I have taught in Korea with Chungdahm Learning for around 30 months now. In that time, I have seen many students come and go. I have taught every class level, from beginners, (Chungdahm’s EC4 Level) to the most advanced level, known as the Masters Classes. I have experienced many changes to the curriculum, including the implementation of Chungdahm 3.o This saw Chungdahm move away from the traditional paper book format and transitioned to the smart classroom, a program whereby, the students and teacher each have a Samsung tablet-pc’s, and each classroom has a large flat screen TV to display the lesson. This new platform brought exciting content and a whole new interactive learning platform delivered through the tablets. And while the smart classroom certainly has advantages, Chungdahm still offer a wide array of classes. These classes range from TOEFL, to Premium classes, to debate masters' classes. This blog will look at these classes, and what it’s like to teach them.
Korean students, even the youngest feel enormous pressure to get good scores, whether it is a math test, a science test, or in this case an English exam,. The desire for a 100% mark is real. And, as a result Chungdahm Offers TOEFL classes, to prepare them for the examination. CDI teaches all four sections of TOEFL: speaking, listening, writing and reading. I currently teach the writing and speaking portion of the TOEFL test.
TOEFL classes are actually really fun to teach. Chungdahm TOEFL classes are very popular among middle and high school students, as the class meets only once a week, unlike the Chungdahm 3.o classes which meet twice per week. The TOEFL class fits in nicely with their busy schedules. I teach essay writing for 90 minutes and speaking for the last 90 minutes of class. This is a great way to get to know your students even more, as in this time they talk to you about what they enjoy doing on the weekends with their family and friends, and also where they like to go on vacation etc. I also get paid extra for grading essays outside of class, which can be a nice way to earn extra money.
2) Premium Classes:
I started teaching Premium classes 3 terms ago. These classes are for students with a lower level of English. The class slowly transitions the students to a 100% English speaking environment. An expat or native English-speaking teacher co-teaches these classes with a Korean teacher. These classes are usually small, only 3 – 6 students in a class.
There are several types of Premium classes at my branch. I teach Listening & Movie classes. For the listening classes, the students listen to MP3’s, take dictation and discuss what they heard. In the movie classes, students watch and discuss a movie to improve their English comprehension. Students also spend time on vocabulary exercises to learn a few hundred new English words every month. It is really great to see a student grow from having almost no English skills to carrying a full English conversation in three to six months.
3) Masters (Debate):
The Masters classes, of which there are several kinds (even some tablet based) are my favorite classes to teach. Masters students speak and understand English so well that they can converse with you or I, with no problem at all. Over the last couple of terms I have taught the Masters debating class. This class meets once-a-week for three hours, Students research a topic; learn debating skills and speech skills; and prepare for and partake in a debate. In addition to the formal debate work, for homework each week, students pick a topic of interest from the news and present a summary of that information in a 1 – 2 minute presentation. This gives them additional time to practice their speech skills and further their research skills. These classes, usually small in size, average between 5 – 9 students per class. The topics for the debates vary from fun and interesting to very controversial subjects.
Teaching at a Chungdahm Institute is both a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you teach a tablet-based class or a non-tablet based class, you are sure to not only gain valuable teaching practice, but also some great memories. I have been here now for over two years, and I am so happy that I chose ChungDahm. Not only because of the amazing students – but also because of the good work environment. If you are thinking about applying to teach English in South Korea, I cannot recommend Chungdahm enough.
John May grew up in Dublin, Ireland where he is from & went to Trinity College – one of Irelands best known universities. He graduated from here in November 2012 with a B.A. (Mod) in Geography & Sociology. John has always had a passion for travelling having been to most of Europe, he decided to explore Asia after Uni. He had always wanted to teach and thought what
better way to travel than teaching English on the way. John is currently teaching English for CDI in Daegu, South Korea a position he found through Aclipse; and loves every minute of it!