Many teachers interested in South Korea always wonder, what is it like? Will I be in over my head? Which company is best for me? When I first sent in my application for teaching in Korea, I really did it as a shot in the dark. I didn’t expect much to come out of it. Luckily for me, ChungDahm was the first one to pick me (although they weren’t the only ones). After reviewing what each company was looking for in a teacher, I settled on ChungDahm for two major reasons: 1) High pay and 2) Curriculum. I had friends in the U.S. that were teachers and they said how difficult it was to create a daily plan for their students. I don’t have time nor the talent for something like that. I am good at is explaining ideas and that’s the reason why I really like ChungDahm (going into my 4th year here!). ChungDahm’s lesson plans are diverse and for the most part entertaining. Here are the 4 major program types (Master’s program excluded):
C1 - C1 classes are mainly focused on helping students properly identify topics, thesis statements, and major details in both reading and listening forms. Each C1 class comes with a user guide that can help a teacher map out what he or she should say to the student. Of course, teachers should have extra material just in case they need to further explain a certain idea. Not only that, but in this class, we watch many different videos to further explain certain ideas and concepts to the students. Lucky for us, ChungDahm has already provided the videos. You just have to be good at facilitating class discussion. Many kids are not comfortable speaking English, but as a teacher, we should have our students practice with us so we can help them improve before they go out into the world. That’s why I tell my students try it here in my classroom where it is a safe environment. Many kids do enjoy the topics that we discuss and can get really into it. From Kpop, childhood obesity, to the creation of money, and dinosaur extinction, many kids have an opinion to share.
C2 - C2 Units are broken down into two week pairs of one subject. Every week, one class will have review a controversial topic. Topics that I have taught have ranged from steroid use, drone usage, to corporate branding. Students will learn about one side of the debate the first week while learning the opposing side the following week. At the end of the second week, students will form into groups to show what side that they mostly agree with. C2 is used for students to develop their own opinion, share it with the class, and be able to defend it in case other students may disagree. C2 projects are time consuming, so teachers should facilitate and review each team’s message before sharing it with the class.
V1 - In V1, students and teachers read one fiction and also one non-fiction book that hopefully will inspire students. Many of the books deal with issues that students or young adults may face. A lot of the fictional books come from prize winning authors. Furthermore, for the non-fictional books, students get to learn about entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Sir Richard Branson. After reviewing the assigned reading, students use the day’s theme in a project at the end of class.
A2 - For me, A2 is the most challenging yet rewarding program. This program gets students ready for the TOEFL examinations. Here, students practice their reading, listening, speaking, and writing skills. As a teacher, this is the class that I feel like I have to prepare the most for. It is worth it however when you see your students TOEFL scores increase after taking the level-up examinations. For the most part, the material is cut and dry. Many students hate it because they only feel like they are test taking every week, but when they see their grades, they are happy with the results. As their teacher, I am happy for them too. One of the best feelings I can ever have is when I see my student acheive their goal.
After working for five years in banking, Marc decided that it was time for a change before he got too old. He left the stress from his 9-5 job to do something new and different. After coming to Korea with a group of buddies, he landed in the Gangdong Branch in Eastern Seoul. When he's not teaching and doing head instructor duties, he is out about traveling Korea, looking for the new, old, and undiscovered places to visit. Follow him on Twitter @geonmakku and on Instagram @geonmakku for the latest happenings in South Korea.