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RTBC Day Four: What I love about teaching

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Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Four: What do you love about teaching?

In the classroom, the teacher has to be able to roll with the punches of the day, and should always be open to responding to the students and circumstances in front of them. By taking advantage of an impromptu teaching moment, however small, new connections with the material can be made where previously there were none.

Today I gave my students mini white boards and markers to use in class. As an avid doodler myself, I was hardly surprised to find more than just writing on some of their boards. But while circling around the room, I noticed one student in particular (whose English skills I knew to be very low) seemed to be doing nothing but doodling. I approached him and began to encourage him to construct a sentence like one of the examples on the board. He obliged with a slight sigh and started to erase the cartoon figure he’d spent a fair amount of time working on. That’s when I stopped him and asked to borrow his marker. Next to his drawing I added a speech bubble and then pointed back to the board. Just like that, his sigh turned into a laugh, his face lit up with a smile, and with a nod began to write.

Unexpected moments like that are what I enjoy most about teaching. One second the student is bored and disengaged, and the next moment they’re in it. It’s part of my job to keep an eye out for such opportunities as they’re passing by, and to be able to capitalize on them. I still have a lot to learn with this skill, but it’s already becoming one of my favorite things about teaching.



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Queer Links from the Week: Mayor Park Won-soo on gay marriage in Korea and Seo Tae-ji Isn't Gay

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Seoul Mayor Park won-soo spoke with the San Francisco Examiner last week saying that he wants wants same-sex marriage in Korea as first in Asia. As Park is a possible presidential candidate for the 2017 elections, I hope he can stand by this conviction. This is definitely the biggest news from this week. 

In pop culture, more celebrities are talking about the fact that they aren't gay in response to SNS rumors. Naver News (Korean) has a couple of articles about Seo Tae-ji Responding to a Revival of Gay Rumors. One of these times, I hope a celebrity confronts these rumors with an affirmation... (but hopefully it isn't Seo Tae-ji as he has a wife and daughter). And in television, on Apgujeong Midnight's Sun Song Won Geun's character thinks his brother's gay (Korean). Finally, Green Light, a film showed at the Gays Are Coming Soon 3Some, got buzz as it used Baekhyun and Sehun as character names (Exo members). 

One Year Later

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The traditional gift for a first anniversary is paper, so I guess after I write this I'll print a copy and frame it. What I'm trying to say is, a little over one year ago, I arrived in Korea. The modern first anniversary gift is a clock, which seems apt as the time has passed faster than I realized. A year already? Are you sure?

I've been looking back through old posts, and it's a relief to see that my feelings about the country haven't changed that much:

"This is where I’ll be living for the next year, maybe more, and there is nothing I want more in life right now. I’ve never been the sort to follow my dreams; I’ve stuck to what I know I can accomplish, and that’s been fine, but finally I’m taking a chance at something I’ve wanted since I met those Jet teachers in Japan almost six years ago." 

I know, I know, it's disgustingly...shmoopy and emotional, but the sentiment was, and is, 100% real. I needed a change, a new life, a new chance. While I'm not quite ready to go public with everything that was going wrong in my life before I moved to Korea, suffice it to say that things were...bad. Not good. Things felt pretty hopeless, like my life was on hold. It doesn't help that the weather in Seattle shares most of its characteristics with a damp sock. Even when things are going well in your life, unless you really enjoy overcast gray weather, it's hard to stay positive during the interminably long Seattle winters. And springs. And falls. And sometimes it stays cloudy even though summer, because the other 9 months just weren't enough!

During the 12 hour flight from Seattle to Korea, I made a decision to use this move as a chance to really change my life. Instead of bringing all my bad habits and worries along in my carry on, I wanted to do my best to leave them all back in Seattle. New country, new me.

At my Epik orientation, I had a great chance to really focus in on what I wanted to change in my life. One of the activities during the week was an introductory taekwondo class. They had us write our goals for the coming year on a board and then break it. To me, it felt as if I was putting all my fears, my worries, my problems into that board, and in the act of breaking it, I was sending them out of my life. As you can see in the photo, I had three main goals. "Don't be afraid. Learn Korean. Be happy." It's one year later. How did I do?

