Friday, April 8, 2011

The 10 Worst Chants/Songs/Story Time/Role Plays of the Old Public Elementary School English Curriculum

If you have in the past taught English at the elementary school level in South Korea, then you are probably familiar with the textbook characters Jinho, Nami, Mrs. Smith, Peter, Joon, and Ann.  Millions of South Korean children over the last decade have learned English from this text book series and it was finally changed this year to an updated version designed for three hours of English instruction a week instead of two hours a week.

The expressions, vocab, and 98% of all the grammar in these books was acceptable. The problem with these books was the production value and quality of the videos. There were also some awkward cultural moments and just bizarre choices made for settings and situations. The accompanying CD-ROM for the books looked like it was best designed to run on Windows 98, and here it was still being used in 2010.  The main dialogues were pretty good and had nice animation (see here and here).  Some of the songs were decent as well, but just about all of the chants, role plays and story time activities in the text books were worthless.

I already posted last month the ten worst dialogues (look and speak 2).  It received a lot of interest and several people asked if I could post some of the other content from the CR-roms.

South Korea prides itself on how much of a priority they have on investment in education. The teachers here are excellent, classrooms have no shortages of supplies, lots of useful technology available, new English classrooms and language learning facilities, etc. But the problem was that for nearly a decade everything revolved around these horrible, horrible textbooks.

These are the worst 10 chants, songs, story time activities, or role plays of the 5th and 6th grade curriculums:

#10 - Grade 5, Ch 15 - Role Play "Dude, wanna join the band?"

#9 - Grade 6, Ch 8 - Let's Chant "Asian people actually say ping-pang-pong?"

#8 - Grade 5, Ch 9 - Role Play "Nero's pencil is huge."

#7 - Grade 5, Ch 4 - Let's Chant "Can a tower be beautiful?"

#6 - Grade 6, Ch 9 - Story Time "Peter Pan was an excellent ice skater."

#5 - Grade 5, Ch 12 - Let's Chant "Kids love being kept overnight at the future house."

#4 - Grade 6, Ch 12 - Role Play "Jack's such a good bucket holder."

#3 - Grade 6, Ch 14 - Role Play "Snake snubs Prince."

#2 - Grade 6, Ch 14 - Song "I shower and sleep with my shoes on."

#1 - Grade 6, Ch 1 - Role Play "Uganda knows good fashion!"

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