Notes on a semester

What lessons can a teacher learn from a difficult semester?

When a number of students fail their course, what can a teacher do to make the next semester a better and more successful one? It's all about preparing well, observing other teachers and talking less in the classroom.


Sick of eating white bread?

ESL theory and the framework it revolves around

To be a teacher you have to have an ontological and epistemological perspective, right? You have to have a grasp of the nature of our universe, and of what knowledge is and how it operates in human terms. Is this not, I mean, one of the most integral platforms from which your practice – course and material design, and methods of instruction and evaluation - will arise?


Teachers and textbooks

A love-hate relationship

There are a lot of excellent books on the market; most of them are produced by major publishers such as Oxford, Cambridge, Longman and Macmillan. The problem a teacher can encounter during an English lesson in Asia is that these books are not always culturally suitable for the learners.


Never mind fluency

Here comes the grammar teacher

I think it is quite absurd to reward students who are good at cramming grammar rules – and may not be fluent at all – and punish students who can speak English fairly well but aren’t very accurate. English is a language. The main purpose of a language is communication.


The staff room

Inside a Korean hogwan

A total of seven teachers work at my school. All of them are Korean except for myself. Three of these teachers can speak English with me, but the others are too shy to do so. Staff meetings are held in the Korean language. I seldom understand what is discussed, but that is my fault for not learning to speak Korean fluently. If I want to learn about the meetings I will talk to the director afterward.


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