Xenophobia

Postbox letter from Ajaran Fallang

I've noticed a prevailing difference in attitudes toward fallang depending on where you're at.


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.


The perfect storm

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!


Agreeing with Alison Empey

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.


The Virginia Tech backlash

Insensitive foreigners at a sensitive time

Koreans have taken this tragedy to heart, even when they didn't have to. That was the important thing missed by many foreigners here. After all, Cho Seung-hui had spent the last two-thirds of his life in the United States, and was very familiar with American values and customs


Thailand 101

101 things you perhaps didn't know

The first column of 2007 (or 2550) is a collection of cultural trivia for people unfamiliar with Thailand. I guess most long-stay residents or frequent visitors can add a few lines of their own. I admit that what follows is not all there is to know. It’s only a small part of an endless collection of local pieces of knowledge and experience which I randomly jotted down.


The courage to be fair and honest

The intelligence to see the big picture

I have just read the article in the Korea Times entitled "12 Foreign English Teachers Suspected of Drug Abuse" and have been appalled by the light in which you have put foreign English teachers in Korea. I can understand your need to sell a story by the use of using a powerful heading to draw people in. But it has come at a cost of discriminating against the foreign community in Korea.


No fries with that!

Teachers as mentors and heroes (part two)

As we ESL teachers and TESOL providers--- especially those teaching in financially impoverished countries--- strive to help others to financially improve their "lot in life", are we not, at the same time, helping to turn them into the same capitalist and consumerist pigs that have now permeated Japan, South Korea, and other developed countries?


Anti-American protests in Korea

How the ugly american ate the ugly duckling

There is a time tested strategy that nearly all nations use to deflect criticism about their poor economies and failing domestic policies. Put simply, the technique goes like this: blame it on the foreigners and the minorities. In the United States economic hardships have triggered the lynching of Blacks and Hispanics. In the United Kingdom migrants from Pakistan and Africa have been the targets of animosity. Therefore, it is not surprising to witness this strategy placed into action within Asia.


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?


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