Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

Korean Language Fail


In Korean the words for “raise” and “cut off” apparently are similar. Guess what I mistakenly said in class today when asking my students to “raise their hands?”

posted under School
3 Comments to

“Korean Language Fail”

  1. Avatar March 21st, 2011 at 7:34 pm vbj Says:

    Love this. Humor is always great.

  2. Avatar March 22nd, 2011 at 5:20 am Dad Says:

    I guess they think you mean to cut off their hands when they raise their hands.

    Love you,

  3. Avatar March 23rd, 2011 at 12:49 pm epotosky Says:

    Yeah the students just sat there in silence until one girl in the back bursts out laughing, then raises her arm and pretends to saw off her wrist with her other hand, then looks up at me quizzically. Unfortunately, that only confused me more.

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안녕하세요! My name is Emily and when I started this blog I had received a 2010 – 2011 F*lbright grant to teach English in South Korea.  I then decided to apply to renew my grant, so I am now staying in Korea until July 2012. This blog is not an official F*lbright Program blog, and the views expressed are my own and not those of the F*lbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Philosophy Pre-Law and Classical Civilizations, and found myself 3 months later teaching English at SGHS. The town that I taught in, SG, is a small town of 12,000 people, an “읍” (eup) rather than a “시” (shi – city), and though it was sometimes hard teaching in such a small town I really enjoyed the unique experience of being the first foreign teacher SGHS had ever had. I lived in the largest part of the county which is significantly bigger (40,000 people) than the town the school is situated in, but is also considered rural by Korean standards.

During my second grant period (2011-2012) I decided to change schools and I currently teach at CPHS which is located in an even smaller town than previously, in Jeollanamdo.

This blog is meant to serve as a reflection not only of being a Native English Speaking teacher in Korea, but also of living as a foreigner in rural Korea.