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Despite my often futile attempts to research restaurants in advance before visiting a new city in South Korea, it seems like the best places that I find I stumble into by accident once there. Before a recent trip to Busan I trolled the web looking for places to scout out for dinner. However, as often happens in Korea, most of my pre-selected establishments turned out to be out of business or nonexistent. One evening, after failing to track down a few places I found online, I took a cab from Haeundae to Gwangan to check out Galmegi Brewing Co. and afterwards, wandered along the beach hoping to grab a late night bite. With my expectations relatively low, my curiosity piqued when I spotted Bombay Brau, a very tiny beachfront joint boasting the odd but surprisingly exciting combination of craft beer and Indian food. Upon closer inspection and 20 minutes of cross-examining the sole employee, I learned that Bombay Brau is in fact a micro brewery with multiple locations around Korea that serves exceptionally delicious Indian food. Although this concept excited me in itself, the truly impressive aspect of this tiny restaurant on the beach was the chef, Mr. H.B. Poudel, himself. Mr. Poudel redefined the term one-man-band operating simultaneously as the establishment’s solo waiter, bus boy, dishwasher, and cook. He took my order, served my beer, whipped up made-to-order naan bread and tandoori in his tandoori oven and disbelievingly delicious tikka masala AND carried on an informative conversation with such ease I could only gawk with incredulity. My only frustration was knowing that this man could not possibly be paid enough for the pride and dedication he showed to his craft and to the company he worked for. If you make it to Gwangali Beach, it would be in your best interest to stop at Bombay Brau, order some garlic naan, tikka masala and a Punjab Wheat Beer, and most importantly, shake Mr. Poudel’s hand.
An ESL Warm-Up Activity
Picture prompt is a great ESL warm-up for kids as well as adults that can be used for all levels from beginner to advanced. Show students an image and have them generate questions or speculate about the picture.
For lower level students, this can be purely descriptive:
Q: What do you see? A: I see a house, a car, and some people.
Q: What color is the car? A: It is blue.
For high beginner/low intermediate students, have an image which can generate questions such as:
What is happening in this picture?
How does that person feel?
Why do you think so?
For more advanced students, have an unusual image. Encourage them to create a narrative to explain the story. This activity can also be done as a Quick Write.
You can find collections of unusual images online which are perfect for advanced students to create their narratives. If you want to use this as a writing activity with beginner or low intermediate students, give them a worksheet of questions to answer.
1. In advance, prepare an image, either PowerPoint or a picture large enough for the class to easily see.
2. Divide students into pairs or small groups.
3. Depending on the level of the students:
Elicit descriptive sentences about the image. Encourage them to make their own questions to ask a partner.
Have them discuss what they think is happening in the picture, how the person/ people feel and why they think so, etc.
Have them create a narrative about the image. (Unusual images work well for this.)
4. Optionally, have them write their responses.
Like this ESL Activity?
It’s from this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Kids (7+). There are 38 more like it. If you want to get your classes started off on the right foot, it’s the book you need! ESL teaching awesome made easy.
The post Picture Prompt: An ESL Warm-Up For Kids and Adults appeared first on ESL Speaking.
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The temple courtyard and main gate at Bogwangsa Temple in Ulsan.
Hello Again Everyone!!
In the very southwestern part of Ulsan, and next to Tongdosa Temple under Mt. Yeongchuksan, is Bogwangsa Temple. Located in and amongst the small factories and one rooms is this assuming temple.
First approaching from a rural road, you’ll be welcomed to the temple by a beautifully adorned front gate. This gate is elaborately painted with two Biseon adorning the front gates. Both Biseon (Flying Angels) are making offerings.
Once you’ve entered the compact temple grounds, you’ll notice a small garden to your right and the first story of the main hall to your left. The first floor to the main hall is occupied with a visitors’ centre and the temple kitchen. It’s only up a set of stairs to the far right of the first floor that you’ll in fact find the main hall on the second floor of the two story structure.
Around the exterior walls to the main hall are a collection of beautiful murals. The first set, which is the largest, is the Palsang-do set which depict the eight scenes from the Buddha’s life. Above this set, and up near the eaves rather uniquely, are the much smaller Shimu-do, Ox-herding, murals. And spaced between these sets, and decorating the hall’s pillars, are the Four Heavenly Kings, as well as various guardians. Buttressing both ends of paintings are two elaborate paintings dedicated to an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). One other unique feature to the outside paintings are a pair of side-ward leaning Nathwi. Typically, the eyes to these Monster Mask murals are pointed sideways and not the entire mask.
