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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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ESL Teacher Burnout: Here’s How to Avoid It

Now, I realize the irony of this post on ESL teacher burnout. I, myself, am totally and completely burnt out on the teaching and am in fact moving to Canada in about a month after living in Korea for a decade. However, I did have a really solid nine years …


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An Online TEFL Course: Not the Most Terrible Idea

Just Do the CELTA I’ve always said that if you’re going to do a TEFL course of some kind, you may as well go big and awesome and just do the CELTA. Sure, it’s expensive, coming in at around $2000 USD, and time-consuming (120 hours, usually done intensively over one …


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How to Teach English, the Awesome Way

So you Want to be Awesome? So you want to know how to teach English, the awesome way? I have some good news for you. It’s really not that difficult and actually, teaching English isn’t like rocket-science. While some people may tell you that you need all these qualifications or …


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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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Professional Development for ESL Teachers- Start Your Own Website

  An excellent way to challenge yourself professionally is to start a teaching website of some sort, kind of like this one of mine. While it’s evolved over the years, it’s mostly still about figuring out how to be a stellar teacher. Not only have I learned lots of helpful …


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Top 5 Tips for Teaching Content Classes, Minus the Lecture and PPT Death

PPT Death Screens When I walk by the open classroom doors of some lecturers at my university, I can see the PPT screens of death. 12 point font with full-sentences and no titles or subtitles. What is the main point of all that gibberish?  Who could possibly tell.  Lecture Death Style …


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The Introverted English Teacher

My Name is Jackie. I’m an Introvert The moral of this story is that although I like being around people and can often be found out and about on the town, large groups of them make me really tired. My biggest nightmare is a large group of people where I …


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Student Centered vs Teacher Centered Learning

Student Centered vs Teacher Centered Learning I’m all about student centered classrooms, perhaps due to the influence of my CELTA trainers and the DELTA course. The other reason is that studies have shown that lectures are the least effective way to transmit information and that students retain very little of that …


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Teaching Present Perfect Continuous with Timelines

  Present Perfect Continuous vs. Present Perfect In my advanced conversation class, Touchstone Level 3 has a section about the present perfect continuous and the present perfect. It’s actually quite  complicated and not something that students understand really easily, so  using timelines for teaching present perfect continuous can be really useful. What …


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How to Teach English: Small Stuff that Actually Matters

Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Ounces = Pounds Little things add up, is what I discovered thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail way back in 2004–you really should sweat the small stuff. Ounces = pounds, and when you’re carrying all your crap on your back, it actually matters. Every-single-step, you regret packing those …


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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 …


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ESL Teacher Burnout: How to Avoid It

You Know that Feeling… You know that feeling you get when you teach the ABCs one more time, or that unit in the book about movies or weather? It makes me die, just a little bit on the inside and if I’m not careful, I find that it can start …


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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 …