BMany teachers arrive in Korea never having taught a single student.When they arrive in Korea, they are often thrown into an English academy and told to create entertaining lessons (and lesson plans). Since teaching has always been my passion (and I think my gift), I have really tried hard to make every lesson as engaging as I possibly can while being totally educational.
It is because of all of this that I want to share what I've learned for the newbies.I just found a really cool tool to use instead of PowerPoint.It's at , and it is super cool. Here is one I put together about Konglish. Check it out.
Coming to Korea can be overwhelming, especially for the teachers who aren't given any training, books or directions.So here are some tips I've learned along the way.
School and academies are more like expensive babysitters.Korean parents expect their children to learn discipline at school.Almost every teacher I know (at a public school or hogwan) has been reprimanded for not disciplining their students.This is a tough job for many reasons: (1) Korea teachers hit the students to discipline them, but native English speaking teachers aren't allowed to.The students know this and take advantage of the situation. (2) There aren't many school-wide rules. Each classroom runs independent of the other, so there is little to no teamwork when it comes to discipline.This is like the father who disciplines one way and the mother another way.The child realizes he or she can manipulate the glitch in the system. (3) In many situations, poorly executed discipline can lead to students withdrawing from the institution, which leaves business owners without funds to pay their staff.
So, one thing I learned really quickly is that you HAVE TO be resilient.They will test your limits and you cannot lose your cool.STRESS MANNERS AND POLITENESS IN ENGLISH. Kids learn by trial an error what is acceptable and what isn't.If you tell your students what you expect in the beginning, then you can hold them accountable when they don't follow through.If you make up rules as you go along, they won't take you seriously. It needs to be clear that you are their teacher and they should treat you (and speak to you) as such.
Your lesson plan is to help aid you in the classroom.In it should be (1) Time allotment for each segment of the activity (2) Questions you will ask to get your desired result (3) A back up activity if you have extra time left over.It should be a reference to keep you on track. (4) Objective and how you will check if the objective was met.For example: If my objective is to teach some new vocabulary words, before the student leave the room, they will have to give me a sentence using one of the words from the lesson.
[PUT SAMPLE LESSON PLAN HERE]
I think it is really important to give students practice reading aloud and use this time for correction.This helps students recognize and practice appropriate places to breathe or pause.I will have the students make slash marks where they think it is acceptable to breath.For example:
The beautiful girl/ took out her purse/ and gave it to her mother.
I tell my students that as they become more fluent, they will have to take less breaths.These are called "thought groups."That is how we naturally speak in any language.Google it for more information.It has proven very helpful for me at all levels.
Most students are programmed to listen to long passages and answer questions, but this is not realistically going to improve their ability to understand native speech.These recorded segments are perfected and usually use unnatural pronunciations.I like to show videos like CNN news for kids and other shows that have real people speaking naturally.Native speakers read lips while they are speakingand that is a skill only achieved by watching people speak.
This game is cool for getting students to learn new vocab.You put two 9x9 grids on the board. ONE FOR TEAM A AND THE OTHER FOR TEAM B.Then in each box put a vocab word.The two grids should be identical.Each team takes turns making sentences with the words.If the word is used correctly, the box of their choosing is crossed out.When they get three boxes in a row, their team gets a point.The first team to get three points wins.
You can make the game more difficult by putting synonyms in the boxes and having them guess the word and then make sentences.Be really picky about grammar and usage.They may use the same sentence as the other team if they can remember it.This is about getting the students to get the vocab words into their spoken vocabulary.Most students have a very high reading vocabulary, but their speaking vocabulary is quite low.
REFERENCE BOOKS 700 Classroom Activities by Seymour and Papova EDUTAINMENT BY HEWITT BEGINNER/INTERMEDIATE COMMUNICATION GAMES ACTIVITIES BY JILL HADFIELD- THESE HAVE BEEN MY SAVING GRACE.MANY ENGLISH TEACHER RELY ON HANG MAN WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, BUT THAT GAME DOESN'T BUILD ANY SKILLS.THESE STUDENTS ARE EXCELLENT AT GUESSING, SO THEY DON'T NEED MORE PRACTICE.GOOGLE "COMMUNICATION GAMES" OR "COMMUNICATION ACTIVITIES" AND YOU SHOULD FIND A TON OF RESOURCES TO ENHANCE YOUR CLASS.
