Korea Blog Podcast: Korea’s English Fever, Or English Cancer?

Do all South Korean students need English in order to be a success? And why are students learning to score well on tests rather than to actually speak English? Seoul-based essayist, broadcaster, & Los Angeles Review of Books Korea Blog writer Colin Marshall joins Korea FM’s Chance Dorland to discuss the negative consequences of Korea’s ESL industry he describes as a cancer.

Public Sewol Discussion With LA Times’ Steven Borowiec At “Seoul Book & Culture Club”

Steven Borowiec PresentationOn the two year anniversary of the sinking of the Sewol, dozens gathered at a public event in Seoul to discuss the factors that led to the April 16, 2014 ferry sinking that killed more than 300 people, most of whom were high school students on a field trip.

Sewol 2 Year Anniversary Street Interviews

Sewol Underwater

April 16th, 2016 marks the two anniversary of South Korea’s worst maritime disaster when the Sewol Ferry sank on a routine trip from Incheon to Jeju Island while transporting hundreds of high school students on a field trip. asked people on the streets of Seoul about the anniversary, how South Korea has changed since the sinking, & if the real truth of what happened will ever be known.


A Message To Korea From A Student

In light of my recent post on exam stress, I thought it was quite fitting to share a video I saw on YouTube today. The video was made by a Korean middle-school student called Jason, and it shows his message to Korea: a depressing discussion of the Korean education system. 

고맙습니다, 선생님! (Thank you, Teacher!) ^^



May 15th is Teacher’s Day in South Korea. On this special day, students give their teachers carnations or thank-you letters. Some prefer to give cosmetics or chocolates.


394375_644082432273104_927772010_nMy Korean students usually write me letters or give candies and chocolates on Teacher’s Day.

Teacher Levitating with Student

Teacher Levitating with Student

A good friend of mine discovered a website of a Japanese artist who could capture movement well in the air. We decided to try it out at lunch with our cameras and were so excited. This one came out well, as we quickly found the biggest trick isn't in the movement, but in your face and relaxed posture. I also wanted her to look serious and stern for the eerie effect of the shot. It worked!

Arm Wrestling With Josephin

Arm Wrestling With Josephin

This precious and seemingly-innocent student of mine, Josephin (correct, there is no "e"), single-handedly took down every other girl in her entire kindergarten arm wrestling contest right before Chusok. She glowed with happiness for the rest of the day, but never once had a hint of pride in her little eyes. Cheers to you Josephin!

School Arm Wrestling Contest I.

School Arm Wrestling Contest I.

This photo was taken in the kindergarten I teach at the Friday before Chusok. We had an arm wrestling competition and it brought out the beast in my students.

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