english program in korea

Crawling Through Windows

IMG_1889Without a doubt, art is one of the most defining elements of any culture. It captures the spirit of people, places and time, and expresses mood, opinion, and thought, in such a way that transcends even the greatest of language barriers. Whether it be a song, play, dance or a visual composition like pottery, painting or drawing, every piece of art is a window into that culture’s world. When we attempt to learn about and experience other cultures, sometimes it’s enough to remain on the outside looking in; to go to a museum or a gallery, or attend a concert or production.


5 ESL Games for All Levels and Ages

As an ESL teacher working with middle school, high school, and adult students, I am always on the lookout for games that are fun and appropriate for a variety of skill levels and ages. Below is a collection of games that I’ve found to meet those standards! If you have any ideas of your own, questions, or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comment section!

1. Dots

IMG_1884Materials: Paper with pre-drawn dot grid, pens/pencils, dice


The only thing to fear is change itself…. Wait…

It was only temporary…but…last week, in the immortal words of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, my new Korean life got totally flip-turned-upside-down. Now-I’d-like-to-take-a-minute, just-sit-right-there-and-I’ll-tell-you-how-I….how my…forget it. How things changed.

Long story short, part of my Winter Camp involved me teaching at an elementary school reading camp for a few days before going back to teach at my regular middle/high school. Sidenote for those not in-the-know: a winter camp is a  two-three week period between regular semesters where kids come to school anyway to study more. The camps vary in theme and content, sometimes being determined by the school and other times by the Native English teachers. Generally speaking they’re supposed to be lighter and more “fun,” but in the end the kids are still there to study and learn English.


I’m Ready for My Close-Up: An Interview with TLTalk

A few weeks back I had the opportunity to be interviewed by Janeth Ignacio for her up-and-coming blog, TLTalk! You can find the interview, which covers everything from culture shock to teaching ESL, here. Enjoy!



How to Save Money While Teaching in Korea


Getting Cold Feet

tumblr_nfb7535Tbv1sp1jbao1_500Leaving behind everything that is safe and familiar to move across the world is a big decision, not to be made lightly. The list of pros and cons can seem endless, but it’s important to consider them all so you can make the right choice for yourself. After all, there’s only one thing worse than getting cold feet after you’ve already taken the plunge…and that is…actually getting cold feet!


Have Yourself a Korean Little Christmas

IMG_1782Merry Christmas from Korea! Besides a few twinkling roundabout decorations and lights hanging from windows of major shopping malls, Ulsan unfortunately doesn’t offer much in the way of holiday spirit. However, Busan is a whole different story!


Work Hard, Play Harder

 

When it comes to countries with the best work-life balance, Korea is not exactly at the top of list. Compared to the international average of 1,765 hours, Koreans spend 2,090 hours at work per year; which amounts to approximately 8 additional 40-hour work weeks. They log long hours, and vacations are few and far between. As a result, less time is spent each day on activities devoted to personal health and well-being, family, and leisure.

That being said, when Koreans do finally get the chance to break away from their desks and let loose, they don’t hold back.  A typical night out with friends or co-workers often involves 5+ hours of non-stop food, merry conversation, and a grand finale of glorious singing, all of which is fluidly connected by an endless stream of alcohol. Think of it this way: if a bar crawl and an all-you-can-eat buffet had a baby and named it Karaoke, you’d have yourself a standard Korean night on the town.


Yangsan Half Marathon

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Ran the Yangsan Half Marathon today in 1:36:24! Not sure what I’m most excited about: my time, my shiny new medal, or the carton of raw eggs I received in my finisher’s goodie bag. #onlyinKorea


Vlog Entry #11: Fall School Festival

Each year, on a Friday in October or November, public schools all over Korea host something known as Sports Day or School Festival. Students spend the day playing games (or in my school’s case, trying a bunch of different sports) and making crafts. Meanwhile, the teachers retreat to the adult cafeteria to enjoy a variety of tasty Korean dishes and several bottles of rice wine. Then, in the afternoon, everyone gathers to watch group after group of students perform their favorite songs and dances.


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