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Cosmo Quiz ESL Icebreaker Activity

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ESL Icebreaker Activity

Cosmo Quiz

Skills: Speaking/listening/reading
Materials Required: a Cosmo quiz or Cosmo-type quiz

If you are a guy, you may not be familiar with the quiz in each month’s edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. These generally predict something about your relationship style, finances, etc. In other words, they are quiz-style horoscopes. They are pretty fun to do as a group, because they are not meant to be taken seriously, but can tell you a little something about the quiz-taker.

Prep could not be easier. Simply find a few old issues of Cosmo and copy the quizzes. Some of them are a bit risqué, so decide for yourself if you want to edit them a bit. I’ve had all-female classes, and kept it a little racy, but all the students were about my age.

In class, begin with a brief discussion of personality quizzes: has anyone ever taken one, etc. Divide students into pairs or small groups of 3-4 and give them one or two quizzes with the results on a different page. Have them read the questions and discuss the answers, keeping track of their answers, if they want. You can wrap up with a survey of results and questions of how students feel about the quizzes. Are they accurate, fun, or a waste of time?

ESL Icebreakers for Teenagers on Adults: Get it Now on Amazon

Teaching Tips:

You can find quizzes on their website:, but the questions are given one at a time, so if you can get your hands on print quizzes, it will make your life easier.

If you think they are inappropriate for your class, you can always just make up a quiz in the same Cosmo style: ten multiple choice personality questions with points assigned to each answer. There are usually results for three point ranges.

You can either give everyone one quiz and each group reads and answers the questions together, or you can have students alternate asking and answering. You can extend the activity by having students change partners and taking a different quiz.


  1. In advance, gather several different issues of Cosmo magazine and copy the quizzes. You may need to edit the questions or leave some out.
  2. Begin class by asking if anyone has ever taken a personality quiz and how they feel about them.
  3. Divide students into pairs or small groups of 3-4 and give them one or two quizzes with the results on a separate page.
  4. Have them read the questions and discuss the answers, keeping track of their answers, if they want.
  5. Optionally, extend the activity by having groups change partners and take a new quiz.

Like this ESL Icebreaker Activity? It’s from 39 ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults. If you’re looking to start the semester off well, you’ll need this book! It contains over three dozen activities that are guaranteed to get your students talking and getting to know each other as well as you. It’s lesson planning made easy so you can spend more time doing what you love, not sitting inside at your desk! Click the link below to get it now on Amazon:

39 ESL Icebreakers for Teenager and Adults

39 ESL Icebreakers

The post Cosmo Quiz ESL Icebreaker Activity appeared first on ESL Speaking.

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



Make your Life Easier: ESL Lesson Plans

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ESL lesson plans

Left to your Own Devices?

If you’re looking for help with your ESL lesson plans, you’ve come to the right place. I know that many teachers first go abroad to teach English without any sort of training in teaching English. Employers, especially if you work at a private language institute are often no help and say things like, “You speak English! Just go teach them.” Teachers are often left to their own devices when it comes to lesson planning, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The good news is that planning a decent lesson really isn’t so complicated.

ESL Lesson Planning Templates

Making an ESL lesson plan is really quite simple if you use these templates and adapt them to your own purposes. Although these lesson plans are for adults, you can use the same principles as you plan your lessons for children. I designed these lesson plan templates using the knowledge I gained while taking the CELTA and DELTA courses. Without further ado, here they are:

An ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template

An ESL Reading Lesson Plan Template

An ESL Speaking Lesson Plan Template– This lesson plan is actually a grammar or vocab focused class disguised as a speaking one. “Speaking” alone isn’t really a great lesson objective and should include something more substantial such as a specific grammar point or some new vocabulary.

Lesson Plans for ESL Teachers

Maybe you’re kind of like me and have a lot going on and you don’t like to spend a ton of time making lesson plans from scratch. I totally get it and often feel the same way. Check out this post of mine for some sites that I use on a regular basis for ready-made ESL lesson plans.