Stepping inside the main hall, you’ll first notice a large, golden canopy that spans the entire length of the main altar. The triad sitting on the main altar is centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). He’s joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal and Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife). To the left of the main altar is a large mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). While to the right hangs a beautiful mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). If you look closely, you’ll notice a dongja (attendant) offering Sanshin an immortal peach. The only other mural in this hall is a large guardian mural, which is somewhat unique in its composition.
HOW TO GET THERE: From Tongdosa Temple, you can catch a taxi to get to Bogwangsa Temple. It should take about 10 minutes, or 3.9 km, and cost you 4,500 won.
OVERALL RATING: 4/10. The murals and paintings spread throughout the main hall, both inside and out, are what distinguish Bogwangsa Temple. From the Sanshin mural inside the main hall to the sideways Nathwi, the Four Heavenly Kings that are on pillars, and the sets of Palsang-do and Shimu-do murals, the intricacy and beauty of all these murals will be enough to keep you busy for some time. So take your time and enjoy their mastery.
A look at both the entry gate and main hall at Bogwangsa Temple.
The elaborately painted gate at the temple.
One of the Biseon that adorns one of the entry gate’s doors.
The garden at the temple.
The dual exterior wall paintings on the main hall. The larger Palsang-do murals are on the bottom, while the much smaller Shimu-do murals are up near the eaves.
A painting of Gwanseeum-bosal that adorns the exterior wall of the main hall.
The uniquely painted dual masks of the Nathwi on the main hall.
On each of the major pillars of the main hall are the Four Heavenly Kings.
The elaborate and extensive golden canopy that hovers over top of the main altar of the main hall.
The decorative mural of Bohyun-bosal that’s painted above the entry at the main hall.
The large guardian mural housed inside the main hall.
The beautiful Sanshin mural.
And a better look across the main altar at Bogwangsa Temple.
I’m sure everyone reading this wants to make their ESL classes as awesome as possible. Any teacher would and even those who are abroad for just one or two years still want to have great classes and help their students learn English. But teaching isn’t an easy thing to do and it’s often the case that foreign English teachers walk into the classroom at their first job with absolutely no training whatsoever.
Help is here! If you want to make your ESL classes as awesome as possible, keep reading for my top 10 tips.
How to Teach English-Jeremy Harmer
Read this book. How to Teach English is like the ESL Teaching Bible and I actually find it shocking that not everyone has read it. It’s perfect for the newbie because it just gives you the straight goods, minus all the fluff (kinda like this blog?). Plus, plenty of practical things that you can use directly in your classrooms.
It can be kind of tempting when you’re first starting out to think that teaching involves you being the center of attention all the time. This is called teacher-centred learning or teaching. For language acquisition, this isn’t the best way. Instead, get on the student-centered teaching wagon and try to get your students talking as much as possible. I usually do a little 2-3 minute grammar or vocab lesson, quickly set-up an activity and let the student go at it with their partner or in a small group. Then we do a very quick wrap-up as a class. For more details about student-centred teaching see this post over on my other blog: 5 Tips for Making Student-Centred Classrooms.
Mix It Up-Activities
Just because game X or activity Y worked for you last class doesn’t mean that you should use them in the next one, and the next one. There are a million and one things you can get your students doing so vary it up to keep things interesting and engaging. Think about it like this-when you work-out, if you do the same thing over and over, your body will adjust and you won’t make fitness gains like you used to. Learning a language is the same and students need to be challenged with different games and activities in their ESL classes. For lots of activities, look in the menu bar at the top of this site under “adults” and “kids.”
Mix it Up-Partners
Students often end up sitting next to the same person each class but this isn’t ideal for a whole lot of reasons such as errors becoming entrenched, the terrible student burden not getting spread around everyone and it doesn’t reflect real-life where you have to talk to a variety of people. I teach my students twice a week, so the first day I let them choose their partner and the next time I assign them a random one.
Languages are learned through repetition and if you do something only once, your students will likely have a pretty difficult time remembering it. Help them out by reviewing throughout the semester.
Use a Textbook
Textbooks are written by smart people, edited by professionals and ultimately published by companies that have been in the business for years. Their plan for how to teach students English is quite likely going to be better than yours, especially if you’re a very inexperienced teacher. Just use the book, but be sure to interject a bit of your flair into it. In my opinion, the best 4-skills English textbook ever written (for high-school students/adults) is 4 Corners. Trust me. You won’t regret using this one.
