving and our first few days so I'm not going to bother going over that again except to say that after my easy first day my next day was much like Sophie's start i.e. I got put in front of a class and told to get on and start teaching them English. Needless to say that was just a little daunting but it sure does force you to learn fast, there's nothing quite like the thought of being stood in front of 40 screaming kids with nothing to say to get you motivated to learn how to teach.

So last week was my school's English festival, a whole day at the school devoted to the wonders of the English language, really exciting huh? Well it sort of was because it meant I had a whole day of no teaching, yay!

But of course an English festival involves plenty of work for an English teacher so no slacking off for me. First of all I was told I needed to produce some questions for the school "Golden Bell" competition. Golden Bell is a South Korean game show and apparently the format is a load of true or false questions followed by some written answer questions which gradually whittle down the contestants until only one is left. Then maybe the golden bell rings or something like that... It wasn't really explained very clearly to me and the clips I've found don't make much sense.

So anyway my version quickly descended into farce as my co-teachers got me to change the questions midway through (despite them having already OKed them!), revealed the answers, displayed the wrong slides and accepted wrong answers. Because of all that we ended up with too many kids left and I had to come up with more questions on the spot to finish the contest.

As well as the Golden Bell I was told I had to give a presentation on English culture, I wanted to talk about food but this being an all boys school that was vetoed and I was told I should talk about sports. If you know me well you'll know just what a massive sport fan I am and how much I love talking about football etc... I couldn't really be bothered with doing a load of research about the premier league and then pretending to be interested in it so I took a different tack and decided to talk about unusual British sports. My presentation featured conkers, bog snorkeling, hurling and cheese rolling, so if they didn't think the British were mad before they certainly do now.

The next delight of the day was the English pop song contest, oh joy there's nothing quite like the sound of a class of boys in the middle of puberty attempting to murder, sorry sing Westlife songs, my love of Westlife is second only to my love of football. But I was a judge so I sat through song after song of cheesy lyrics, breaking voices and mis-pronunciation doing my best to look attentive and not cover my ears too much and mainly giving marks to the shortest and quietest songs.

After lunch we had the Miss Gwangju 2010 contest, but wait I hear you cry I thought you were at a boys school? Well you're not wrong, the Miss Gwangju 2010 contest was the school drag queen contest! 10 boys from each year dolled up in make up and dresses strutting their stuff on the stage! Not the kind of thing you'd get a British school boy doing in a million years.

The role of host was played very well by a 3rd grade boy with excellent English and the perfect mannerisms for a drag queen contest host, camp as a row of tents and bitchy as hell. Lots of the boys looked awkward and a bit embarrassed but of course there were a few from each year who obviously enjoyed it just a bit too much including one boy who got so into the dancing stage he had to be stopped after spending about a minute gyrating around the stage. I wish I'd brought a camera and got some photos but I only had my phone and they were too far away to get them on that.


  1. Wow, wow and more wow.
    You taught them about cheese rolling? When they don't even really have cheese there?!
    Respect to you, you mad, mad, MAD puppy!

    What a laugh out loud post that was, I sort of wish I had been there to see all that, then again, I'm equally glad that I wasn't. Westlife *shudders*

  2. Thanks for the comment Julia,

    Yes I did teach them about cheese rolling, some of them were a little doubtful and questioned me about whether I was telling the truth.