When LOOKING FOR BOOKS IN KOREA, I consider a couple things:
1. Relevant topics- Make sure you get a current edition.
2. Notable Publishers outside of Korea (HeinleCengage, McMillan, PearsonLongman, Scholastic)
3. Exercises that foster critical thinking- Stay away from a lot of fill-in-the-blanks and copying exercises because it is more difficult to gauge comprehension.
4. Korean Textbooks. with a lot of pictures that is meant to teach foreigner's English.Most of the content will be in Korean. Consider starting with this kind of book, so that the student will understand the material and have to express themselves in English.Sometimes students just cheat when everything is already in the book.
5. Buy a teacher resource book.I recommend 700 Activities for the Classroom.
Step-By-Step Writing Series (Blanton)/ Great Writing Series Third Edition (Folse)
Real Listening and Speaking by Craven
Picture This 1 (I love this book for elementary students and low level adult)
Check it Out!(This series is great if you want to teach reading, writing, listening, and speaking all at once)
Scholastic abridged readers. Some good titles: Elian Gonzalez, Gross Body Facts (my favorite), Salem Witch Trials)
Chat Room for Teens (This even works for elementary school students)
Websites Jeonju Knowledge Facebook Group CNN Student News Project Free TV English Central Dave's ESL Cafe Time For Kids Film English /
Numbers 02-1330 Foreigner Hotline (Free interpreter or google search) 1345 Immigration 1339 Medical Hotline 114 Information 119 Fire Hotline 112 Police
Husband/Wife Neighbor Complaints ActivityThree members in each group. (or groups of six) One group of wives, one group of husbands, and one group of mediators. Let students write down two things they want their partners to change.
Have students separate and the moderators have to carry messages back and forth.
At the end of every class I ask, "What did you learn today?"I tell them to tell me something that they will always remember or never forget from this class.On their way out, I have them shake my hand (we did a mini-lesson on proper handshakes).
Vocabulary review activity.I had the students sit in two rows facing each other.I then gave one of the rows a list of vocabulary words.They have to describe the words to their partner.If their partner guesses the word, they have to give each other a "pound" (if you don't know what that is, any silent gesture is okay).This lets me know the speed at which they are going and who is stuck. I let the students know that they can pass difficult words and ask me for help explaining at the end of their list.When they have finished, they are supposed to give each other a high five. This lets me know they are ready to switch roles.
Musical chairs.For set up, please see the short video.Every round there are four students left over.I ask them review questions. If they get them correct, they stay in the game.If not, they have to join the "loser's circle."
The people in the loser's circle have an opportunity to get back in the game as well (this is how you keep them paying attention to the review part).If neither of the eliminated players know the answer to the review question, the people in the loser's circle can answer and take their place. This is a good way to save your questions as well.
This week I had a blast with my students.One of the activities we did was called "Trophy" and here is what I did to prepare.
I went to google images, copied and pasted the first image into a word document. Then I scaled it down to the size of a penny.I duplicate it about thirty times and cut them up.I gave each student three trophies and told them that the student to get the most trophies would win a homework pass.
Here are the rules:
1. Get your classmate to say 'yes' or 'no' and you can take their trophy.
2. If someone asks you a question, you must answer it.For example, if someone says, "Do you have brothers and sisters?" you can say, "I have two brothers and three sisters."If you say 'yes,' you have to give away one of your trophies.
3. You may not nod or say other words for yes and no like "uh huh, nope, yup, yeah, etc" However, if you slip up and say one of these or nod, you must give away your trophy.
I also played the game, but I started with no trophies.This game is really fun.
Shoot me a comment at
Around the World
Here is an activity I do with my students that is a big hit at any level.It's called around the world and I used to play it in third grade to practice times tables. It works for many subjects.
A.Two people will compete at a time to guess a word related to the clue given.
B.If a category is repeated, you may not use a word that has already been used in previous rounds.
C.If one player understands the question and the other does not, then that player may answer the question.
D.If neither players knows the answer, they may pass. However, if one answers incorrectly, the duo may not pass.The remaining player must try to answer the question.
