My 1st Day Teaching in Vietnam

It’s so hot here. So hot. So jungly. Me and my heat rashes are definitely going through an adjustment period!


My morning walk...gorgeous but fucking hot as fuck
My morning walk…gorgeous but fucking hot as fuck


My first day of teaching was yesterday…..


Italian Students Speak

As a full time teacher of English as a Second Language I come across many ways in which to encourage learners to activate their acquired language. During this summer (2013) I was teaching teenaged Italian students in Ireland, and I found that more so that my past experiences, my students were very active online. I thought of ways in which I could get them to use this interest in a lesson.

Korea’s EFL Education is Failing, But What Can Be Done About It?

Is Korea’s EFL teaching failing? This question was asked by Groove Magazine in its March issue. The article was a comprehensive account of the history of Korea’s attempt to make its population more competitive by making English language skills key to a child’s education. I thought that the answer was pretty straight forward. Yes. Korea’s EFL instruction programme is failing. But maybe it was an easy question.

Of course it’s important to set out from the beginning to establish the fact that you’re talking about the governments drive to instil native speaker capabilities among the populace. And it’s important to know that whenever you read an argument like this you have to remember that opinions have already been forged on the barstools of waegdom, so convincing any new comers to the discussion will allow for short work.

Featured Presentations (Groom, Krashen, & Toyoma) - KOTESOL International Conference 2011

KOTESOL Website: http://koreatesol.org
Presentation Information: http://koreatesol.org/IC2011Invited
More conference videos at:  http://koreabridge.net/kotesol2011

Nicholas Groom
Using Learner Corpora to Connect with Students' Cultures

Stephen Krashen
Trends in Sustained Silent Reading

Setsuko Toyama
Connecting Culture to Class: Problems, Pitfalls and Practical Approaches for Elementary Teachers

A Chat with Chuck Sandy @ KOTESOL 2011

See video

Maria Pinto (now followable at: @otnipairam) speaks with Chuck Sandy (@chucksandy) at the 2011 KOTESOL International Conference. 

More about KOTESOL at: http://koreatesol.org/

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto @ Busan KOTESOL 2011

Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto
@ 2011 Spring Busan KOTESOL Conference 
Pusan University of Foreign Studies
June 4, 2011

Presentation: Little Tech for Big Result

Presentation Slides

Little Tech for Big Results (Pusan)

Online Resources Mentioned

Voice Thread: http://voicethread.com/
Student projects on Voice Thread: http://voicethread.com/?#u487282

Wordle: http://www.wordle.net/

Glogster: http://www.glogster.com/
Student projects on Glogster: http://barbsaka.glogster.com/

Fotobabble: http://www.fotobabble.com/
Student projects on Fotobabble: http://www.fotobabble.com/l/barbsaka

Toondoo: http://www.toondoo.com/
Student projects on Toondoo: http://www.toondoo.com/user/barbsaka

Favorite Word - The Write-n-ator (from PBSKidsGo):  http://www.nhptv.org/pbskidsgo/main_challenge.asp?aid=7

Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/
Student projects on Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com/profile/2282007/
(Download "State" version to make movies without Internet connection: http://www.xtranormal.com/about_state)

Morgue File (copyright free photos): http://www.morguefile.com/

Rocco's Day (power point picture book) on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxZDgENojWc

Six Word Stories (post on my blog): http://www.teachingvillage.org/2011/03/03/six-word-stories/

Barbara's TeachingVillage.org & Teaching Village Wiki

Free Let's Go Resources

Barbara speaking with fellow webhead, Jeff Lebow

Topics discussed include
Using Tech with YELL's (Young English Language Learners), Webheads in Action, professional devleopment, Twitter, commercial publishing in an era of open content and collaboration, and what lies ahead...

Links Mentioned
Darren Elliott's Interview with Barbara (2009)

Webheads: Webheads.info  Webheadsinaction.org


ELTchat.com   ELTChat Facebook Page

Pecha Kucha Presentation (2010)
"Bubbles: Everything I learned about teaching I learned underwater"

Let's Go Series

Alan Schwartz of EnglishCentral.com @ Kotesol 2011

See video

English CentralKotesol.org

Alan Schwartz of English Central.com @
KOTESOL's 2011 National Conference
KAIST University
Daejeon, Korea
May 14, 2011

Jason Renshaw @ KOTESOL 2011 National Conference


Jason RenshawKotesol.org

Jason Renshaw @
KOTESOL's 2011 National Conference
KAIST University
Daejeon, Korea
May 14, 2011

Links from the Jasonsphere
Plenary: Materials development for language learning - the next ten years

Chat log from the online audience

Download mp3 file of the presentation 

Uploading Soon: Presentation Slides

A Discussion with Jason
Topics: His imminent step back from ELT, onine teaching strategies, reflections on being back in Korea, & what lies ahead...

