March 26, 2006

ATTN Musicians: Sample These Clips!

The Rhythm Method / TOEFL Listening

Hobbies / TOEFL Listening

Let me briefly explain how TOEFL Listening classes work at most hagwons in Korea: The teacher stands in front of a group of 10 to 15 Korean middle schoolers or high schoolers with a small boombox, a tape, and a book. He or she plays a recorded lecture from the tape while the kids fill in blanks in their workbooks. This is difficult for the students, so the teacher will often rewind and replay short pieces of the lecture. The primary skill required of the teacher, then, is an ability to maneuver a tape deck expertly. Basically, you end up playing tiny portions over and over, as many as five or six times, spaced only by the sound of an old tape rewinding. This part is fun because it sounds like a glitch-hop song, like the teacher should be simultaneously beatboxing and manning the decks.

But TOEFL Listening class really gets interesting when the content of the academic lecture is something special itself. Sometimes you learn that crows are smarter than chimpanzees. Sometimes you are provided with a thorough answer to the age-old question "What is a sneeze?" My absolute favorite lecture, however, is entitled "The Rhythm Method of Birth Control." When I play this one for my 11-year-old students, the number of questions they ask is simply inspiring. It's particularly fun to navigate the rocky moral terrain of not really describing intercourse while making it clear that the rhythm method is not effective—but still more effective than the pull-out method.

The highlight from "The Rhythm Method of Birth Control" occurs at 41 seconds in when the female lecturer announces, "The method's main flaw lies in the menstrual cycle itself."

The second clip is of a TOEFL conversation in which a man is asking a boy and a girl about their hobbies. The highlight occurs at 16 seconds in when the man does his very best impression of a sexual predator and says, "That's interesting... How many car models do you have?"


bizkwik said...

he has 13 mini cars.

his dad made it so that he couldn't stop making them.

she thinks she's pretty good at the game.

tripmaster said...

if you still have these clips available, i would LOVE to sample them!! please let me know! thanks!!

TW Cable said...

lost these gems a while back. i'll repost if i ever find them, but it's unlikely. if anyone else has access to these tapes, i'd definitely love to have them again.