Last semester my co-teacher knew less English than my students. On top of that she was head of the English department, a home room teacher and incredibly busy. I was basically left to find things out the day of or not at all. It was incredibly difficult. Thank-goodness she was transferred to another school. There was simply no way for me to communicate with her which is a horrible situation to go through, especially your first time in Korea. This semester I have a new co-teacher who is not as busy, speaks better English, and actually cares to help me. I know teachers simply get placed in these positions with no choice from the principal, but something really needs to be done about it. Lois really should have a criteria and/or standards for each school to choose co-teachers. Also, I don't know about most districts, but my district had MANY workshops that were pointless and an absolute waste of time. Maybe they were helpful for the korean co-teachers, but no native teacher that i've talked to in my district has found them helpful. If they are going to have workshops for us maybe they should look into that.

Yeah, I sympathize with those who have had problems with coteachers , especially when it concerns things that can be controlled like -- changing mid year (for us), age/personality differences, the number of coteachers and how coteachers should formally set up and continue their relationship. These points are presently being addressed (don't know if anything will be done yet) and I think that the biggest overlooked thing about coteaching is HOW coteachers are chosen. Ideally , they should be compatible and ideally, they should chose themselves. So for example after working a month, you nominate someone who you "fit" with and then work with them. You shouldn't just be told -- hey, this is your coteacher, dance!!! It may not lead to problems but many times does. Still, I don't think SMOE will go for the proven method of chosing coteachers. So some kind of compromise concerning compatibility has to be decided on.....BUT I think we as teachers should have a say in this....

Posted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:43 am

Post subject: Non English-Speaking Co-Teachers

The new term staff change around in my district has meant that I now have a co-teacher who doesn't speak English. Whilst, at first, I didn't think too much about this (after all, how much English is needed for 'Hello Monkey') my two other co-teachers are fairly concerned about the situation. They both have advanced level English and are confident in their abilities. The main concern for them is the communication between the new teacher and I, 'If she didn't have to teach with you, it would be okay', I was told. As I said, I'm pretty happy to go along with things, but my co-teachers have requested that Mrs. xxx (the new one) should be allowed to teach Ethics, and for them to take over her classes. My feeling is that whatever the new teacher wants to do is okay with me; although I do think she would prefer not to be teaching English. I expect many of you have been teaching allyear in situations like mine. I wonder what the answer is. My Englishspeaking co-teachers want me to 'think about' whether I want Mrs. Xxx to keep teaching the classes with me, or to move to Ethics. I also don't understand the sense in moving my previous 3rd co-teacher, who spoke the best English of all of them, to teach Science at another school, when she was one of the only Elementary school teachers to conduct all her classes in English. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm criticising my new co-teacher. I suppose I am starting to wonder if I am seen as a help or a hinderance to my school, because of the language barrier. Well, I'm off for some more 'Hello "f*&#king" monkey'

So, last semester it was becoming a struggle to even get my teachers to come to class, let alone actually co-teach. However, so far this year it has been like a dream. We have been teaching for a week now and my co-teachers are super-involved in all my lessons. They are interested to know what I'm doing, and their role. And we really are co-teaching. Like in those silly demonstrations we have all seen where we say: 'Phah, yeah right, maybe I can do that if I practice three times with the teacher, but who has that kind of time." But its for real!! There is minimal translations. The co-teacher uses korean/Engish to issue instructions for an activity, or occasionally jumps in with a splash of Korean when I have used a difficult word, and we demonstrate activities or dialogues by talking together. The beautiful thing is, I am getting so much done and making so much rapid progress. Every class the students are talking in pairs in English, maybe 3/4 have the chance to speak in front of the class. They're laughing, and clapping for each other. All I can say is "WOW!" To think I used to waste so much time by trying to run classes myself!










Last term, I was independently teaching and designing lessons for 31 classes a week and the strain of it was overbearing at times. So far, this term is looking much better. Over the past week, I hve been working with a co-teacher for a few classes. Because of this, we have designated time to practice and design lessons together. Most importantly, I believe the students will benefit from this change as well. I enjoy sharing the work load, but the students get a rehearsed and a teamdesigned English lesson.