E.If neither player answer correctly, both students sit down and the next two students stand up.
F.The object of the game is to beat the most number of students in the class.
G.The winner will get a treat, a redemption pass, a homework pass, a late homework pass, or the opportunity to choose their order for class presentations.
Type of produce/vegetable
Article of clothing
Word ending in "th" "sh" "y"
Seven letter word
Three/Four syllable word
Type of jewelry
Word with a silent letter
Word with a double vowel/ consonant
Palindrome (Kayak, Level, Radar)
Part of speech (preposition)
Word describing people
Time of day, season of the year
Genre of books/music/movies
Type of vehicle
Word with 2 pronunciations
Word with 2 spellings
Word with 2 meanings
Two words that rhyme
Name of a gesture
Things people write
Member of the cat family
Sth that comes in pair
Name of a continent
Body of water
Shape, Color, Size
Type of fish (trout, bass, cod)
Sth you carry/wear
Sport done indoors
Food often eaten raw
Animal noise (meow)
Sound (screech, tick, sizzle)
Sth on wheels
Blue /white collar occupation
Foreign English (d jvu)
A type of tool
Things you read
Sth usually round/flat/fried
Sth usually black/white/red
Sth usually smooth, rough
A type of disease
Type of currency
Words associated with winter
Sth worn when it's raining/sunny
Means of transportation
Popular Vacation Destination
Body Function (sneeze)
Unit of measurement
Sth that requires a ticket
Type of seafood, grain
Common second-hand item
Words associated with health
Sth found in a garden
Sth found in an office
Sth found in the bathroom
Type of makeup
Type of medical Professional/equipment
Sth associated with the Desert/rain forest
Sth associated w/ a hotel
Place with a tropical climate
Word associated w/ camping
Sth you can do in the park
Sth you can do to stay fit
Sth you do to relieve stress
Part of a car
Type of sign
Sth associated w/ the supermarket
Type of container
Verb associated with cooking
Type of poultry
Word associated w/ the bank, post office, hospital, gas station, church, fire station, stadium, police station
Type of hair
Sth a baby can't do
Extended family member
Sth you do in a classroom
Word associated w/the beach
Sth you roll (dough, dice, ball, towel)
Sth with a button/handle
Sth with wheels
Noun starting with "A"
Verb starting with "B"
Sth you hear, carry
Sth you get in the mail
Sth you sit on
Word associated w/ morning
Sth that can kill you
Member of the lily family
Type of citrus
Mr. Bean: Late for the Dentist Lesson
Put students in pairs. Tell them one student will be the "writer" and will listen to their partner describe what's happening in the video.
The other student will be the "watcher" and will tell the "writer" in English what is happening in the video.
Play the video until he leaves the apartment (YouTube "Mr. Bean is late for the dentist")
After the video, give students a few minutes to clear up anything they didn't have time to explaiin during the video or was confusing.
Quiz pairs, but only the "writer" may answer the questions.You could have students hold up their answers on small white boards.The group with the most questions at the end correct wins. Prepare some harder tie-breaker questions.
Have students switch roles. Play the second half of the video.Facilitate round two of quiz questions.
Play the entire video again.Tell student they are watching just for enjoyment.However, when the video finishes, call out a few more quiz questions.It becomes an individual competition.
*** I award homework passes or point redemption passes, but I guess candy would work as a suitable prize as well.
Teacher's Note:Award points to teams who have the most accurate language. For example,
Teacher: Why is Mr. Bean rushing?
Team 1: He has to go out at 9.
Team 2: He is late for his dentist appointment .
Teacher: Team two gets the point.
What time did Mr. Bean plan to wake up? What happens?
What time does he eventually wake up for good?
What's Mr. Bean wearing?
What does he put on?
What does he grab before he leaves his apartment?
Why does he go back in his apartment after he leaves?
Why is he in a hurry?
How long does he have to get to his appointment?
What color is his car?
What does he grab before he gets in the car?
What does he hit when he leaves his house?
What does he do when he gets in the car?
Where is he when he puts on his pants?
How does he drive while he puts on his pants?
What color is his tie?
What is he wearing when he leaves his house?
What does he take off second?
What does he put on first?
