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SOS: A fun Review Game for ESL Students

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SOS review game for ESL students

SOS: A Review Game for ESL Students-Kids + Adults

Skills: Speaking/listening

Time: 10-15 minutes

Level: Low Intermediate to Advanced, age 8+

Materials Required: White board and a list of questions

I like to use this S-O-S game as a fun review game for ESL students to go over whatever we studied in the previous class. For example, maybe the grammar point was countable/uncountable nouns. It can get quite complicated, so it’s something I’d for sure want to review before moving on with new material.

I’m sure you know the game S-O-S from when you were a kid. Draw a 6×6 grid on the board. Give the grid numbers and letters to make it easier for the students to pick what box they want. Then, divide the students up into teams of 4 or 5 and give them each a symbol (triangle, square, star, heart, etc.). Then ask review questions, going from team to team in order. Simple, easy questions with a definite right or wrong answer are best to keep this game moving quickly. A correct answer gets them a square on the board, where you will put their symbol. You can do 6 or 7 rounds, and by this time the good teams will have 2 or 3 points. The top team gets a prize of some kind.

Teaching Tip:

This game gets boring after 15 minutes or so, so don’t plan on playing this for an entire class. It works best as a warm-up review game. You can also teach the students the rules and have them play in groups of 4-5, which will make this activity far more student-centered. Give each group a list of review questions that you write up and print out and act as a referee, if necessary.


1. Prepare a list of review questions.

2. Put students into groups of 4-5 to play as a class, or have them play in small groups with each other.

3. Students do rock-scissor-paper and the first student answer the first question. If correct, they mark their symbol on the board. If incorrect, there is no penalty but they don’t get to mark the board.

4. The next student answers the next question and follows the same procedure.

5. The goal is to get as many 3-in-a-rows as possible with their symbol.

Like This Review Game for ESL Students?

It’s from this book 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+). There are 38 more ESL speaking activities for kids, guaranteed to make your lesson planning easier and your students happier.

The post SOS: A fun Review Game for ESL Students appeared first on ESL Speaking.

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



Relaxing at the Cafe Bene near the gate for my flight home. ♡...

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Relaxing at the Cafe Bene near the gate for my flight home. ♡ #goodwishes #safetravels #flight

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To Canada and Back Again: A Photographer’s Story pt. 2

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After having a great time catching up with friends and family, I headed off into parts unknown. I had never ventured past Toronto’s Pearson Airport before (while staying in Canada) and I knew very little about the maritimes. With a layover Ottawa, I landed in Halifax and immediately realized that I was not in Korea anymore. I was stuck at the airport. Where were the hoards of taxis and buses just lined up waiting for people?

Antigonish, Nova Scotia

With classes starting at 8:30 am the next day in a town that I could barely pronounce properly, I had no other choice but to rent a car at the outrageously expensive “airport rate” and drive to Antigonish and then later drive back and then take the bus back… I don’t even want to mention how much this little excursion cost but it was not cheap. However, I quickly received a gift and that gift came in the form of the open road and satellite radio.


I forgot how much I just enjoyed driving. I didn’t have to worry about cars in one lane going 20 km/h below the speed limit while the drivers in the other lanes try to break the sound barrier in a sonata. I just set the cruise control and let my mind go. It was rewarding just to have that time to myself without any of the nonsense that comes with driving on a Korean expressway.

X mark at St. Fx University

It was dark by the time that I got to St.FX and I must admit that it took me a while to figure out where I was going. However, the room was great and I quickly settled in while trying to find something on TV other than the Big Bang Theory. The morning came quickly and I had the odd feeling of being close to 40 and having the first day of school jitters.


Walking through the campus, I was amazed at the buildings. I felt like I was finally a part of something with a legacy. At my previous university, I felt like I was an outsider. I never really got into the school spirit. Here, I felt welcomed and I sort of wished that I had taken my undergrad here. Every turn gave me new ideas for shots. Sadly, my time was mostly tied up with studying and getting myself acquainted with life in Canada. The holiday was over and now it was time to work.

St. Francis Xavier University

The Angus L. MacDonald Library

Again, I had to juggle my roles as “student” and “photographer” and most days the student role won. I missed a few good sunsets due to simply being worn out from a full day of studying. Not to mention I was slipping into the groove of long walks, good coffee and studying by myself. By the second week I really had to push myself to get out but my brain seemed overwhelmed.


My first outing was the Highland Games. This is one of the largest highland games outside of Scotland and my first experience with dudes in kilts throwing large heavy things. It was great to see this amazing display of culture. The day was hot and bright but I was glad to get out and get some shots. It was interesting to be invisible and blending in for the first time. No one stared or cared as I went about my business.


