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Visiting the night markets in Taipei is a must. They’re super...

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Visiting the night markets in Taipei is a must. They’re super crowded but they’re endless streets of fun things to see, do, and eat. It’s an endless cycle of shop, play, and eat+drink.

The Shihlin Night Market is probably my favorite, but they’re all pretty similar, in my opinion. You’ll find a bunch of great guides online, such as this one.


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


Visiting the night markets in Taipei is a must. They’re super...

Printer-friendly version

Visiting the night markets in Taipei is a must. They’re super crowded but they’re endless streets of fun things to see, do, and eat. It’s an endless cycle of shop, play, and eat+drink.

The Shihlin Night Market is probably my favorite, but they’re all pretty similar, in my opinion. You’ll find a bunch of great guides online, such as this one.

Top 10 ESL Activities for Big Classes

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Way Back Then? Big Classes were Terrible!

I remember back to my first year teaching in a Korean university, way out in the countryside of Chungcheongnam-Do. I taught writing and freshman English to classes of 40+ students. The writing students I saw for 3 hours/week, while the freshman English classes, I only taught for 1, 1.5 hour session. It felt like I was throwing some spaghetti at the wall and praying it would stick. My own inexperience, combined with the huge classes and minimal time that I say my students meant that not a whole lot ended up sticking at all! I would even venture a guess and say that my students learned precisely nothing. And it was really stressful for me! All that homework I had to grade and tests I had to administer! It was a serious trial by fire to say the least.

10 Years Later? Love the Huge Classes!

But almost 10 years later, and more huge classes of 40+ students than I could count on two hands, I eventually figured it out. Big classes don’t have to be terrible. Actually, over time, I started to like them better than the small ones. There was just more energy and as long as you could harness that energy for good, there was a lot of potential for great things. The key is using ESL activities that are designed for huge classes! And you also need to really consider how to make your class as student-centred as possible. Obviously having one big conversation with the teacher and class is pretty terrible, and also really boring for the students. Plus, it doesn’t work in most parts of Asia because no student wants to stand out in front of 40 of their peers.

Top 10 ESL Activities for Big Classes

Check out this SlideShare presentation where I share my Top 10 ESL Activities for Big Classes. They are all student-centred and not that difficult to set up or prepare for. Enjoy! And please comment below and tell me your favourite activity for classes of 40+ students.

The post Top 10 ESL Activities for Big Classes appeared first on .

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



…and they’re off (-track Horse Racing at Walkerhill)

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I’m always on the hunt for something new and exciting to do on the weekends in Korea.  In Seoul, it’s been go, go, go with new and exciting opportunities popping up all over the place.  This past weekend was one of my most luxurious and exquisite weekends yet.  If you’re looking for a real Seoulcialite experience in Korea, read on…

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As someone who used to work in the online gaming industry in Vancouver, where “Thoroughbred Day at the Races” is a major yearly event, you’d think I would have spent more time watching the ponies.  While I understand the logistics, odds, and mechanics of table games (and know that the slots are your worst odds in Vegas), horse racing was completely foreign to me.  What do a Seoulcialite, a Fashionista, a Southern Belle, a Tree-hugging Mom, and a Nerd have in common?  Foreigners were exactly what the Korean Racing Association wanted to see at the brand new Sheraton Walkerhill Off-Track Betting Center in Seoul, and we bloggers got to enjoy all the benefits last weekend!  To be clear: we were invited to join a blogger open house at the Sheraton Walkerhill Off-Track Horse-Racing Center.  The OTB experience that we had is not limited to press, it is what you will get when you visit Walkerhill yourself.  Let’s Run: A case where going “Off Track” is a good thing.

The new facilities, which opened Friday June 3rd, 2016, are clean and quiet.  This is a far cry from what I would have imagined having been to some of the casinos throughout Asia.  A few juicy details to note before jumping into the nitty-gritty:

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–         Entrance is free until the end of June

–         Food & Beverages will be free until the end of June

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–         A free betting voucher of 5,000 Won will be provided to try out betting (at a 100 Won minimum bet this means you may bet as many as 50 times for free!)

