The real deal

Postbox letter from Juan de la Cruz

English cannot be learned in school alone. Even if you're the most effective English teacher in the whole world, a student will only learn English to full extent if he/she uses it outside of the classroom.


My songkran escape

What better place to escape the madness than Singapore!

This year, the missus and I decided to go on a 10-day trip to Singapore and Malaysia, partly to avoid the songkran madness. I had been to the southern part of Malaysia (Langkawi and Penang) before but never to Singapore. She hadn’t been to either.


Ways to improve Thai education

This should be the first government priority

So how can Thailand improve its education? In a nutshell: train the trainers, put fewer students together, motivate them better, hire the right foreign educators to help this bring about, and involve parents more.


Songkhran getaways

Escaping the heat and the madness

Songkran officially lasts for three days, from April 13 (Friday) to April 15 (Sunday), although many people start celebrating early and finish late. If throwing water and being doused several times a day is not your cup of tea, it might be a good idea to flee Thailand for a week or so. Here are some ideas on where to go.


How to improve your English

Tips for students

Communication is all about using a language to transfer a message and to make yourself understood. If the students can’t say it, if they can’t get their message across, if nobody understands them or doesn’t even bother listening to them anymore, their knowledge of English is virtually useless and all the hours of studying it have been a complete waste of time.


Lost in transformation

Observations on Korea's Tourist industry

The problem is that Korea has difficulty finding an image that it can advertise to the world to bring tourists in. There are many beautiful beaches, mountains, and temples that are worth seeing. However, many other countries in Asia and Europe also have similar attractions that can heavily compete. Why sacrifice a visit to a topless Greek island, in the Mediterranean climate, to sleep on a crowded Korean beach?


The visa run

One man and his trip to Penang

Going to Laos or Cambodia by bus might have been a bit cheaper, but unfortunately one needs a visa to enter those countries. Not so for Malaysia. Anyway, I heard from a few colleagues that the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane is staffed by frequently obnoxious personnel (however another colleague told me he didn’t have any problem at all there).


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