Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Teaching Tip: Bring in Outside Material to Spice Up the Lesson

Posted on Tue, Jun 05, 2012 @ 10:37 AM

You don't want this in your classroom when teaching English in Korea!


You don't want this in your classroom!

So one reason that I love teaching English at Chungdahm is that the lesson planning is a perfect mix for me. Never having been a teacher before, I remember lesson planning being a concern for me when I was looking at different places to teach in Korea. I wanted a school that already had set lessons, teaching guides, and text books so that I would not have to create my own from scratch. But I also wanted some leeway to add some elements or material into the lesson. Fortunately, Chungdahm provides some of the best guides and textbooks in the business and allows teachers the freedom to add material in order to enhance the lesson.

The best way to do this is by first thinking about the overall topic of the day. Each intermediate to advanced class will have a specific topic for the day and beginner classes will generally have some sort of theme. Anything that is added to the lesson obviously needs to be related to the topic/theme and hopefully it will provide even better understanding of the topic. My method is to first completely prepare for the lesson and then afterwards brainstorm on what ways I could drive the topic home, make it more entertaining, or offer further understanding. For example, after finishing preparation on a lesson about bees, I thought of a way to make the class more interesting and entertaining for my usually tired students: bring honey to class!

But at the same time, I often do not have the time nor money to always be bringing objects or materials to class. It's easy when it is cheap, like honey, but there are times when the topic of the lesson just doesn't make that feasible. There's a way around that though; you just have to get creative. One easy way is to search for photos or videos online on your class computer and have them prepared before so that you can show them during class. An example of this...I was preparing for a lesson on flags and instead of going out and buying a small flag, I downloaded a few photos of flags from around the world and made a game by having the students guess which country the flag belonged to.

Or you could go one step further and show a short video clip. All students love videos and this can even be fun for you as well. A lesson that I will always remember had to do with fear and how the way our bodies adapt to fear. I will never forget the lesson because I started the class with a clip of one of my favorite horror movies. (and the students loved it!)

Last, remember there is always making or drawing an object if videos or photos fail.  And if it doesn't take up too much class time, I sometimes give the students 5 minutes of class time to try and draw the object as well. 

So those are just a few things to keep in mind as you begin to think of your lesson plans. Let me know if anyone has any more tips about how to make classes more entertaining and interesting!



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Adam Montgomery is a 25-year old teacher at the Chungdahm Branch on Jeju.  He has been teaching in Korea for under a year.  When he is not teaching, he enjoys exploring the wonders of Jeju and Korea.


Tags: teaching in Korea, teach in Korea, teaching at Chungdahm, lesson planning

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