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feature 12th Annual World Knowledge Forum I entered this year’s World Knowledge Forum with a lot of…


Project Manager Travis Stewart Editor-in-Chief & Designer Andrew Kim


how to motivate your students Special thank you to all of the contributors who made this quarter’s issue of the CULTURE possible! For future inquiries regarding the CULTURE, please contact Thank you!


korea in a nutshell


korean aerobics . searching for my vision MOvember the MOvement


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how to motivate your students by joohee lee (jamsil)

Have you ever asked your students questions and received nothing but blank stares? If so, don’t worry, there are ways to keep your students engaged. While some teachers may prefer to have a quieter class, others often find it physically and mentally draining. It is not an easy task to motivate students who are already worn out from school, music lessons, and math academy before they arrive at ChungDahm, so try not to get down on yourself. Instead, read through some of the advice below that will give you ideas on how you can tailor your lessons to be more learner-centered. The first step to encouraging students to participate more is to create a class atmosphere where the children feel comfortable enough to share their ideas and ask questions. The best way of fostering this is by making the kids laugh.

If you don’t already have a sense of humor, go out to your nearest Family Mart and pick one up because you’ll need it! If you can get laughs, at least you will gain their trust. Being goofy and making a fool out of yourself in class can help the students recognize their class room as a safe place where they can make mistakes. By putting yourself out there, you can become a role model for your students. Anyone can stand in front of a class and read from a book, but a good teacher makes their lesson relevant to their students’ values and interests. The next piece of advice includes information collected from student surveys. You will be able to build their interest in the subject if you know your students better. The top 3 most popular music students listen to are Girl’s Generation, Beast, 3

FBranchise spotlight


and singer IU. It was also found that the number one thing students want is a smart phone (they love Apple products). Also, a majority of students sampled watched the TV show Running Man, a show where members take part in missions to win a race. Use these topics when explaining “chunks� or giving examples of how to use different transition words and you will spark discussion in your class. You must learn to speak their language in order for them to speak yours. In other words, relate to them. The more applicable you make your lessons, the easier it will be for your students to engage and practice speaking. Lastly, praise your students for even the smallest things they do. For as much


schooling these students get, they don’t receive nearly enough praise and encouragement. Complimenting and commending them for their effort will fortify your own efforts of trying to get them motivated and actively participating. Pulling a student aside after class and expressing your gratitude for their performance in class will reinforce this behavior. In conclusion, being a role model for your students, showing interest in what they are interested in, and praising them for their work will put you on your way to having a great term. If all else fails, playing rock, paper, scissors is a fool proof way of getting their attention. It remains unknown why students love this game so much. Good luck!


FBranchise spotlight

how to motivate your students

places& spaces: korea in a nutshell by kellen seo (seocho)

After finishing my undergraduate degree at UCSD, I wanted to move closer to my parents and the rest of my family. I applied to Chungdahm because I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for me to stay close with my family in Korea and begin my new journey as an adult. I, like any other fellow foreign trainee of Chungdahm, came to Korea feeling excited as well as anxious about the new journey with high hopes and doubts.   Culture in Korea isn’t anything less than incredible. Korea has the perfect balance between traditional and modern beliefs. As a nation that embraced democracy fairly recently, people are always fascinated by modern and even foreign tools, which explains why a most everyone in Korea—even my third grade students at Chungdahm—has the most recent technology like the iPhone, iPads and Samsung Galaxy tabs. At the same time, Koreans cling onto the traditional Confucian beliefs; during Chuseok, families visit their ancestors’ graves with all kinds of food and liquor.   In the morning, streets in Gangnam look similar to the Wallstreet in New York— city buses and cabs completely cover the city streets, and people in formal business attire walk hastily toward their destiniations. At night, the same city turns into Las Vegas—fliers advertising bars, clubs and other nightlife attractions conceal the concrete streets; the city lights pollute the air. The nightlife in the city does not come to an end until the sun goes up. If I could describe Seoul in three words (like we had to do about ourselves for the Chungdahm interview), it would be “electric”, “diverse”, and “coffee.” Starbucks, Coffee Bean and other franchised coffee shops are spread no more than ten feet apart from each other—not to mention McDonalds, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts that I find more in the streets of Gangnam than in any street back in San Diego. This restless city is perfect for young souls. There are clubs that play the latest songs by Kanye West, David Guetta and Akon, and PC Rooms that let you play Dota, Starcraft, Team Fortress 2 and Left for Dead 2 on 27-inch monitors for 90 cents an hour. Most importantly, the vibrant lights at Dongdaemoon shopping center will greet anyone with cash, even at four in the morning on weekends.   Food in Korea is also amazing and diverse. After a day’s hardwork, I find myself at restaurants that serve incredible food like Gamjatang and Samgaetang and operate 24 hours a day. On days when I crave western home food, I go to Itaewon to get hot wings, New York french fries and one of my favorite food, pulled pork sandwiches. Korea has many historical landmarks and places to go sightseeing as well. I got to visit the Unification Observatory near the DMZ in Paju, which shows Korea’s rich history and a hopeful glimpse at a reunification between the North and the South. The two-hour long cruise in Kimhae near Busan let me see the gorgeous scenery. It was definitly an unforgettable getaway from the busy cities of Korea.   So, if anyone were to ask me how my stay in Korea has been so far, I would say it has been absolutely marvelous.