Top 5 ESL Lesson Planning Sites

Hot Discussion Topics for University Students

If you teach university students or other adults, check out these two lesson plans I’ve designed about technology, and renewable energy. I call them “hot topics” because my students usually love the discussions we have about them. See this post:

2 Hot Discussion Topics for University Students

If I Had a Million Dollars Lesson Plan

If you like to incorporate a bit of singing into your classes, check out this lesson plan that uses the song, “If I had a Million Dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies.

Enjoyed these ESL Lesson Plans? 

Think they’ll make your life easier? You’ll probably enjoy this book as well: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Teenagers and Adults. It’ll make your lesson plannig easier, guaranteed. It’s only $0.99 over on Amazon.

The post Make your Life Easier: ESL Lesson Plans appeared first on ESL Speaking.

Ddeok Gangjeong, Crispy and Spicy Rice Cake

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A popular snack in Korea, ddeok gangjeong is a filling and spicy treat. It’s made with garaeddeok (rice tube cake) that’s sliced down to bite-sized chunks, pan-fried, then dressed with a sticky, tangy sauce. The pan-frying gives the rice cakes a crackly outside with a soft and chewy inside. The sauce is a deliciously sweet and spicy combo that will satisfy any mid-afternoon craving.

prep time: 
15 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
15 min
total time: 
30 min
Flag meal as: 
quick n easy
Serve as: 
main dish/entrée
Cooking Method: 
Main Ingredient: 
Ingredients Heading: 
for the sauce
Ingredients Optional: 
(optional, use more sugar instead or use other fruit syrup)
(or your favorite nut, coarsely chopped)
(or your favorite nut, coarsely chopped)

Skewers (optional) if you want to serve the rice cake on skewers.

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions
Potato starch: Potato starch on the rice cake gives crispier texture and helps the sauce stick to the rice cake better. You can use regular flour instead or omit if you don’t have potato starch.

Simple version of the sauce: You can omit onion, garlic and malt syrup (increase the amount of sugar instead) if they are not available.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Cut rice cake

If the rice cake is frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight or defrost in the microwave (make sure it’s covered). Cut the rice cake into 1 inch lengths.

image: BSDGAA01.JPG

Cut into 1”

2. Dredge in potato starch (optional)

Lightly dredge the rice cakes in potato starch. Potato starch on the rice cake gives a crispier texture and helps the sauce stick to the rice cake better. You can use regular flour instead or omit if you don’t have potato starch.

image: BSDGAA02.JPG

Dredge in potato starch

3. Make the sauce

In a food processor, blend together: ⅛ onion, 3 tablespoons of hot pepper paste, 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1½ tablespoon of sugar, 3 tablespoons of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of mulyeot (malt syrup), 2 teaspoon of minced garlic and 5 tablespoons of water. Set it aside.

image: BSDGAA03.JPG


  • ⅛ onion
  • 3 tbs hot pepper paste
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1½ tbs sugar
  • 3 tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs malt syrup
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 5 tbs water

4. Pan-fry rice cakes

Lightly coat a frying pan with vegetable oil and add rice cake. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until golden. Do not add too much oil or make the pan really hot because rice cake can pop. If you are not eating right away, cook for less time. Crispy ones can get too hard when cooled.

image: BSDGAA05.JPG

Dry rice cakes

Lightly coat pan with oil

Add rice cakes

Panfry Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 5 min

until golden

5. Drain

Transfer pan-fried (or deep-fried) rice cake onto paper towel or a strainer to drain fat.

image: BSDGAA07.JPG

Drain fat

6. Cook sauce

Cook the sauce in a non-stick pan and simmer it on low heat for about 5 minutes or until it starts to boil.

image: BSDGAA06.JPG

Cook sauce

  • Low Heat image: lowheat.png
  • image: clock.png 5 min

or until boiling

7. Mix sauce with rice cake

Add the rice cake to the sauce and quickly mix. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle chopped peanuts and walnuts and mix well.

