Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Best & Brightest: Chungdahm's Master Class

Posted on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 @ 12:16 PM

At Chungdahm, you'll have the opportunity to teach a variety of students with a wide range of English speaking skills. From the lowest levels in Chungdahm April to the advanced levels in Chungdahm, each group offers different challenges and rewards. That being said, my time teaching Chungdahm's Master level has been the most rewarding and remarkable.

master class chungdahm korea

I know that teaching will be my career, but I often flip-flop on the particular subject that I would like to teach. Often, I land on literature, as it was always my favorite subject in school and a big part of my university degree. As soon as I learned about the Master class at Chungdahm, which is a combination of literature and debate, I became obsessed with teaching the class.

The Master class is basically at the top of the levels Chungdahm offers. It's what students strive for, and when they make it into the class they tend to stay there, which means that I've gotten to know these students well. I have students in my class that I've been teaching for at least a year straight, meaning we know each other quite well and I've really been able to help them develop as students. 

master class chungdahm koreaAnalyzing Ender's Game.

The material for the class itself is excellent. I've had the opportunity to teach To Kill A Mockingbird, Ender's Game, The Book Thief, The Giver, Lord of the Flies, The Things They Carried, and so, so many other novels. We discuss themes, character development, literary devices, and they write essays. Every now and then there's a fun activity we can do related to the book, such as when we took a break last week from analysis of The Hobbit to write our names in Dwarf runes. Last term, while reading The Things They Carried, we watched bits of Vietnam documentaries. As we moved into World War II-set novels, I was able to show them clips of other History Channel specials and even an episode of Band of Brothers.

In debate, we toy with different debating styles, from impromptu to parliamentary to public forum, tackling politically and ethically driven topics with the use of research and news articles. We even do the occasional mock trial! In the winter term, all feeling bored with the topic of the upcoming mock trial, we decided to find a new one. Inspiration struck while I was Googling mock trials and I turned my focus to mock trials based on literature. After finding some good ideas, I took a premise for a Harry Potter-based mock trial, wrote an entirely new one with detailed character testimonies, and passed out the information to my students. They were given two weeks to fully prepare and memorize their witness statements and it was the most successful mock trial we've had so far. Plus, since my class is full of Harry Potter nerds, we had a really good time getting into character.

master class chungdahm korea A witness being sworn in on the Harry Potter Bible, aka the first book.

Largely, this class is so remarkable to me because it feels like a high school or university class. I ask more of these kids because I know they are capable of meeting the challenge. I've had the opportunity to really develop these kids, helping them grow as analytical writers and confident speakers. 

And all of this is possible because the students I have the privilege to teach are impressive, motivated, and amazing young adults. I love all my classes, but they will always be my favorite.

Apply here to teach in Korea! 

Between studying Japanese and Asian culture in university and setting her sights on a teaching career, it came as no surprise when Zannah Smreker announced that she was moving to South Korea to teach for Chungdahm Learning. In November 2011, Zannah accepted a position through Aclipse with the Songdo branch in Incheon, just southwest of Seoul. When she's not teaching, she keeps herself busy with exploring Korea, eating all the street food, and hunting down strange Engrish shirts. Check out her blog here for more of her adventures!

Tags: Students, teaching in Korea, teach in Korea, cdi, teaching at Chungdahm, teacher, master class

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