korean aerobics

by maggie valz (bucheon ojeong)



This threw me for a loop and I spent the first week, watching and pointing my fingers in the air or jumping when everyone else did; however, now I am getting better at the moves and only mess up a few times each song. My two favorite dances are to Roly Poly by T-ARA and Mr. Simple by Super Junior. There is also the occasional Livin La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin and I Got My Eye on You by Nari. After class, some of the ladies sit in the Sauna and talk while drinking coffee. I still think it is funny that coffee is their drink of choice when hydrating. The first few days were conversations about me, the white spots under my fingernails, America, the ages of my family members, and my lack of exercise outfits. They were amazed that our legs are bare when exercising in America. Now, I just sit and enjoy listening to their conversations. One day, I will learn all of the dances, get a cool outfit, and make them proud, but for now, I am going to continue to learn the K-Pop dances, relax in the Sauna, and hopefully get some good exercise in while doing it.


Comical is the one word that would sum up my experience in Korea, so far. I have been teaching for about two months and not a day has gone by where I haven’t stopped and laughed at a number of situations. I almost wish there was a TV crew here following me around. I’m sure most people had or are going through the same experiences and it is evident coming into a new culture that these things will happen. I just didn’t realize how entertaining it would all be. I am in Bucheon Ojeong, 30 minutes outside of Seoul, and probably the only blonde girl within a 5-mile radius. This leads to many stares, questions, comments, and a lot of laughter from students in uniforms. One of the first things I did when I got settled was to look for a gym. I really enjoy taking cardio classes and was a Zumba Instructor at my college, Auburn University. As I was walking around one day, I heard some music and walked up a flight of stairs to see what it was. I got lucky and stumbled into a gym. After signing up for one month, getting three different keys to three different lockers, and a change of clothes to exercise in, I checked out the aerobics class. Looking around, I almost felt like I had stepped into a Time Machine. Everyone was wearing skin color leggings, leg warmers, tall socks, short skirts, and sparkly tops, in other words, welcome to the 80’s. There were many women talking/ screaming at me in Korean, all while touching my face and questioning my Nike shorts and oversized T-shirt. I explained my name was Maggie, or Meghi (a famous fish in Korea) and used my hands to make a fish face which always makes everyone laugh. When the class started, I realized that it was not as much of an aerobic exercise class, but more of a choreographed K-Pop dance class.

