One of the toughest things about teaching college students in South Korea is that they never, ever ask me questions. As an American raised on student-centered, interactive style classrooms, it’s strange to have to beg students to ask me questions. (At least at my college, I’m one of the few teachers who doesn’t use the microphone / speaker set-up that’s available in every classroom.)
But hey, it’s Korea. The teacher/professor-as-loudspeaker standard is the norm here and it probably won’t change any time soon:
“After finishing a semester abroad, her classes back in Korea were a marked turnaround from those in the United States. The professors simply read their written lectures, from beginning to end, off an overhead projector screen. And seldom did they pose questions to the class. When they did, they were mostly rhetorical.
This one-sided teaching style is common among Korea’s universities, according to the results of one-on-one interviews conducted by the JoongAng Ilbo and Research & Research.
In the analysis, aimed at 6,800 second-, third- and fourth-year university students from 37 Korean universities, only 12.7 percent said that they received one or more questions per class from the professor.”
Frankly, if you’re only exposing students to interactive and discussion-based classes at the college level, it’s too late to properly wean them off of the loudspeaker standard. I’m glad Korean universities are realizing they’ve got a problem but you need to instill the habits of active listening and asking good questions at a much younger age.