Madame Loneliness and I hit the streets
For the farang, who has most often left family and friends behind to pursue his (for it is usually ‘his’) life-plan of adventure in exotic climes, Loneliness is often a dormitory room with a fridge, a bed, a TV, and if he’s lucky, an Internet connection.
The Youtube battle has reached closure but with no winners
A user with a Thai sounding name from America posted a bad, offensive and crudely edited video that was highly insulting to Thailand's king. Thailand's MICT (Ministry for Information and Communication Technology) immediately blocked the site and demanded youtube remove the clip.
Dopey foreigners and mentally deficient Koreans part one
So Korea, go ahead and continue to hire unqualified native English teachers. You know exactly what you're doing. You're hardly walking and talking testaments to your own good judgement. A plague on all your houses!
Medical and health issues in Thailand
Bear in mind that illness can strike at any time and when it's time to visit the quack, it can be a little different to back home. So how good is Thailand's healthcare system and exactly what are your options. More importantly, what can sometimes go wrong?
Cultivating universal values and striving for excellence
There are some good teachers out there to get you through these first rough few months of uncertainty. From those who say, "Lay down the law the first week of class. You're not their friend, you're their teacher", to those who offer good introductory first day lessons, there is a lot of good advice out there if one knows where to look.
Next time you want to make a Thai smile, just mutter a few words.
Thais consider their language very difficult to learn but Thais from all walks of life will often give a genuine compliment or note of approval to any foreigner who can muster up a simple sentence. However some slightly more dubious characters - notably some taxi or tuk tuk drivers - have become more weary of the 'Thai speaking farang' phenomenon
The downsides of teaching in Korea
What exactly is it that I don’t like about Korea, or that made me finally spit the dummy? In as objective tone as I can muster, and in no partcular order, here’s the nature of my gripes.
Demonstration lessons in the Korean public education system
I like the principle of putting on a demonstration lesson and having teachers watch. In my time teaching, one thing I have been short of is the opportunity to see other teachers teach. And you can always learn from other teachers.
An article in the Korea Times
Far too many native English teachers come to Korea with neither plans nor goals in dramatically raising the English language ability of their students. Having failed, they then blame the Korean education system for being uninspiring and unprogressive.
Does a degree make a good teacher?
Now what if a teacher has a degree, but no teaching certificate? Would that be okay? Probably. What about having just a teaching certificate and no degree? Maybe. What about no qualifications at all but a lot of experience? Possibly. And finally, what about schools hiring people with no qualifications whatsoever and no experience, would that go well? There’s the odd chance that it might, but I doubt it.