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Get to Know the April Program at ChungDahm

Posted on Thu, Jan 07, 2016 @ 04:25 PM

One of the best parts about teaching in Korea for ChungDahm is the variety of teaching opportunities.  ChungDahm allows teachers to teach students at various levels of English proficiency.  These levels vary depending on a student’s age and English speaking and writing ability.  Currently, I teach in Chungdahm’s April program, which is for their elementary level students, typically between 6 and 13 years old. Once students level up, and complete April they can enroll into the CDI (Chungdahm Institute) program which is for the middle and high school level. The program is not based on age, but level of English understanding. At the end of each 6 month term students take a level up test, to determine if they can proceed to the next level of the program.

The April levels are the following:

Seedbed: Starter (only level that is 3 months long), Seedbed 1, Seedbed 2

Seed: Seed 1, Seed 2

Sprout: Sprout 1, Sprout 2, and Sprout 3

Sapling: Sapling 1, Sapling 2

Junior Master: Junior Master 1, Junior Master 

teaching at ChungDahm

Busan-jin Campus 

The central theme of the April program, as the name and level names reveal, is growth, improvement and progress. Once students complete all of these levels they can enroll into CDI.

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April department on the 6th floor of the branch

April students can enroll in the 5-day program where they come every day of the week and attend 1 class, the 3-day program where they come Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and attend 2 classes a day, or the 2-day program where they come Tuesday and Thursday and attend 3 classes a day. All April students have Creative Thinking Project (CTP) with the foreign teacher or Creative Reading (CR) with the Korean speaking teacher on the last day of their week; so either Thursday or Friday depending on what schedule they are enrolled in. CTP and CR is a different format from the regular lesson as it involves creative thinking and gives the students a chance to develop their own thoughts and ideas about the weeks main topic.

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Examples of Seed 2 CTP 

A typical day in the April programs begins by arriving at the academy at 1pm and begin prepping for the classes. Prep usually entails downloading the lesson plans from our online April server, printing off Chunk quizzes, which students take once they’ve finished a whole lesson of reading, speaking and writingStudents are quizzed after 2 classes, one with the Korean speaking teacher and one with me, so typically they have them every other day. If it is a CTP day then I will prepare the CTP lesson, which means setting up the Chromokey program which is used to film the student’s presentation once they finish their creative project.

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Chromokey program

When the students arrive at 2:15pm I take attendance on the online ERP program, which April instructors use for imputing grades, attendance, issuing reports, and tracking mileage (which is the April points system for good behavior). Depending on the day, I will allow the students to review their Chunk books (homework books) before the Chunk quiz. While doing their quizzes, I will walk around and check their Chunk book for completion, and input those grades into ERP. Once they finish the Chunk quiz, I hand back their previously marked quiz, and we get into the lesson which I access on April Gate. April Gate is where the digital versions of the lesson can be found and projected onto the whiteboard, as students follow along with their written practice books. Each April class is only 45 minutes long, so days with a quiz at the beginning of class can mean we don't have much time for that day's lesson.  As a result there isn’t any time for discussion after the quiz, something I learned very quickly my first week.

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ERP                                                                                      April Gate program

An April instructor can have up to 6 different classes a day. Their classes begin at 2:20pm and can end at 7:20pm or earlier. After the students leave, instructors input participation and Chunk quizzes grades from the day onto ERP.  

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 Seed 1 class

Altogether I have 82 students that I teach throughout the week. In the beginning I was concerned that I wouldn’t remember everyone’s names or make connections with all the students.  Also, I was worried that I wouldn’t do the lessons and system properly. Luckily for me, everything came together in the first week, and the programs are very easy to use. My co-Korean-teacher was a huge help as she answered so many questions, and showed me how to prep. I still go to her with any question, or when the printer inevitably jams. Your co-teacher and head-instructor (HI) will be your biggest resource when starting out! My kids have been absolutely great, I’ve made so many bonds already in just a few weeks and am very excited to meet more classes in the upcoming term. 

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 My classroom in April

If you like working with young kids then I highly recommend teaching in ChunDahm's April program when teaching in Korea. 

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Tags: teaching at Chungdahm, chungdahm, chungdahm learning

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