1. Don't Be Afraid

This is a big one. It seems a bit silly, but trust me, it really is an important issue in my life. I'm anxious a lot of the time, and a bit shy, and nervous in unfamiliar situations. I've missed out on opportunities because I was too worried about dumb stuff to take advantage of them. I didn't want that to happen here. Moving to a new country, starting a new job, meeting so many new's been one unfamiliar situation after another.

What this first goal means to me is just...don't miss out. Don't stay home because you're worried you won't know anyone at the party. Don't keep your mouth shut because you're not sure what to say. Don't overthink it. As those Nike shirts say, just do it.

While I don't feel that I've completely accomplished this goal, I know I've made progress. I volunteered as class leader during my orientation and managed to make a speech in front of the entire orientation without fainting. I took a vacation entirely by myself, from Sokcho to Seoul. I've befriended people in my office even through a severe language barrier. Instead of saying no and staying on the sidelines, I'm saying yes and making a fool of myself but having fun.

2. Learn Korean

This has been a bit on again off again. When I first started studying Korean seriously, it was fantastic, because I was learning at a breakneck speed. I've written about this before, how the first few months were so exciting, because every grammar point opened vast expanses of understanding. However, as with anything, the honeymoon had to end. Now that I actually have to work pretty hard to learn new things, it's easier to get frustrated. I often feel like I'm not improving at all. My vocabulary is tiny, my grammar sucks, and no matter how much or little I study, nothing seems to change.

However, while I don't really feel as if I've improved, when I take a step back, I realize that that's crazy talk. A friend recently reminded me that when I left for Korea, I knew about two phrases, plus I could read and write very, very slowly. I think back to those first few work dinners, how I sat in a corner, unable to understand most of what was going on around me. And actually talking to someone? No way.

Inexplicably, I left a note to my family in Korean. SECRET MESSAGES.

Now I can have conversations, albeit very simple ones. I can ask for directions and halfway understand what I'm told. I can befriend taxi drivers, make jokes in the office, and be the occasional living dictionary for my students. While I'm certainly not anywhere near fluent, I have improved. I hope this coming year will be my chance to improve even further.

3. Be Happy

I guess this one is obvious, huh? Deceptively simple, in a way. But of all my goals, this is the one that I feel I've been most successful at. Not to say I've become Pollyanna-ish; I certainly have my share of bad days, but since I moved to Korea they're at least fewer and farther between. When I start to get down, I'm able to get back up a lot faster. Maybe it's the weather.

Oddly enough, I feel at home here. I'm not at all sure why, but Korea just really seems to suit me. Time and time again people tease me about my "Korean heart" or say that even if I look like an American, I'm secretly Korean. Frankly I think they're exaggerating, but it warms my heart every time. 

A big part of this as well is the feeling of having purpose. Instead of a repetitive job that never seems to affect anything, I have a job where I actually feel like I'm improving and changing lives, at least in small ways. Instead of a job, I have what feels like the beginning of a career. For every rough class there is an amazing class. Seeing that "aha!" moment when I student learns something new or gets inspired because of something in my class...that is what makes me happy. 

How could that face NOT make you happy?

All in all, it's been a good year. I finally feel like I have my feet under me. I've got my sealegs. Things are coming together, and I'm not even 25 yet! For the folks keeping score, looks like I managed a 3/3. Granted, my goals were simple and open-ended, but where I'm looking from, I call it a victory. Does this mean it's time to make a new set of goals?

Guess I'd better find a board and a permanent marker~!

Teacher Pretty
Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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Learn Korean at Your Keyboard: The Art of Typing Korean

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Learning to type Korean has many benefits. Once you achieve mastery in the art of typing Korean, you can chat with friends online, comment on websites, look up words in the dictionary, search Naver — and the list goes on!

Plus, the skill of typing Korean has double the benefit since most newer phones have the ability to install full Korean keyboards. You’ll put these exact same skills into use when texting!

But perhaps one of the biggest benefits to learning how to type is that it is one of the best ways we know of to help you get better at Korean. It connects you virtually to the world of Korean speakers and at that point, your options are limitless! 

