Summer English Camp

What an amazing first year it’s been teaching in South Korea. Every vacation we do an English camp for 7-8 days and I just finished mine yesterday. I had a class of 20 4th graders – 10 boys and 10 girls. Cutest kids ever. I teach 4th graders at my visiting school but I don’t teach them at my main school so it was the first time I taught these kids.

I was a little worried going into the camp about their English levels because during the interview process they were so nervous they couldn’t speak much English but they exceeded my expectations so much. They did such an amazing job! My Korean co-teacher told the students from day 1 that I would be teaching them alone and would only use English. No Korean. By the end of the camp the kids kept asking why the camp was only 7 days long and why couldn’t it be a month long? That meant a lot considering their summer vacation is only around 6 weeks long. I’d say it was a successful camp 🙂 The camp isn’t to focus on grammar or drill English into their heads but rather a fun experience to make English exciting and enjoyable. We played games, played sports, did art projects and sang songs. It’s always so fun and the time flies by.

I think that teaching with songs and stories is one of the best teaching methods for languages. I decided to teach my 4th graders the song “Count on Me” by Bruno Mars. I first played the song so they just listen to it and then I gave them the lyrics in English as well as Hangul (Korean writing) so they could actually understand the meaning of the song which is about friendship. We practiced the song line by line over and over again until they felt a bit more comfortable trying to sing it. And every morning before class I started the class with the song. By the end of camp they were able to sing the whole song without it playing in the background. It’s a song that has a lot of meaning for me and i never ever get sick of hearing it (I also taught it to my 5th and 6th graders last semester so I’ve heard it hundreds of times). Then I gave each student 1 line from the song and I had them write the English and Hangul and draw a picture that reminded them of those lyrics. And then I put the photos into a video that has the actual song playing with it. It was one of the more special memories as a teacher I’ve had. Seeing all of their reactions to the video and how excited they were to share with their own family and friends. I also drew the symbol of Habaek (the school name) and added a picture of the class at the end. Here is the video:

We cooked – Dirt Worms (with vanilla ice cream since pudding is a bit too sweet for Korean kids), Canape which is crackers with ham, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fruit salad (which all the kids cut the fruit themselves which they loved!). We played dodge ball in the classroom (when the real feel temp is 115 it’s hard to play outside), played soccer with water guns to defend the goals, made some wonderful art projects (also Korean kids are INCREDIBLY talented at drawing. These 4th graders are better at drawing than I ever was in my entire life) like Rainbow Fish, Willy Dreams, Superheros, clay animals, and Inside Out drawings of their feelings. We also played a sports mini Olympics game, read stories, and played Simon Says. 7 days of laughing, learning and fun. Here are some photos from the week!

Counting down the minutes until I arrive at home tomorrow

Love from Korea but soon to be Minnesota for 2 weeks!

Caroline

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