image: BSDGAA08.JPG

Add rice cake to sauce



  • chopped peanuts
  • chopped walnuts


8. Serve

Serve hot on a plate. Enjoy!

image: BSDGAA09.JPG

Serve hot


9. Serve (alternative)

You can also skewer the rice cake to serve is as a fun snack or hors d’oeuvres.

image: BSDGAA10.JPG

read more

Follow Crazy Korean Cooking


Happy Pepero Day 해피 빼빼로 데이~

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South Korea — Aside from Valentine’s day and White day, today marks another sweet occasion especially for high school students and couples. Today, Korea celebrates Pepero day. If one haven’t heard about Pepero, it’s a pretzel covered with chocolate, white or dark, almonds, melon or strawberry produced by Lotte. It can be compared to Japan’s snack called Pocky.

Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy chocolate pepero, which is kind of the same thing.
― Tara Sivec

I have been in full anticipation for this day to witness how Koreans celebrate Pepero day. Every supermarket, small marts, convenience stores and even bakeries have it all in different sizes and pretty packaging.





for my one and only~
Surprise! haha

Some wonder, of all dates, why November 11? Simple, Pepero is a skinny snack that resembles the date (11/11).

Gotta run! Danny and I will be playing the Pepero game. LOL Hope everyone is enjoying their pepero while singing to this tune~~



© Youtube

Free Gugak Concert to Mark tbs eFM Anniversary

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South Korea's English and Chinese radio station tbs eFM (101.3Mhz) will hold an annual concert on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 to mark its seventh anniversary. This year’s concert theme will be gugak, traditional Korean music, and will be performed under the title "Seven Colors of Gugak."

The concert is slated to be held at the National Gugak Center near Bangbae Station at 7:30pm. Featured artists include the Court Music Orchestra of National Gugak Center, the Dance Theater of National Gugak Center, pansori singer Park Ae Ri, 4innori and The NEQ, a Korean-jazz fusion group. Additionally, there will be special performances by Kim JoHan, Punita Bajaj, and the Folk Music Group of the National Gugak Center.

Admission is free, but tickets must be reserved beforehand. To request tickets, visit tbs eFM's website and register by November 25.

Up to four tickets are allotted per person and guests must be at least 15 years of age to attend.

Inquiries: 02-311-5622 ~ 4

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Colonial Korea: Muwisa Temple – 무위사 (Gangjin, Jeollanam-do)

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Muwisa6Part of Treasure #1315 is a painting centred by Amita-bul from 1476. This black and white picture was taken in 1933.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Muwisa Temple is located in the beautiful Wolchulsan National park on the south side near the city of Gangjin, Jeollanam-do. The temple is first believed to have been built back in 617 A.D. by the famed monk, Wonhyo-daesa. At this time, the temple was known as Gwaneumsa Temple after the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Gwanseeum-bosal. Later, in the 10th century, it was expanded by the equally famous monk, Doseon-guksa. It was at this time that the temple came to be known as Muwigapsa Temple.

In total, the temple houses two National Treasures and four additional Treasures. The first of the national treasures, National Treasure #13, is the main hall at Muwisa Temple: the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall. This hall dates back to 1430. The other national treasure is National Treasure #313, which is a mural of Amita-bul that backs the triad of statues on the main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon. The mural is believed to date back to 1476.


The exterior of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall in 1933. The hall is National Treasure #13.


Some eaves from the main hall at Muwisa Temple.


And some more from the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.


And a final picture that captures some more of the intricate woodwork on the main hall at Muwisa Temple.


A look inside the Geukrakbo-jeon at the historic painting of Amita-bul. This picture was also taken in 1933.


Another historic painting of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas inside the Geukrakbo-jeon from 1933.


The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon. The mural backing the main altar is National Treasure #313.


The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.


The ceiling inside the main hall above the main altar at Muwisa Temple.