Professional Development-Do It
The best teachers are those who are engaged in developing themselves professionally. You can do this in various ways such as starting a blog about teaching, reflective practice, or attending meetings and conferences for English teachers. Here’s a post where I talk about this: Professional Development for ESL Teachers-Start your Own Website.
Pay Attention to the Small Stuff
Sure, the big things like designing a curriculum or evaluation are important but you often won’t have any control over that. Instead, what you can control is the small stuff so be sure to get it right. I’m talking about things like eye contact and avoiding a “dead-zone,” making the best use of class time by not doing “fillers,” and not putting students on the spot in a way that can embarrass them.
Avoid the ESL Teacher Burn-Out
It happens to the best of us. We teach too many classes or have really unmotivated students and before we know it, we’re totally burnt out. Avoid it by having very strict boundaries between home and work and also by having hobbies and friends outside of work. And never forget: a bad day at work does not mean you are a terrible person, or a terrible teacher. You can bounce back tomorrow! See this post: Korean University Students-Your Problem is not my Problem.
Graded Language-You Should Use It
I’ve seen plenty of teachers over my years teaching English in Korea who don’t use graded language. They just speak to their students “native-speaker” style and think that their students should either sink or swim. They usually sink, which really isn’t helpful for anyone. Instead, you should try to speak at a level that is just slightly above the level of the students, in terms of speed, grammar and vocabulary.
To Sum It Up
It really is easy to make your ESL classes awesome by following these simple tips. Good luck and leave a comment with what you’re going to do to make your ESL classes even more awesome in the coming week.
On a recent trip to Busan, I found myself fixated on the idea of visiting Jagalchi Fish Market. I knew absolutely nothing about the market but a few weeks earlier had spotted it as a tiny dot on a map and ever since, had an intense desire to explore it. I learned, once visiting the market and subsequently reading its history, that Jagalchi is the largest seafood market in all of Korea and was established as the Korean War ended.
The market proved fascinating, with one booth after another offering squirming varieties of every kind of live seafood imaginable, tables of dried squid and fish carcasses, bowls of live sea urchins, and hot griddles with today’s catch fried and ready to eat. After winding my way through the outdoor bazaar, I assumed my exploration was at an end and almost called it quits when I spotted an official looking sign hanging outside a large two-story building that read “Jagalchi Fish Market.” Inside were impressive stalls, much cleaner and larger than their outdoor counterparts, showcasing a wide selection of live seafood. After working through some language barriers, I learned from a vendor that any live seafood I picked out and paid for downstairs would be cleaned and prepared as I waited and then brought with me upstairs to be cooked and eaten.
Excited by the prospect of enjoying some of the freshest fish possible, I selected a feisty snow crab which would be steamed and an incredibly ugly Korean flatfish (actually called an Olive Flounder), half of which they would serve raw as sushi and half which would be grilled. Once we negotiated a price, the vendor cleaned my fish and escorted me upstairs, live crab in tow. I assumed a seat overlooking the water and in just a few short minutes time enjoyed an incredibly fresh meal with banchan (Korean side dishes) aplenty. Thankful I trusted my instinct about exploring the market, I walked back through the outdoor stalls, stopping to watch a Korean gentleman sharpening hand-made knives and picked one up as a token of the experience.
Jagalchi Fish Market
Hours: 8:00AM – 10:00PM (closed the first and third Tuesday of every month)
Address: 52, Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan (Nampo-dong 4-ga)
부산광역시 중구 자갈치해안로 52 (남포동4가)
Getting There: Jagalchi Station (Busan subway line 1), Exit 10. Turn right onto Jagalchi 3(sam)-gil Street. Walk for 5min, then turn left to arrive at Jagalchi Market.
Sometimes you need to be a bit creative to find things to do during a long, uneventful day. Keykat and I went to play at the park, but after going on the same slide over and over she started to feel a bit bored. I had a good idea to pass the time, so I thought. But Keykat didn't really like my idea.
This week's video is an intermediate level lesson, so I'd only recommend watching it if you feel comfortable with this level. It's a bit more difficult than beginning level concepts.
Remember that there are free PDFs available for every "Learn Korean" episode, and each contains additional information or examples not covered in the video.
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This video takes you along with me through the streets and waters of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Langkawi and Penang! Special thanks to my Malaysian friends and hosts: Kristy, Edwin, KT, Denise, Amanda and Marcus. My trip wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing without you!
Rooms, or “bangs” as it’s translated into Korean, form a huge part of the entertainment industry in Korea. Koreans love to spend time with their friends, lovers or family in these rooms that offer much more privacy. Some of the most popular of these are places like noraebang (Korean karaoke), or PC bang, which is an Internet cafe where people mostly enjoy computer games.
