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Korea TESOL International Conference 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 …


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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, …


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How to Teach English to University Students

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 …


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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 …


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Comparative Adjectives: How to Teach Them, the Awesome Way

Powering Through Comparative Adjectives My last semester teaching at a Korean university is coming to a close and in my freshman classes, we’re powering through the last little bits of Touchstone 2¬†before the final exams next week. Touchstone 2,¬† by the way is a very decent book overall and although …


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39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults

Boredom is Always Looming: Change up Those ESL Warm-Ups It’s a reality that many of your students will not have spoken English or perhaps not even given it a single thought since you last saw the previous week in class. By beginning your lesson with a warm-up activity or game, …


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An ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template

I Had no Idea, too I’m always surprised when I get reader questions or talk to people preparing for their upcoming job interviews that they don’t know how to make a basic lesson plan. But, it’s not so crazy and I actually had no system of any sort until I …


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Grading Participation in Korean Universities

Grading Participation: I Refuse to Do It Grading participation in Korean universities-I did it for quite a few years but in the past 3, I’ve refused to do it. It basically has to do with the classes that I’m teaching-mostly advanced level ones for English majors. If you’re an English …


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Being a Great ESL Teacher-Do you Have What it Takes?

So you think you want to be a great ESL teacher-the person who excels above the rest and makes classes awesome for their students and keeps them coming back for more. The one whose students actually learn English and improve their skills. Do you have what it takes? Keep reading …


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The DELTA in Korea: Is It Possible?

In the past couple of years, I’ve done modules 1 + 3 of the Cambridge DELTA course while in Korea. During the process, I was blogging about it so I get a lot of questions from readers asking whether or not it’s possible to do the DELTA in Korea. The …


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Doing the CELTA in Korea

A few years back, I did the part-time CELTA course in Seoul at the British Council and had to wake up ridiculously early 3 times a week to take the KTX from Cheonan. It was pretty terrible, but I was so happy to have that piece of paper when I …


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5 Tips for Teaching in Korea- A Shame Based Culture

Korea = Shame Based Culture It usually hits you almost as soon as you get off the plane, but once you’re here for a bit longer and dig deeper beneath the surface, you realize that it truly is present in almost every single social situation, including your classes. There are …


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Insanely Busy Working in a Korean Uni: How to Deal With It

First of all, always remember to say to yourself, “Serenity now.” This will help you a lot. But, keep reading the rest of the post for lesser advice, if you must. A couple semesters ago, I felt like I’d over-committed myself with regards to all the overtime I was doing, …


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5 Tips for Making Student Centered Classrooms

Student Centered Classrooms: All the Rage These Days These days, all the current language acquisition research advocates student-centered classrooms. This is for good reason! Teacher-centered classrooms, beyond the very, very basic level of learning a language, or for extremely young learners have largely proven to be ineffective at creating students …


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Graded Language, or, You’re an English Teacher and Should Know Better

English Teachers: Why are you not using graded language? Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to witness two university teachers in Korea interacting with students in a small-group setting and what I saw left me shaking my head in disbelief. Even though the students were at a low-intermediate level, the teachers …