searching for my vision


by dohyun kim (bundang)





spectacles for reading and other close up activities. I cannot begin to describe how much I loathed wearing glasses. I even tried out contacts for a while. I didn’t particularly enjoy stabbing my eyes with those foreign lenses every morning. And those nights when you’re so exhausted that you forget you have them on and just fall asleep! I’d wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though someone had stuck toothpicks in my eyes! I couldn’t take any more. So of course, what option do I have? I had to resort to corrective spectacles. Where do I begin with those? Every waking moment the first thing I’d have to do was to search for my glasses. I love playing basketball, soccer and rugby. All these had to be done with partial vision. Have you ever gone to watch a 3D movie with glasses on? Putting on those extra pair of 3D glasses on top of your normal ones is not one of my favorite things in the world. And don’t even get me started with how one looks in glasses. They are not fashionable no matter what anyone says! So as you can probably tell, my desire to see clearly with my own eyes far outweighed my fear of laser surgery and that’s how I came to be prone upon that operating table in Kangnam. They were the most professional, friendly and caring organization. It all began with an interview and eye check up (which was free by the way), in which they explained fully the difference between Lasek and Lasik, the various options available to me as well as the possible results I could look forward to. Personally, my only option was Lasek as my corneas were too thin to risk Lasik. Actually, this suited me just fine because according


“Look at the dot. Keep your eyes open and whatever you do, DO NOT LOOK AT THE LASER!” I could feel another lump forming in my throat, besides the now-constant pounding of my heart. How did I get myself into this? Hospitals scare the life out of me… I was born and raised in Kenya, where you learn to toughen up and only go to see a doctor when you feel the presence of the Grim One. This was partly because of the fear of hospitals, clinics, or anything that remotely gives off the unmistakable odor of medical equipment; and partly due to the fact that Kenyan doctors aren’t really known for their medical prowess (no insult intended). Whatever the root cause of my deep-rooted apprehensions, here I was lying on an operating table in the hub of Seoul’s capital, Kangnam, about to be peppered with lasers straight in the eyes! It was a difficult decision to make, but it stemmed from a daily discomfort only those stricken with visual impairment could truly understand. According to the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, 45 million people around the world are blind, 269 million are significantly visually impaired, and an additional 517 million people require

searching for my vision

You can see what state I was in… It didn’t help matters when I saw the laser machine. It reminded me of some sci-fi flick, or some alien experimental device. And the noise it made! I’ll never forget that sound. It was like a space ship powering up. And that was what they were going to use to blast my eyes?! Great. Another generous dousing of anesthetic eye drops later and it seemed everything was set. I picked my spot in the ceiling to focus one while the doctor covered my face, leaving only one eye exposed at a time. Next, it was time for the mini surgical clamps which keep your eyes open the whole time! I couldn’t help but wonder why the doctor bothered to tell us to keep our eyes open when he clearly had one of these torture devices from Hitler’s reign. Then came the weird sensation I mentioned earlier as the doctor began the procedure of dabbing at my eye with some weird tools. You can feel the slight pressure on your cornea and the entire length and breadth of the eye as everything gets blurry. A few uncomfortable moments later and the doctor’s calm-I’ve-done-this-a-thousand-times-before voice is heard, “Here comes the laser, peeoong peeoong!” I focus once again on my spot while I hear the lasers shooting, and even more


Unbelievably enough, the procedure doesn’t hurt at all. It’s a very weird sensation, one I wouldn’t want to go through again, but pain was not a factor. I went with one of my close friends and at the time, a fellow instructor at Chungdahm’s Bundang branch. We went through one final eye check up, and then got prepped for the surgery. And that brings me to what the doctor said, “DO NOT LOOK AT THE LASER!” He didn’t need to worry because I wasn’t going to make his job any harder than it had to be. He told us to practice keeping our eyes open and looking up at some imagined spot on the ceiling for a few minutes before our surgeries.

Then came crunch time… We were called in one at a time into separate operating rooms where I wore a scrub and got doused with anesthetic eye drops (trust me, they take away the pain). After that, I was led to the operating table and asked to lie flat on my back. At this point, my mind started its usual theatrics (no pun intended), and voiced a whole barrage of ‘what if’ questions: What if something goes wrong? What if I completely lose my eyesight? What if the laser shoots through my eyes and fries my brain? What if this guy accidentally pokes my eye out?


to the eye doctor, Lasek is the easier of the two surgeries to perform, is safer, and guarantees better results. The one downside—the recovery process takes much longer than that of Lasik. But sitting here now, six months on from the operation and with near perfect vision in both eyes, I’d say it was worth it and definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.