What does he use the brick for?
Where is he when he puts on his pants?
How was he driving from the back seat?
What color is his tie?
What does he use to rinse his mouth out?
What color is his car?
Where was he looking while he was brushing his teeth?
bee the horn
use the turning signal
drive with one's body part
side view mirror
run into sth/sb
get up late
tuck sb in
zip up/ pull up one's pants
button one's shirt
to have an appt.
to rinse out one's mouth
to knock sth over
to put on ()
Petrified Pyramid This activity can be done with any topic, but I just save this for Halloween time.Warm up have students make a list of all the halloween words they can think of in groups of three or more.
The team with the most unusual words wins
words associated with halloweenfear/afraid
Petrified Pyramid Rules Sheet:
1.There will be two teams.
2.Two members (the Giver and the Receiver) of each team will participate at a time (four players).
3.The teacher will determine which team goes first. The teacher will read the topic for each category. Each team will choose a category.
4.The Giver will sit facing the teacher. The Receiver will sit with his back to the giver.
5.The Giver has to give clues (in order) to the Receiver, who may pass at any time if he or she wants to save time.
6.The Giver may not say any rhyming words or any other words on the list. After finishing the list, the giver may try giving clues a second time for any skipped answers (again in order).
Categories and Topics
Mi Castle es Su Castle - Things you find in a castle
Weird Science - Things you find in a lab
Monster Mash - Things you would find at a Halloween Party
Spooky Characters - Common elements in scary stories
A Grave Situation - Things you find in a cemetery
The Haunting - Things you find in a haunted house
Lucky Charms - Things associated with superstitions
Bag of Tricks - Things used to fight monsters
Trick or Treat - Things kids need in order to go trick-or-treating
Black-Tacular - Black things for Halloween
Dentist's Dream - Things that might be handed out to Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween
An Eerie Glow - Things to carve into a jack-o-lantern
Under the Mask- Halloween costume ideas
Mi Castle es Su Castle -
Things you find in a castle
Weird Science -
Things you find in a lab
Monster Mash -
Things you would find at a Halloween Party
Spooky Characters -
Common elements in scary stories
A Grave Situation -
Things you find in a cemetery
The Haunting -
Things you find in a haunted house
Lucky Charms -
Things associated with superstitions
10.Four Leaf Clover
Bag of Tricks -
Things used to fight monsters
Trick or Treat -
Things kids may need to go trick-or-treating
9.Plan OR route
Black-Tacular - Black things for Halloween
Dentist's Dream -
Things handed out on Halloween
An Eerie Glow -
Things to carve into a jack-o-lantern
Under the Mask- Halloween costume ideas
More Spooky Characters-
Common elements in scary stories
Holiday (Christmas) Themed Review was even more successful as the Halloween activity.
Review Baseball.We had questions for each "base." "First base" questions are the easiest and "Home run" questions are the hardest.Three "strikes" (or three wrong questions) and you're "out" (the next team goes up to bat).This activity can be played with any age or level of English, and works best with 16-20 students.
SIMON SAYS RULES
1 LINE UP THE GROUP ACROSS FROM YOU, 10 TO 20 FEET AWAY.
2 TELL THE PLAYERS THAT THEY SHOULD ALL OBEY YOU IF YOU FIRST SAY THE WORDS "SIMON SAYS."
3 TELL THEM THAT THEY ARE OUT OF THE GAME IF THEY FOLLOW AN ORDER THAT DOESN'T BEGIN WITH "SIMON SAYS," OR IF THEY FAIL TO DO WHAT SIMON SAYS TO DO.
4 BEGIN BY SAYING SOMETHING LIKE, "SIMON SAYS, PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD."
5 LOOK TO MAKE SURE EVERYBODY HAS PUT THEIR HANDS ON THEIR HEADS.
6 GIVE ANOTHER ORDER SUCH AS, "SIMON SAYS, STAND ON ONE FOOT." CHECK AGAIN.
7 CONTINUE GIVING ORDERS. MIX IT UP AND SAY SOMETHING LIKE, "RAISE YOUR RIGHT HAND," WITHOUT THE PREFACE "SIMON SAYS."
8 CALL OUT THE PLAYERS WHO RAISE THEIR HANDS.
9 PLAY UNTIL ONE PERSON IS LEFT. THIS IS THE WINNER.
10 LET THAT PERSON GIVE THE COMMANDS FOR THE NEXT ROUND.
1 GIVE THE ORDERS FAST, IN RAPID SUCCESSION.
2 CUT THE ORDERS SHORT, SAYING, "SIMON SAYS, DO THIS," AND MAKE THE MOTION YOU WANT MIMICKED, SUCH AS PUTTING YOUR HANDS ON YOUR SHOULDERS.
