Black Barbie Chronicles: English Discrimination


Ah, I remember this day so well. I was told to not be prejudice against the students. I thought that was the weirdest thing that had ever been said to me in Korea Land. However,  that was not the case when I was asked if I like the sex. Okay, that topic’s for another day. This here is today’s topic, discrimination, the English kind.  Have a good week.

F. M. Laster

“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.” -Mae West

English Discrimination

 I remember when I first started teaching, and Moon Yeoung took me aside and told me not to expect the same good level of English from all of my kiddies. If I do, then I would be discriminating against the Korean students. I’ll admit when I first hear that, I was wondering where in the hell did he pick this little jewel up? Why of all people would a Black woman discriminate against anyone? Did he forget I was Black?????

It wasn’t until a few months in when I was wondering if all my students were dumb or just fucking with me. It was then that I became aware that I was discriminating against my students. I was placing too much on my their little shoulders, and I had high expectations for both myself and my students. By placing these unreasonable expectations, I failed to see the forest for the trees. Or in this case the students for the English? Yeah, that doesn’t sound right but go with it.

Anyway, my students are just that, students. They are not little sadistic punks who leave school every day and go home to think of new and unique ways of fucking with me. No, Black Barbie, they are not. At the end of the day, my kids are kids. They are Korean kids living their lives in Korean with no subtitles. They didn’t want to learn English; it was forced upon them. They have no choice but to sit in a 45-minute class and listen to this Western woman speak English to them for 45 minutes straight. The majority of the kids have no clue what’s going on.

I have a new outlook on teaching English to my Korean students. I look at English like that damn Common Core Math.   I realized that I was turning into a Math teacher back in the states when they said that you would use Math every day and that’s why they will learn it.

Well, that’s what I told my kids about learning English; they’ll use it every day. No, Black Barbie, not true. It was at that moment I stopped lying to the kids and started teaching them. I think that day defined what it was like for me to teach English in Korea from a kids point of view.


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