Tuesday, February 12, 2008


BombEnglish is another project by the Metropolitician that offers podcasts of English conversation accompanied by a complete transcript and glossary.

I caught it on its 3rd episode, Foreign Perspectives on Korea and just this episode alone makes me want to use it. Unfortunately my students' English is not quite prime time and I feel like they won't like it unless I've some how made it into a game or bribe them with candy. On the flip side I'm sure that this would work well for my mythical teacher workshops since (at least) the teachers can study the podcast and transcript as homework and come prepared to class for comprehension activities.

I should clarify mythical: My teacher workshops are often canceled by the head of the English department despite the interest expressed to me by other teachers. The results is sporadic conversations based on chance meetings in the main staff room. On one hand I like this arrangement since it's one less thing to plan, but on the other hand my conscious is telling me I'm shirking my responsibilities as a cultural ambassador. BombEnglish is a good start in a new year's resolution to try something more structured and introduce the teachers to Korean issues faced by ex-pat community.

But regardless of my efforts the podcasts serve as excellent primers for foreigners looking to live in Korea. Podcast #3 definitely puts together something that I've felt but couldn't articulate well enough:

Michael: Exactly. And the, it’s all from perspective because no one makes policies or plans, it seems, based on looking as foreigners as people living here as opposed to “Oh, you’re all tourists! We’ll smile for you, we’ll accept your money, but we don’t think of you as neighbors.”

Jennifer: It kinds of reminds me. I grew up in Oregon and for awhile Oregon had this sort of crazy motto for the tourists. Went something along the lines of “Welcome to Oregon, have a great visit and then go home!” I’m very loosely paraphrasing it but the gist was thanks for the visit, now go on your way.

Michael: Well I think that the Korean, the Korean unstated motto is “Thanks for coming to Korea, spend a lot of money, and please leave.”

Jennifer: I don’t know that it’s so much “please leave” as it is “Eh? You would want to stay?”

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