Q&A With Dr. David Noonan at 2010 PAC-KOTESOL Conference

Drs. Ken Beaty, David Nunan, Kathleen Bailey, moderator Alan Maley, Rod Ellis, and Martha Cummings.

This year KOTESOL (Korea Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) celebrated its 18th International Conference in Seoul. Under the slogan of “Advancing ELT in the Global Context,” over 1,500 English teachers from around the world visited the conference.

Among those attending were also a stellar list of presenters. This year was the first time there was a plenary panel discussion about the state of ELT in the world today. One of the members of the plenary panel was Dr. David Nunan.

The following are some follow-up questions to the plenary panel discussion:

What is your experience with KOTESOL and teaching English in Korea?

Dr. Nunan: I’ve been coming to Korea for conferences, consultancies and teacher education for the last twenty years. I have been a presenter at many KOTESOL conferences.

What was the most important topic/theme (related to ELT) you heard people talking about at this year’s conference? Why?

Dr. Nunan: The hot topics right now are globalization and the emergence of English as the global language, the teaching of English to younger learners and the use of technology to enhance the teaching of English. all these issues are interrelated. English has emerged as the international language of business, entertainment, education, and media because of the dominance of the USA as the largest economy in the world. Organizations, governments and individuals know they can increase their value by learning English. Middle-class parents believe that they can give their children an advantage at school and ultimately in the workplace by having them learn English. Because of the belief that the earlier you begin learning a language the better you will be at that language, educational systems around the world are lowering the age at which English is introduced as a compulsory subject. The insatiable demand for English is far outstripping the supply of adequately trained teachers. Technology has stepped in to supplement face-to-face instruction.

English in Korea (and the world) is quickly becoming a form of social and economic exclusion. Many Korean’s believe that forcing everyone to learn English is another way to separate the “haves” from the “have nots”. Do you think that is true? Do you have any suggestions as to how this can be prevented?

Dr. Nunan: I believe that a situation of “haves” and ‘have nots” is an unfortunate reality. One 25% of the world’s population have the opportunity to learn and use English and these are people who are already advantaged. The only solution has to be a political one – governments have to improve the quality of English language education in public schools.

Some people say teaching English is not a “real” job. It is something you do to save money for a backpacking trip around the world or a way to hold off being a corporate slave back home. Furthermore, many English teachers (even the ones with masters degrees in TESOL or Applied Linguistics) eventually leave the field because there just isn’t enough money in it. Is teaching English a job with a sustainable future or more of a short-term career move?

Dr. Nunan: Until the public perception that all you need in order to teach English is to be a native speaker is reversed, this will not change. It is up to us as teachers to argue the case for English as a profession, to demonstrate that well-trained non-native speakers of English with good English skills and appropriate training as just as effective, if not more effective than Native English teachers.

Many Koreans would prefer to learn English from a native speaker with little or no experience teaching English than from a certified Korean English teacher. However, David Graddol in his book English Next says that there is a trend that native-speaker norms and native speakers themselves are becoming irrelevant. Will we [native speakers] be out of a job in the near future?

Dr. Nunan: Absolutely not. I would like to see the first language status of the teacher become an irrelevance, and that employment and advancement be based on criteria other than first language status. Associations such as TESOL have developed performance standards for teachers, and these should be the criteria for deciding who gets to be employed as a teacher.

Where do you see the ELT industry in the next 10 years?

Dr. Nunan: I was asked this question ten years ago, and will give the same answer now as I gave then. “Technology will become increasingly significant, the teaching of English to young learners will become more effective through the development of age appropriate curriculum models, materials, teacher training, and (this is a wish rather than a prediction), government agencies will look to bodies such as The International Research Foundation for Language Education (TIRF) for data-based advice upon which to base policy decisions.

Do you have any advice on for current teachers or people interested in getting into the field?

Dr. Nunan: Teaching is a vocation. You have to love what you do and care for your students. If you’re doing this job simply for the money, or because you can’t think of anything else to do, then get out now.

Dr. David Noonan

Dr. David Nunan is the Academic President of Anaheim University based in Anaheim, California. Dr. Nunan serves in a concurrent role as Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Professor of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). He is also a best-selling author. In 2003, Business Review Weekly ranked him the 7th most influential Australian in Asia, and in 2005, he was named one of the top “50 Australians Who Matter.”  Dr. Nunan has this year authored “The Learner-Centred Curriculum: A Study in Second Language Teaching.”

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