–         Parking tickets are provided for those with cars (don’t drink and drive, however, ladies and gents!)

–         There will be on-going promotions after the current promotion ends, so make sure to sign up for a silver or gold membership to keep apprised of all the exciting events!

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Hardly like Vegas, this small, well-lit space offers tons of screens with all the statistics you’ll need, and shots of the horses racing for the 10 minute in advance of each race.  Walkerhill even has a classroom for those of us who need a little extra attention and like to take an educated approach to gambling.

20160611_155204There are a variety of bets you can make!

Here’s the horse-betting guide for dummies:


Win:  Choose a horse you think will win.  If it comes in first, you win! Hoorayyyy…

Place:  Choose a horse you think will place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd.  If that horse places, you win.  This is your lowest risk bet.  Lower risk means a lower reward, so choose this option if you’re nervous about betting.

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Quinella:  In a Quinella, you’ll bet on the two horses you think will come in 1st or 2nd.  The order doesn’t matter.

Exacta:  Exacta is like Quinella, except the order matters.  You must select which horse will place 1st and which horse will place 2nd.

Quinella Place: Select 2 horses.  If they BOTH place (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), you win!

Trio: Select 3 horses to place 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in any order.

Sheraton Walkerhill Korean Racing Association Off-Track Betting Sheraton Walkerhill Korean Racing Association Off-Track Betting

As far as picking the horse(s) on which you’ll bet?  That’s up to you. Apparently you’re supposed to look for a nice, shiny coat, a big booty (ho-rse), a thick neck, and vascularity for the majestic beast on which you’ll be betting.  You can check out how many times each horse has raced, and of those races how many times they have come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.  You’ll see the horses favoured to win as well as those thought to place by specialists and analysts, but ultimately it all comes down to lady luck.

VIP at the KRA Horse-Racing OTB Sheraton Walkerhill

After trying our luck in the open-area lounge (where I broke even) we headed upstairs, with our free lattes – I might add, to the VIP lounges.  There are a variety of themed rooms designed to give each group a different experience, while still enabling each guest to engage in the betting process by having a wall FULL of TV’s with statistics floating by.  In fact, only one of these TV’s was showing the lead up to the race or the race itself.

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While in its current state it’s definitely for the serious gambler, I think in the near future their aim is to make things a little more weekend (read: Sunday-Funday for me!) friendly  vibe with music, drinks, and more of a party atmosphere if that’s what you’re after.  What I particularly liked was that the center is very clean (non-smoking), the service is phenomenal, and the English-speaking attendants will explain any betting-related issues about which you might still be wondering.

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Want the best of both worlds?  Perfect!  From 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM at the Club Lounge on the 17th Floor there’s a happy hour with tons of cheese (rare for Korea!), pastries, salads, and pour your own Wine (Red, White, and Sparkling), Beer, and Spirits.  I mean, doesn’t it just make sense to get all dolled up, get the adrenaline rush of the races, and then “refresh” before a night on the town?

My My My

I will definitely be back to the Walkerhill OTB Center soon!  There are too many restaurants to explore at the Sheraton as well, and I need to master my Kentucky Derby confidence before hitting any of the many tracks in Korea (or the Queen’s Plate back home!).  I’ll be partnering with the Korean Racing Association for some upcoming events, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled on as well as the Toronto Seoulcialite on Facebook.  Interested in hearing more about the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel and my awesome experience there?  Well, just wait!  It’ll be up before month’s end.

Quick Notes on The Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel (adjusted from Google):

Set next to Achasan mountain, this elegant hotel is a minute’s walk (or free shuttle bus) from the nearest bus stop and a 25-minute bus strip from the underground COEX Mall.

Chic rooms and suites include free Wi-Fi and flat-screens. Club rooms give access to a lounge with free breakfast. Suites add separate living rooms. Room service is available 24/7.

Free perks include parking and a metro station shuttle service. There’s a bakery, a cafe and 6 restaurants, 1 of which serves Italian dishes. Additional amenities include event space, an exercise room, and indoor and outdoor pools. There’s also a souvenir shop, a casino, off-track horse betting and a tennis court. Pets are welcome.