searching for my vision


Clinic: Kangnam Seoul Eye Clinic Website: Contact Number: 02-1588-7739 Open Hours: Mon~Thurs 10am~7pm, Fri 10am~8:30pm, Sat 10am~5pm Cost: 950,000~1,050,000won depending on eye sight/condition Getting tested is free of charge. It takes about 2 hours to get tested. You must not wear soft contacts for a week(hard contacts for 2 weeks) prior to the test. After the test, they will tell you what procedure you can get. Tell the receptionist that you are a ‘Chungdahm Institute’ teacher or staff when you make a reservation.


Check out the ad on the next page for a special offer to all Chungdahm employees!



disturbingly, the slight smell of burning flesh! And just like that, as if nothing had happened, it’s all over. The whole operation lasts no longer than five minutes. And that’s when the doctor says to my fragile state of mind the scariest thing that he’s said since meeting him, “Now let’s do the other eye…” Like I said earlier, I would never do it again simply because it was a very other-worldly experience for me. But, I now have what many have taken for granted… Perfect vision.



Do you have bad vision? Wear glasses? Contacts? Wish you could see 20/20? Chungdahm Teachers! Look no further! Have your Lasik taken care of at a discounted rate because you are a Chungdahm Teacher! What a steal! Please see website for further details.


MOvember! The MOvement!


by jonathan mains (pyeongchon)

prove you’re not cheating. No one is allowed a head start with a stache goin’ into November! As the month progresses and the hair grows longer, women begin to reel at the sight of men’s faces. That’s when you know that the message of MOvember is getting across! I’m trying to get MOre people in Korea on board for the cause,

into MOzilla, and you’ll find my page. Make a donation, join my team, grow a MO, or just tell people about MOvember, and you’ll be helping with the fight against cancer.





Ring, Ring, Ring, “Hello?”, “Hey, Jon, you comin’ to the MOustache party this weekend?”, “Hells ya, been rockin’ this beard all month to shave it into something ungodly on Saturday.” “Great, see you then, make sure to bring some handlebars!” This was a typical conversation I would have between me and my good friends in the MOnth of November back in University. At the time however, none of us realized the significance or any real purpose to growing a MOustache—aka MO—in November. Since 2003 the reason for growing the stache in November has been to show support, and raise funds to help cure prostate cancer. So far, over $170 million has been raised worldwide. Much like the pink ribbon in October for breast cancer, the MO is there to serve as a reminder that prostate cancer is still out there, and needs a cure. As is with typical MOvember tradition, on November 1st, men shave clean, and take a photo to

WKF (1/7)

12th Annual

World Knowledge Forum by anthony greene & sean chae (daechi)

the greene perspective


I entered this year’s World Knowledge Forum with a lot of anticipation and excitement. After having been a part of the team during the 2010 WKF, I felt like I knew what to expect, and how the days were going to go. I remembered last year’s Forum going by like a whirlwind, and me not being able to do much but hang on for dear life as I went from each session, to the pressroom, then back out again. It really made me appreciate the job of a journalist, day in and day out. One must be incredibly diligent, focused, and even-keeled to be able to meet deadlines, and produce high quality output on a consistent basis. At the end of the 2010 Forum, I felt like I did not get a chance to maximize the full opportunities that the venue offered, especially the booths set up by various sponsors, and fully participate in the conference. I promised myself that if I was given the opportunity to participate again, that I would leave with no regrets. This time around, I have to admit, I have ZERO regrets! I think that it is important to know that I believe this is one of the rarest opportunities that a person can experience in their professional lives. Even when you look

WKF (2/7)

