Well many people have asked "Can you use 'The Bondaygee ESL System' at Korean public schools? And I must to tell you emphatically that Korean public schools are the most awesome place for using the 'Bondaygee ESL System'!
Guess what? I actually video recorded and documented much of my experiences in Korea. However the best ESL Case Study I have ever documented was the time I was at Kwangnam Elementary 2007 School in Seoul 광남초등학교. So let me tell it to you now, since I have finally found much of the old video footage that I created at that time. Gather and listen to an amazing ESL story.
The Amazing Kwangnam ESL Story
So the year was 2007 and we had just moved from Cheongju to Seoul and I was looking for a new job. I got an offer from a public Elementary School, but wasn't sure if I would like it or not. These were big classes with about 40 students. The idea was to teach ESL with their native Korean teacher there for support. Huge classes and shared leadership, I wasn't sure, but said, "Ok let's give it a try."
I walked in there with my guitar for the initial classroom introductions, but just before introducing myself as "James Purdie," I thought, why not try my funny Korean nickname, "James Bondaygee"? After all, I already made a 'Bondaygee Song' and movie, so it would be easy to support my funny persona with these "creative credentials" to students and maybe get a few laughs out of it at the same time.
So I went for it. "Hi there everybody. It's nice to meet you. My name is James Bondaygee, but you can call me Mr. Bondaygee."
The students' reaction was instant laughter and disbelief as they stared at me. I knew I was getting a response and rapport, so I said "Yeah, you wanna hear the "Bondaygee Song?" So I pulled out my guitar and sang my little tune, "Bondaygee Bondaygee!" I guess at this point I kind of realized the power of my art and creativity in general. Although I always considered it a silly little song, the reaction by the students said something far deeper in their eyes. They weren't just looking at me as teacher, but as some kind of ESL Superhero who had come to liberate their minds and revolutionize the whole ESL World! If you're a person who grew up watching Bugs Bunny at all, this is the exact moment in which Bugs says..."Meehhh What's up Doc?" and everybody goes nuts with a happy hysteria. I actually showed several episodes of Bugs Bunny that year. We laughed hysterically ourselves. That's the best kind of laughter.
Anyways, for the teaching, naturally I was supposed to follow the Korean Text book and create a lesson plan everyday. However, after a few months, I thought to myself, maybe my students might enjoy some of my own educational music videos as a supplemental bonus. After all, I had made so many already including the "Very Good Words Series" and many more basic ones. What's funny about it all is, I was actually pretty intimidated at the idea of teaching such a huge group of students and Korean teachers too, but I observed something awesome: larger groups had more "good energy." In every single class, there were several "superstar" students that would shine and transmit like a spiritual energy to me and it would bounce back and forth like the way a laser works (that's how lasers work by the way. Light bounces around in a little chamber getting stronger and stronger until it pops out the tiny hole as a powerful, concentrated light beam).
So as I started teaching my own educational videos along with the regular curriculum, I was happy to see that students were quite entertained and "into it". I share some basic videos like my "Action Easy Verb Video," and then next I tried my "Very Good Words Series". The response was far better than I expected. "Wow!" I thought, "We've got some real potential here! These kids are thirsty for this kind of learning-musical ESL lessons." I proceeded to test the Very Good Words again with the other classes. I should state clearly that I had ten identical Grade 3 Korean Classes with 40 students in each and a respective, Korean teacher. Interestingly each Korean teacher had their own unique style and atmosphere. Sometimes this really promoted the spirit of learning, which I could always feel. I became so close to some of the Korean teachers, with whom I often shared 'knowing smiles' of a mysterious, spiritual connection.
Anyhow, after "testing the waters" and realizing that the potential for great learning and growth was really there, I improvised a large scale system for the entire school grade and went for it, putting my heart and soul into this passionate endeavour.
My Great Educational Experiment
I continued to teach the Korean textbook, but at the start of each class, I started with a Very Good Words Music Video. The school was very supportive. They allowed me to print giant posters of my "Very Good Words" Word lists. The posters were great because the students could see them at any time they wanted. As they got familiar with the words,they would frequently browse, read and try the practice sentences below each word. Next, we made a personal A4 Sized photo copy of each words list for all of the student in grade 3. That makes roughly 400 students. When we gave the word-list handouts, I always read them over one time with the students. We always practiced the pronunciation one time, asked questions and discussed the students' favorite words. Sometimes I'd ask students to try and make sentence with any of the words. That can be a fun game too.
