Teaching ESL by using K-pop and Korean culture

I have been living in Korea for one and a half years. I came from the US to Korea in March 2019. The reason for shifting to Korea was the same as other foreigners ….. to teach English to Koreans and Exploring Korea. It has become a fashion to learn ESL or English as a second language in Korea. Teaching English to Koreans is really fun and rewarded.

Whatever there are so many challenges also. The barriers of language or culture would be your biggest barrier. But fortunately, it has become easy to teach them English by turning the tables and Using their own k-pop culture.

The following steps can help you to teach ESL in Korea.

1.Relate to your students.

This is indeed a universal principle in teaching, but even more so abroad. In order to relate to Korean students, you need to discuss those things about which they know. Like, k-pop and K-drama are so much popular in Korea. Every student of Korea regardless of his age or status knows all the popular songs. Ever had the whole generation of girls sing together “Gee” or “hands-up” at 2 pm? That’s the conventional thing to do, and it should desist there.


So the point is never to talk about the newly released songs of the US. The students will not be able to get it. If you want to talk to them discuss the newly famous k-pop superstars.

2. Learn the culture:

every country has its own standards. So Korea is no exception. Although the new teachers will strive to learn Korean culture first, it will help you to teach on the street in the classroom. Do you know about Pepero day? Just ask your Korean colleague. Do you know about the importance of Chuseok day? Just look for it on Wikipedia in your spare time. Do you know the history behind 6-25? Go and search for it in the history and wars of Korea.

3.Take Korean class.

Korean can be hard at first. Its writing system, Hangul, at first glance would look like Egyptian hieroglyphics. It can be a game of tongue twister of speaking Korean for beginners. Even knowing just a few words can make students laugh. Instead of making fun of you, they will think that how a foreigner is struggling to learn a new language. They will appreciate you for learning their language more than they appreciate themselves to learn the second language English.

Anyone who spends time learning someone else’s language shows that you care. And of course, you do.

If you follow these three tips your students will definitely take an interest to learn English. And they will give you their best. However, for being a good teacher it is not necessary to know about so many theories or mythology, the simple way to attract the students towards your teaching style is that you have to relate with them. To see that what are their talents, their hobbies, and their happiness. Once you become curious to learn their native language so they will definitely do it same for you.

Just go to them and talk about the new k-pop superstars. All of them will try to answer your questions and they will be attracted to your teaching methodology. Korean students are very talented and instead of making fun of others, they used to learn new things. They appreciate others for their attempts. They would love it if you learn their native language or if you talk to them in Korean. No matter how much you are good at that.

In order to know more about their culture, you can read their history and traditions. They are very loveable. They appreciate the foreigners who learn their language. Although, it has become the A hurdle for them to learn the second language because they prefer their own language. Moreover, if you love them they will love back to you. They really love it when foreigners like their k-pop superstars and Korean culture. They will support you and appreciate you for this. If you are learning their Language they will do it the same for your language.

If you want to visit Korea must try to learn some basic words of hangul it may help you in Korea. We hope you like this article. If you want to know more about Korea visit our previous articles. And don’t forget to give feedback in comments.

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