Sarah Palin is Likable— Regardless of how you feel about her politics, or her career choices, the woman is definitely likable in a way that the John Kerry’s of the world should note. I covered her speech, and was not wowed by her intelligence, oratory skills, or analytical abilities. In fact, her speech probably could have been written by any college freshman, and the audience would not have known the difference. However, what is evident from her presentation is that she is not interested in trying to outsmart you, or impress you with her presentation skills. She’s one of the few public figures that is not, outwardly, all ego. At least, she comes off that way. Instead, her message is really, really, really simple, and she repeats it over and over again— Freedom! What does that mean exactly? She mentioned something about the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and capitalism, but she did not go to deep into it, nor would anyone in the room have expected her to. She is pretty blunt, simple, and on message. Also, she’s taller in person than I would have thought, but I was not taking her excessive high heels or hair-do that definitely add a few inches. The bottom line was that she was not repulsive or 13

at English teachers across Korea, few if any experience anything professionally outside of just teaching. Maybe some get to manage, or other start their own businesses. However, how many can say that they worked as paid journalists, covering one of the world’s largest business conferences over the course of three days? In general, I believe that the experiences that define us are often the opportunities that seem to be the least appealing. When I first applied to the WKF last year, I heard other instructors grumbling about pay, or how they did not think that it would be worth it—basically passing bad information that they have received onto others. (That seems to be a common theme in the foreigner community here.) And I am very happy that I did not pay that poor advice forward. This year’s WKF was special because I learned more in those three days than I have learned in a very, very long time. It is not often that we get a chance to sit somewhere and listen to some of the most accomplished and successful people in their respective fields talk about what has made them successful. For me, I have been surrounded by Chungdahm for the past year and a half, which definitely created a certain level of tunnel-vision in my day-to-day routine. Getting out of that, and stepping into a fast-paced business environment reminded me how the world works outside of the narrow confines of my office. Here are a few of the things I learned at the conference.

off-putting in her manner—instead, she smiled, and seemed like a regular person without much pretense, which is a rarity in American Politics, and definitely a way to draw attention to one’s self. In all, I left with a positive impression of her as a person.

WKF (3/7)

Social Media Continues to be Next

so simple, yet so complex. The question I had during a few sessions was when or how will the hagwon system tap into this social networking market and turn it into a profitable endeavor?

Good Management Still Exists With all of the doom and gloom on Wall Street it is easy to get jaded about management. After all, if you look at the fall of Lehman Brothers in 2008, much of the higher management, including CEO Dick Fuld, had no idea that the company’s basic financials were on shaky ground, and that one bad announcement could topple the stock. Middle management did not want to acknowledge the problem, because they either invented it themselves, or were in denial about it because they felt it was the safe thing to do. And the grunts on the ground level only kept the leviathan of a company moving, not knowing fully how it moved. We all know what happened next. What these last three years have shown the world is that any bank or country’s financial system can fail. There are no golden calves, or chosen people. You either adapt or your die. However, a number of the financial analysts, CEOs


Many of the sessions connected to how social media was changing our lives. However, the analysis was far beyond the usual Facebook, Google + conversations. The nuances of social media and its power were on display, especially from investors and entreprenaurs. Services that the public loves and use for free are big-bucks for the entrepreanurs that develop the material. Moreover, I learned that social media usage in Russia is almost triple of that in the United States? This tidbit came from the Duma member in charge of Internet legislation, as well as the fact that in certain countries, like Russia or Korea, Google is not the number #1 search engine, which means that it continues to have growth potential. Or that Facebook is not the #1 social networking site everywhere, which means that it also has growth and market potential beyond its current borders. Web based applications like Kakao Talk in Korea are making people rich. As the time of the conference, Kakao Talk had 23 million users, with 22 million being in Korea. In other words, half of the population uses this application. The developers and investors in that company have a product that has 50% of the market using it, and it should only increase as smartphone usage increases. Short story: there are going to be some really rich people here thanks to Kakao, something

WKF (4/7) In conclusion, for three days, I was the student and never thought about teaching or managing. Instead, I allowed the information to seep into my brain, and it was not until the following weekend that I actually thought about how it could help me do my jobs better. However, after the information finally worked through my brain, I came to the conclusion that I wish every CDI employee, BM, FM, HI, and Instructor could attend this conference. More than anything that we do, having the best people in the world explain how they do what they do can benefit everyone. I am glad that CDI has this partnership with MBN, and I fully plan on implementing things that I learned at the WKF to make Daechi branch even better going forward.


