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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #60)

February 18, 2010

Winter has certainly worn out it’s welcome with me this year and I can’t wait for a change to warmer weather.  I was reminded about a ‘cultural tip’ my English elementary book suggested I teach my students:Ski Field

– English and American people always talk about the weather because it is cold and wet there, Korean’s don’t talk about the weather because our climate is better…

One story that really caught my eye this week was titled, Korea Becomes ‘Angry Society’.  The Korean Times article looked at the growing trend of physical assaults in Korea.

Korea is becoming an “angry society,” where killing people in a fit of rage is no longer a rare crime and other crimes of passion are increasingly becoming commonplace.

While alcohol does play a major part in the increase in physical assaults, I was interested in the comments Dr. Woo Jong-min made in the article:

“Koreans are particularly vulnerable to vexation in daily life,” said Dr. Woo Jong-min, a psychiatrist at Paik Hospital in Seoul. “They don’t know how to wisely quell and vent anger. They have learned how to compete at their schools and workplaces, but never learned how to relax and vent their frustrations.”

I think most teachers would agree with Dr. Woo Jong-min that this is a problem in most schools in Korea.  Korean students spend so much of their time trying to be the best, that they can miss out on learning other vital skills like, dealing with stress and failure.

While there is no denying that these are also major problems in our countries, we, as native English teachers, are in a unique position to help teach these skills in our classes.  Students do see us as different to Korean teachers and, whether we like it or not, we are a role model to them in this society.

To read the full story click here:  Korea Becomes ‘Angry Society’

I would be interested to hear your thoughts and comments on teaching these topics in class.

Here’s the stories making the news this week:

Feel free to comment on any of the stories and make use of the easy sharing options available – in just a few quick clicks you can share any of these stories to all your teaching mates in Korea.

I hope you enjoy the read and, of course, have a good laugh at this week’s jokes.

Cheers,

Ken

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