Moving to Bangkok

What I did right and what I did wrong

When I moved to Bangkok last October, I wasn't really sure what I was doing. Looking back, nine months later, I can honestly say that I did some things right and other things I did completely wrong! Maybe you can learn from my mistakes.


No pants (and no brains)

They're coming to a city near you and it could be anytime soon.

Improve Everywhere began taking their attention seeking illness to the subway in New York City in 2002. Since then, the illness has spread to over 60 cities worldwide. It is one thing to celebrate silliness in your own country; but, as a foreigner living and working in Asia, this kind of "silliness" has no place here


English teachers and other independent expatriates

Successfully working in a different cultural environment is a skill

While digging through hundreds of articles, both academic and otherwise, while doing background research for a book on expatriates in Asia, I found most writers and researchers made four key assumptions about expatriates.


Culture revisited

A continuing analysis of 'culture'

There is a lot of convenience to the idea that ‘our cultures are very different’. This was never plainer than in the era of (blatant) Western imperialism – I’ve said previously that cultural studies writers speak of ‘orientalism’, which, loosely defined, means disparaging other people because you want to put them to utilitarian purposes.


The South African viewpoint

Postbox letter from Marguerite Huson

Four major issues that one particular ajarn reader is concerned about


Culture in the English speaking world

The problems in developing a university culture course

I have in front of me here a Culture in the English Speaking World course book that was written by a person with a European name at another university here in Thailand. It points out a number of supposed differences between Thai and Western culture. It then goes on, basically, to justify the things that Western people do in a positive light, while at the same time casting the contrary behaviour – its Thai parallel – in a very negative light indeed.


Thai culture course experiences

How to scam, exploit and demoralise foreign teachers

Here's a complete breakdown of my time spent on the Thai cultural course. Actually I've decided that it was nothing but a teacher's council money spinner. It had little to do with improving a teacher's performance in the classroom and just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, the foreign participants were given an impromtu dance class.


Yes, but is it education?

Privately owned media companies as promoters of education

What better way is there of broadcasting one’s message, or of shaping culture, than through an education system – I would say it’s quite plain why, exactly, an English language mass media company would invest considerable sums in creating for itself the image of being an educational entity.


Repetition and stuffing up

an offbeat look at expressions and pronunciation

Many native English speakers have inherited poor pronunciation which follows into their written language. Internet forums and blogs are rife with phrases such as “would of” and “could of” as opposed to “would have” and “could have.”


First day on the job

A simple activity for your first day with a new class

If you’re new to the job, and haven’t figured this one out yet, you can start off classes with a new group in confident style every time – the first thing you can do is make a name card.


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