Syllabus for Teaching in a Korean University: an Introduction
A common question I get from those new to teaching in a Korean university is what kind of syllabus they should make for their classes. A standard one is sometimes provided by the university but most often, it’s up to the teachers. I’ll give you some general advice first and then link to some of my own syllabi that I’ve used over the years.
The General Advice
Simple Language- If you teach freshman English, your students will not be stellar at English. Just use simple grammar and vocabulary, unless you do the side-by-side translation thing.
Only the Basics- Your students will not understand whole blurbs about your teaching philosophy, etc. Same with the administration of your university. Your class is for the students, not the admin anyway, so just give them some information on textbook, grading, schedule and rules. It’s all they really need to know.
Contact Information- Department secretaries get so many visits and phone calls from students who don’t know how to contact their foreign teacher. This is crazy to me! Give students at least 2-3 ways to contact you, apart from office hours, which they probably won’t come to. Make the admin love you, not curse you!
Make it Available Online- Is there any teacher these days who doesn’t make their PowerPoints and class materials available online? Students tend to just throw paper in the trash, so they’ll need to have a way to get the information if they need it again. In fact, I often go radical style and don’t even give them the paper syllabus! Save a forest, you know? I use the Google Drive/Twitter combination, which has worked for me, for years.
Sample Syllabus for Teaching in a Korean University
This syllabus is from an Advanced English Writing Class that I taught to third and fourth year English majors. If I taught freshman English, I’d use even simpler language. The textbook I used for this class was: Great Writing 4: From Great Paragraphs to Great Essays. The whole series is excellent and it’s by far the best textbooks I’ve used for teaching writing.
This syllabus was used for an Advanced Level Conversation Class for third and fourth year English majors. The book I used was Touchstone Level 4 and although I used to previously loathe this textbook series, I’ve had a change of heart with the new edition and now think it’s actually quite decent.
Tips and Tricks?
Do you have anything you’d like to add about making a syllabus for a university English class in Korea? Leave a comment below and let us know.