Teacher Orientation Day 2-3

The morning of Day 2 started early for the medical exam. We paid 50,000 won, which is about 50USD, and proceeded to get our urine test, eye exam, blood sample, and chest x-ray. The whole process took a little over an hour. We would not be allowed to teach in Korea without passing this exam.

Our afternoon lectures started from 2pm, and our first lecture was about tips on co-teaching. The presenters were one Korean English Teacher and one American English Teacher, and their teamwork and energy was amazing. The lesson demo reminded me of a children’s tv show like Sesame Street, Okaasan to Issho (Japanese), or Ppo Ppo Ppo (Korean). They had a short and humurous skit to introduce the topic, hand movements to help children focus, videos and games to repeat and practice phrases in various ways, and finally a singing and dancing session using the key phrases. I was overwhelmed by the thought that I may be expected to be able to teach at such a high-standard, but the other teachers reassured me that their quality of presentation is an exception, but it would be an excellent goal to work towards.

The second lecture was based on storytelling. The presenter showed us how we could use children’s books effectively for each age group and topic. She truly loved reading, and that attitude made her lessons more meaningful.

Although I am an intermediate level Korean language learner (I know some vocabulary and key phrases but I’m not confident enough for a full conversation.), that class was full, so I was pushed into the advanced class. The instructor, who is around our age, was panicking because he was expecting fluent Korean speakers, but he quickly adjusted, and we were able to enjoy the class.

On the third day, we had a total of 7 hours of lectures. The first lecture was about lesson planning. The lecturer demonstrated and explained to us how she planned the lesson, so students can gradually complete a more complicated task. The second lecture was about how we can make English more comprehensible to English learners. Our goal would be to not only speak slowly, but to emphasize content words and our intonation. A good example would be reading a bedtime story for a child.

After our lunch break, we had two more lectures. One was about our after school and vacation time English classes, which allows us to have our own curriculum based on our hobbies and interests. I also learned how to take my winter and summer breaks, which is exciting because it’ll be easier to plan my vacations in Korea and Asia. The last lecture was rather dull, because the lecturer went over rules in Korean culture, which was already taught in the opening ceremony.

In our after-dinner Korean class, we learned about manners, bad words, and idioms. Expanding vocabulary seems to be easier for me sometimes when I learn it in a group. I wonder how much I will be able to improve my Korean.

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