EPIK Summer English Camp
When you teach for EPIK or any of the other branches for teaching in Korea (Check out my other Public School Teaching Options besides EPIK) you will have to do a Summer and Winter camp. Camp can be anywhere from one to three weeks, over the course of Winter and Summer Breaks. Every once in a while I’ve heard of a Spring camp but those are relatively rare. Here are some tips for creating your EPIK Summer English Camp.
What Exactly Is It?
EPIK summer English camp is not like your normal classes. There’s no textbook. Your situation can vary greatly. For instance, at one school I taught the same 3.5 hour class each day for four days to a different grade level. At the other school I taught a fifty minute class once a day to the same grade. Everybody’s will be different.
You have to come up with a fun theme, some activities, and incorporate English into it. This is a lot of work and it’s best to ask as soon as you can for the camp schedule. Most schools are hesitant to give you a schedule but just ask what they did last year. It’s generally the same.
Choosing a Theme
Make sure you check with your co-teacher before you settle on a theme and start working. I chose Harry Potter, and because a previous teacher had done Harry Potter I had to change some activities last minute. Popular themes like Harry Potter, Avengers, and Pokemon might have already been done so double change.
Use Korshare or Waegook to browse some themes. My co-worker did different “Christmas time” holidays for her winter camp. I’ll be doing Avatar the Last Airbender. You can make your own from scratch but for your first time I wouldn’t recommend it. These two websites will have tons of pre-made camps. But don’t think that there won’t be work involved. You’ll have to edit the PPTs to match your class
I recommend choosing something that allows for a lot of crafts. Kids love crafts and it’s a good way to use up a lot of time. Cooking crafts are the best in my humble opinion, making soap/slime/play-doh, etc. But paper based crafts work too. Painting/drawing crafts get the least response.
I would have a set of theme-based worksheets that count for points. Some kids will finish faster than others and you don’t want them to be bored and interrupt the other students. Crosswords, word-search, matching, and so on are all great options.
Always plan to have a movie, for the end of your class/week. It takes up time, the kids want it, and it’s great for a cool down.
Most schools will have a budget to buy supplies, anywhere from nothing to 150,000. Each school will have a budget so if you have camp at more than one, ask for each. My one school had 100,000, and the other had a whopping 300,000 (basically unheard of). Plan ahead for your supplies list and start adding things on to help with your other classes if you haven’t hit the ceiling. I only spent 190,000 of my 300,000 budget and my co-teacher thought that was silly 😛
Order snacks. Even though I’m not a huge supporter of candy in classrooms, camp-time is different. Instead of enjoying their break these kids are stuck back at school. Give ’em a break.
Just be aware that it’s happening and don’t put it off for the last second. Over-plan rather than underplan, or at least have a backup. My 3-4 grade kids were always 20 minutes slower at everything than the older grades. I just played parts of the target movie for the older kids rather than create more stuff for them to do.
I‘ll have a post about an example schedule soon! I hope my post on EPIK Summer English Camp is useful!
Check out my other posts:
Why Teach English in South Korea
Sample Teaching Schedule in Korea
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