From solidifying the basics of fitting characters together to learning new slang phrases, texting and typing in Korean will be a linchpin in your journey toward Korean fluency.

Today we will progress through five steps in our journey toward becoming Korean typing masters. If you haven’t yet learned the Korean characters, we recommend you do so before learning the skill of typing Korean. Get a free guide and learn the Korean alphabet on our website!  

Let’s do this…

Step 1: Get Familiar With the Korean Keyboard

The first step in our journey is to learn the Korean keyboard layout. The creators were also masters of the mind and liked to keep things simple.

Let’s orient ourselves. On the left in black are the consonants. Notice how all of the aspirated consonants are on the bottom row!


Conveniently, all the vowels are on the right! See them here in blue:


But where are the missing vowels and the double consonants you may ask? You’ve just got to believe, young one, and they will appear (or — just hold shift)! See what happens when you hold down the shift key. Cool! New characters! 


To make the rest of the vowel combinations, we will need to be creators. We have the building blocks, and we will need to construct them.

In the 90 Day Korean Inner Circle, there is a detailed lesson on Character Fundamentals. For now, just know that a vowel always follows a consonant in any syllable!

In need of a visual? Take a look for yourself.


So, to create a syllable with a Korean keyboard, we need to type a minimum of two characters —  a consonant and then a vowel. That’s easy, right? Black plus blue.

Becoming a good builder on a Korean keyboard is easy because the keyboard software does a lot of the work for us! It knows the character fundamentals shown above, so it ends syllables when they are complete and starts new syllables automatically.

Your job is just to type the characters in the correct order!

When the software is still “building” the character, you’ll see a line underneath.

Let’s say you want to write the word 주세요, a polite request meaning “please give.”

Here is what you would see on the screen while typing:


See the black line underneath the characters? It shifts to the right as each syllable is completed. This indicates we are working on that syllable!

Never worry if what you see on the screen is not what you intended. As you can see above, when you continue typing the software creates the correct syllables once the next character is added. It’s a big help!

Just remember to hold shift first to find the double consonants and two of the vowel combinations. To create the other vowel combinations, we just need to build them!

Here is where prior knowledge of the Korean alphabet comes in handy! Our Inner Circle lesson on Character Combinations goes into detail but here’s the gist of it below. Type the vowel combinations in the same order to create them on your screen!


Just remember the placeholder. That’s your job to type it in, that keyboard doesn’t do that for you!

Got the basics down?

Let’s move on to Step 2!

Step 2: Practice Typing Korean

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, it’s time to start practicing.

A stepping stone to using a Korean keyboard is to first practice with an online keyboard. This is especially valuable if you will be typing on a computer without the Korean characters written on the keyboard.

This option helps you get a feel for the layout of a standard Korean keyboard.

Here are some online keyboards we’ve found helpful, but feel free to use any one that you wish.

We recommend numbers 1-3 because their layout is very similar to an actual Korean keyboard and so it typing on them is much more realistic. Try them out for yourself!

Korean Online Keyboard # 1

Korean Online Keyboard # 2

Korean Online Keyboard # 3

Korean Online Keyboard # 4

Korean Online Keyboard # 5

Once you’ve got a feel for how things work, try some practice typing exercises. Type the keys written below the word and it will automatically be created.

Korean Typing Practice




Step 3: Install Korean Keyboard

Before you install the Korean keyboard software on your computer (or at least before you start typing with confidence), you’ll need to make a decision.

If you didn’t buy your computer in Korea, chances are the Korean characters are not written on the keyboard.

But not to worry. Practice helps and soon you’ll have a feel for where the keys are located on the keyboard. You’ll be able to type without looking in no time!

But in the beginning, it helps to have some assistance. It’s like training wheels on a bicycle — you can build up your confidence and get used to things, and then when you’re ready, take them off!

Two methods we’ve found helpful are:

1) Stickers OR 2) An acronym

If you want, you can make your own stickers to stick on your keyboard or you can purchase stickers from Amazon. Just do a search for “Korean keyboard stickers.”