I finally got arround to doing your survey. My apologeez if it is too late. I filled it in based how I teach with my 21 other co-teachers. I have an actual co-teacher for one of my classes and we jell like cheese on pizza.

Here is some more dirt if you need any for your research (please keep me anonymous): Since I am very busy being the lead teacher/planner for 26/27 classes, my school submits a fake report to the district supervisor. They write a form that shows supposed meeting times with all the grade teachers and send it to the officials of xxxxxx. Most of the teachers are not willing to meet anyway, but it is also my fault too. I am sure I can make this proceedure change, but I feel like it will be too much bother. I'm one of the 1.9 won/per month teachers and I do not feel like doing more for the school. They already pocket big money off my extra class situation and I volunteer some extra time to help the teachers with their classroom English. Besides, I am content with how I am teaching and how I am relating with the students. In emailing you this information, I am sure I am merely presenting my own laziness as well as my school's. I send you this hoping it will help you research, but it is also a chance for me to share how bogus some of our co-teaching set ups are.

Great to hear from you and once again, thanks for taking the initiative on this one. Pending your paper, I'm gonna have a planning meeting with my co-teachers, VPs and District Supervisor, see if Lois can make it too. Whilst I understand everyone being precious about being culturally sensitive, essentially no-one knows what's expected or what the rules are (I can see ya nodding - hence you developing your paper) and I don't think culture has really anything to do with it.?/div> ?/div> Soooo, I'm gonna쟦ave a strategy meeting쟷ith the team (I say that loosely) and develop a coteaching쟑R?positive and realistic) plan쟴hat we can practically use here at our school. Gonna start off with some brainstorming, do a SWOT analysis and develop some real measures for what we are doing and supposed to do쟧nstead of the stupid only ?quot;produce resources" (like that's a measure of quailty and what the kids have learned). 쟅've been asked to account for my time when I am not teaching and the evidence of that is supposed to be "additional resources", if that's the case, what the fuck does my co-teacher do (excuse the language). ?/div> Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how it goes and would appreciate using you as a sounding board. Is there anyone else you know쟧n our SMOE group that would be into acting as a sounding board? Good for you writing something about co-teaching, can you tell me what its for again? One of the glaring gaps from orientation was the쟞ctual curriculum we'd be teaching쟫et alone the brief whipover of co-teaching. ?/div> I do agree that the NEST should be involved in all aspects of English language at their school but the쟇orean co-teacher who teaches English should also lead by example outside of the classroom given that we may be only there for one year and the KT will be there forever. ?/div> Completed your survey and would be interested to read your article when its done David, Thanks for your quick response.?The documents will be handy I believe.?I odn't know if you need a larger survey sample, but there will be about 40 KET and NET's that could potentially do the survey.? I did have a question as to how you approach the subject.?I personally am not a huge fan of the current system and unless there is a bold change in how teachers are prepared for the co-teaching environment, I'm apt to tell most teachers to throw it out the window.?I see 99.999% of coteaching situations fall back to the same models.?One of which, is the "I talk/you sit, you talk/I sit" model -- is there another way??Just telling teachers to work together doesn't seem to be effective, and I've heard very little that gives a method for teachers to follow.?Especially in cases where either the KET or the NET are either poor/inexperienced teachers or speakers.

I have to prepare the speech today, but I'd love to hear your input.?