and fiscal leaders gave presentations about how emerging markets (like Asia (sans Japan) can still grow and learn from the mistakes of the over-leveraged West. They presented a good picture about how many places are not saddled with the weak fundamentals that the U.S. found itself with in the late 2000s and how this is a time of opportunity and smart investing. Also, hearing Korean CEOs give great presentations about their companies and recent success give me hope about the financial direction of this country. Hearing about efficient management models, promotion based on talent and not visastatus alone, and the success these companies have had made me optimistic. Yes, most are financial service companies, but there’s no reason to think that this type of thinking should not pervade the entire private sector at some point. After all, the purpose of business is to be profitable, right?


WKF (5/7)

the chae perspective

WKF (6/7)

Weeks before this year’s World Knowledge Forum, I could not contain my anticipation and excitement. I was thinking, “Here we go again!” The key word here is… “again”. Because this will be my third time at this prestigious forum, my goal was to not only write better articles, but maximize whatever opportunity was presented there.

Here are some of my memorable moments this time around:

Creative Director of Facebook, Inc is a cool dude His name is Ji Lee and he is a Korean-American raised in Brazil when he was young. He is a very ordinary-looking guy with soft spoken voice, however his presentation was clearly the most memorable and the most attractive out of all the ones

I attended in three years. His strategy was very simple; he understood that the audience is not a crazy artsy person like he is. Therefore he simplified all of his messages with visuals. Despite his soft voice, he filled the entire room with his charisma, and the audience energy level was felt every time he presented some of his “creative” projects that he has partaken so far. His presentation resembled that of Steve Jobs’ presentations in the past. (See

Power of rebuttals is immeasurable I have been to many panel discussions where majority of the speakers all agreed with each other on the issues being discussed. This makes it easier for the journalists because the article becomes very straight-forward and one-sided. However, it is a nightmare for an intellect seeking further insights from the so-called experts. This year, I was fortunate to attend one lecture where the discussion regarding “post-U.S. governance” was a friendly, yet intense, match between an American and a Russian. Hearing both sides allowed me to actually learn something that I cannot simply pull out of Wikipedia because once the verbal battle began, the panelists started to 17

Although this year’s list of speakers did not include some of the big timers like in the past (George W. Bush in 2009; Colin Powell and Allen Greenspan in 2007; Bill Gates in 2001), I once again became a student. Starting from researching the speakers’ background information and the issues that will be discussed, I was learning, learning, and learning. While absorbing as much information as my brain allowed me to during the research, I once again realized how lucky and proud to be able to become a journalist for this Forum.

defend their sides with profound background knowledge and most importantly, insightful opinions. This is what the audience wants to hear from the “experts” in their respective field.

WKF (7/7)

Crisis = Opportunity This concept is nothing new. In one way or another, almost every grown up has heard of this before. However, it is surprisingly under-valued and under-utilized, according to many experts. This year’s theme focused heavily on the European financial crisis and feasible solutions to combat the problem. Many speakers mentioned the importance of capitalizing on this crisis to create new opportunities from the perspectives of different countries as well as from the perspectives of different companies. This concept actually applies to every facet of our lives. Every person goes through ups and downs in this hectic society struggling to meet the standards set forth. In the end, what differentiates a winner from a loser during the times of crisis is having positive attitude and willingness to execute. A society full of complainers and placing blames and pointing fingers at others is a prototypical example of “moratorium on positive energy”, as I was thinking at the Forum.

To conclude, I would like to challenge the readers to have positive attitude to learn from anyone and anything, and maximize every opportunity presented because these are what I have learned from the World Knowledge Forum among many indispensable experiences. Especially for us teachers who hold this monstrous responsibility of nurturing students, it is crucial that we become students ourselves and continue to acquire wisdom day in and day out. The more educated and the more sophisticated we become, the more effective and the more respected teacher we can be.


“Knowledge comes from analysis. Wisdom comes from synthesis.”

2011 Autumn Culture Mag  
2011 Autumn Culture Mag  

Chungdahm Learning's e-Magazine. Sharing stories, tips, and reflections from the experiences of current and veteran instructors all througho...