The Small Stuff that Matters: Ditch the Microphone

Microphones for 20 Students? Why? A little mini-rant for today. Whenever I go into classrooms that only have 20 or 30 desks filling up the entire space, there is always a microphone that has been put to obvious use in the immediate class before me. Like it’s actually sitting on …

Teacher: your English Class is too Hard! Easy Please!

Time to Leave Korea Forever? At the end of the semester, I give out an anonymous survey asking the students questions like what was their favorite and least favorite part of the class and how were the tests and homework in terms of difficulty, in comparison to their other classes. …

The Test Teach Test Approach

TTT-Not my Usual Style The test-teach-test (TTT) approach is not my usual style of teaching, and most days, I lean more towards PPP (presentation/practice/production) or task based teaching. However, for simple grammar concepts or vocabulary that students have studied before, the test teach test approach could work very well. Don’t …

Stephen Krashen and Comprehensible Input

Stephen Krashen and Compehensible Input Stephen Krashen thinks that comprehensible input is the most important factor, in learning a language. He says that our brains have an LAD (language acquisition device) and that the teacher’s job is to provide input to it, in a low anxiety situation, where student’s affective …

Classes that Refuse to Talk: What to Do

What I was Teaching A few years ago, I was teaching in an extra program that had 45-50 minutes classes and I had to cover 2-3 pages of the Smart Choice: Level 2 textbook. I taught 5 of these classes in a row and the difference between them was pretty …

Top 10 Tips for Newbies Teaching in a Korean University

I’ve just finished my 8th year of teaching in universities in South Korea and when I compare my first shaky semester as a naive newbie to now, it’s almost astounding the differences in my teaching and classroom management styles. Anyway, here are my tips for newbies teaching in a Korean …

Syllabus for teaching in a Korean University

Syllabus for Teaching in a Korean University: an Introduction A common question I get from those new to teaching in a Korean university is what kind of syllabus they should make for their classes. A standard one is sometimes provided by the university but most often, it’s up to the …

Lesson Planning for Beginner ESL Students

Freshman English in South Korea: Sometimes Grim In general, teaching freshman English classes in South Korea can come with some great students and some really terrible ones. The really terrible ones have very little motivation, and are often quite low level with some literally not being able to say their …

Task Based Language Teaching: A Brief Introduction

New Style Language Teaching Task based language teaching is kind of all the rage these days as part of the overall communicative approach, which focuses on having students actually be able to communicate and use the language competently as opposed to some of the older models like grammar translation or …

Classroom Rules for University Students in Korea

Not Necessary? Think Again! Classroom rules are very necessary in a conversational English class in a Korean university. Just picture yourself…way back…high-school…further…middle school? Ah, yes, welcome to freshman English class in Korea! Maturity levels are pretty low since most Korean students have only been studying, basically since they were 10 …