Upon graduating in 2011 with an education degree, I packed my bags and headed off to the beautiful country of South Korea to teach English for a year. This was a great first teaching job in many ways. The curriculum was very rote, and was taught to the teachers within a two week orientation program. Since the classes taught were strictly conversation, no writing or grammar, it was pretty easy to learn the program, and fine tune our ears to pick up on pronunciation errors and difficulties. Once in the classroom, I quickly became comfortable with the “routine” of this curriculum, and started branching out. Not only did I enjoy class time with students, but was often invited out after class to share a meal or to visit some park or other beautiful place nearby. Koreans seem to be very proud of their country, and are eager to show foreigners around. I will say, there is a lot to see, and such a long and storied history. Compared to the US, it seems so much richer and more interesting.
One of my favorite activities was the weekend “clubs” we held, which were offered free to students and gave them extra time to practice their English in a more natural setting. The clubs varied, but all included the basic elements of exploring a new topic, learning related vocabulary, and then engaging in a topic-related discussion. It was a great way to get to know students because as they answer general questions surrounding the topic, they often tell personal anecdotes or make statements that get them talking about other parts of their lives.
This week I’m sharing a bit about my teaching experience in Korea, and each day also sharing a free resource on TeachersPayTeachers. Click here to peruse my TPT store, and download one of the free ESL conversation club lessons (or any other resources you may find there).