Back at St. FX, I was enamoured by the campus and the buildings. Many times I just sat around thinking of what to shoot and not actually shooting anything. I made a goal to rent a car and get around the province. The crappy part was that the by the time that I made this goal, the nice weather had passed and I could get a car for the long weekend. I managed to score a sweet deal for the following weekend but that also meant I lost a day and it would mean doing a tour de force of Nova Scotia.

Gilbert's Cove Lighthouse

After classes finished on Friday, I hit the road. Extra large coffee in the cup holder and the greatest hits from the 80’s, 90’s and now, playing on the FM radio, I set off to meet up with a friend from Korea. I was determined make it there in a reasonable hour. However, the landscape had other plans. I soon found myself at Gilberts Cove photographing the lighthouse. It was such a peaceful moment that I moved carefully around as if not to disturb anything or anyone. The blue hour drifted in and I knew that I had to be moving on.

Getting to the Chateau Sainte-Marie, which is owned by my friend Chris Mazeroll was a long drive after a long day. Meeting people again for whom you’ve always known in Korea is a bit awkward at first. However, after a good chat and a cold drink, it was time that I checked out my room. My room was located in the turret of a hundred-year-old house. Turning off the lights I secretly hoped that I wouldn’t see anyone sitting in the chair across the room.


I got up early and was met with the grey skies of an upcoming storm. I had hoped to shoot some photos for Chris’s BnB but with the grey skies I was challenged on how to make the house look warm and inviting. My first few shots looked more like the Acadian version of the Bates Motel and certainly not the effect I was going for. However, later on in the day our prayers were answered and the skies opened up to show some great blue skies and huge clouds.

Sacre Coeur Catholic Church

Sadly, they didn’t stick around too long. My trip out to the historic town of Lunenburg was a wet one. The skies opened up and I decided to move on and smother my sorrows in a Baconator from Wendy’s. I pushed on towards Peggy’s Cove. It was late and I wasn’t sure what I could shoot at that hour. However, I just wanted to see the site. You can’t go to Nova Scotia and not go to Peggy’s Cove. Driving past the Swiss Air 111 crash site memorial at night was a bit creepy as there was not a single person around at that hour. This is something strange as you can pretty much go anywhere in Korea at any hour and have someone bump into you.


Peggy’s Cove was nice but preferred the more rural lighthouses that I had seen along the way. After taking a few shots, I heard the sounds of distant laughter that for some reason sent chills down my spine. That was my cue to leave. Back on the road, I made the long push to St.FX and my comfortable bed.


My next mission was Cape Breton Island and the Cabot Trail. During the drive home I wondered what the famous road would be like. I also wondered where I could pull-off because the extra-large coffee hit my bladder just past Truro and there is not much along that highway except tree and bush.

Check out the hotel room I’m staying in before my flight...

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Check out the hotel room I’m staying in before my flight tomorrow. ^^ #incheonairport #incheonairporthotelqueen #travel #travelinkorea #travel #traveling #travelgram #호텔

I’m Giving Away 3 Hits of Awesome: The Monster Pack Giveaway

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The Monster Pack-Resources for busy English teachers

Good news for you, readers of ESL Speaking. You’ve just seen this in the nick of time. In less than a week, I’ll be giving away 3 hits of awesome. By “hits of awesome,” I mean The Monster Pack: Resources for Busy English Teachers, of course.

Now, I’m all about teaching what I want to teach because I’m super-weary of the same old overdone topics in the ESL textbooks and prefer talking about stuff that is personally interesting to me and hopefully more relevant for the students. But, that’s a topic for another day.

What I’m saying is that I really don’t use a lot of ready-made materials or textbooks in my own classes, but the one thing I do use every single day in my own classes is this Monster Pack. More specifically, I use the trivia as a quick warm-up at the beginning of each class and my students love it. I’ve also used lots of the writing stuff in my academic writing classes and unlike most of the other stuff out there on the Internet, it’s not crap. Plus, the logic puzzles make an excellent “filler” activity if you have some time after tests or whatever.

I’m sure you want some of this awesome for yourself, right? Who wouldn’t. That’s why Rob, over at ESL Writing is generously giving away 3 copies to my readers. All you have to do it enter the contest, and if you want to have a better chance of winning, share your URL with your friends and you’ll get 5 more entries for each one who signs-up. If you get like 5 people to enter, how could you not win?

Enter the Monster Pack Giveaway Here!

The post I’m Giving Away 3 Hits of Awesome: The Monster Pack Giveaway appeared first on ESL Speaking.

