Last Wednesday I went out with one of the Korean co-teachers to grab some dinner and coffee and do our first language exchange session. She revealed that she actually has no interest in studying English with me. She, like many other Koreans, is a bit modest about her ability and is embarrassed to speak. Even though we speak English to each other all day at work, she feels embarrassed or something. Anyway, I apologized profusely because I’ve basically talked her into being my free tutor/language exchange partner but she seemed genuinely curious and interested in helping me out.
I’ve had a lot of exchange partners who were helpful and great conversation, but now I can see the difference when having a teacher as your tutor. She knows what she’s doing! She helped me with pronunciation, pacing, corrected my sentence structure and took notes about the mistakes I made speaking and explained how to choose more natural words at the end of our conversation. She even gave me homework. AND she knows how to explain things about grammar of which I have a hard time understanding the subtle nuanced differences. She also spoke really slowly so that I could understand– at least I don’t feel mocked because we both speak that way all day when we’re dealing with the children.
It was a really nice time and I was really happy to speak to an experienced teacher about work-related issues as well.
In other news, it’s less than one month until I get to visit my sister and her husband in Okinawa!!!