Address: 177, 워커힐로 광진구 서울특별시

Phone: 02-455-5000

Let’s Run CCC. Walkerhill Horse-Racing OTB

Center Operation Information

Open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays

Operation Time


typeOperation Time
January – March(Friday·Saturday·Sunday) 9:00 ∼ 18:30
April~June(Friday) 11:00 ∼ 19:30 (Saturday·Sunday) 9:00 ∼ 18:30
July~August(Friday·Saturday) 11:00 ∼ 21:30 (Sunday) 9:00 ∼ 18:30
September(Friday) 11:00 ∼ 19:30 (Saturday·Sunday) 9:00 ∼ 18:30
October~December(Friday·Saturday·Sunday) 9:00 ∼ 18:30

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Special thanks to the team at The Korean Racing Association, Mimsie from My Seoul Searching, Yvette at District Gal, Lily from A Travel Lady Bug, Kristina at The Nerdventurists, and Hallie from The Soul of Seoul.

State of Affairs

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I’ve been a naughty blogger again. I know. I gave myself until the end of June to come up with a real and actionable plan for the future, and I’ve been busy making contacts, brainstorming, sketching and re-sketching plans, doing accounts, etc. I’ve picked up some more translation work and have more possibly coming down the pipe. Hooray for properly paid work — I think translators may actually be paid more money than the people who originally write articles, in most cases. Sad state of affairs, but it goes to show how little is thought of writing as a cultivated skill set. Writers are supposed to just be grateful to have their name put on something, while translators are often invisible and unacknowledged but at least paid.

I’m also working on getting my food handler’s certification, which I’ll be explaining more about soon, hopefully. I’m doing it in Korean, which would be a laugh a minute were I a sadomasochist. Nonetheless, I think I’m going to manage it. B, B’s brother and I have decided to take a cross-country bike trip at the end of the summer, too, so B and I have started a kind of lighthearted training to prepare. I’ve started pottery classes, as well, at a nearby studio with a teacher who is quite unique. He’s a high school dropout with a motorcycle who chats a mile a minute and doesn’t seem to realize I’m only catching about 70% of what he’s saying. His approach is decidedly laid back, which is why I chose him. He made it clear from the start that he only teaches basic techniques, and it’s up to me to guide myself through a lot of the learning process, but he offers unlimited studio time and clay and is there to answer any questions and offer critique and guidance. I was at the studio for five hours yesterday, when I’d only intended to drop by for a couple. It’s nice, after focusing on words and language for so much of the day, to sit and quietly work with my hands.

The studio is located in an interesting little alley that is full of other various kinds of studios — sewing, weaving, painting, topiary (?). The studio owners all seem to be friends, and several of them take classes at each other’s studios, and as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to meet other studio owners when they drop in while I’m working. At the same time, the neighborhood is still a neighborhood, with school kids calling out greetings as they pass and older folks sitting out in front of the buildings listening to music, singing and chatting. It’s peaceful. I like it there.

It’s a much different vibe from last year at the magazine surrounded by workaholics. Yesterday, the potter handed me his phone and asked me to take a photo, and before I knew it, he had whipped off his t-shirt and was standing there bare-chested and smiling. I thought, I’m an American. I can handle this. It’s not that strange….

Unlike at the company, where I would sneak cigarettes out behind the car park and hope not to be spotted by the editor-in-chief or any of the (male) company executives, because I’m a female, the potter nearly pushes me to join him for a smoke when the studio is empty besides us.

It’s comfortable, and it’s a side of Korea I need to experience after the competitiveness and backbreaking work with very little thanks of last year. The studio owners chat about being broke and receiving criticism for not having graduated university with a major in their field of work or at all, and how silly it all is, how the work is the work and either you do it well or you don’t. I’m not trying to be a broke artist, or an artist at all, but I feel more at home there, already. At the magazine last year, even the coworkers I really liked would regularly patter over lunch about who needed what plastic surgery procedure or who had gained or lost weight or who had a new car. It’s all fine — it’s part of life. But I’ll choose the seriously invested conversation about whether or not alien lifeforms will arrive on our planet within our lifetime any day, to be honest.