So after we went over the list once, we would watch and listen to the Very Good Word Music Videos. At first, it is best to read the word list while listening to the music video. This helped the student memorize the words much faster. In a very short time, students could easily remember every word and no longer needed the word lists. And then they triumphantly sang out each word as it appeared on the big screen monitor. The students seemed very empowered by the words and their growing new knowledge. As we learned each Very Good Word Song (VGW1-VGW8), several students made their own booklet with the words carefully protected inside. I was touched to see that.
The Next Level: Exponential Learning
Well it seemed like things were going so well, it was like a dream-come-true educational experience. Could things get any better? The triumphant answer was yes! A few days later it occurred to me, why not make everything into a school wide ESL Competition using all ten grade 3 classes? This is why it turned out to be such an amazing educational experiment, because we began with ten equal classes of 40 students.
The Korean teachers and I put it to the students: "Let's have a competition to see which class can memorize all the 'Very Good Words' first!" The students went crazy with this idea and took to the task of memorizing all the words of each VGW Song with such a passion and fervor that we could only sit back in amazement at what we had started. This was exponential learning. This was profound. This was like "spiritual ESL learning"! Every class after that point forward was like a musical climb up Mount Everest. I grew to love every single student at that time. We all had the feeling of transcendence. I dreamed at that time, I remember, of being in the classroom and singing John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High Colorado!"
We were on such a roll at this time! To take it to another level again, higher still, we started to play a game of Very Good Words "Class Recitals/학생 발표", where students who claimed to have learned the entire word songs would come up in front of the class and sing out the words, usually very fast and nervous with their friends watching. And I started to photograph and video tape some of these performances. I will included below one of the funniest and coolest kids from that school. He took a ruler and a textbook and taped them together like a guitar and he emulated me in the classroom. This made me laugh so hard! Check him out! What a great student! I also had this special T-Shirt made by one of my Korean artist friends which I gave to the first students to memorize Very Good Words#1-4. Many students went right to VGW7. VGW5 even has a 100 words! That was a test to see if students could do it. Yes they could! And so can you.
By the way, this is how I learned Korean. First learn all these English/Korean word associations and then a Korean/English sentence for each one. The word lists themselves were about ten years of teaching and writing down the most commonly used words, words that you kept teaching over and over again to each class. Or words that you found yourself always using with your friends.
The rest of the story is sweet history in my memory, but I'm sure you can get the picture. There were several times where I and the Korean teachers had to pinch ourselves and ask if we were really teaching or dreaming? It was really special and unforgettable. I hope to hear more from the students in the future, which is why I'm posting this information, this story, pictures and videos. And if you ever happen to teach at that Kwangnam School in Seoul, ask if they remember the Legend of Bondaygee Teacher? 번데기 선생님.
Here's a video with the Grade 3 Class#9. I'm doing the song with my guitar, but you can just as easily use the "Youtube" videos with the big screen class monitors! Take it to the next level yourselves! Be another superstar teacher or school!
Click here to see the full Kwangnam ESL Experiment Highlights:
"The most important conversation you can learn!"
All right ESL Learners, I'm about to teach you the most important conversation you can learn. We call it "Small Talk" in English and it refers to the tiny, little conversations we have everyday when we bump into people on the street, on the subway, at work, at play, anywhere. Believe it or not, 90% of the "Small Talk" conversation speech patterns can be memorized. There are some simple rules that can make you look good very easily. Getting them wrong, doesn't look so good. Basically, "Small Talk" is also the most comfortable and casual conversation that English people like to have. Therefore, mastering "small talk" will really help to make foreign, English friends. When we're living in Korea, we also really need a chance to relax and just speak our comfortable language.
Why learn small talk?
- You can make instant English friends. (Foreigners need friends for comfortable conversation. These basic questions are almost like a "friendship compatibility test.")
- These are some very very simple, but important speech patterns.
- It will help your basic conversation skills. (I've worked with highly educated Koreans who wanted to learn so many words, but they failed these basic speech habits.)
- It's the most common English conversation there is! This is the exact stuff native speakers say every day in their regular life routines!
Well here it is. Please note, I will give a simple Korean translation for the basic expression.
Question: 1. How's it going?
Variations:So, how's it going? Hey, how's it going?Hey John, how's it going?Hey Lisa, how's it going?
Korean: 어떻게 지내요?
