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Classroom Management Strategy: 1,2,3 Strikes You’re Out

Class Management Strategy: High-Level Uni in Busan These past 3 years, I’ve been working at a higher-ranked university in Busan, so that even the worst students are actually not that bad and the only thing I’ve had to do for “discipline” is have a little talk during or after class …


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Teaching Writing to ESL Beginners

Teaching Writing to ESL Beginners: A Tough Job Teaching beginners to write in English can be a very difficult job. These students often struggle to put together a sentence, so teaching them to “write” can be quite overwhelming and many teachers instead find themselves just focusing on student’s grammar mistakes. …


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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 …


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How to not let a Terrible ESL Textbook Destroy Your Class

Thank You Admin! Those who have been around the ESL Teaching world for a while have all had the experience of admins (who often have never set foot in a classroom as the teacher) choosing terrible ESL textbooks for classes. Once in a while it can work but more often, …


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How to Get High Student Evaluations in a Korean University

Evaluations in Korea Actually Matter When you teach English in a South Korea university, you’ll see very quickly that student evaluations really do matter. At my current workplace, the bottom 50% of teachers get the cut at the end of the end of their contract and evaluations serve as the …


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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 …


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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 …


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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 …


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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 …


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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 …


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How to Make Students Talk

I’m NOT Speaking in English! Over the years, I’ve had plenty of students who were very resistant to speaking in English. Thankfully, I now teach only English majors who are for the most part, excellent students so they generally like to talk to me and each other as well. But, …


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Student Centered Speaking Activities

It’s Almost Like You’ve Won the Lotto Today, I’m going to give you some of my favorite ESL speaking activities guaranteed to make your lesson planning easy and your classes even more rad than I’m sure they already are. Are you ready for the awesomeness? They’re all student-centered, no-prep or …


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Going Native Speaker Style

Extreme Talking A few years ago, I had a coworker who went native speaker style to the extreme. By that, I mean that she just spoke normally to everyone, including even very low students. Here’s Why She Did This She thinks that institutions like universities employ native speakers in order …


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ESL Books for University Students who Don’t Really Speak English

Which ESL textbook for Low-Level University Students? A reader question from Jo about which ESL book for university students to use if the students in question don’t actually speak English, as is often the case with first or second year uni students in South Korea. I have a few recommendations. …