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  • torstrom
  • Veteran

    • 84

    • May 19, 2010, 07:46:52 am
    • Hwaseong
Conversation Class
« on: July 09, 2010, 12:46:05 pm »
I am a first year Middle School teacher heading into my first Summer.  I have my Summer camp all planned but just found out for the 8 days leading up to camp I will be teaching a two hour conversation class.  Grades 2-3 mix in the class, a straight two hours, same kids all eight days.  I have been asked to keep games, movies, activities etc... to a minimum.  I am excited to have this opportunity to get some quality teaching time with my students but was curious if anyone had taught a class in this format and if so what did and didn't work.  Thanks!


  • amandaz
  • Waygookin

    • 23

    • November 17, 2008, 09:05:16 am
    • Gwangju
Re: Conversation Class
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 08:30:35 am »
I was faced with this same situation last summer. I recommend planning lessons built around a theme (i.e. science, geography, clothing ect). Personally, I would ignore what they said about games and activities, your classes should be interesting and not put too much pressure on the students to speak ALL the time. Just teach them new vocabulary, have some worksheets for them to do and then have them do a dialogue (lower level) or free talk (higher level) about what you taught them. Maybe the last day play a game that incorporates everything you taught.  I did a fun activity where they had to draw a human body (real size) and label all the parts (inside and out). Then they had to do a short presentation about their body. It was fun and the students got to be creative! Good luck!!


  • Janitor
  • Moderator - LVL 2

    • 956

    • June 14, 2010, 02:01:32 pm
    • Ulsan
Re: Conversation Class
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 09:44:36 am »
First thing that you should look at is the time. I have the same format for my classes and have taught this kind of camp a few times now and there are a lot of things that work and some that are a disaster.

The first thing I would say is create a reward system. Stickers are a great way to encourage participation. I would also give them a score sheet so that they can track their progress.

Next, I would say is focus on lessons that are fun and engage the students. For conversation, debates and discussion in a structured manner. However, I found that most middle school students  are a little shy when it comes to this type of lesson.

Eat your kimchi has some great lessons designed exactly for English camps. Their music and movie lessons are great for critical thinking and discussion. Teachingrecipes.com also has some great ideas. I think that the biggest challenge is keeping them engaged for the whole period.

I hope this helps somewhat.


  • torstrom
  • Veteran

    • 84

    • May 19, 2010, 07:46:52 am
    • Hwaseong
Re: Conversation Class
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2010, 01:45:32 pm »
Thanks for the feedback.  I am also teaching an English camp for my 1st grade middle schoolers for the six days following this conversation class. When I posted it wasn't for sure that the two sessions weren't going to have overlapping students, but now that is confirmed. That means that I can use some of my summer camp materials by just changing the difficulty on some of the activities.  I am hoping to talk my school into an after school conversation class after the break, so still taking suggestions. Thanks all!


  • ovid
  • Veteran

    • 176

    • July 26, 2010, 11:42:52 am
    • Seoul
Re: Conversation Class
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 10:13:55 am »
I worked at a high school in the States before I taught in Korea and have taught elementary kids for a bit (a year in a hawgwon and a year at an elementary school).  Teaching high school students has been loads easier for me and I wish I worked with high school students from the start.

I don't think either group of students will prepare you better for the other.  Outside of co-teachers, the experience was far better for me and my students in high school.  They are more cooperative and they are more confident in speaking English.  Also, I've never laughed so much during class with them.  They're better mannered and I don't have to spend time doing behavior management. 

As far as classes go though, it's a lot tougher navigating and there is definitely more work (but classroom management is much easier in high school).  Less disciplinary problems and I only see the high school students once a week.  That is kind of a problem though, seeing that I can't really do any kind of long term plans (ie homework, reports, etc).