Here is one example:


If you want to go the memorization route, acronyms help!

Allow us to tell you a story.




Now that’s a silly story, but it can help us to remember the placement of the consonants on the Korean keyboard!

In the story, there were three trials. Let’s put them together, shall we? Look at that, they rhyme!

10The first letter of each word corresponds with the sound of the Korean character.


Work your way from left to right! The first line of the rhyme corresponds with the top row of consonants on the keyboard. The second line corresponds with the second row of consonants and the third line, the bottom row (see diagram below).

For the third line of the rhyme, the U is in brackets because it is actually to the right. On the keyboard, start on the fifth key over then back to the first key to continue the rhyme. The fifth key is the vowel so it sounds like the letter U!

But if it’s easier, just remember the rhyme as follows and start on the left:


See the diagram below for simplification — just follow along with the rhyme and look at the numbers!


For the vowels, their placement on the keyboard is logical and thus easy to remember:


The red lines indicate pairings. Notice how the vowels  ,and are vertically paired while   are paired horizontally.

Also notice how the horizontal-based characters are on the left and bottom, while the vertical-based characters are on the right.

Picking up these patterns can help you locate the characters with precision and decrease your reliance on other methods.

Step 4: Start Typing in Korean

Now with his knowledge, go back and try the typing exercises in Step 2 with a real Korean keyboard!

To do so, you’ll need to install the keyboard on your computer.

If you’re on a Mac:

1. System Preferences

2. Keyboard

3. + → Korean → 2-Set Korean

For Windows:

1. Control Panel

2. Change keyboard or other input methods

3. Change keyboards

4. Add → Korean (Korea) → Microsoft IME

Go through the exercises again with the keyboard on your computer and then move on!

Step 5: Practice Your Korean Typing

The last step is simply to get lots of practice. This is the real fun part!

Get used to typing with the Korean keyboard and eventually it will become second nature. Facebook, forums, websites, messengers — the internet is now yours to explore!

Put this knowledge to good use and go have fun with it!

Leave us a comment below (in Korean if you wish!) and let us know what you’ll use your Korean typing skills for. We’re excited to hear all about your plans for your new skills!

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series:

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  
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Gimje Horizon’s Festival

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Gimje Horizon Festival

The summer heat is finished and the beauty of fall is upon us.  As blues skies open up and cool weather sets in a peaceful time of year begins. Something that goes hand and hand with this autumn is Festival Season in Korea. Every weekend provinces throughout the country put on amazing festivals showcasing their local specialties. There is so much going on that it is near impossible to discover every great event. This is why when Korea Tourism Organizations (KTO) announced they were recruiting members for ‘Global Group on Cultural and Tourism Festivals’ to attend some of the festivals being held throughout the season I jumped on the opportunity.

KTO put together over 15 trips allowing foreign participants to attend the festivals FREE OF CHARGE! What’s the catch? In return KTO asks participants to simply share their experience and fill out a simple survey. The trip I attended was so interesting that there is no way I wouldn’t share my experience.

Great opportunities for foreigners to experience tourism and culture happen often in Korea. If you are interested in attending some make sure to Like! Our facebook page where we post links to opportunities.


The morning of October 4th I joined 20 foreigners from around the world and headed out of Seoul by bus to spend the weekend attending two great festivals: Gimje Horizon Festival and Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival.


Our first stop was Gimje. The trip was about three hours by bus from Seoul. Gimje is located in North Jeolla Province in the Southwestern part of Korea and known as the “great plains.” The mountainous country flattens in this landmass making the area an ideal place to cultivate crops, specifically rice.


Our tour included some area attractions as well as the festival. Visitors can easily make a weekend trip, exploring the area. The natural flat landscape littered with Korea’s fall flower- the Cosmo, makes for ideal bike tours. There are also several notable temples. Our first stop was to Simpo Port and Manghaesa Temple Observatory, where we became acquainted with the history of the region.  The area is famous for their seafood. Here clams around 5cm in size, which were once a prized meal for kings, are produced.   Walking into any humble shop around Simpo Port will allow you to feast on this local delicacy.

