Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Free Door-to-Door Korean Classes for F2 + F5 Expats: 3 Months In

Info for classes HERE

Wow have I ever learned a lot in the last three months and I've been pretty lazy about studying since I'm putting all my energy into doing a MEd and taking care of J who has been sick a lot.

There is no set curriculum for completing a certain amount of chapters per semester and my teacher and I just do whatever we feel like.  In the last three months we have completed 13 chapters - there are a total of 20 chapters in the 2nd book.  We taken some time to review certain chapters as well since I felt like I forgot some things.

My listening has improved expedientially (I looked that up in the dictionary kkkk), I can understand so much much more now and my reading skills are pretty great too.  The other day I was watching Love in Asia and could basically understand all the subtitles although there were words I didn't know and they moved too quickly but massive improvements.  My speaking skills are still pretty poor - they are crawling along - I don't know why since I speak to my MIL everyday + J's teachers + the neighborhood friends/shopkeepers. 

When I first started Korean class I felt a little low like I just wanted to give up, like I had lived in Korea for so long but hadn't learned much Korean but these days I'm starting to feel confident, it's all coming together, I'm getting it, I'm improving!  As the Koreans say Asah!

Some additional info I've learned about the classes:
1. The classes last for one year - two semesters Aug - Dec, Feb - July.  In January there is a one month break.
2. You can register your children for the classes as well.  Children usually don't study for a full hour (I believe the classes for children are only one hour) so you can use the time to practice Korean with the teacher as well.  Each child is eligible for one year of study.
3. There are books 1-4, with 5-6 in the making.
4.  There are no books specifically made for F2 men, all are geared for women so far.
6. There are 2 outings per semester - such as eating at a restaurant or visiting a famous place.  These are done with your teacher and few students from your neighborhood.
7.  There are various events that you can attend for free as well - such as making Thanksgiving rice cakes (see pic below)

Here are some pictures of pages from book 2:

Here are some photos of my teacher and I, and a multicultural event for making Thanksgiving rice cakes (Songpyeon).  Check out this Youtube video about Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) and rice cakes.

A video about Korean Autumn/Chuseok/Songpyeong.

Love in Asia - I cry every time I watch this show.  It's on KBS, Tuesdays at 7:30^^

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Halloween Store in Seoul

This is the entrance to the Halloween Store, go down the stairs and you're there.

What's Offered: Huge quantity of adult Halloween costumes, Halloween decorations + accessories such as wigs, masks, chains, ect., some Christmas decorations, and some birthday stuff, a small selection of children's costumes - mostly for 7 years and up.

What's Not Offered: Halloween candy, baby costumes, toddler costumes.

Basically this place is for adults looking for Halloween costumes, it's not really suitable for  
mom's looking for baby/kids costumes though there are a few princess, spiderman ones.  It's also a good place for teachers who want to decorate their classrooms for Halloween.

  I found the directions off of Dave's or somewhere like that and they are accurate.  To be on the safe-side I've included a picture of the hospital you will see that is along the same lane/alleyway as the Halloween Store. The hospital's name is: Yonsei Love Hospital 연세사랑병원.  If you get lost you can ask 연세사랑병원이 어디에 있어요? (Where's the Yonsei Love Hospital?) 

Sadang Station (line 2, line 4)
exit 14, walk straight out quite a bit more than 50 meters till you get to the part of the sidewalk with the wall along your left side. Continue to the three-way intersection. Turn left and immediately cross over the crosswalk to the other side, turn left, and immediately turn right down the first alley/sidestreet. Halloween (with an orange sign in Korean) is about 20m down the sidestreet on your right, in the basement.
Weekdays 9:30am -  7pm
Saturdays 9:30am - 4pm
Sundays closed

Link: Halloween Store

Friday, September 23, 2011

MEd Work: Comparing Korean and Canadian Culture

I found this appendix I wrote up for one of my MEd Intercultural Communications classes I took a while back.  Let me know if you agree or disagree^^

