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It’s not “goodbye.” It’s “안녕히 계세요.”

2-3 students

Goodbyes are always tough. But yesterday, during my last day as an English teacher at Ulsan Sports Science School, I experienced a whole new level of emotional farewells. Over the past year, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful coworkers and enthusiastic students, all of whom consistently went above and beyond with their generosity, kindness and sincerity to make me feel welcomed and cared for.

Quantitative survey analyses and learning as acquisition:

3 types of Learning: Acquisition, Participation, and Construction

 3 types of Learning: Acquisition, Participation, and Construction

In my masters studies, some ideas are good. Here's one:

Learning is a conceptual and linguistic construction.
In other words, there is no single concept that covers the entire spectrum of what learning actually is.

Why? Because learning does not have a clear physical or identity in the world.
It is a concept constructed and developed by people to label and explain some complex processes.

So, depending on the paradigm you find yourself in, or what kind of methods you decide to choose in educational research, your view on what learning is and what it covers changes.

What to Show on Your Slides


"Discourse shapes the world" part 2

"Discourse shapes the world"

This is an idea I have been toying with for a while.

In work, in masters study, and in life.

The point is basically, that discourse shapes the world.
That is is neatly tied up.
But to bring some more ideas out:
- the way we perceive the world, the way we interact and color other people's lenses changes the way they think about us (workplace relations) or other things (share market -> Taleb or George Solomon). And pretty much whatever they think about us (through discourse) has a greater impact on the relations of results rather than more objective matters such as things we can measure.

So I typed "discourse shapes the world" into google and sure enough other people have written about the same ideas. So I want to read and see what they have written about the subject.

Notably, Focault. I needed to touch upon him during undergrad studies, but didn't like him then.

Age Ain’t Nothin But A Preference

Today’s article is written for the Reach To Teach Teach Abroad Blog Carnival, a monthly series that focuses on providing helpful tips and advice to ESL teachers around the globe. The host for this month is Rebecca Thering, and here‘s where you can read the rest of this month’s posts. I’ll be posting a new ESL-related article on my blog on the 5th of every month. Check back for more articles, and if you’d like to contribute to next month’s Blog Carnival, please contact Dean at, and he will let you know how you can start participating!

Actions Speak Louder Than Language Barriers

Today I received a wonderful compliment from one of my high school students. To give some context to the essay snippet below: I teach at a public boarding school where the students stay on-campus 5 or 6 nights a week. Most of them are from the area, so they can easily go home on the weekend. But some, like the student in this story, have to travel 4+ hours one way by bus, so they don’t go home nearly as often. It’s hard on all of them, but especially so for those who only see their friends and family once every few weeks or months.

Reflective Practice: The true value of "lived experience" and why we must first do then think.

Here I will talk about how to become a better teacher through reflective practice.
Reflective practice is the key between the dichotomy I drew between thinkers and doers, describing that you need to act in the world first before you think; and that there are different forms of knowledge that are produced in the world: one is derived from experience (reflective practice), but another (theory-based) is driven away from experience (body) towards the abstract and context-less (mind). These two different forms of knowledge (reflective practice vs theory-based) and the activities that produce that knowledge are in fact in competition with each other for legitimacy, gaining speed in recent times.

RTBC Day Thirteen: What’s in your edtech toolbox?

So, I totally fell off the wagon with this 30-day reflective teaching blog challenge…which I started back in September or October of last year. But I’m BACK on board!

Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rate them on their perceived (by you) effectiveness.

Doers and Thinkers - Why to change yourself, you must change the world first.

You can't only just your self by changing your mind through the intake of theories/stories and reading (by the modification of your internal working model - which serves as how you then act and behave); but you can also change yourself by doing.

Doing produces results which (if they are measured and thought as feedback) can be referenced against benchmarks, allowing you to reflect upon why this is, what I want to do better, how I can try next time; this overall process changes the external world and in turn by thinking about how the external world was changed and why, you can change your thinking and thus keep doing while reflecting upon your actions.

Vlog Entry #12: Student Video Projects

In another post I explain a little bit more about how these awesome videos came into the world. So if you want to learn more, you can check that out. Othewise I’ll just get out of your way and let you enjoy yourself!

A comedic introduction to some of the sports students practice at my school.


