Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A small rant about night classes

teach reading
Night Classes: A Rant

A small rant:

At my uni, there is a program for students who have jobs, but want to get a degree in English, whereby they can do all their classes at night.  This, in theory seems like a good thing.  Working people can still go to uni too.  Except, a large majority of the students treat the class like it's kind of a drop-in thing and use all manor of excuses along the lines of, "I had to work!  I had a meeting! My work went late! I'm busy at work!" to miss a majority of the classes and not do any of the homework.  Most of them will eventually fail and then the admin at the uni will probably tell me just to pass them.

And, even the students who are actually full-time students and don't have jobs have started to use the same kinds of excuses for being late and not coming to class.  I'm so, so, so tired of it.  I hate excuses.  Either work long hours and do something like an online course or program.  Or, don't work and just go to school.  This working+studying thing, but not actually studying is annoying when it's me having to deal with it.

Check out this book if you want to get a University Job in South Korea

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lesson Plan: More Technology, Less Sleep

I based this lesson plan loosely on an article from Breaking News English, which is an extremely helpful site for any EFL/ESL teacher.  I used it for a 1.5 hour "News Club," which is a discussion group about current events.

More Technology, Less Sleep Lesson Plan.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kotesol International Conference 2014 Schedule

According to this tentative schedule for the 2014 Kotesol International Conference, it looks like I'll be presenting in the prime-time: Saturday at 1:00.  I'll be talking about the use of portfolios in evaluating EFL writing, with a focus on university students, but it could be adapted to other age groups as well.

I REALLY LOVE meeting readers of my blog, so please come.  Don't be shy and be sure to introduce yourself.

If you're going to miss the conference in Seoul, it's possible to (most likely) see me again, speaking on this same topic on Oct. 18th in Busan at the local Kotesol Busan-Gyeongnam Chapter meeting.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Survey Activity to practice Present Perfect and Simple Past

Present Perfect and Simple Past Survey Activity.

It basically works by students having to ask their classmates the "Have you ever" questions, changing the verb in brackets into PP form.  If the answer is yes,  they then switch to simple past (like normal conversational style) and ask 2 more additional questions, with the partner making sure to answer using the correct verb form for the simple past.  

It corresponds to unit 2 in Touchstone Level 3.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kotesol International Conference 2014

A reminder that the Kotesol International Conference 2014 is coming soon!  It's just 3 weeks away on Oct.3-5 at Coex in Seoul.  You can easily pre-register for the conference  online and save yourself the hassle of waiting in line on Saturday morning.  It's one of the biggest English teaching conferences in Asia and by far the biggest event in Korea.

I'll be presenting on "Portfolios as a Means of Evaluating EFL Writing."  The final presentation schedule isn't up yet, but I'll let you know the details as soon as I find out.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cigarette Prices in Korea to Double: Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is for a 1.5 hour "News Club" discussion class.  I'm actually excited to talk about it; the topic should be pretty interesting to everyone.

Cigarette Prices Lesson Plan

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fossilized conversation partners

In Korea (and in most other places too), a thing that happens is that partners in language courses tend to get fossilized, which means that the same people tend to sit together for all classes during the course.  I hate this for a lot of reasons including:

1. That poor person who gets stuck with the worst student in the class.  The burden should be spread among everyone.

2. It gets boring to talk to the same person everyday.

3. It doesn't train students for life.  I want my students to be able to converse with almost anyone, in English.

4. Mistakes get fossilized among partners.  Maybe someone makes a mistake that impedes meaning.  Their partner asks for clarification once and the person gives it and then continues to make that same mistake over and over and never gets any more feedback that that mistake is impeding meaning.

5. There's no chance for many students to encounter a partner at a slightly higher level of language development (the zone of proximal development), which can be extremely helpful.

It's really easy to mix it up and make the students change partners.  I usually do it randomly by just assigning numbers or letters or whatever, but there are plenty more scientific ways to do it too.  I teach the same class twice a week, so I'll generally let them sit with their friend for one class and then assign a random partner for the next one.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

English Teaching and Building Passive Income Streams

Over on my other blog, Freedom Through Passive Income, I talk about how English teaching can be a good job for building passive income streams and give some tips about how to do this.  English teaching in Korea is actually quite a decent job for anyone looking to get a bit more financially secure since the salaries are often quite high and there is also a lot of lucrative OT work available.  Check out the post here:

English Teaching and Passive Income Stream Building