Answer:It's going ______.
good, ok, all right, well, great, fantastic, terrific, bad, so so,shitty, crappy
Also common: It's not going well.
Korean 잘 지내요.
Note: Please don't forget to answer with these exact words: It's going _____.
Don't say, "I'm going good."It will immediately sound incorrect! Not good!
Question:2. What's new?
Variations:So, what's new? Hey, what's new? Hey David, what's new?
Korean: 새 소식 있어요?
Answer: Nothing new. (usual answer)
Variations: Oh nothing much. It's my birthday today! I got a new job, girlfriend, cellphone, etc.
Korean: 소식 없어요.
Question: 3. How was ___?
Variations: So, how was the _____ ?
the movie, the game, the test, your weekend, the meeting, your presentation, your speech, your date
Korean: ~는 어땠어요?
Answer: It was ___?
good, ok, so so, not bad, great, awesome
Korean: 좋았어요. (It was good)
Question: 4. Did you have a good weekend?
Variations:Did you go to the movie? Did you go to the movie? Did you go on a date?
Korean: 주말 잘 보냈어요?
Answer:Yes I did. No I didn't.
Variations: Not much variation here. Simple answer, but you can talk more about what you did.
Example: Yes I did see the movie Avatar. It was awesome.
Korean: 내, 잘보냈어요?
Question: 5. What did you do?
What'd you do?
So, what'd you do?.
What joo do? (*fast pronunciation, not actual English words)
Korean: 뭐 했어요?
I went to school.
I played a game. I studied English. I watched TV.
Korean: 학교에 갔어요.
Question: 6. How is your ____?
How's ______? How's the ______? How's your _____?
Examples: How's school? How's life? How's the job? How's your wife? How's your family? How's your work (going)?
Korean: _____ 어때요?
Answer: It is _____.
It's good, ok, so so, great, awesome, amazing, incredible, horrible, pretty bad, pretty good.
Variation: It's ___.
Question: 7. What will you do? What are you going to do?
Variations: What'll you do? What are you going to do? Whadyah gonna do?
Korean: 뭐 할거예요?
Answer: I will ___.
I will go to school. I will play a game. I will read. I will practice tae-kwon-do.
Variation: I'm going to _____
I'm going to see a movie. I'm gonna eat dinner. I'm gonna study. I'm gonna fix my car.
Question:8. What do you have to do? What do you got to do?
Whadyah have to do?
What do you got to do?
Whatdyah gotta do?
Korean: 뭘 해야되요?
I have to _____. I got to ______.
I have to study. I got to study.
I have to go to work. I got to do my homework.
Question: 9. Do you have any plans this weekend?
So, what are you up to this weekend?
Hey, what are you doing this weekend?
Have you got any plans for the weekend?
Korean: 이번 주말에 계획있어요?
Yes I do. No I don't. ("Do you" or "Have you" question)
Yes, I'm going to a movie. I'm going to see "Titanic". I'm going to a concert. Unfortunately, I gotta work ("got to" spoken fast = gotta)
I'm going hiking at Soraksan Mountain. I'm going to the beach. I'm going to the bar with my friends. I'm going out for dinner.
Oh nothing much, just studying at home.
Question: 10. What's it like?
Variations and Possible Answers:
What was the movie like? It was funny.
What the teacher like? He's really cool.
What's your schedule like? It's very busy.
What's your Dad like? He's very easy going.
Korean: 이건 어떻꼐 섕겼어요?
Please note this page is still under construction!
How do you feel? I feel ________.
Please watch, study and learn the question: How do you feel?
happy, hungry, excited, angry, bored, depressed, sad, scared, surprised, sick, thirsty, tired
Here's the Easy Verbs Lesson: (Note: Past Tense 과거can be found below)
Question: What are you doing? (뭐 하고 있어요?)
Answer: I'm ______ing.
24 Awesome Verbs:
18. look (at)-보다
Easy Verbs Past Tense (과거)
The Action Song
The Action Song
Oh I like brushing my teeth, cleaning my room....and playing computer games..
오, 난 이닦는것도 방청소 하는것도 좋아해. 그리고 컴퓨터 게임하는것도 좋아해.
And at dinner time...I like to cook...and I wash all the dishes too.
저녁엔 요리하는걸 좋아하지. 설겆이 하는것도 좋아해
Of course I like to eat and drink....but I always..wash my hands first.