3 DO THIS STEP SEVERAL TIMES WITH A DIFFERENT COMMAND EACH TIME.
4 QUICKLY SAY "DO THIS," AND MAKE THE MOTION - PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR WAIST, FOR EXAMPLE. MANY PLAYERS WILL AUTOMATICALLY FOLLOW YOUR LEAD (AND END UP OUT OF THE GAME).
5 RELAX AND SAY SOMETHING LIKE "STRAIGHTEN UP THE LINE," IN A CASUAL MANNER. AGAIN, SEVERAL PLAYERS WILL COMPLY (AND THEY'LL BE OUT).
6 SINGLE OUT SPECIFIC PLAYERS, ESPECIALLY OLDER ONES WHO ARE HARDER TO FOOL. SAY, "CHRIS, MOVE BACK (OR UP) A STEP." SHE MIGHT FALL FOR IT.
7 ASK A QUESTION EVERY NOW AND THEN. POINT AND ASK, "WHAT'S YOUR NAME AGAIN?" IF THE PERSON ANSWERS, HE'S OUT.
8 KEEP THE PACE MOVING FAST. EVERYONE WILL BE LAUGHING SO HARD, THEY WON'T CARE WHO'S IN OR OUT, OR WHO WINS OR LOSES.
READ MORE: HOW TO PLAY SIMON SAYS |
YOU ARE VERY GOOD
TAP YOUR FOOT, SHOULDER
MAKE A FIST
FACE THE BACK WALL
BLOW A KISS
COVER YOUR EYES, EARS, MOUTH, FOREHEAD
BEND YOUR RIGHT KNEE
RAISE YOUR LEFT HAND
TOUCH YOUR NOSE, LEFT KNEE, TOES
PUT YOUR THUMB UP
CROSS YOUR LEGS
CROSS YOUR ARMS
WALK IN PLACE
FLEX YOUR BICEPS
PUCKER YOUR LIPS
PUT UP THE OKAY SIGN, PEACE SIGN
DO THE MONEY SIGN
GRAB YOUR WRIST/WAIST
TWIST YOUR HIPS
NOD YOUR HEAD
KICK YOUR FEEt
Wink your right eye
shrug your shoulders
OPEN YOUR ARMS
TAKE ONE STEP FORWARD/ BACKWARD
POINT TO YOUR STOMACH, HEAD
STAND ON ONE FOOT
TOUCH YOUR RIGHT INDEX FINGER TO YOUR NOSE
PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR HEAD, HIP
CROSS YOUR HANDS, FEET
PUT YOUR ARMS UP
SHRUG YOUR SHOULDERS
JUMP UP AND DOWN
STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE
TOUCH THE GROUND
OPEN YOUR MOUTH
HOLD YOUR HEAD
CLAP YOUR HANDS THREE TIMES
TILT YOUR HEAD TO THE LEFT
LOOK UP/ DOWN
STEP TO THE RIGHT
HOP TWO TIMES
PUT YOUR ARMS OUT
WIGGLE YOUR FINGERS
LIFT UP YOUR RIGHT LEG
HOLD YOUR LEFT LEG
GIVE SOMEONE A HIGH FIVE
GIVE SOMEONE DAP
GIVE YOURSELF A HUG!
[NAME] MOVE BACK
PUSH IN YOUR SEAT
JUMP UP AND DOWN
SNAP YOUR FINGERS
REACH FOR THE SKY
LOOK TO THE LEFT/RIGHT
POINT TO THE CEILING/FLOOR
STAND AT ATTENTION
PULL YOUR EAR
HOLD UP TWO FINGERS
PUT YOUR HAND ON YOUR SHOULDER
RUB YOUR BELLY
BEND YOUR ARM
PUT YOUR FINGER ON YOUR CHIN
HOLD YOUR ELBOW
JUMP UP AND DOWN ON ONE LEG
PAT YOUR HEAD
RAISE YOUR ARMS.