The Geukrakbo-jeon as it appeared in 2014.


The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon with National Treasure #313 backing the triad of altar statues.


The decorative ceiling above the main altar.


The Gwanseeum-bosal mural on the back side of the main altar.


One of the historic murals that adorns the interior of the Geukrakbo-jeon.


As well as another.

An ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template

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ESL listening lesson plan template

I Had no Idea, too

I’m always surprised when I get reader questions or talk to people preparing for their upcoming job interviews that they don’t know how to make a basic lesson plan. But, it’s not so crazy and I actually had no system of any sort until I took the CELTA course a few years back. After that course, I could recite the basic lesson plan in my sleep! Thank you CELTA! (If anyone is interested in doing the CELTA course in Korea, you’ll need to see this post: Is it possible to do the CELTA in Korea?)

The ESL listening lesson plan that I’m going to share with you today is modelled after that and it can provide you a solid foundation upon which to expand and adjust to suit the needs of your own class. There are five basic ESL lesson plan steps and one optional step for a class focused on listening that I’ll describe below.

Without Further Ado, Here’s the ESL Listening Plan Template

Step #1: Set the Context

It’s really difficult for our students if we start the class off by getting straight into the task. Think of a car on a cold, cold winter day (I’m from Canada!). First of all, all sensible people will plug their car in overnight in order to keep a bit of current running through the engine. Then, you put on your cold-weather gear for a little sprint out to the car and cross your fingers, hoping it’ll start. Once it does, you go back into the house for a few minutes to give it some time to get the juices flowing and ready to go. If you neglect warming up your car, it may start but you’ll cause more wear and tear than if you gave it a few minutes to get going which is going to cost you in the long-run.

What I’m saying is that you need to help your students ease into the lesson by letting them get used to speaking English again. They also come into your classes with plenty of prior knowledge so it can be really useful if you take advantage of this so that later on in the lesson, students can connect the old with the new.

During one of my CELTA lessons, I was given a listening exercise dealing with medical dilemmas. I started off the class by asking students to talk with their partner for a couple of minutes about any medical dilemmas that they’ve seen or heard in the news the past few years.

Step #2: Pre-Listening Task

In the pre-listening task, you move from the more general of step #1 into the more specific as you now begin to focus on the actual listening exercise that your students are going to do. I often like to do prediction exercises where I reveal a little bit of information and then students have to make a guess about something. Then, in the next step they’ll have to listen to see if their guess was correct. It’s the perfect way to give your students a reason to listen.

However, in the case of this medical dilemma lesson, the vocabulary was quite difficult and I was sure that most of the students in the class wouldn’t be familiar with a lot of it. I gave the students a little worksheet to do with their partner to help familiarize themselves with the key words and then I asked some “CCQ’s” (concept checking questions) in order to make sure they really understood the words.

Step #3: Gist Listening Task

Students will listen to the passage twice. The first time is to get the big picture and then the second is to get the finer details. If they get everything the first time, it’s too easy. If they need more than two times, it’s too difficult.

You should always give your students a reason to listen or read something so be sure to set a task. But, make it pretty easy such as a few True/False questions dealing with the big picture stuff, or they can see if their prediction from the previous stage was true.

Students compare answers and then you can quickly check. But, don’t get into the nitty-gritty details at this stage-that come’s next.

Step #4: Main Listening Task

In this stage, the students will listen a second time to the passage. Give them a task such as short answer or fill-in-the-blanks questions. They can be a bit trickier and focused on some of the nuances at this point.

Have students again compare answers with a partner and then check as a class. You can go into the finer details if necessary.

Step #5: Post-Listening Task

I usually like to have students give their opinion about something that they heard in the listening. For the medical dilemma one, the woman in the story wanted the doctor to help her commit suicide but it was illegal in her country. The question was whether or not doctors should be able to help patients do this.

