Great Lengths

I don’t envy the men and women locked in a conference room somewhere tasked with creating the national English curriculum of Korea. What an impossibly crappy job that must be. “We must have more singing! More chanting! More games with finger puppets!”

The same people responsible for subtly suggesting Hitler youth-dom to 4th graders

Last semester, being the doe-eyed baby teacher that I was, I felt bad criticizing the tools I was given with which to teach. But they were lacking. The books were weak, the lesson material questionable (Does any native English speaker say “See you again”? And isn’t “So long” a little…antique to be teaching a bunch of 12 year olds?) and above all, this was BORING.

The audio and video clips accompanying every lesson were low-budget nightmares, fraught with speech impediment-ridden child actors (we’re only trying to teach a language here, Casting Director), and cartoonish voice overs. A few of my favorites examples:

And now, taking the Creeper Cake:

Imagine how well that went over with jaded sixth graders. (PS: You can see the complete top ten list of worst videos here.)

I thought I had it bad. I thought the methods thrust upon me to teach English weak. But never, NEVER could I have imagined something as profoundly embarrassing, degrading and STUNNING as this:

(Many thanks to Megan and the Gwangju crew for introducing all of these videos to me!)

9 responses to “Great Lengths

  1. Is it…an exercise video? A how-to? …porn?

    I…I just don’t know.

  2. There is so much awkward in the video content of this post I just can’t handle it.


  4. I am SO doing this lesson, ahahaha. My students will need to know what to say when being robbed by filthy foreigners!

  5. That last video was absolutely stunning.

    The old videos were pretty horrifying; I am exceptionally happy I wasn’t in Korea for the one where the boys are in the pool locker room while changing.

    Also, the book we have for my school not only includes more songs, but now dancing! Dancing!

  6. I teach middle school, so thankfully I don’t have to deal with the crazy awkward textbook videos, but oh lawdy have my elementery school friends showed me some real gems. The last one really takes the cake, though. Well….maybe only next to the English for prostitutes:

  7. Thanks for the link! Glad you liked it.

  8. Pingback: Biography: The Life and Times of Our Washing Machine | The Wanderlust Diary

  9. But what if I was robbed by THREE men? And do I need to do the arm gesutures in order for the police man to understand me?

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