The first half of my internship at Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU) has passed in a whirlwind of exciting new experiences and learning! Even though I had previous experiences of assistant teaching, tutoring, and classes in education, those all differed from the fun challenge of planning and implementing my own curriculum. In my internship, curriculum development involves many hours outside of class planning lessons that include a balance of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in English in a variety of formats and on different topics that match the students’ needs and interests. Some of the highlights in the classroom so far are the debates, quick writes, one-on-one interviews, presentations, readers’ theater, taboo games, and having guest speakers.
I also enjoy explaining a quick fun fact with the students daily as a warm up. For example, one of the students who watches American TV shows during her free time for more English practice asked me what xoxo meant because she heard it frequently on television. I briefly explained it to her, and the next day I shared with the class the history of why the letter x symbolizes a kiss, which originated in the Middle Ages when people were illiterate. Since I sharing that fact with my class, we all use xoxo for fun together during our email exchanges. In addition, the students in my class love learning about topics on different cultures and colleges in the United States, which I eagerly share with them in exchange for lots of information about Korean culture and colleges as well.
Even though I discovered I enjoy lesson planning, I initially encountered some struggles planning an effective curriculum. For example, I had some difficulty approximating the length of a day's lesson, such as concluding the class too fast with time to spare or not having enough time to finish the lesson. Furthermore, I found a few grammar activities that were too easy or too complex for their English level. However, as the weeks passed, I have developed skills in being able to estimate the length of activities more accurately, adapt lessons for various situations, and anticipate the difficulty of the lesson more effectively.
Overall, I believe the internship is helping me confirm I am on the right track toward a future career in education. Equipped with these additional skills and experience, I look forward to the second half of my internship!