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Communication in English with your Children at Home
- Communication in English with your Children at Home
- Issue Date
- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Candice A. MacDonald
- South Korea ranked first in the world with regards to the estimated consumer expenditure on private English language education, reaching 10 trillion won ($8.6 billion USD) in 2006 (Kim, 2006; Ma 2007). In the past decade, English kindergarten has become especially popular among Korean mothers, and the average age to start learning English is getting lower and lower. This Textbook seeks to address this niche market by providing materials for Korean mothers who want to support their children’s English language learning at home.
While English is not commonly spoken in everyday life in Korea, English language kindergartens and private institutes often implement immersion education. The majority of parents believe such immersion will help their children ‘pick up’ English naturally, and help them become native-like speakers. Children who go to English language kindergarten are usually exposed to English for five or more hours a day, but some mothers do not think learning English at school allows for enough exposure to English (Yoo & Lee, 2006). Many mothers want their children to continue to immerse themselves in an English-speaking environment after school.
By conducting a needs analysis in my community, I found two interesting needs of Korean mothers. One of them is that most of the mothers want to improve not only their children’s English proficiency, but also their own speaking and writing ability in English. Each day they see their children’s foreign teachers at school, but mothers often feel nervous or unsure what to say to the Native English speaking teacher. This Textbook seeks to help alleviate this issue by providing ‘authentic’ topics and vocabulary that will help to facilitate communication; for example, talking to the foreign teacher about a children’s talent show at school and symptoms or illness which their children might exhibit. Practicing writing is important in this Textbook as well since these moms’ children bring home a ‘Communication Log’ in which teachers record their observations of each child in English, and to which parents may write responses. Although moms can understand what the foreign teachers write, they lack the writing skills in order to respond to them in English. The Sample Unit, ‘Let’s go on a picnic/daytrip!’, scaffolds this authentic writing task via various writing tasks about their picnic/day trip to gradually prepare for a final task in which they actually write to their child’s teacher.
The other finding is that they spend a lot of time reading English books to their children or watching TV programs in English with them in order to expose their children to as much English input as possible. However, the mothers noted their limitations in English, and although they very much want to communicate with their children in English in daily life, they lack the both the confidence and communicative competence to be able to do so. My Portfolio addresses this issue by providing communicative activities based on everyday life situations ( ‘In the morning’, ‘After school’ and ‘Around town’), and showcases ‘Tips for moms’, which are extra useful expressions that could be used in relation to the theme of the chapter; for example, the Sample Unit provides extra expressions to help moms speak to their kids in the car on the way to the picnic or day trip with expressions such as: “Let’s hit the road!” and “Fasten your seatbelt.”
The Korean mothers targeted for this Textbook are those who have kindergarten or pre-K children. Their English proficiency level is mid-intermediate according to the ACTFL scale (Proficiency Guidelines 2012), and they have studied English for more than 10 years. They have studied English with native or non-native teachers in public school and private institutes; however, their oral proficiency level is pre-intermediate because their English classes have been heavily focused on grammar and test preparation in order to get high scores on university entrance exams. The students currently attend three hours of English lessons every week at a private institute.
- 석사학위를 수여받기 위해 제출된 포트폴리오임;☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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