I don't think that's very good general advice to give new EFL teachers. We are paid to do a job that involves both teaching students and working cooperatively within the system. Our primary duty within the Korean educational system is to help students learn, but it may also entail improving the quality of Korean English teachers by demonstrating effective techniques. It's their country, their schools, their money... The Korean teachers and administrators are committed to being here a lot longer than the most all native-English teachers - some of whom can't even tolerate being in a foreign culture at all and leave after a few weeks. Regarding the specific issue of co-teachers, there should be more dialogue with the policymakers. At a symposium last year for public teachers in Gyeonggi province, the "co-teacher" model was stressed, and they showed a video supposedly showing how it can be a dynamic teaching tool. (Unfortunately, it was really a video of two Korean teachers who obviously had been trained at western universities - they both could speak English and Korean very well; and the students had obviously rehearsed and memorized their lines...) The manual they gave to native-English teachers for use in planning the demonstration classes purportedly monitored by education ministry officials was geared to producing a coordinated effort involving both teachers. However, it was noted in the manual that many teachers - including Korean teachers - have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the co-teacher system. I think that much more pressure was put on the Korean teachers to do well in the the demonstration class, and, apparently, the hope is that they will improve their English teaching by working alongside native-English teachers. I see no compelling "job opportunity" issue that would justify noncompliance with this directive. There are many positions as yet unfilled in both the public and private sectors. Public officials have repeatedly asked for feedback and suggestions from native-English teachers. Whatever policy they see fit to implement for advancing their system is mainly their business. I don't think that we are in a position - as outsiders - to make demands when even established Korean teachers are obliged to follow the bureacracy. Lesson plans are made to be stolen. Everyone steals everyone else's lesson plans and adapts them to their own teaching styles. Everyone allows their lessons to be stolen because it's called sharing. In Teachers College, they call it "appropriating." All teachers should share any good lessons they've made. That's what it's all about.

My co-teachers are pretty good. They let me plan any kind of lesson and I teach all I want. They usually hang around the back and help me whenever I ask. I wouldn't complain about any extra help you get in the classroom. A lower student-teacher ratio is always better. I'm just glad all my co-teachers give me creative control. Sounds like some people are in some bad set-ups. Hope things don't change for the worse in March when the new semester starts and some of the school staff changes.





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interrupting me all the time by translating every single thing I say, but that's been very seldom: one out of seven teachers. Again, the Korean teachers act












assistant teachers. Yet we are the ones who are expected to plan and conduct the classes. When I begin at a public school, I meet with my co-teachers to discuss what it is I plan to do and how I am to lead the classess with them present. For I have encountered a few Korean teachers who at the end of the year complained to the principal that I failed to get them involved in teaching with me, although they seemed to be quite content with looking out the window or playing with their cell phones in a back corner. I appreciate the time the Korean teachers take to basically keep 35 to 40 students in line by just being present. Most Korean teachers are content with that role, but are eager to get involved in some helpful way. ( I have tried role-playing model dialogues with co-teachers in front of the classs, but as soon my Korean colleagues speak English the kids roar with laughter. So I don't do that anymore to spare the staff embarrassment.) I usually have five to seven co-teachers in a school, so actual team-teaching can be difficult class to properly co-ordinate Korean with so many are different to teachers the and







of team teaching and so are prepared to give the floor to the foreign teacher. Meanwhile, he better do a good job, for the Korean teachers are asked by the principal to assess the foreign teacher's ability and agenda pending a contract renewal.

In my experience I would NOT teach without a co-teacher. I am not a dancing monkey or human tape recorder.

I use the book and follow roughly the same curriculum. It has been an evolutionary process. While the lesson plan is of my creation the Korean Teacher is there to support me and help explain more difficult concepts.

Because I have questions on each of the students finals it is important the we collaborate and make my classes relevent to the cirriculum. Working with the teachers has given me alot more freedom than not and has made my classes far more manageable and fun.

THERE IS NOTHING AT ALL SPECIAL ABOUT ME SPEAKING ENGLISH! However, when the Korean teacher is asking some follow-up review questions in English it has a great impact. The questions and worksheets are developed by me but I incorporate the Korean teacher when we ask for answers often in a tag team type situation. (All in English)

The dialogue is presented first with me and the korean teacher reading the parts. Students like this as it shows that the korean teacher can have some fun with the dialogue. I am all about over acting with the dialogue and it lets the Korean co-teacher have some fun too.

We work as a team but the class is designed by me. Because of the mixed level in the classes it is imperative to have the korean teacher to help bring along some of the lower level students and keep low to mid level students in the game. I find I keep more students interested and our test scores have improved for the students on the low end of the bell. That makes me feel like we are doing a good job.

