Work ethic vs life ethic

Is it possible to find the perfect balance?

It's just interesting to note that it is the relaxed attitude that keeps the East "developing" while it's our go-go attitude that makes us "prosperous". The same attitude that hinders them in business allows them to be happily content with life, whereas it's our work ethic that erodes at our physical and emotional well being.

What are we here to teach?

Should we see ourselves as missionaries for Western culture values?

As foreigners teaching in a foreign country, what are the expectations and where are the boundaries?

Rocky but real relationships

thoughts on western entertainment

Western entertainment, when viewed from the perspective of living in the East, is unintentionally hilarious and makes me feel more than a little sad for Westerners. Asia, due to various cultural differences, has a far more fluid attitude to the sharing of pleasures.

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.

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.”

White or wrong?

The strange fixation that Thai people have with white skin.

If we look at Thailand’s cultural products – that is, when we look at how beauty is represented in the media, in literature, in people’s popular perceptions and so forth – why do we so overwhelmingly see that white skin is thought of as more beautiful? Let's delve into this issue and perhaps find out where exactly the root of the perception lies.

Bananas and condoms

How some EFL teachers are attempting to proselytize the flock

Every now and then we come across ethnocentric people who believe that their culture and society are vastly superior to anything the "socially depraved" West has ever produced. There are two sides to this debate. This is the other side.

New year best seller's list

A list from my beloved Isaan

All of these titles are available in hardback, paperback, or 7-11 plastic bag (straw optional).

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.

Ajarns of high couture

Introducing this week's guest columnist

A guest column - the vast majority of which wasn't written by myself. All about the cultural differences Thai ajarns face upon going to and then returning from a western country to study

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