Category 'Teaching English'

Teaching In Taiwan vs Teaching In South Korea

Teaching in Taiwan and teaching in South Korea may, at first glance, appear to be remarkably similar. After all, they’re both countries in the north-east of Asia, both have big markets for learning English in their crowded cities, and a fast-paced way of life. Foreigners get enticed by the decent pay and relatively low cost of living, and often use teaching in Asia as a way to save for their dream wedding, to fund future travels, clear credit card and…
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My Korean Students, AKA I’ll Miss These Cuties!

Korean students have to be, hands-down, the cutest students in the whole wide world. Fair enough, I can only really compare Korean students with English students, but they win that competition easily.   It’s safe to say that there’s been no love lost… between my employer and I over the past year. My job was frustrating and at times simply nonsensical. The one thing that got me through it, though? My students. I know it sounds cheesy but don’t worry,
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Shit My Korean Students Say: Part 2

A little while ago, I published a post called Shit My Korean Students Say…. There was everything from mother love and cannibalism, from fashion to new, obscenely-named nations. Did my students stop there? Thankfully not.   The past few months have seen my students’ levels of sass increase, which I can only attribute to them having a teacher who enjoys teasing them, forcing them to come up with snappy comebacks so as not to be defeated. Then there’s just
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Shit My Korean Students Say

In the past, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not the best teacher… in the world. Even now, I wouldn’t call myself a great teacher by any stretch of the imagination, although my current crop of students can be classified as super brains, so it makes me feel like a better teacher than I actually am when they understand what I’m saying, as opposed to getting perplexed at why, “is” isn’t the plural form of “eye”. Yes,
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The Problem With English Education in Korea

People in the west tend to have a very stereotypical view of Asian students. Hard working, polite, very quiet, probably kind of geeky and not likely to wind up pregnant or smoking cannabis behind the bike sheds. This is the view I used to have before I came to Korea. I mean, the Asian students I attended school with were like this – all two of them in my grade. My hometown… of Harrogate is a pretty white town, in
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5 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Korean Boss

I’ve been living in Korea for almost three years now – June 23rd is my expat-aversary – and I have, for the most part, enjoyed my experience here. Expat life has allowed me to change for the better as a person, and being able to navigate the often treacherous waters of life as an ESL teacher has allowed me to travel around this beautiful country, as well as visit destinations from Turkey to Taiwan to Sydney and Poland…. However,
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Children’s Day in Korea

It’s fair to say that South Korea gets royally screwed when it comes to public holidays. There’s not many, and if any happen to fall on a weekend, oh well! You have to deal with it and there’s no re-scheduling to make sure that people get a day off of school or work. Rest and family time are over-rated anyway. One such holiday that fell on a Saturday this year was Children’s Day, which is exactly as it sounds. A…
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Six Ways to Survive Your Teaching Job in Korea

Working as an English teacher in South Korea can be a dangerous business.   I’m not talking dangerous as in working in a coal mine, collecting honey from killer bees or being an assassin – there’s no inherent physical danger involved. Well, minus the possibility of a few rabid kindergarteners.   I’m talking dangerous as in psychologically dangerous. You have to be able to figure out how to play the system, as you don’t own your work visa. Your boss does. At…
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4 Ways Expat Life Will Change You

Hello ladies and gentlemen. How are you all doing? As you probably know, at least if you read my blog fairly regularly-ish, I’m an expat. I even write about being an expat occasionally and the challenges, frustrations, and obvious lifestyle changes that are associated with being a British guy living in South Korea. I’ve been doing the whole expat thing since June 2009, and plan on doing so until March 2013, when I’ll embark on my round the …
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Smiling Korean Students

Hello ladies and gentlemen! How are you all doing? As you may well know, I’ve recently started a new job in Daejeon, again teaching English in a hagwon (private after-school academy) to elementary and middle school kids. It’s going well so far – the hours are longer than my previous job, but then again I don’t know anyone who worked as little as I did in Daegu. The kids are also much, much brighter at this hagwon, which makes things…
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