I’ll miss this city. ♡♡ #seoul_korea

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I’ll miss this city. ♡♡ #seoul_korea

Hwamyeong: Latte King

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For a while I've been considering writing about specific places in Hwamyeong-dong - the neighbourhood in Buk-gu in which I live.  I wasn't entirely sure if anyone would be interested because Hwamyeong is really far out of the way.  That said, I've noticed that there are a number of new spots opening up (mostly because I can't help but stop when I see an iced Americano being advertised for the equivalent of a loonie [that's a buck for you non-Canadians]).  

You may remember my post on some of the local spots as well as Monster Craft Brewing, which is still my favourite spot to go for Chimek in Busan (get the Monster Craft Chicken with garlic sauce and tomatoes with the cabbage salad and share it with a friend!  They don't do curry Sundays anymore, sadly).  As Hwamyeong goes through a period of change and, dare I say, rejuvenation with the addition of Velocity Fitness Busan and the Paris Baguette that's right on the main drag (take-away salads for the win!), I'd like to take you on a little journey through my own personal experiences to help you make the most of your time in the Hwammer.

In today's post in a series I will quite simply call "Hwamyeong", I'm going to share a little bit about Latte King (beside Ediya Coffee and around the corner from Eco-Gym) which opened today.  I'm not 100% sure about these coffee cups I noticed right in the entry, but the rest of the decor was pretty cool.  It would be a great date spot if you're looking to get to know someone and have a good chat.  After a quick Google search I noticed that there are several franchises in and around Busan, so I should probably cut them some slack on their opening day in fair Hwamyeong.  

Having seen the new location yesterday on the way home from the gym in the morning, I decided to take my weary self for a sandwich after this evening's gym adventure.  I had gotten in a pretty good workout tonight.  Seeing as Koreans seem to dislike rain much more than alumnus of a University in one of Canada's rainiest cities, the gym was fairly empty.   After a good amount of cardio and some heavier weights was ready for a tasty dinner containing more carbs than I might normally consume this late in the day ( all).

I took a look at the menu and everything seemed pretty standard.  The cheapest sandwich is less than $4 which was a pretty big draw to start.  They let me know (in English) that it was KRW 2,000 (about $2) more to add fries and a drink to my sandwich order.  With this post in mind (the only reason, of course) I decided to opt for the thick and fat-looking fries and an iced Americano with my Bulgalbi Cheese Steak Sandwich.  I can't remember the last time I had a really proper french fry, and these looked too good to pass up.

I took my food to-go and was really looking forward to getting home, streaming some crime dramas, and vegging out with some delicious eats.  I became jaded about Latte King the moment I popped open the take out bag and realised they gave me all of 5 fries.  I mean sure, I shouldn't be eating fries, but come on guys you gave me enough chipotle dressing that you really could have given me at least half a proper order of fries.  I was disappointed.  The fries were perfectly seasoned on the outside but the potato just kind of broken in the middle.  

The sandwich looked disappointing but actually packed a punch.  I'm always on the hunt for something loaded with veggies, and my sandwich had lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pickles, and olives (I usually dislike olives on most things but these worked).  With all those veggies and the cheese overpowering the sandwich (couldn't tell you what kind of cheese - it tasted whipped.  Weird, but decent) I could barely taste the meat, which was disappointing again.  The bun, however, was the perfect combination of crispy and flaky on the outside and soft and squishy on the inside.  

I would definitely check out this place again, just not after a big workout when I'm hungry.  This would be a good take-out spot to grab some nosh and head to the CU when you know a couple of hours in you'll have a monster Cheese Bokki craving.

Have you tried Latte King in Busan?  What did you think (...and more importantly: what did you order?).  Leave your tips in the comments!

L2W: The DMZ Showdown (Summer 2015 edition)

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It has been a while since a Korean soccer player broke his leg in June. Just to let you know why CNN was busy last week with its reporters in DMZ.

It all started on Aug 4th when two South Korean soldiers lost their legs after stepping on landmines planted in DMZ. On Aug 10, with the evidence the landmines were secretly planted by North Koreans, angered South Korean President Park Geun Hye ordered the 11 giant loudspeakers along the DMZ blare out propaganda broadcasting after 11 years of hibernation to have North Korean soldiers and civilians within 24 km from DMZ listen to all the bad stories about their Dear Leader Kim Jong Un.