Whatever you’re surrounded by becomes your reality, I think even more so, in a foreign country, where you can’t help but scan for categories and definitions. I desperately needed to re-categorize my definition of Korea after the past year, and I think the simple choice to take up pottery making will go a long way there.

All of this aside, up until this week, the past couple of weeks in the kitchen have been extremely unpleasant. B and I have a hard time being middle class, despite our now middle class combined income. Last week, when B and I dropped by the pottery studio, B pointed to another studio up the road and said it was a good thing I’d found mine. I asked him what he meant. My pottery studio is an open-faced, unfinished building full of mounds of clay and discarded work. The walls are covered with primitive raw-wood shelving stacked with piles of unorganized pottery. The place he’d pointed at was a carefully refurbished shop with delicate displays of painted ceramics in the windows.

“You know, that place is all–” At this point he flapped his hands in the air and his voice went up several octaves. “— ‘Oh, so pretty! Look at me! I have a hobby!’ Your studio is –” He grimaced, and his voice turned guttural and low. “‘I’m an artist! I’m dirty!'”

“Did you just call me dirty?”


“At any rate, my main preoccupations now are baking and taking pottery classes. It’s kind of disgustingly middle class, even if the studio is a mess…”

“We’re not middle class. We don’t have a house or a car…”

“We are middle class. We’re just having a hard time admitting it.”

But I did reach my breaking point with one poor student-like condition last week. I will not continue to cook in our sweltering hot, unair-conditioned kitchen when buying a second air conditioner would not cause us the slightest financial distress. I drew a line in the sand with B and told him to pick a side — new air conditioner or wife on kitchen strike.

It should be arriving later this week.

At which point maybe I’ll get back to doing the business with this blog, although some of my current cooking effort is being diverted to other areas as well.

As a side note, I don’t feel right not at least acknowledging the massacre that occurred in Orlando on Sunday. It’s all the more heartbreaking as June is a month of safety, celebration and acceptance for many LGBT communities across the globe. What is there to say? I find myself at a loss, but I know that at the very least it is a moment to reflect on what is often considered benign “religious freedom,” and the kind of thinking and speaking we permit in our society under the guise of everyone having a right to their opinion. At some point, society has to come to a consensus that some opinions are morally wrong, and they can cause much more tangible harm than just hurt feelings.

Gun control, the US… I mean, fuck it. If we haven’t reached our breaking point by now, I don’t have much hope that we ever will. I never seen a people so stubborn as American gun rights advocates. With both hands plastered over closed eyes, they’ll run screaming through a gauntlet of evidence that change is needed, that something isn’t working, that some things are not worth the price they cost. I’m a Texan — I am outnumbered in my family by gun rights folk. These are people I love and respect and would die to defend. But they’re wrong. Unfortunately, despite not being stupid or ignorant people, there is still no event, no evidence, no argument, no explanation and no statistic or fact that will ever change their minds. I admire the people who take the time to formulate informative arguments for gun control, but I come from the heart of things and I know it’s no use. We’re just going to have to wait for another generation, if not another era.

In the meantime, my heart goes out to the LGBT community. It’s unwarranted hurt, time and time again. It’s ugly. And you better believe that as self-righteous as these kinds of people are, when it comes time to cross over, it’d be better for them if they were wrong about there being a god and a system of divine justice. I pray that I live to see the day when history books tell the story of how once, in America, gay people were shot dead, beaten in the streets, discriminated against, kicked out of their homes and exiled from their families, all just for choosing not to be excluded from love. Until that time, the rest of us will just have to love each other a little bit harder.

The post State of Affairs appeared first on Follow the River North.

