Don't get lost in your role

Postbox letter from Brian

Those who are in Asia teaching English need to understand this simple reality: English teaching is a superficial industry. English language aptitude is simply social and economic capital in Asia. Is this not stating the obvious?


A view from the student’s side of the classroom

Perspectives on becoming a student again

For the most part, I was teaching (in a variety of different capacities) during the years I was also pursuing my graduate studies. Now once again I am alternating between the front and rear of the classroom, and this can be an effective method to help one to keep the student's perspective in mind when the time of the day comes for one to assume the role of teacher.


Government or private school?

Which one comes out on top for a teacher?

I have to remember that I can't just do things for anyone who asks, else I'll bleed dry in a hurry. I'm bad about always agreeing to do things, even if they cost me time and money to do so. There's a point where you must say no, like it or not.


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.


Thai education shambles

Postbox letter from Ajarn Jim

Outside of MEP and EP programs, why are government schools fixated on NES teachers doing so much conversation? From what I understand, the English section of the university exams covers reading, comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar.


An ajarn's trauma

The dangers of road-crossing duty

Crossing the street in Thailand is so risky. Two years ago, I was nearly run over by a car when I was crossing a road in Laksi. Although most drivers here will slow down, stop, and signal for the pedestrian to cross the road; there are others who seem to consider themselves "the king of the road."


Thailand so far behind

Postbox letter from Mr. Russell

I have very recently moved to Vietnam after four years spent teaching in Thailand. The level of English here in Vietnam as their second language is way ahead of Thailand. Thailand hasn't left first base yet.


A canteen lunch the only benefit

Postbox letter from Lisa

I notice a lot of schools have gone from paying monthly salaries to only offering hourly wages with no benefits other than a canteen lunch.


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.


He sleeps in a storm

Disorganization, discipline, and decisiveness in the overseas TEFL industry

I really dislike job interviews. Not because of anything I do. I show up on time; I wear the right clothes; I'm polite; I listen and I ask the right questions. But when it comes to the interview and meeting other people in this industry, whether fellow teachers, administrators, principals, or directors, the ‘niceties' stop at my cover-letter.


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