TOUCH YOUR TOES.
WIGGLE YOUR NOSE.
BEND DOWN AND TOUCH YOUR KNEES.
MAKE A FUNNY FACE.
TOUCH YOUR HEAD.
TOUCH YOUR SHOULDERS
STAND ON ONE FOOT.
BLINK YOUR EYES.
STAND UP TALL.
PUCKER UP YOUR LIPS.
PUT HANDS ON HIPS.
REACH FOR THE SKY.
BARK LIKE A DOG
CLUCK LIKE A CHICKEN
MOO LIKE COW
MEOW LIKE A CAT
OINK LIKE PIG
HOWL LIKE A WOLF
NEIGH LIKE A HORSE
BUZZ LIKE BEE
The Newly Wed Game Put students in pairs and have them interview each other for ten minutes. Then ask the students questions about their partners.The group with the most correct answers is the winner.
Sample questions: Give me the name of one of your partners siblings. Tell me your partner's favorite snack. What time does your partner usually go to bed at night?
What is your favorite food?
Are you neat or messy?
Where would be your ideal place to live?
Favorite type of music?
What are your hobbies?
What's your favorite way to relax?
What's your favorite animal?
Do you value 'alone time'?
What is your favorite movie?
Who are you closest to in your family?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Are material possessions important to you?
What is your favorite game?
Do you enjoy being outdoors?
Are you a jealous person and if so, what makes you jealous?
What part of the opposite sex are you most physically attracted to?
Have you ever had stitches?
Vocabulary Review Baseball
* Show them that you are a real person.Share your experiences, hardships, and successes
* Instructor's enthusiasm
* Relevance of the material
* Organization of the course
* Appropriate difficulty level of the material
* Active involvement of students
* Rapport between teacher and students
* Use of appropriate, concrete, and understandable examples
* Get in their faces (get close) don't just stand in the front. Distance makes people feel less obligation to be engaged. Circuular or U-shaped desks
Know their names
Think big picture
Act around the world
Letters to next year's students
Group quizzes/pop quizes
Categories 5 things
Teacher Do's and Donts
Do follow through
Don't let the language barrier stop you from acting like one of core teachers/build unlikely relationships
eat a lot
Inquire about culture and tradition
Mix it up: Alone partner whole class teaching
Tpr in the classroom
+- or demonstration
Track participation with a dot
Hands up points up
Feedback sheet talked too fast, understand, didn't understand, etc.
Letting student pass
Show that the all students have strengths
Present practice produce
ESA ENGAGE getting students connected, study new material and guided practice, activate, more openended make brain connections
Make the last day of class special.
I am going to give you a cell phone. I want you to take the cell phone from him. When he takes the phone, you starts crying. When he starts crying, I want you to give the phone back and say, I'm sorry.
Let's read, when I stop say the next word.
Let's read the paragraph, start reading when I call you name.
Productive questions:positive check: is this English class? Yes it is? Negative check: is this history class? Mcq check: this English class or history class? Demonstrative check: what kind of class is this?
Positive check: Laundry: is a dirty shirt a piece of laundry?
Negaive check: Is your cat laundry?
Discrimination check: Do you do laundry in a washing machine oran oven
Pair check: ask students to compare answers.OR pair quiz when your partner gets a high five when you get all the answers correct.
Study the words and quiz each other. You have one minute.
Lukewarm call at the end of a task cycle Using whiteboards narrating picture stories
Detector of mistakes
Seeker of effective Methods
What is your name?
How old are you?
What is today's date?
What time is it?
What did you do on your last birthday?
What are you going to do for Christmas?
What are you wearing?
How long have you been studying English?
What do you do on weekends?
What would you put in the tank of a car?
What would you do with a knife?
Name a place you could check in or check out?
How could a person become intoxicated?
Name a way you can hurt yourself?
Make a sentence using the word boring.
Make a sentence using the word interested.
Tell me a word that rhymes with plate.
Make a sentence using this word: finishes