Appendix B
Enabling Task Two: Comparing Canadian and Korean Culture


National Characteristics
-          Collectivist.
-          Searching for identity (Pratt, 2006 as cited in Moen, 2009).
-          High-context.
-          Hot-tempered.
-          Nationalistic.
-          Competitive.
-          Xenophobic.
-          Conservative.
-          Proud of their culture.
-          Extreme, clever, unique, diligent, intense, aggressive and fiery (Rhie, 2002).
-          Individualistic.
-          Have a hard time defining themselves and tend to do so negatively.  For example they will say they are not American. (Clark & Shimoni, 2000).
-          Trying to search for a new identity (Courchene, 1996).
-          Low-context.
-          Friendly.
-          Polite.
-          Multi-cultural.
-          Liberal.
Concept of
-          Circular (Dahl, n.d.).
-          Polychronic (Dahl, n.d.).
-          The perfect world was in the past and can be found by going back to that time (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Futures of people are non-linear (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Do not have control over events that will happen (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Linear (Dahl, n.d.).
-          Monochronic (Dahl, n.d.).
-          The perfect world can be found in the future via linear progress (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Futures of people move in one direction (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          In control of events that will happen (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Honor the space between objects (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          For example when looking at a picture, they will look at how everything is related. 
-          When they take a photo, they will include more than just a picture of themselves, they will also show what is happening around them (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Do not consider space between objects (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          For example when looking at a picture, they will look at the main object and not consider anything else within the picture.
-          When they take a photo, the image of themselves or object is very large and anything around them is not considered necessary to include in the photo (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Learn things better when there is structure (Boulter, 2004).
-          High-context culture so communication is indirect and ambiguous (Merkin, 2009).
-          Deductive (Dahl, n.d.).
-          See the world as complicated (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Abstract thinking.
-          Aristotelian understanding of logic (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Logical, alphabetical, inductive.
-          Low-context culture so communicate clearly and directly (Merkin, 2009).
-          See the world in simple, explicit way (Nesbitt, 2003).
-          Religion: Christian 26.3%, Buddhist 23.2%, none 49.3% (CIA-The World Fact Book, Korea, South, People, para. 18).
-          Confucian
-          Harmony and egalitarianism (Merkin, 2009).
-          Saving ‘face’ is very important (Merkin, 2009).
-          Koreans far more Confucian than Chinese (Moen, 2009).
-          Success Syndrome (Imai, 2004).
-          Religion: Roman Catholic 42.6%, Protestant 23.3%, other Christian 4.4%, Muslim 1.9%, other and unspecified 11.8%, none 16% (CIA-The World Fact Book, Canada, People,  para. 18).
-          Independence and personal freedom (Boulter, 2004).
-          Rigid social ladder (Boulter,  2004).
-          Field-dependent;  interested in social interaction (Boulter, 2004).
-          Extremely conservative; can only be friends with people of the same age and same social status.
-          Field-independent; solitary and impersonable (Boulter, 2004).

