Now that I have been working for Chungdahm Learning for some time, I find it only appropriate to share some teaching wisdom. There are two concepts that I find to be essential to master in order to be a good Chungdahm teacher (or a good teacher in general) - WH Questions and Cold Calling.
Who is in the story?
What did X do?
When did X happen?
Where did X happen?
Why did X do X?
How did X feel/react to X?
It’s important to understand what WH questions are. They are your who, what, where, when, and how questions. As an instructor, you need to guide your students through your lesson. These questions are essential for moving students along the lesson. Thus, preparing such questions beforehand prevents getting stuck. Sometimes students require extra guidance than expected, so one has to think on the spot of various questions, continually steering students closer and closer to the desired answer. I’m using the word ‘guide’ often, for you never want to give the students the answers. Effective teaching never derives from missing opportunities to make students think and produce on their own. The combination of preparation and on the spot question creations allow for a smooth lesson execution from beginning to end.
“Do you understand?”
Worst Comprehension Question Ever!
Moreover, these questions are how you gauge the students comprehension of the material covered in class. A teacher should evaluate each students comprehension to address their unique needs. If students can’t produce the desired responses to your questions, then some part of your delivery of material is what is lacking. In this manner, these questions offer an opportunity for self-reflection and improvement making WH questions a truly essential teaching tool.
In a classroom, cold calling refers to calling on students who aren’t raising their hands to voluntarily participate. Utilizing cold calling is a tool used to achieve two goals - ensure equal class participation and maintain student attention.
There will always be some students that want to answer every question, and you know they have all the right answers. While these students are great for moving the class along. Only calling on them hinders one’s overall effectiveness as a teacher. Some students are on the quiet side. They pay attention. They know the answers. Still, they are shy. Cold calling these students makes them participate, and praising them gives them confidence to want to start voluntarily participating. Other students don’t know the answer. Calling on a student who doesn’t know the answer isn’t bad. As a teacher, use the before mentioned WH questions to guide the student to the answer. If the student truly cannot answer, tell the student it is okay, then call on another student to help. Then, call on the student that got the first question wrong again for the next and/or an easier question. This second steps allows the student to have an opportunity to shine and receive praise. Thus, the student will not shy away from voluntarily participating in the future. The student will also not feel embarrassed for not having known the first question’s answer. Even when there is the chance a student won’t know the answer when cold calling, it is how one as a teacher can distinguish who is simply shy and who requires further assistance understanding material.
Moreover, if students know you cold call. They have more of an incentive to pay attention, so they can avoid being in a position where they have to struggle to answer questions. Cold calling to read also helps maintain students attention. Students do require prior knowledge to read, so cold call on students that look distracted or are being disruptive to keep them on task, focused, and properly behaved. Cold calling is a very handy teaching tool.
Sound complicated? Not to worry. If you are teaching at Chungdahm, there will be a bunch of people who can help you like managers, staff members, other teachers, and even wise students who've been around the block!
Giselle Moreno is from California, USA where she attended the University of California, Riverside. While a student, she always worked with international students and she decided to teach English abroad upon graduating during her third year of university. It was through the experiences of being an English tutor for international students that she felt really fulfilled. She found it particularly easy to get along with Korean students which is why she decided to pursue a teaching opportunity in Korea. She even attended Yonsei University in Seoul for a semester as a study abroad student and fell in love with the city. She is currently working at ChungDahm Learning’s April Daechi branch located in Gangnam, Seoul.