5cm Clams fit for a king!
Our seafood lunch at Simpo Port
Our seafood lunch at Simpo Port


After eating a delicious seafood lunch, at the tiny fishing port (Simpo Port), we took a short walk to Manghaesa Temple. This beautiful and historic Buddhist temple is famous for it’s placement. The small area has stunning beauty and is believed to be a place where Heaven meets Earth. In this area we also stopped at a pavilion that offers 360-degree views of the unobstructed plains.

360 observation tower
360 observation tower at Simp Port
Views from the observation tower
Views from the observation tower



Following this stop we made our way to the festival grounds. Gimje Horizon Festival focuses on Korea’s agricultural history and offers guests a glimpse into the heritage that is being preserved by local agricultural communities. Supporting the theme is an array of programs and events that make the festival fun for the entire family. If farming doesn’t interest you, surely the many interactive events will! Festivities include a dragon competition, kite flying, culinary experience, interactive rice harvesting experiences, a grand torch parade and so much more.


Gimje Visitors Center and look out tower
Gimje Visitors Center and look out tower


Gimje is the only place in Korea where visitors can observe a panoramic view of the area encased with rice paddies that expand into the horizon without obstruction by mountains. The setting of the festival is among Gimje’s Tourism office which houses an observation tower, allowing visitors to view the area as well as the festival.

Gimje Visitors Center and look out tower
Gimje Visitors Center and look out tower

Once in the tower I was able to quickly orient myself and see the 100’s of flying kites among the blue autumn sky, the festival is famous for, as well as two massive bamboo dragons that are the centerpiece of the event.


I looked down into the festival with some binoculars, which were available at the top of the observatory, and couldn’t wait to be among the events. Rice patties allowing visitors to have interactive experiences, kite flying demonstrations and much more were in my view. I giggle at the cute children wearing rice hats and running through fields, with nets, catching grasshoppers.


After observing the festival from above, I headed to ground level and walked through the main gate. At the information tent a woman arranged me with an English-speaking guide that would help me better understand the festival. This service is free and available to all foreigners in several languages.


English Guide
English Guide

My guide was a sweet high school student who was able to easily show me around the festival and guide me to the exhibits that interested me. Our first stop was a dooling dragon competition. Two huge dragon costumes, worn by about 10 people, gracefully weaved around a stage. Foreigners and locals were invited to participate in wearing the dragon costume as well as competing in the competitions. Dancing, Rock paper scissors, and tug-o-war were just a few of the competitions that were held to see if the red or blue dragon would reign over the festival.


Dueling Dragons Demonstration
Dueling Dragons Demonstration

Dueling Dragons


After enjoying this demonstration, we continued into the festival to observe the grand Dragons. The 2 story dragon statues are stunning and a spectacle like no other. It is in this area that many people fly kites. Just behind the dragons is an agriculture lake with duck boats and paddleboats for visitors use. Although the experience looked relaxing, I opted not to participate and continued to the Traditional Village where I observed traditional crafts, folk games and then participated in a traditional wedding.

P1070587 P1070584 Traditional Wedding Band

Traditionally Korean weddings were grand events, often lasting several days and involving entire villages.   Locals in costumes reenacted the festivities. Musicians wore traditional costumes and banged drums as they danced in a circle.   I was given the opportunity to try on a traditional wedding costume. This was great fun! My guide helped me understand the experience and assured me she would make sure I looked beautiful. Volunteers surrounded me in a replica Hanok field home and placed the outfit on me. After I was dressed in wedding hanbok they did my hair in a bun and placed a braided wig on top as well as a traditional hat and large decorative shaft that pierced through the bun. Because I went on the trip alone, I did not have a groom, so I was introduced to another visitor- who I would marry. They ushered me around the hanok home and took pictures in front of alters set up for the wedding and then in front of a tiny box that the bride was carried in, to the wedding, in ancient times. My guide explained the entire process and snapped pictures with my camera throughout. What fun!


