My Experience of Teaching English to Senior Citizens for the First Time

Programs for this blog post

Arts + Sciences

Authored By:

Daravuth T.

Having the experience of teaching English to Korean seniors for the first time was really exciting. I remember the first day we received an email regarding this opportunity and I had to really switch up my schedule to make time for this! Before applying, it was stated that students must attend all eight sessions over the semester in order to receive a certificate of completion. This class took place every Tuesday morning at 10am, but at the time I had already had a class during this period. There were about 14 students in total that signed up and how the class was going to work, is that there will be a pair of students that will work together to create a lesson plan for the following week. While excited but stressed simultaneously, I had to log into Yonsei’s portal to change my classes. Don’t worry the classes that I had to remove were switched to a later time slot during the day. The only hassle was just making sure that I knew how my schedule was going to be over the semester. 

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Here is a small vlog of what I did during the week of teaching English to Senior citizens class!

After having everything figured out, it was time. I went ahead and signed up for this opportunity! The class was held at the Senior Citizens Welfare Center near Anguk Station outside of exit 5 and I remember being worried about being late for the first class. At the time, I was still getting used to Seoul’s transportation system so I didn’t know the appropriate time to leave my dormitory (Just a tip: always plan to leave early just in case there is traffic!). Arriving just in time, all the faculty members and students proceeded to head to the classroom. When I walked in, all of the thoughts in my head were overflowing with reality and senses of how I am actually having the chance to teach English to senior citizens for the first time. In other words, you can just say that I was getting a reality check. We were given our name tags and chose a table to sit at. My partner and I decided to sit in the left corner of the classroom near two lovely folks. Their English names were Abraham and Sharon. I was surprised at how good their English was! I was jealous and wished that my Korean was at the same level. We went ahead and introduced ourselves and continued with our first class of the semester! 

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As I am writing this blog, I kept almost all of the handouts that were presented in the class and the first topic that we went over was ‘Seasons and Hobbies”. Generally the handout would contain a vocabulary list, a dialogue practice of how those vocabularies can be used, and a discussion question section that would relate to our daily lives. For example, my topic was on “Emotions and Weather” and the handout consisted of a vocabulary section and its synonym (Ex. Shock: surprised, stunned, startled), an example dialogue, discussion questions, and a review section from the previous class. 

From the stories being shared to the countless number of laughs, this is an opportunity that I would definitely love to participate in again if it was offered. I can tell that Sharon and Abraham really enjoyed their time being here and it was just a wholesome experience. On the last day of class, Abraham decided to share an inspirational quote with the class. He had compared this opportunity of us being able to see each other for the first time to the moment of him going to a restaurant that he really enjoyed as his first time being there. The waiter told him “Oh you came here 25 million years ago and now you are back. Shall we meet again in 25 million years”. In the moment of sharing this quote, I was really in awe. Abraham said that although this was our last class, don’t worry, let us meet again in 25 million years. Abraham and Sharon, I will see you in 25 million years. 감사합니다~

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