Follow the River North

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

Books & Stuff    Cafés & Shops     Korean Food & Ingredients      Personal     Recipes       Restaurants & Bars

ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You

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ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You

If you’re looking for an ESL review activity, you’ve come to the right place! Got to Hand it to You is kind of like a quiz show, but instead of the teacher asking questions and the students answering, everything is on paper. In groups, students read the questions and then they have to fill out an answer sheet. It’s far more student centred than the traditional “ESL Jeopardy” game and as a bonus, students have to answer all the questions instead of every 1 in 20 or so.

Got to Hand it to You

Skills: Writing/Reading
Time: 5-30 minutes
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Materials: Question sheet and answer sheet

This is a group quiz/ review activity. In advance, you will need to prepare a quiz sheet with the questions and a blank answer sheet. If you will be repeating the activity with several classes, laminate the question sheets and reuse them. Each group will use one answer sheet, but you can give each student a question sheet or have the group share one or two. If this activity is for credit, be sure to include spaces for all group members to write their names on the answer sheet.

This ESL review activity is simple enough: each group races to be the first to fill in the answer sheet correctly and hand it to you. If there are errors, you return the answer sheet and the group must keep working. My rule is that I require groups to wait 5 minutes between me checking answer sheets. This prevents students from randomly trying to guess answers. When all groups have finished or time is up, review the answers together as a class.

Procedure for Got to Hand it to You:

1. In advance, prepare a quiz sheet with the questions and a blank answer sheet. Each group will need one answer sheet and at least one question sheet.

2. Have each group races to be the first to fill in the answer sheet correctly and hand it to you. If there are errors, they must keep working. Require that students wait five minutes before checking with you again in order to prevent random guessing.

3. When all groups have finished or time is up, review the answers together.

Like this Simple ESL Review Activity?

39-ESL-Review-ActivitiesIf you like this ESL review activity, we have good news for you! There are 38 more of them just like it in this book: 39 ESL Review Activities: For Teenagers and Adults.

Review lessons are often not liked by the students and for good reason-they’re often quite boring! But, they don’t have to be. This book will help you plan some fun, engaging and useful review lessons in no time. Check it out on Amazon today:

39 ESL Review Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

The post ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You appeared first on ESL Speaking.

The Complete Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial Launch

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Have you ever wondered how I create the cinemagraphs that you see on my blog or insagram feed? Now you can with my all new cinemagraph pro course. I will take you through my workflow using Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro and give you some sample videos to edit as well. Again, this is a complete course so I will not only show you how the app works on both the mac and iOS but I will also show you specifically how to edit for different subjects.

Enrol now in the Complete Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial and get a special discount from Flixel

Recently, cinemagraphs have been taking off and Facebook has even started integrating them into their platform. The Flixel team has been there on the front lines. Now is better than ever to get started learning how to make cinemagraphs with one of the easiest apps to create stunning HD images.

With this tutorial series, I show you just how simple it is to create these one-of-a-kind images. Cinemagraphs are great for getting more views and likes. Up until now, it was a difficult process to make them and even harder to export a quality GIF from inside photoshop. Using my workflow and Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro, you can make your images come alive without having to fuss with manually creating layer masks and duplicating clips. I will show you how to make an amazing cinemagraph simply and easily.

As an added bonus, I am not only showing you how to create your own cinemagraphs but giving you a $40 discount for the Flixel Cloud + Apps yearly subscription! So that means if you want to take your cinemagraphs to the next level and get all the flixel apps plus storage then check out my tutorials and get the discount code at the end of the video!

Enrol now and start making eye-catching images that grab your attention fast than a photo and are more effective than a standard video.

Enrol Now for only $47!

The post The Complete Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial Launch appeared first on The Sajin.

The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan....

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The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan. It’s easy to get to by bus. It’s impressive inside and out. It has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. Also, it’s a nice, cool place on a typically hot Taipei day.

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am - 9:00 pm

Address: No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

Phone: +886 2 2881 2021

The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan....

Printer-friendly version

The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan. It’s easy to get to by bus. It’s impressive inside and out. It has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. Also, it’s a nice, cool place on a typically hot Taipei day.

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am - 9:00 pm

Address: No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

Phone: +886 2 2881 2021

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