Getting dressed in traditional wedding outfit
Getting dressed in traditional wedding outfit
Traditional Wedding Dress
Traditional Wedding Dress

Once back in my street clothes, we continued to what I found the most interesting area of the festival. The Rice field village housed many interactive experiences. Visitors were allowed to go into the rice fields and harvest their own crop with traditional tools through the supervision of rice farmers. Once the rice was gathered, traditional iron pots were set up on campfires allowing participants to cook and eat rice in traditional fashion. In addition to these activities children were given nets and allowed to run among the rice field and catch locust, or play in a straw-plant land that consisted of archery, sling shots, a petting zoo, straw- trampoline, slide and rodeo.   The straw from the rice plant is also used to create traditional crafts. Participants could gather straw and create ropes and make straw bags.

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No festival would be fun without food and a large food court offers both traditional and foreign food for purchase. The area is not only famous for seafood and rice but also beef. Jipyeongseon Hanu or Horizon Korean Beef is the meat of choice in Gimje. At the festival you can visit a butcher stand and purchase meat then barbeque it in the typical Korean fashion accompanied by Korean side dishes at participating restaurants.


Our group tried a local dish called Gimje Yukhoe Bibimbap which is Bibimbap topped with steak tartare. If you are adventurous enough to eat Tartare I highly recommend sampling the dish. It was delicious!


After dinner our day did not end. The sun set and as the sky darkened my favorite part of the festival began! How could things get even more exciting, right? The Kyeokgolje Torch Parade!! Participants were given tiki torches and after a fun rally session we lite our torches and marched among hundreds of other participants throughout the festival grounds.

Getting Ready to march in the lantern parade
Getting Ready to march in the lantern parade

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The parade ended along the lake. A stage was set up with three plasma globes (those spheres that have pink lights when you touch your finger to they follow) and government figures stood in front of them. They each briefly spoke about the festival. While our lanterns glistened in the cool night sky, each man pressed his fingers to the sphere. Music began playing and a massive blue light-up dragon flew through the sky, followed by a beautiful fire works display. The dragon continued to dart through the sky throughout the fireworks! I had never seen anything like it!


After the fireworks display, we distinguished our lanterns and headed to our hotel for the night. We would arise early the following morning for ANOTHER festival located about two hours from Gimje. The Sancheung Medicine Herb Festival was the next stop in our tour.


Make sure to tune into my next blog post where I will tell you all about it!

Date: October 1-5th 2014

[By train]
Take an express train to Gimje Station.
Take the festival shuttle bus from the Station to the festival venue.
(Shuttle bus schedule: 07:30-22:30)

[By bus]
Take an express bus to Gimje Bus Terminal.
Take the festival shuttle bus from the Terminal to the festival venue.
(Shuttle bus schedule: 08:00-22:00)

For more information: 

2014 Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk

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This past Saturday I had the pleasure of once again hosting the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk. I decided to change the location to Gyeongju this year as I thought that it would appeal to more people than having it in Ulsan. My assumption was correct and we had over 20 people show up. It was a great turn out for a great day of shooting.

Our first location was the tomb park of Daereungwon. I had previously lead a photowalk here before and thus I had an idea of where people would bottleneck. After the group shot we set out across the park heading towards Cheomseongdae the ancient observatory. Most people were glued to the people flying kites as the sky was amazing. I felt like we spent a while there and got busy trying to locate people and get them on their way to the Kyochon maul.


When I arrived at the village I was pleasantly surprised that people had found their way and were eagerly waiting for the blue hour to photograph the bridge. I was a little nervous about how the restaurant would react to 20 foreigners arriving all at once. However, the restaurant was great and the handled us like pros. We had a whole room to ourselves which was great when we sang “happy birthday” to Pete DeMarco.


Overall, the walk went great. We had walkers from different cities and of different levels. I really want to thank everyone for showing up and having a great time. I am sure that next year will be even better.



For those of you who were on the walk and have registered, don’t forget to upload your best shot to the photowalk page for your chance to win a year subscription to Kelby One Training!