This is probably the most common, and the most popular, form of bang in Korea. This is a place where people can sing their hearts out for a minimum of 1 hour (the time depends on the place). Usually, the noraebangs will charge per hour (costs about 15,000 won to 25,000 won per hour, depending on the area and the timing of the day).
The owner of the place may decide to give free minutes if the noraebang is emptier than usual at that time of the day, so it’s wiser to go in the afternoon if you’re really into singing!
You can find noraebangs literally anywhere in the country, but areas such as Hongdae, Gangnam, Sinchon and Sincheon have a very high density of noraebangs (generally places with universities or offices have a lot of them).
Note that the drinks/water that the noraebang have on sale are generally much more expensive than market price. You’d usually be quite thirsty after a few rounds of passionate singing, and you’d have no choice but to purchase these overpriced drinks (some places offer free ice cream though, which is always a plus).
Noraebangs are known to close very late, or don’t close at all (many of them run 24 hours).
One of the most luxurious and famous noraebang franchise is the SU Noraebang. While SU Noraebang offers great facilities, acoustics and a free flow of drinks and popcorns for just a thousand won, it is also special in a sense that it offers single-person-karaoke room. Usually noraebang is a place you go with your friends or colleagues, but if you’re really into singing and can’t find someone to go with, SU Noraebang is never a place you would feel awkward at. Here, and other noraebangs with modern facilities, you can even record your singing and have it sent to your email or your phone!
2. PC Bang
PC Bangs are also one of the most popular forms of “bang”s in Korea. These are like Internet cafés where users can use the computers for a fee (usually less than 1,500 won per hour, but depends on the area).
The computers in the PC Bangs are much faster than the average computers that are lying around in your house, which makes them perfect for graphic-intensive games that are popular in Korea such as League of Legends, Starcraft 2 or FIFA Online.
Food and drinks are essential in any PC Bang; many people spend hours in here so they would need sustenance to keep them going!
Same with noraebangs, you can find PC Bangs literally anywhere. The nearest PC Bang from you (assuming you’re in a city) is probably 5 minutes walk away.
3. Playstation Bang
This is very similar to PC Bangs, except that the computers are replaced by Sony’s very popular Playstation consoles.
But because Playstation consoles are much more expensive than computers, Playstation Bangs also tend to cost more than PC Bangs. For these, the cost varies a lot, depending on what type of games you borrow, as well as the area you are in. In general, Playstation Bangs near university areas (Sinchon, Kondae, Hongdae or Edae) tend to be much cheaper.
4. DVD Bang
DVD Bang is for people who want to feel the cinematic experience again, but the movie they want to watch isn’t showing in theatres.
Many of these facilities are equipped with large screens and state-of-the-art audio system. However, one thing to take note is that by law, minors cannot enter DVD Bangs.
At any normal DVD Bang, you can request for a title that you want to watch, but if the movie exceeds the time limit of 2 hours, you have to pay an extra charge. DVD Bangs have become less popular these days with the introduction of the no-minor-entry legislation.
These have become more and more popular these days. Given the nature of pubs (which are generally very noisy and rowdy, and gets worse as people become more inebriated), people want more privacy and peace, as well as the freedom to make as much noise as they want.
These room pubs are generally more expensive than normal pubs. There is usually no entry fee, but the menus that they offer are priced approximately 20-30% higher than what you would expect at a normal bar or pub.
Some room pubs also offer opportunities for people in different rooms to meet new people in other rooms.
6. Boardgame Bang
Boardgame Bangs or boardgame cafés have become incredibly popular in Korea, and isn’t that much different from the usual boardgame cafes that you would find in other countries. They offer a wide collection of different boardgames that you could probably spend hours on, together with food and beverages to refuel yourselves.
Boardgame bangs aren’t as common as other types of bangs, as they are a bit more niche than others and target a rather smaller, younger audience. You would find more boardgame cafes and bangs near university areas (Hongdae, Sinchon or near Ewha).
A popular boardgame café is Fun Café located in Sinchon.
The Multi-bang is a loanword from English; they offer a combination of many of the forms of entertainment mentioned above, such as console games, computer games, movies, alcohol as well as food and beverages. They have been decreasing in their popularity recently however, due to the regulation that disallows minors from entering these premises.
If you’d like to experience what a multi-bang is like, and would like to have a great time with your friends, you can check out Multi Plus at Hongdae!
That was a brief summary of the “rooms” culture in Korea. Hope you have a chance to visit some of them the next time you’re here!
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