ESL News Articles: A Few Resources


ESL News Articles: Stop Wasting your Time Searching Everywhere! I’m all about using news articles in my classes instead of readings from the textbook. The stuff from the textbook is often dry, and it’s certainly not related to the things happening around the world. But the problem with news articles is that they’re often too difficult, even for intermediate students. And that’s where ESL News Articles come in. They usually take the real newspaper articles, grade the language into different…

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Korea TESOL International Conference 2016

Korea TESOL 2016

  Why Didn’t I Get Involved Sooner? I’m a big fan of Korea TESOL. One of my only regrets from my time in Korea is that I didn’t get involved in their organization sooner! I met lots of people who were passionate about teaching, which definitely inspired me to bigger and better things in the classroom. Some of my favourite memories were from the conferences, especially the national and international ones. Lots of famous people, both around the world and…

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6 Months in Canada, the Update

Job Ideas for former ESL teachers

Tomorrow is the day, the 6-month point of my return to Canada after 10 years living in South Korea working as an English teacher. It’s a good time to reflect on things, and here are a few of those thoughts (If you’re in the just getting ready to leave stage, check out this blog post: Leaving Korea? Top 10 Tips to do it Well). For Work, Make Plans, but be Flexible I thought that I wanted to go all-in on…

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Review of No Couches in Korea


No Couches in Korea Review No Couches in Korea is a book that I really wanted to love. Kevin Maher is a good friend of many of my old co-workers and it was through them that I heard about him, and this book. The premise seems interesting enough-an English teacher’s journey through a year in Korea during the mid-late 90’s. The story is decently well written and seems to follow a reasonably organized timeline. If you want a book that…

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Top 10 ESL Activities for Big Classes


Way Back Then? Big Classes were Terrible! I remember back to my first year teaching in a Korean university, way out in the countryside of Chungcheongnam-Do. I taught writing and freshman English to classes of 40+ students. The writing students I saw for 3 hours/week, while the freshman English classes, I only taught for 1, 1.5 hour session. It felt like I was throwing some spaghetti at the wall and praying it would stick. My own inexperience, combined with the…

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107 Facebook Groups for ESL Teachers


If you’re looking for Facebook Groups for ESL Teachers, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled 107 of them in one place so you can stop wasting your time searching around in Facebook. Happy Facebooking! And, please comment below and tell me if I’ve missed any of the big ones. I’ll add them in and give you credit if you’d like. Facebook Groups for ESL Teachers Looking for Jobs ESL + EFL Industry Jobs EFL/ESL/TEFL Jobs Wordwide TEFL ESL…

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Teaching Writing Skills-It Just Got Easier


Teaching Writing Skills Just Got a Whole Lot Easier During my decade teaching in South Korean universities, I taught a whole lot of writing. Beginners, intermediate, advanced. Everything from how to write a basic sentence to 5-paragraph academic essays. For all the details about that, check out these posts: Teaching Writing in Korean Universities A Major Frustration of Mine about Teaching Writing Skills One of my major frustrations about teaching writing was that most of the textbooks I was given…

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49 Frugal Living South Korea Tips

Life in South Korea

Everything Frugal Living South Korea A decade ago, it was pretty easy to put away a couple thousand USD every month from teaching English in Korea. This usually involved a combination of the regular day-job and then some private teaching at night or on weekends. These days though, the cost of living has increased significantly while salaries have remained stagnant. Private teaching gigs are fewer than they once were and not many of them pay the 50,000 Won an hour that…

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49 Things to Do to Get Uni Jobs in South Korea

Korean University Job-Bad Timing

Uni Jobs in South Korea If you’re looking for information about uni jobs in South Korea, then check out this SlideShare presentation with the top 49 tips for how to do just that! There are lots of tips and tricks that will help you increase your chances to get one of the best ESL teaching jobs in the entire world. How does $2500 USD per month, 15 teaching hours and 5 months of paid vacation sound to you? 49 Things…

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Infographic Presentation: An ESL Speaking Activity


  Infographic Presentation: An ESL Speaking Activity   Skills: Reading/writing/listening/speaking Time: 1+ hour Level: High-Beginner to Advanced Materials: Internet access, PowerPoint Optional Materials: Video camera Presentations are a regular feature of ESL classes, but your students may get overwhelmed at the thought of first creating and then presenting a full-length speech. This activity works very, very well for a small class of 5 students or fewer. Private classes are even better. However, if you have larger classes, you can do these…

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Teaching Abroad: Fun, but Not Financially Lucrative


Teaching Abroad: Fun, but not Financially Lucrative I’ve been living out the Life After ESL part of my life since I moved to Canada a few weeks ago after living in Korea for the past 10 years. If you’re interested in transitioning out of teaching English abroad, check out the book I wrote about that: Life After ESL: Foreign Teachers Returning Home Or the following interviews which you might find useful: An Interview With Heather Douglas about Teaching in the USA…

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101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults


ESL Activities For Teenagers and Adults 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults is the book that belongs on every ESL/EFL teacher’s bookshelf. It’ll help you save time when lesson planning, guaranteed. You should consider getting the book if you fit into one of the following categories: Tired of Wasting Time When Lesson Planning During my 10 years teaching English to students in South Korea, I wasted so much time cruising around the Internet looking for some new ESL activity…

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How to Teach English to University Students

English classes in Korean Universities

It’s That Time of Year! The first week of classes in Korean universities have now finished and the introductory activities are done. It’s time to get into the serious teaching. But, perhaps you’ve only taught kids before and are new to teaching university students. It really is kind of a different world and adults have very different needs than kids. Here are a few resources to get you started with lesson planning for your English classes in Korean universities. The…

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Speaking English Fluently: What it Takes


Speaking English Fluently: What it Actually Takes I had so many students during my time teaching in universities in South Korea asking me what they could do to become fluent in English. What I told them and what I’m going to tell you right now is the very non-technical answer based on teaching ESL for 10 years, as well as the bits of academic knowledge I took in here and there through the CELTA/DELTA and various conferences. The Bad News…

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ESL Listening: How to Teach It


How to Teach ESL Listening ESL Listening: Love It! Back in the days when I used to teach in South Korean universities (not so long ago! This is the first semester in 8 years that I won’t be teaching), I loved me a good listening lesson. I would try to include at least a few minutes of listening into every single conversation class. They are good for a few reasons including: Korean students often think they’re “good” at listening when…

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