The 5th grade dilemma

After a weekend of guessing what my students already knew and what I needed to focus on (the books were at school) I finally got my hands on the gold. After categorizing and making note of each grade I noticed something that made my eyes raise.

Since 3rd graders are brand new to learning English in a classroom setting, they don’t have a textbook.

I don’t teach 4th grade, only 4th grade camp so I don’t have a book for them.

6th grade is a bit advanced at this school and I will have a tricky time incorporating the lower level students with what seems to be the rest of the 75% of higher level students.

And the 5th graders have the hardest year of them all while having to learn, what I think, are all of the most difficult sounds a Korean speaker can learn in English.


Let’s see… in 5th grade, according to the book, they need to learn:

Phonics – f, s, l, r, sh, th, ch, wa, ye, ow, -y

Pronouns – you, he, she, I

Frequency – sometimes, often, usually, always, never

Conversation – greetings, When something occurs, How something was, and if you like something. (All with at least a 4 or 5 sentence dialogue)


Mind you, I came over in the middle of the semester and have 40 minute classes which in some cases is NO time and on top of that I have to work to un-do any wrongdoing in terms of phonemic understanding. NICE.

While I can’t sit and complain about any of this because I’m talking about 10 year olds who have school 9+ hours a day, multiple tests during the year, no real kid life and loads and loads of pressure placed on them everyday. SMH…

O, AND, just found out each grade, EVEN the 3rd graders have their end-of-year tests on November 11-13… so the fun has just begun. Poor things.

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