Happy hour at the ESL bar and grill
Amusing the students to death
Students are being scammed out of their money by an industry that is content to amuse the students to death by turning English language education into a perverted version of happy hour at Joe's Bar. Teachers and students deserve better than that.
Culture of insouciance
The Cambodian rubbish dump, and my not so final, final exam
Many of the students in my class with their fancy clothes, laptops, I-phones, and I-pads, rarely experience an atmosphere where true learning takes place. Outside of the odd serious teacher they may have encountered along the way, they also live and learn in a rubbish dump, an educational one.
Fast times at Hitler High
What on earth are the schoolkids being prepared for?
For those who think that the students may have missed the lessons on Hitler and the NAZIS, or perhaps fell asleep during the lectures, I say the opposite: I say that these students were probably very much awake and were mesmerized by all things NAZI. By the looks of things, they seem to have learned quite a bit.
Business as usual
More rambling from a TEFL lunatic
I've been living and teaching in Phnom Penh Cambodia for six months now. I suppose I could write about the magnificent ancient temples of Ankhor Wat, the beaches of Sihanoukville, the Buddhist scriptures and artifacts, and the splendor of the Royal Palace. But I won't. What I would rather write about are the people.
The enemy within
The evil side of the TEFL industry
It is a complicity of silence that sees many foreign teachers working hand-in-glove with a Thai administration that cares only about money and maintaining an educational system mired in cultural backwardness and social repression.
Standing up for the teaching profession, and the complicity of silence.
“Someone wrote on your blog that you are 'dangerous'. I say you are a neurotic loose canon and a liability for a school, working with children”
Determine your own significance
The true value of an English teacher
Native English teachers incompetent in the classroom? Of course they're incompetent. Many of them, anyway. Then again, many of the Korean English teachers are incompetent as well.
Show me that you love me
The Bangkok freak show, and my response to John Wilson.
Last month John Wilson, the director of a Language Institute in Thailand, wrote an article for http://www.ajarn.com. It was an article about creating a good impression at job interviews.
Sticking up for passionate teachers
Are we sore thumbs fighting the good fight?
This is a column (or a blog entry) that I should have written long ago. It is to thank those who have taken the time to email me. I do appreciate it and learn from all your letters. I say blog entry because a poster on a popular South Korean website, and a teacher in the EPIK program whom I've met, keeps telling me that it's not a column; it's a blog entry. Okay, johnhenry, whatever you say. You're much smarter than I.
Cameroonian (female, 29 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Dane (male, 41 years old, native Danish speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Ugandan (female, 25 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 27 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (3), Diploma (1)
Filipino (female, 32 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
American (male, 31 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Filipino (female, 28 years old, native Tagalog speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (4), MA (1)
Russian (male, 52 years old, native Russian speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
South African (female, 26 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Certificate (3), BA (1)
Ugandan (male, 29 years old, native English speaker). Currently living in Thailand.
Ajarn.com was started as a small hobby website in 1999 by Ian McNamara. It was a simple way for one Bangkok teacher to share his Thailand experiences and pass on advice. The website developed a loyal and enthusiastic following. In 2004, Ian handed over the reins to Phil Williams and 'Bangkok Phil' has run the ajarn website ever since.
Ajarn.com has grown enormously and is now the most popular TEFL site in Thailand - possibly even South East Asia. Although best-known for its vibrant jobs page, Ajarn has a wealth of articles, blogs, features and help and advice. But one principle has always remained at Ajarn's core - to tell things like they are and to do it with a sense of humor. Thailand can be Heaven or Hell for an English teacher. It's always been Ajarn.com's duty to present both sides of the equation. Thanks for stopping by.
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