Differentiated learning is not hard in small class sizes but when you are talking 43 middle school boys it is a formidable task. With the co-teacher in the classroom it becomes more possible. We do our best to use only English but it isn't always possible.

Since my students see the korean teacher and I both communicating in English and the Korean teacher communicating in mostly English it works really well.

I don't use much Korean in the classroom but am not a fanatic. Sometimes it helps. I prefer the students talk to me in English and it is rewarded. The Korean teachers are now starting to insist that the students pose questions as much as possible in English.

The thing that has suprised me most is that the co-teachers are even encouraging the students to speak english to them outside of class.

I have been given alot of leeway in this school because I do WORK closely with my coteachers. I give speaking tests( twice a year) that are graded and each test I have 5/6 questions that are written in english.

This kind of cohesiveness takes respect on all sides. It did not come easy but I picked the battles and so far am winning the war.

The thing is, and I can't stress this enough, is the power of role models. For students to hear you speaking English MEANS ZILCH. When they hear/see their Korean teachers

communicating in english, speaking in english and talking to them in english it makes a point. My class is where they get to see that.

I am a bit of fanatic about this point. I have respect for those who prefer not to have a coteacher. I don't know how you can do it with such large classes and bring all levels on board. I work within the given cirriculum and I prefer that my classes are relevant to my students. They know my class is means something in the scheme of things. I effects their grades. I have questions on all finals, give speaking tests and the students, thanks to the korean coteachers, are frequently graded up and down on attitude in my class.

I can't say it works everywhere but it works for me and I wouldn't have it any other way. Is it easy? NOPE! It took alot of hard work, relationship building and there were snags along the way but so far it is working!

Small note on lesson plans...holy cow thank god for friends, other teachers and websites that give away lesson plans. Anyone want a lesson plan from me feel free to ask. I will help you whenever I can. I am not so arrogant to think every thing that drips from my mind is gold so I share in the hopes that others will share also and help me improve my style. Whatever helps the students is my theory. Unless you are writing a book or something I see no reason not to share ideas. But that is just me.

I have a good friend and we share all the time. She rocks at assessment I rock at presentation. We meld our lessons and constantly trade information and lesson plans. What comes out in the end is great lessons and great assessment.

So I vote for sharing...unless you are writing a book or something then it is understandable. I didn't start teaching so everyone would think I am such hot stuff. Corny as it sounds, I do it because I love teaching and I love my students. Nothing else matters in that classroom but them!

am sorry if you infered that I thought Korean teachers "fear" us foreign teachers. NO, didn't mean that and I agree with you, most if not all see us as valuable additions for the reasons you stated and others (cultural exchange, friendship, keeping schooling "progressive" and others..). BUT I do see a day that IF the coteaching model isn't followed and it becomes just a hollow regulation - administration could just say, "hey, let's cut costs, we don't need to pay two salaries.....let's let the foreign teacher teach and....." . This could become a very possibility and this kind of situation has been fought over bitterly in other countries...(ie. Germany, Sweden). This might be even more likely to occur given the low/declining birth

rate in Korea...............which would mean a lower teacher/student ration AND a lower tax base for education as more of society's monies are needed to support an aging population.....

Thanks for sharing your 5 cents worth. So nice to hear of someone trying to find sparkling middle ground and who is giving coteaching its chance.....(and as I had said before, there are many forms, even just when the Korean teacher only helps plan....this is coteaching also.). Especially this......
Quote: The thing is, and I can't stress this enough, is the power of role models. For students to hear you speaking English MEANS ZILCH. When they hear/see their Korean teachers communicating in english, speaking in english and talking to them in english it makes a point. My class is where they get to see that.

I think YOU GET IT. I don't think spinner ever will...... That is pretty much the best way to go about it. Just do something about the situation instead of sitting there stewing in your own pool of resentement.

Perhaps the co-teacher also dislikes the fact that he or she has to teach with a foreign teacher she or he sees as not really qualified. This co-teacher might be feeling the exact same thing you are or be frustrated because the boss told him or her to be in the class with you.

There are ways to handle the situation like a professional and to improve the situation.

Good luck with that

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