VANESSA VIRGIEL (KYUNGNAM UNIVERSITY (SOUTH KOREA))

EFL IN SOUTH KOREA¬ÄôS REMOTE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS: CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES : TEACHING YOUNG LEARNERS

The South Korean Ministry of Education mandates that every public school offer English classes starting at elementary grade three, yet students in Korea’s most remote village and island elementary schools are at a disadvantage in accessing quality English education in comparison to their urban peers. In this workshop we will first explore the reasons why students at these rural elementary schools often face challenges in achieving foundational English language skills in ways that students in metropolitan locations do not. Next, we will look at what English teachers placed in rural elementary schools can do to help compensate for the constraints encountered, as well as take advantage of the affordances offered. The workshop will conclude by briefly covering some practical tips such as developing materials to supplement or replace the curriculum, and the use of various classroom activities and educational games that have been effective in this teaching context.

Vanessa Virgiel is an English instructor at Kyungnam University in South Korea. Previously she spent four years working in rural and small-city Korean public schools. Her areas of interest include materials design, CALL, rural education, and extending the ethos of inclusive education to the field of TESOL. Email: virgielvanessa@gmail.com