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  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3326

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« on: April 28, 2012, 07:37:32 pm »
I find myself in this very position! It is simultaneously a blessing and a curse; it is hard work preparing and creating materials...however, I am going to focus on the positive and be grateful for this opportunity, telling myself that in this situation, the pros outweigh the cons.
My question is:
What the heck should I do?
(Curriculum is not provided.)
Are there any lesson ideas you have done in the past that have worked well? Do you have a dream lesson that you always wanted to do, but couldn't because your hands are tied? I will do it for you!
Any and all suggestions are appreciated. ~Thanks~


  • JahRhythm
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 1122

    • May 25, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Seoul
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Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 07:52:19 pm »
Depends entirely on age/level/setting.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 01:20:54 am »
I have complete control over everything that happens in my class.

I find myself in this very position! It is simultaneously a blessing and a curse; it is hard work preparing and creating materials...however, I am going to focus on the positive and be grateful for this opportunity, telling myself that in this situation, the pros outweigh the cons.
My question is:
What the heck should I do?
(Curriculum is not provided.)
Are there any lesson ideas you have done in the past that have worked well? Do you have a dream lesson that you always wanted to do, but couldn't because your hands are tied? I will do it for you!
Any and all suggestions are appreciated. ~Thanks~

You gave no clue to what level they are. This completely changes the game. I have no idea their age, gender, or type of school. All of these situations alter the outcome of the advice.


  • tbaren
  • Adventurer

    • 31

    • April 29, 2012, 08:21:52 pm
    • Bucheon
Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2012, 08:56:42 pm »
This also depends on if it's a hagwon or a public school...how many students? What age?


  • JahRhythm
  • Fanatical Supporter!

    • 1122

    • May 25, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Seoul
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Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2012, 09:44:06 pm »
This also depends on if it's a hagwon or a public school...how many students? What age?

Or a private school or a university or a technical college or...

Not everyone works in a hagwon or public school.
We teach EFL not ESL. Hagwon and "Private School" are not synonymous. Not everyone works in either a hagwon or public school. Immigration Question? Call 1345.


  • Bump
  • Veteran

    • 194

    • April 26, 2011, 12:07:27 pm
    • Seoul
Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 11:50:48 am »
I'm so glad I don't have to...I think it would be total hell having to make all of your own materials.  When people say they wish they could just do everything from scratch, all I can think is those folks are high on crack or just plain weird.  Seriously.


  • teachermc
  • Super Waygook

    • 384

    • March 04, 2010, 11:47:41 am
    • Tongyeong, South Korea
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Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 01:08:47 pm »
Curriculum developing and teaching is usually two different positions.  There needs to be someone whose job consists of looking at the larger picture (a whole year/semester of study and beyond) while teachers worry about how to teach on a daily basis. 

I have had a mixture of experiences here at public schools - I follow a textbook (or what they call a curriculum) for most of my classes but am expected to do something different for afterschool and vacation classes.  One semester of "doing what I wanted" in an afterschool class was enough for me.  The students seemed to have fun, but the lessons did not build well upon each other and I do not think my students saw a clear goal in what they were learning. 

Now, I always follow a curriculum.  I may not necessarily use pre-prepared book materials or activities, but I follow a curriculum and structure that seems thought out and connected.  For afterschool programs, I generally follow a curriculum called Let's Go by Oxford University Press.  The curriculum has a clear focus on grammar and syntax and introduces (for the most part) useful vocabulary for an elementary student.  So, from this curriculum, I look at each unit and plan activities based upon the grammar and vocabulary goals for that unit.  I rarely use the textbook activities and instead make games that I know work well with my students and fit our particular class arrangement.

Most schools have a budget for stuff like this.  Even if you like planning lessons independently, it may be useful to have some resources to which you can refer.


  • Cereal
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1239

    • March 16, 2011, 12:51:55 pm
    • Earth
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Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 11:51:01 am »
Grade 5 or 6, geography and science
"The urge to destroy is also a creative urge."
Bakunin


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3326

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2012, 10:47:34 pm »
Hi. This is the OP checking in. (^_^) The classes I teach are kindergarten, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, middle school, and high school. I think I am quite lucky to be able to teach English to middle schoolers and high schoolers in a hagwon, as I heard it is quite rare for a native speaker to so. Kindergarten can be a heck of a lot of fun too. The children are so young, they are cute and innocent. The most challenging age to teach, in my opinion, is elementary. This is also the majority of my classes. Advice anyone? (Thank you so much!)


Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2012, 12:50:40 am »
Lots more review than most comercial ESL companies allow you to do.

I've had hagwan kids that still can't use basic English after several years.  Have taught one on one with kids doing lots of review, not moving onuntil the topic and language patterns are 100% retained and then moving on to new topics that build upon and reuse some previous structures with new vocab and themes etc and seen kids go from zero English to converational level in months.  No flashy materials or constant activities etc.

Still, without the comercial model, we wouldn't (those of us in the private sector) have the jobs we do so...
« Last Edit: May 05, 2012, 03:49:10 pm by DWAEDGIMORIGUKBAP »


  • Davox
  • Super Waygook

    • 497

    • February 05, 2011, 03:01:13 pm
    • Ilsan
Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2012, 02:12:28 am »
Hi. This is the OP checking in. (^_^) The classes I teach are kindergarten, second grade, third grade, fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, middle school, and high school. I think I am quite lucky to be able to teach English to middle schoolers and high schoolers in a hagwon, as I heard it is quite rare for a native speaker to so. Kindergarten can be a heck of a lot of fun too. The children are so young, they are cute and innocent. The most challenging age to teach, in my opinion, is elementary. This is also the majority of my classes. Advice anyone? (Thank you so much!)

Still need more info.  What are your class sizes? How long are they?  How many classes a week?  What's their level like?  On level, lower than on level, above level?  What's your owner like?  Are you expected to be fun, to pretend to teach enough to fool the parents or actually produce real results (really rare)?  What's your budget for materials?  IE. Can you choose textbooks, and if so, who pays for them?  What's the actual targeted goal for the students at the end of the year?


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3326

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 10:19:52 pm »
(I will be finished with kindergarten soon, so scratch advice for that, useless you want to help me with my final lessons and/or help another reader to this thread in a similar situation to my own.) Class sizes (for elementary and up) range from 1 to 12 students, the most common range being between 3 and 6 students. Class times are from 45 to 75 minutes long, with one hour classes being the most typical. I see the students just once per week. Most (nearly 75%) are male. As far as what is expected of me, the academy owner wants me to get more students to join the school. The academy doesn't advertise or even have a bus to pick up the students; reputation and word of mouth is what brings more students to the school. (To answer your question, there is no actual targeted goal for students at the end of the year.) The boss told me if I bought books she would reimburse me. I went to bookstores and looked at materials for hours, but I couldn't decide what to get, so I got nothing. For now, I've just been doing my own self-created lessons, but perhaps, as noted above, I should strive for a more structured curriculum. Oh, and the students generally have a poor English level. I would definitely say below average compared to what I have encountered before.
~Thanks for the advice everyone!~


  • L I
  • The Legend

    • 3326

    • October 03, 2011, 01:50:58 pm
    • Seoul
Re: If you had complete control over what you could teach...
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 01:08:36 pm »
Here's a cool idea I saw on Dave's ESL Cafe:

Quote
For the younger ones, I like to play "Body ABC." This is where you go through the letters of the alphabet and try to make the shape of the letter with your body. You can start off going alphabetically (especially when determining their level) and then can advance up to random letters. They really like to play this game and it lets you and them be goofy and fun~ (And they're proud of themselves, as well). Once they have gone through the letters once, I do a race where I call out random letters and the first student to make the shape gets a point. Most points is the winner (and can get candy or stickers or whatever prize you/your school does).

Has anyone done this before?

It seems like a great idea, but some of the letters I am having a hard time conceiving of how they could be done. (I suppose "H" will have to be done with a partner.)

Any advice on how to achieve the activity? I think it would be fun to have the students spell out the letters along with the alphabet song. (It would have to be sung slowly though. Anyone know of a recording that does that?)

I posted this earlier...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/learning-a-language-may-come-down-to-gestures/2012/01/03/gIQAJ5fFmP_story.html
Quote
Language classes of the future might come with a physical workout because people learn a new tongue more easily when words are accompanied by movement.
...and I am struggling to think of ways to put it into practice.

The song "Head, Shoulders, Knees, Toes" is great (for kindergarteners). Any others?