Wednesday, January 21, 2009

English Winter Camp

This is the first grade class. I feel like I taught them the most out of all my classes.

This is my third/fourth grade class, they were the best behaved.

The second grader who was the overall champ of English. He read "Are you My Mother?" faster than I did when I was in second grade. He also completed the workbook I made in the first two days.

Another 2nd grade class, you can see the book I compiled/made being held up by one of the students.

So Winter Camp ended up being a good experience, initially it was a bit stressful lesson planning for ages I have not yet taught, but I surprised myself with making lesson plans that ended up being great for the kids levels. I tried to vary each lesson so that people of different levels would gain something from it; but all my first graders were at about the same level, thus making teaching them the easiest.

Teaching English camp was completely different than teaching during the regular semester because I was able to teach the same kids every day and see instant results. When teaching during the regular school year I teach over 300 hundred kids that I only see once a week, thus making it hard to know how much they are learning and what level they are really on.

During the last week with my third and fourth grade class we made a quick movie. The children really impressed me with how much they were able to get done in such a short amount of time. Sense writing the scripts were very hard for the children, that ended up taking most of the time, thus we were only left with 20 minutes of actually shooting time. So for the Summer English Camp, I think I'll give making a movie a full week so that we can have a bigger production. I made copies of the movie on CD for everyone in the class; so that they can look back at this video years after. I was really impressed by the script the girls wrote, it had a complete narative arch to the story. The boys script had some English mistakes in it, but I was not overly concerned about correcting what they wrote. The point of the exercise was to show that they could synthesize English sentences on their own well enough to convey a meaning.

Now that Winter Camp is finished I will have a couple weeks to rest, travel, study, work on personal projects, etc. I will have a completely custom website up in early February; I'll post the link here when it is up.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just a couple of monks

The other weekend I went out to Insadong; which is a fun area in Seoul to explore. Lots of art exhibits, cafes, and interesting shops are in the area. It always surprises me though how much little importance tea actually has in Korea. The most common form of tea here is corn tea; which I have grown to like, but kind of tastes what it sounds like. But there are plenty of cafes to find that have great green tea, etc; but it can be difficult to find a varity of tea in a regular grocery store or food market.

The middle picture is of a cafe in Insadong that had the interior of an airliner mixed with a rock garden. It was an interesting one to say the least; as it was -5 C outside, my friends and I felt very warm and cozy in our flight chairs while drinking some tea. I'm usually the one who is always saying "lets find somewhere warm guys; it's kind of freezing outside"; but being from Georgia I wouldn't have it any other way. Even my friends from LA seem to take the cold better than I.... Maybe it was because I was born in hot and humid Florida.... When it gets humid in the summer I'll feel at home.

Winter camp is going well, I'll share some pictures and video next week of it. I was worried about teaching the young ones; but they are extremely cute and good at participating. Lots of classic songs such as "Old MacDonald" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and other English games. Since it is a camp I try to make it as fun as possible while still educational. I made workbooks so that the students have the opportunity to learn how to read and write the alphabet as well as words. The children learn very quickly at such a young age, after the second day everyone could write the alphabet and tell me the sound that a letter makes. And my second graders want to watch this of this old Sesame Street 1-20 video over and over again; that I end up using it as a reward system at the end of class or before class starts.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


The Mona Lisa (of the future)

During this break I have been able to spend some more time with photography. Another native English teacher I've met here does some modeling, and so we joined forces to do a quick photo shoot one day. I've been studying some basic lighting techniques, so it was fun to be able to implement some of them. Through out my college career I was able to learn some lighting in film and theatre classes, along with my internship; but this was the first time, other than a short film I did, where I was able to put my knowledge to the test. I find it fun to compare the lighting in the photo above with Leonardo's Mona Lisa. It's amazing how lighting has been used much the same way through out the centuries.

To see the rest of the set you can visit my new flicker account:

I will be starting work again on Monday for three weeks for the winter English camp. Will keep you updated on how that goes. I'll be teaching younger children than I was previously; so I'm not sure what to expect. But I'm sure they will be full of excitement and I'll have a lot of fun with them.