I was asked last Friday to quickly list the top 3 English students in the 6th grade. Two of the three positions were easy to figure out, one of my boys, Ok Hyeok, and one of my girls, Su Jeong, but the third one, I found the best one that I could think of from the rest of my 298 students. Over the weekend the students were assigned to write a speech about Seoul, why tourists should come, and what’s there to see. The third student that I picked, didn’t show up, which I really wasn’t surprised. The other two students show up with these wonderful speeches. But it basically came down to the contents of the speeches and how much exposure they had had with English. The female student had lived abroad for about 11 months; her clearness and “attitude” were wonderful for a sixth grader, but her speech was a bit random, with no clear structure. The male student had only studied English for 3 years, since it was introduced to him in the public schools, he had never been abroad; his clearness and “attitude” were virtually the same as the female student, but his speech had a something that resembled a thesis and the structure was clear and pretty much easy to understand. So in the end we gave the win to him and he will represent Singa in this speech contest in the Summer English Festival.
My female student was so upset that she was crying when she was told the news. My co-teacher Minhee and I tried to console her, but she was to upset, more devestated that she didn’t win.
I feel bad that she didn’t win, but she’s so talented and smart that this won’t be the first competition that she’ll be nominated for and she’ll win more than she’ll lose, I’m sure. Mostly likely I’ll see her name in the paper for doing something amazing when she’s grown up and in the middle of her career and I’ll be able to say that I taught her when she was in 6th grade.