View of
-          Highly valued.
-          Teacher-centered.
-          Focused on memorization and examination (Boulter, 2004).
-          Teacher is ‘God’ (Imai, n.d.).
-          Children expected to obey at school (Imai, n.d.).
-          Extrinsic motivation (Boulter,  2004).
-          Focus on additive and fine-tuning (Pratt, 1991).
-          Intrinsic motivation (Boulter, 2004).
-          Learner-centered (Boulter, 2004).
-          Teacher is a facilitator (Pratt, 1991).
-          Children may question their teachers.
-          Challenge old ideas and create new ones (Pratt, 1991).
-          Filial Piety (Pratt, 1991).
-          High value on family (Boulter, 2004).
-          Patriarchal Authority (Imai, n.d.).
-          Extended/large families.
-          Men in Korea come first (Imai, n.d.).
-          The individual is not important, rather part of continuing family line (Pratt, 1991).
-          Children are raised to conform, be obedient and be reliable.  Individuality is not emphasised. (Pratt, 1991).
-          Individual should succeed by him/herself, family is not that intimate. (Pratt, 1991).
-          Can choose to have a relationship with family or not, it is voluntary. (Pratt, 1991).
-          Children are raised to be self-reliant, independent and should figure out who they are (Pratt, 1991).
-          Need for self-worth (Pratt, 1991).
Non-verbal Communication
-          Avoid eye contact.
-          Bow rather than shake hands.
-          Same sex walk hand-in-hand as a sign of friendship.
-          Very concerned about their physical appearance
-          Not touch oriented (Imai, n.d.).
-          Do not display affection or emotion in public (Merkin, 2009).
-          The number 4 is bad luck.
-          White means death.
-          Periods of silence are acceptable (Imai, n.d.).
-          Women cover their mouths when laughing.
-          Blowing your nose loudly is rude.
-          Most gestures are used to show respect.
-          Make eye contact.
-          Shake hands or give a slight nod.
-          Friendship is not shown by holding hands.
-          Not very concerned about their physical appearance.
-          Touch avoidant (Merkin, 2009).
-          Display affection and emotion in public.
-          The number 13 is bad luck.
-          White means pureness.
-          Silence is uncomfortable.
-          Eating noisily is rude.
Additional Comparisons
-          Korean language has 7 different speech levels used for different social situations which reinforce the Confucian hierarchy implicit in Korean culture (Moen, 2009).
-          In Korean, it is impossible to express another person’s emotions (ibid.).
-          Asian languages are more focused on verbs.  For instance, to offer someone water, they say, “Drink?” This is because relationships are more important than objects. (Nisbett, 2003).
-          English and French are not hierarchy-based.
-          English and French are object and category oriented.  Nouns are more important than verbs.  For instance, to offer someone water, they say, “More water?” (Nisbett, 2003).

Boulter, C. (2004). From Confucius to Opedius: Considerations for culturally inclusive ELT online development. ELT and E-Learning in an Electronic Age: Issues and Alternatives Conference Proceeding (pp. 65-83).  Taipei: Tamkang University.
CIA – The World Factbook. (2010). Canada: People: Religion. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ca.html
CIA – The World Factbook. (2010). Korea, South: People: Religion. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ks.html
Clark, D., & Shimoni, R. (2000). Antibias education and a Canadian national identity: Is there a connection? The Canadian Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education 8(2), 55-55.
Courchene, R. (1996). Teaching Canadian Culture: Teacher Preparation. TESL Canada Journal 13(2), 1-16.
Dahl, S. (n.d.). Communications and culture transformation: Cultural diversity, globalization and cultural convergence. Retrieved from http://www.stephweb.com/capstone/capstone.pdf
Edge, J. (1996). Cross-cultural paradoxes in a profession of values.  TESOL Quarterly 30(1), 9-31.
Imai, G. (n.d.). Gestures: Body language and nonverbal communication.  Retrieved from http://www.comm.ohio-state.edu/pdavid/preparedness/docs/Crosscultural/gestures.pdf
McLoughlin, C. (1999). Culturally responsive technology use: Developing an on-line community of learners.  British Journal of Educational Technology 30(3), 231-243.
Merkin, S. (2009). Cross-cultural communication patterns – Korean and American communications. Journal of International Communications 20, 5-5.
Moen, D. (2009). Korean hybridity: The language classroom as cultural hybrid. Journal of International Communication 20, 6-6.
Nesbitt, R. (2003). The geography of thought: How Asians and Westerners think differently … and why. New York, NY: Free Press.
Pratt, D. (1991). Conceptions of self within China and the United States: Contrasting foundations for adult education.  International Journal of Intercultural Relations 15(3), 285-310.
Rhie, W. (2002). Korea unmasked: In search of the country, the society and the people. South Korea: Gimm-Young International.