How 20% of the School Day Got Me 100% Success

Presenting Their ProjectsThe leaders at Google believe that people are happier and more productive when they spend 20% of their time at work on a personal project, something that interests them, gets them fired up and invites the creative juices to flow. So, for part of Winter Camp 2015, I gave my students the opportunity to do just that! For two weeks they worked one hour each day on an independent project of their choice, and finished by presenting to their classmates. The only catch was that they had to use English in SOME WAY. From creative music videos to a detailed analysis of different educational systems arond the world, they produced some amazing work!

What are the four main paradigms in Educational Research?

This is a summary of the four main paradigms that exist within education research that you can think in reflecting upon your own teaching practice.

Each paradigm is connected with their own views on how learners learn (or should learn) and how teacher should teach (or should teach).

This is about taking a step back and taking an outside view on your own assumptions as a teacher, and how you think you can become a more effective teacher. Take a look below:

1. Positivism: (realist ontology, objective epistemology)

- Positivism has taken experimental physics as its model in trying to track down casual relationships in the social world. Positivism attempts to look at what influence intervention y has on effect x, and so takes a lot of quantitative data in order to run statistical tests to find the casual relationship.

Left vs Right government visual

Full image:

The Bandwidth of the Senses

Three great websites for learning Korean Perfectly

(beautiful gamification of vocabulary with user generated course -
e.g. you focus on study -> KIIP and TOPIK 중급)

(A beautiful addition to the new learning with text openshare software. Forget about that other reading website - no resources for Korean, not fun, not addictive and not at your level. But with Bliu Bliu and their computer learning algorithm, it works out your level and you can choose readings that you are interested at your level. Perfect)

-> focus on native Korean speakers corrections of whatever you wanna write.


Here is why the translator and interpreter business will be dead for most everyday people (besides high level talks such as UN and EU conferences/government).

Learning algorithms - a sort of system that is able to learn logical things (such as language); just put a massive amount of data (i.e. language) into the system and it will begin to understand.

"learning algorithm does: adjusts when you are tested so that you always have to struggle a little bit, but you are generally successful"

My next plan is to make a professional teaching portfolio

My next plan is to make a professional teaching portfolio at:

and make it like mrs baia's classroom blog.
Like I said it before her blog is quite good. I'm not gonna copy, just take some ideas and post my own teaching story. For example, I like how she posts each lesson she has done (or interesting ideas for the classroom) and posts pictures of the lesson materials, etc.

I want to do the same thing, because it will be a good way to preserve my teaching materials and also to reflect on my own teaching practice in order to improve it as time goes on.

Later on it can be useful for future employers in having look a look at what kind of teach I am, and how great I teach, haha.

This website will be kept as my main ideas and action framework blog.

Dialectical relationships and ZPD in ITE:

-      Alternative perspectives that open up the student teacher are needed to develop a student teacher’s awareness of knowledge (the world) as a dynamic phenomenon (including schools, curricula, pedagogy and education research).

Tutoring Role:

Challenging the Student:

1)   Sharing Practice:

Supporting the Student:

Balancing support and challenge:

Mentor Role:

What is the difference between tutor and mentor roles?

2. Learning to Teach - Mentoring and Tutoring Student Teachers

Student Teacher’s opinion about teaching:

- “I was sort of two thirds of the way through my Open University degree in English literature. I felt if I was going to be a credible candidate as an English teacher I needed to prove that I was really in love with English.”

- “Teaching is fantastic because there’s just so much sheer variety.”
- “You have to be mega organized, however much you want to instill a love of your subject into people – and I think that is hugely, hugely important.”

- “The idea that exam results are very important is without question. So I took over, in my first year, a group of 12 pupils who were predicted C grades, most of them for their GSCE English and when their results came out, five of them got A grades, five of them got B grades and two of them got C grades.”

School Experience:

- Learning to be a teacher is about developing your own ‘teaching personality’.
- Learning to be a teacher involves drawing on your previous experiences, and the opportunities that you have as a student teacher, in order to develop that personality.
- And it will change as your career progresses and you gather more experience.

- However, as with any learners, it is how individuals take control of their own learning that will influence the type of teacher they become.

Student Teacher-Centered Approach:

- This approach asks students, mentors and tutors to critically engage with issues that arise and find solutions through a process of exploration and critical reflection.
- In this way student teachers don’t just emulate existing practice but will take more personal responsibility to adapt, question, challenge and experiment with a range of different solutions and techniques.

- The negative aspects:
          a) Time: a questioning, critical approach takes a lot of discussion, research and time for experimentation. It requires a high level of skill from teacher-educators to accommodate the level of individualization that results.

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