At 3:52 pm on Aug 20, refusing to take responsibility or make an apology for the landmine accident, North Korean army began to launch four rounds of 76.2 mm shells towards the speakers in western DMZ. Undaunted, South Korean soldiers immediately fired back 29 rounds of bigger 155 mm bombs into North Korean territory, following President Park's earlier pledge South Korea will pay it back 10 times if attacked. Infuriated at the unexpected response from the South, Kim Jong Un declared "quasi-state of war", and gave 48 hours to shut up the loudspeakers or face a rain of missiles falling in Seoul. That ultimatum was made at 5:00 pm on the same day on Aug 20.

Despite the risk of turning Seoul into a Donetsk, President Park instantly raised her middle finger at the ultimatum, flying fully armed F-16 fighter jets over DMZ to provoke North Korea to fire missiles at them so that she has a good rationale to begin bombing Pyeongyang. It took a form of dangerous chicken game between Park Geun Hye and Kim Jong Un.

At 3:00 pm on Aug 22, just two hours away from the 48 hours ultimatum, North Korea and South Korea military heads agreed to sit down for solution. It was a victory for Park as it was Kim that turned steering wheels after begging for the the talks first.

A long 43 hour marathon talks since then was concluded in early hours this morning on Aug 25. The North expressed rare "regrets" over the landmine blasts, and South agreed to turn off propaganda broadcasts, considering no unusual activity along the border occurs, meaning North Korean soldiers can dance to Gangnam Style again from the loudspeakers for any future provocative action from the North. Both agreed to hold reunions for the families separated during the Korean War on the occasion of the Chuseok Holidays in September. So, Korean peninsula is now back in peace, and CNN reporters began to pack their luggage, murmuring "Much ado about nothing.'
The leaders of South Korea and North Korea met twice, once in 2001 when Kim Jongil shook hands with then S.Korean president Kim Daejung in Pyongyang, and the other in 2007 when Kim Jongil welcomed then president Roh Mu Hyun, under South Korea's Sun Shine policy which assumed North Korea will open up itself if South Korea provides financial support. The policy did not work as the money South Korea sent was spent to build nuclear bombs. What is Park Geun Hye's policy, then? Spare the rod, spoil the child. It seems it is working this time, as proved early this morning.


Herb Island

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Pocheon, South Korea — Danny’s cousin recommended for us to visit this 82-acre tourist spot called Herb Island that’s located in Pocheon, a province of Gyeonggi. Ironically, it is not an island but a theme park showcasing many sorts of herbs.




Our trip started right after lunch time. So, it was quite warm and sunny. We purchased our tickets upon entering the entrance gate before parking the car. Then, headed straight to their indoor botanical garden. Inside the greenhouse are tons of plants, a mini man-made waterfalls, and beautiful and colorful flowers in various sizes that I’ve never seen before.

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

We also visited the Santa Claus Village and mini barn for donkeys, peacocks, pigs and goats.

Santa Claus Village

Santa Claus Village

There are few shops that sell candles, scents, herbal pillows, teas, spices, etc., and some products are DIY. Furthermore, pension, a performance hall, restaurants, a cafe, and a bakery can be found near the parking lot. They also accept wedding ceremonies and reception.

Gondola Riding Place

Gondola Riding Place

DIY shop

DIY shop

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

Herb Ateliers

FREE tea-tasting

FREE tea-tasting



Korea in 1970s to 1990s:

Oriental Medicine

Oriental Medicine

Classroom and Studio

Classroom and Studio

Wedding Hall

Wedding Hall



Not only those, Hyde, Jekyll, Me, a 2015 Korean drama, and Running Man, a popular variety show, also filmed at this place.


In conclusion, I would recommend this place to amateur photographers ’cause every corner of Herb Island offers a great picturesque landscape and to people who just love nature and solemnity.

Entrance Fee:

Regular : KRW 6,000 (US$6)

PWD, Children and Senior Citizens : KRW 4,000 (US$3.5)

지도 크게 보기
2015 | 지도 크게 보기©  NAVER Corp.


경기도 포천시 신북면 청신로 947번길 35

35, Cheongsin-ro 947beon-gil, Sinbuk-myeon, Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea

Operating Hours: Daily 10:00am to 10:00pm


  1. Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1) – 38km (58min) → Uijeongbu Station – 21km (48min) → Dongducheon Station – 16km (28min). Get off at Mt. Soyosan or Dongducheon Station. Then take Herb Island bus No. 57 or No. 57-1 bus from the bus stop across the street.
  2. Seoul Station – 38km (58min) → Uijeongbu Station – 23km (47min) → Pocheon Bus Terminal – 14km (24min) → Get off at Daejin University when you take bus 3001 or 3002. Then take the bus to Herb Island (No. 57 or No. 61) from the bus stop across from Daejin University.


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