물론 먹고 마시는것도 좋아해 . 그래도 항상 손을 먼저 씻어.
Listening to music, playing the piano and reading books is fun
음악듣고, 피아노 치고 책읽는건 재미있어.
Oh My Daddy likes to shave, But I like to Skip....
오, 우리 아빤 면도하는걸 좋아해. 난 줄넘기 하는걸 좋아하지.
And sleeping at my bed time......그리고 잠잘시간에 잠자는걸 좋아하지.
I always study English on the telephone and I think that's really fun.....
난 항상 전화로 영어공부를 해. 아주 재미있다고 생각해.
Oh no my song is not over 오, 안돼, 내 노래 아직 안끝났어.
Oh no ..my song is not over...
Oh no ...my song is not over
Oh no my song is not over
......two more verbs remain... 두개 동사이 더 남았거든.
At seven o' clock...I turn on the tv and watch my favorite show..
7시에 텔레비젼을 켜고 내가 좋아하는 쇼를 봐.
Then I put it all together.... 그런 다음에 모두 함께 놓아요.(행동, 오늘 했던일)
All that I remember.... 내가 기억하는 모든걸.
And I write write write write.. 그리고 난 뭔가를 써요.
Write write write write...
Write write write write write
Write write write write
In my diary 내 일기장에.
The Easy Verb Chant:
This are the most basic and easy English Questions. Please learn them perfectly!
Basic English Questions:
1. What's your name? My name is ______
2. How are you? I'm ____. (fine, ok, good, soso, bad)
3. How old are you? I'm ___ years old.
4. What day is it today? Today is ___ Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday) 오늘은 무슨 요일이니?
5. What do you like? I like _____
6. What do you want? I want ______
7. How's the weather? It's _____ (rainy, sunny, cloudy, snowy, hot, cold, warm, cool )
8. How do you feel? I feel ______ (happy, angry, sad, depressed, excited, scared, thirsty, hungry, worried)기분이 어때?
9. What's your favorite ______? My favorite ______ is ______. (color, food, drink, song, movie...)
네가 제일 좋아하는 ____ 이 (가) 뭐니?
10. Where do you live? I live in _______ (Seoul, ~동, ~Apartment, etc)
11. What are you doing? I'm ____(studying,reading,writing,watchingtv,playing the piano...)
뭐 하고 있니?
12. What time is it? It's ____ .
13. What do you have? I have a ___. (pencil, money, 500 won,keys,notebook).
뭘 가지고 있니?
14. Can you _____ ? ____ 할 수 있니?
Yes I can. No I can't.
(swim, read, draw, play piano..)
Please Learn this Phonics Song well. This is the 2nd most important lesson for ESL Beginners!
OK. I'm glad you came here! This is the right way to start studying English. You must first learn the Alphabet.
Try to memorize this song and the small sentence:
1. A is for ant.
2. B is for banana.
3. C is for car.
These sentences will help you remember the sound of each letter. "A is for ant". Think 아..아 아..ant. "A" 소리는 '아'!
Take a look below for a full list of easy ESL words to go with each letter!
Learning a word and image for each letter of the alphabet is a great way to help students remember the phonics sound of each letter. So here's a collection done by my students and I in Cheongju, South Korea. This was at my old school JJ's English Friends at 봉명동, 은천시장. Hello to my old students who are just finding this today.
A is for ant.
B is for banana.
C is for car.
D is for dinosaur.
E is for egg.
F is for fish.
G is for game
H is for hamburger.
I is for insects.
J is for jacket.
K is for king.
L is for lion.
M is for money
N is for no.
O is for octopus.
P is for pizza.
Q is for queen.
R is rocket.
S is for snake.
T is for tiger.
U is for ugly.
V is for van.
W is for watermelon.
X is for x-ray.
Y is for yoyo.
Z is for zebra.
Hello and welcome to Mr. Bondaygee's Fun ESL System. If you are a true beginner and have never studied English before, then you have really come to the right place! For I, James Bondaygee, have spent many years teaching ESL to beginners. I have a lot of fun things to share with you. I'm a "Willy Wonka of ESL" you may think. Welcome to Mr. Bondaygee's World! I'm so very happy that you chose to come and start your friendly adventure with me. Here I'll share all of my basic English study materials and wonderful secrets!
ESL Beginner's Study Menu
Learn the Alphabet
Easy English Questions
The Most Important Conversation You can Learn!