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A Survival Guide for Summer School at ChungDahm

Posted on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 05:30 PM

In the ESL world Summer school happens all over. At Chungdahm Learning we have two periods of extra classes. These happen during the Winter and Summer vacation months and they are called Summer and Winter Intensives and they are usually conducted from Weeks 9-12 of both semesters.  Currently, CDL is hosting their Summer Intensives and plenty of Korean students either switch over to morning classes or do intensives as well as regular classes. It is a time when the academy is super busy with Achievement testing and the winding down of a term. It can be rather overwhelming for teachers and staff, so it is best to be prepared in advance and have a set schedule to follow. In this blog I will go over the summer intensive curriculum along with tips on how you can make sure you are well prepared.

teaching in Korea

What Will You Teach?

CDL has various kinds of Summer school classes that target different areas of English that a student needs to focus or improve on. These kind of classes could include: grammar, speaking & writing, novel workshops, presentation workshops, listening & speaking, and extensive reading. Most of them are book and paper based and they move away from utilizing the smart tablet like in your afternoon classes.

teaching in Korea

To give you an idea, I am teaching the presentation workshop at my branch this Summer. Its core focus is to improve students’ listening and speaking ability by watching various sitcoms and movie snippets. The students write down notes and fill in the blanks for the script. They also have to challenge themselves to answer various questions about the video clip being watched, and they should also challenge themselves to think creatively about the subtext. The class also includes some grammar exercises along with a vocabulary test.

The last hour of the class the students work on their acting presentations and create different endings to the scenes they watched. Then they conduct peer to peer evaluations while each group conducts their acting skits.

teaching in Korea

How to Adjust?

Intensives can be overwhelming at first, especially if you have a further commute than others or you are teaching an extra nine hours a week. The classes usually occur in the mornings from 10am to 1pm, so this can be a struggle for those who are used to waking up later.

The best way to overcome this is to have a strict sleeping schedule. I try really hard to be in bed by 11:30pm. I make sure to turn off all technology by 10:30pm and try to read a book so I can fall asleep by 12pm. This really helps with getting in a good solid eight hours sleep before my intensive class the following day.

teaching in Korea

If you live nearby your branch, you can go home after class to eat some lunch and catch a nap before your 4pm class. If this is not possible go find a lazy café nearby, and take a short nap and relax. You will find that every bit of sleep helps get you through the intensive period.

My fiancé and I also do a lot of meal prepping on a Sunday before each intensive week. We try to cook things like chicken breast and brown rice. Protein shakes, mini bags of nuts and fruit are great snacks in-between teaching. Plenty of teachers buy cooler bags that they can store their meals in as it is super important to have as much energy as possible during this time. You will crash and get sick if you don’t eat and sleep well.

Also, I use my Sundays to complete all my class prep beforehand. To make it not seem like a chore on Sunday, I try to do my prep at a nice café while relaxing and soaking in some sun. I find that weekend preparations really help with maintaining class quality and lowers a large amount of stress.   

teaching in Korea

Its Summer School…Have Fun!  

For most teachers the thought of gaining extra hours can be quite upsetting. However, it’s all about  perspective and how you choose to act on it. It’s Summer vacation… so with that being said, Summer intensives should be fun!

Conduct the class in a way that is fun and entertaining for yourself. If you are having fun the students will have fun too! You are the teacher and you can use the material in whichever way you want to be entertaining and creative.

teaching in Korea

Always keep in mind that the students are on vacation and that they expect their teacher to be energetic and enthusiastic. When you prep for the class make a sticker chart or research how to have external  media incorporated into the class. You could also create games, or bring in extra props for acting. A little effort goes a long way for the students and teachers satisfaction. 

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 It is no surprise that Tijana Huysamen, a South African born Capetownian, avid traveler and travel journalist, fell in love with South Korea and its people. After Tijana arrived in South Korea in 2010, she had the opportunity to live in the heart of the Korean countryside. During her time spent in Chungnam province she learned to speak Korean, prepare Korean food and experience the humble nature of the countryside people.  After a year break in New York, Tijana jumped at the opportunity to return to Korea again, and is currently working at the CDI Jamsil Branch, in Jamsil, Seoul. Read Tijana’s Aclipse blog to gain a unique perspective on Korea and her shared experiences and adventures both in a major city and in the countryside. Follow Tijana on Twitter @TeeAnni or email [email protected] to request more information on teaching in Korea!

Tags: summer in korea, English teacher in Korea, Vacations in Korea, ESL, chungdahm learning, teaching abroad, Teaching skills, how to be a great ESL teacher, intensives, summer school

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