Tom Tom & Big John Stud’s Continuing Food Adventures: 돼지국밥

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It’s once again time for myself and Tom Gates of The Red Dragon Diaries to wow you, inform you and make you hungry as we explore another of Busan’s great culinary cuisines. This weekend, we headed to Seomyeon for 돼지국밥, also known as Dweji Gukbap, also also known as Pork, Soup, Rice. I also enjoyed the dweji variant known as 순대국밥, Soondae Gukbap, or pork blood sausage. Sound enticing?! Check out the video of our gastronomic adventure.

This time, we got a two-fer, though, as we also checked out one of those liquid nitrogen ice cream shops for a post-gukbap snack. Check out that video at the end of the gukbap video since WordPress won’t let me embed two videos on the same post, apparently.

Happy eating!

JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.

RTBC Day Three: Room for Improvement

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Reflective Teaching Blog Challenge – Day Three: Discuss one “observation” area you would like to improve on.

TimeAt the end of most of my lessons, I’ve noticed there usually isn’t enough time to properly go over the day’s content. Somewhere during the phases when students are practicing and producing the language for themselves, I lose the last 5 minutes of class that I originally intended to use as review time. When I notice this happening, I usually choose to forgo the review and just allow students to finish the production activity. If I did move onto the review, I feel like I’d be cutting them off early or stunting their absorption of the material.

I guess what this really comes down to is an isse of time management and giving students tasks they can feasibly complete in the amount of time I alot. Then I can be more consistent with facilitating brief review sessions at the end of class.

To any seasoned teachers out there, I’d like to ask: Do you make a point of having clearly-designated “review time” at the end of every lesson? Why or why not? And if not, do you have a way of reviewing content/checking for comprehension that is more indirect? If so, what is it?

Which Disney princess would make the best co-teacher?

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tumblr_nbyvp6UoQK1rmdodwo1_500Snow White – Her childlike innocence makes her perfect for working with elementary school kids. She gets them to whistle-while-they-work during even the most mundane of tasks, like tidying up the room or studying grammar. And if she can wrangle 7 dwarfs, you know she’s got to have mad classroom management skills. Just don’t let the kids try to give her any apples.


CinderellaCinderella – The classic co-teacher, she exudes honesty, a caring disposition, and a tireless work ethic, almost to the point where it’s intimidating to co-teach with her. And yet, you can’t help but pity her, as she’s had to put up with a lot in her career, mainly working with a wicked step-principal and step-teachers.



BelleBelle – If you’re teaching in a rural area, she’s the co-teacher for you! Belle knows how to make the most of any provincial life. Being an avid bookworm, she also understands the language inside and out. And, having grown up around her father’s inventions, she’s very creative and loves using new technology in the classroom.



orig-21201453Ariel – A bit of a rebel and very independent, she’s always wanted to be part of your English-speaking world. She’s got American gadgets and gizmos a plenty, and British whozits and whatzits galore. But despite her enthusiasm, her communication skills are a bit lacking. Poor unfortunate soul.




Jasmine – Although she’s very witty and intelligent, she’s also used to getting the royal treatment at school, so some might say she’s a bit spoiled. That being said, she’s very passionate and open-minded, so she’ll love learning about a whole new world of Western culture with you.



Sleeping BeautyAurora – Innocent yet confident, a day-dreamer but also stunningly gorgeous, she’s very easy to work with. After just one lesson, she’ll have you thinking, “I know you! I taught with you once upon a dream…” But like with Snow White, you have to keep an eye on her. She doesn’t do well with pointy, need-like objects.



Mulan – True, she isn’t Korean, but Mulan still has the most to offer you in the ways of Eastern culture education. She knows the pressures of family honor and what it’s like to perform under high expectations. As a result, she’s very determined and hard-working. She’ll get down to business and make a teacher out of you.


PocahontasPocahontas – She has wisdom beyond her years, so she’ll get your students painting with all the colors of the wind in no time. They’ll learn things they never knew they never knew. Pocahontas is also very accepting of other cultures, and she enjoys sharing her way of life with foreigners. Perhaps best of all, she’s very outdoorsy, so she knows all the good hiking spots.


Which Disney princess would you most like to have as your co-teacher? One of the above, or somone not listed? Feel free to respond in the comments section below! Have a MAGICAL day!

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