Candy Smash


So I’m teaching in Gwangju, South Korea, at a small private institute called a hagwon.  Hagwons abound in South Korea, where the students are under immense pressure to succeed.  And success means performing well on a small number of exams – including an English test – at different points during one’s academic career.  My students range from ages 11-17 (in the States we would consider these students 10-16 years old – when you’re born in Korea, you’re immediately  one  year old).

My students are just kids, but they work incredibly hard and keep long hours.  They go to regular school all day and then attend private academies in the evenings (I teach from 4:30 pm until 10 pm Monday through Friday).  Some kids come to our hagwon a couple times a week; others study English once a week but also attend math academy, or tae kwan do, or…

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