(Optional) Step #6: Speaking Task

I often like to throw in a speaking task at the end of a listening or reading lesson because it can lighten up the mood a little bit and lots of speaking is often what students expect in our classes! For the previous example, I had students switch partners and then I gave them a new medical dilemma. They had to assign for/against roles and then have a mini 5-minute debate. They switched partners again and this time changed roles.

Looking for other kinds of ESL Lesson Plan Templates?

ESL Speaking Lesson Plan Template

ESL Reading Lesson Plan Template

Like this ESL Listening Lesson Plan? 

You’ll probably enjoy this book as well: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Teenagers and Adults. Lesson planning made easy, guaranteed.


The post An ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template appeared first on .

1 year count down

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Hello.... It's been a while. 

This will be his first winter without me (ever since we met in December 2012) but it might very well be his last too!! 

This is a one year count down because next year could be my last year in Singapore. COULD. Although we have done some planning, there are still many adult questions to think about:

1. How/when to get the F6 foreign spouse visa - I heard its a torturous process with different people from the embassy/government bodies saying different things on what is required for the application. Definitely one of the to-do things that I am NOT looking forward to. 

2. Can I really be a "non typical" Singaporean girl and marry a guy who is just starting out in his career (i.e a guy without a fat savings account)?

3. Living in Korea, period. 

Here's a photo of us taken in December 2012, it was the first time seeing each other in real life. This December will be our 3rd anniversary ^.^

Cheorwon County

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Gangwon Province, South Korea — One late Friday afternoon, I didn’t know what came to Danny’s mind but he drove both of us all the way to 철원 (Cheorwon), situated at the center-most of Korea peninsula. I would have been very scared and probably refused if it was after the recent tension that has been all over the news for many days.

We visited 2 major historical places in Cheorwon.

1. North Korean Labor Party headquarters (노동당사 / Nodongdangsa)


Here’s what it says:

This is the North Korean Labor Party Cheorwon Office Building used to strengthen communist politics and control people before the Korean War. For 5 years, North Korea ruled this area committing numerous brutal acts such as torturing and killing people. The building was so notorious that people used to say “anyone who goes in there never comes out intact”.

IMG_7919 copy



It was constructed in 1945, some years before the bloody Korean War (1950-1953). While we were going around the ruins, I noticed that the majority of visitors were elderly and middle-aged adults.


Apparently, to preserve the 70-year-old ruin, they had to put up some beams and metal rods for support.

Address and Map: 

3-2 Gwanjeonri, Cheorwon-eup, Cheorwon-gun, Gangwondo, South Korea

강원도 철원군 철원읍 관전리 3-2

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

2. Battle of White Horse (백마고지 / Baekma-goji)

IMG_7962 IMG_7934 IMG_7938 IMG_7939 IMG_7946 IMG_7949

IMG_7957 IMG_7960

IMG_7941 IMG_7954


I won’t go into details because Wikipedia has it all.

The Battle of White Horse was another in a series of bloody battles for dominant hilltop positions during the Korean War. Baengma-goji was a 395-metre (1,296 ft) hill in the Iron Triangle, formed by Pyonggang at its peak and Gimhwa-eup and Cheorwon at its base, was a strategic transportation route in the central region of the Korean peninsula. During ten days of battle, the hill would change hands 24 times after repeated attacks and counterattacks for its possession. It was one of the most intense position-grasping battle for a small hill during the course of the Korean War. Afterwards, Baengma-goji looked like a threadbare white horse, thence its name of Baengma, meaning a white horse. ©Wikipedia

In conclusion, living in (or travelling to) Korea isn’t just about partin’ in the streets of Hongdae, shopping in Myeongdong, going to Kdrama sets, or even hanbok (Korean traditional clothes) fitting in Insadong. Korea had a long, difficult and profound history. If one is sincerely interested to a culture, a trip to these kind of places should be included in one’s itinerary. Right?

Address and Map: 

Sanmyeongri, Cheorwon-eup, Cheorwon-gun, Gangwondo, South Korea

강원도 철원군 철원읍 산명리

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


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