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Japan ii: The first night

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We checked in around 8 PM at J-Hoppers Hostel in Fukushima after a 70 minute ride on the JR line from the airport.  I thought that we had all booked spaces in the mixed dorms, but my friends had gone ahead and booked a triple room for themselves.  J-Hoppers offered me a space in the ladies only dorm and I took it hastily.  The dorms are small but the beds (bunk-beds) are really comfortable.  There are several showers and bathrooms and it's pretty clean.  

After resting, changing, and freshening up for all of about 20 minutes we were ready to check out what the Fukushima area had to offer.

The road on which J-Hoppers is situated is packed with tiny, adorable Japanese bars and restaurants.  We popped into an Izakaya (Japanese Tapas [small plates]) bar and within minutes we were off to the races on the Shochu tap.  Shochu is not Sake and it's not Soju.  It can be made from rice or grain product as well as potatoes (there are sweet potato varieties too) and molasses among others.  Kampai.

We were served these soba noodles and at that point didn't understand that there was a cover charge and this was all we were going to get for it.  Be careful!  There are typically cover charges at all restaurants and tax is excluded (unlike Korea to which we have grown accustomed).

Ham and Eggs over Japan-easy.


Tofu with bonito flakes that looked like they were alive.

This Sweet Potato was hard.  It was not my favourite.

Chicken Karrage - basically just Japanese Fried Chicken.  Super tasty.

Grilled Chicken.

Les Gars

We made friends with the table next to us and I learned some key Japanese terms.  Armed with a little lingo and a little liquid courage we made the decision to head out on the town for real.

The crazy subway system.  The Subway and JR are different tickets and no, you may not use a Subway ticket just anywhere you have to use it at the point of purchase.

After what felt like an eternity we got to the Dotonbori (bori means canal) area.  This is where you'll see the Glico Running Man (the symbol of a candy company that has basically become THE symbol of the Dotonbori in Osaka).  There are many theatres in this area, as well as a number of cafes, bars, and restaurants.  There is also a Forever 21 in this area for all those expats in Korea looking for Forever 21.  There's an H&M too - I popped my head in there but the prices were actually 3x as much for the exact same pieces in Korea.  Japan is expensive.



We ran into some other expats who are DJ's and promoters in Osaka.  They took us to a club that was in a building that looked like really snazzy offices.  Up to an unspecified floor we went where cover was 6 Yen inclusive of a drink.  Being that it was a Wednesday night the place wasn't exactly packed but seats were plentiful, the LED light show was cool, and we met some rad people.

After leaving the club we went through Shinsaibashi to find food and soak up the atmosphere for a while.  The area was entirely devoid of human interaction which is so bizarre - even in my little area of Busan (Hwamyeong) on any given night you'll see people out and about socializing.

In the light of day our cute little Izayaka bar was nearly unrecognizable.  We took our already weary selves to the subway to start what would become: "Osaka in just one day".

81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

I’m sure you want your ESL speaking classes to be as awesome as possible. Everybody does! Here are my top 81 tips to help you do that. Ready for great classes in the future? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you follow these tips!


1.What’s your Target Language? Be clear about the aims of your lesson. “Practicing speaking” isn’t enough. Something more specific like, “Introduce and practice 5 feeling words,” or “Practice using the simple past in conversation” is much better.


2.Change Speaking Partners Often– It’s boring to talk to the same person all the time! Avoid it as much as possible.


3.Set the Context- Students need to learn new vocab or grammar in context, so give them a real-life situation where they could actually use it. It’ll make your lesson way more memorable.


4.Start Class off on the Right Foot- This is something I seriously struggle with, but perhaps I’ve picked up a few tips along the way. More details in a post over at My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.


5.Teach Students How to Ask Question- Take some off the pressure off yourself to always be carrying the conversation. Check out this video: Teaching Students to Ask Questions.


6.Pause Often- Give students ample thinking time. It might take them a while to process and produce something in a language that’s not their own.


7.Do some task-based learning projects. More details about task-based learning in this post.


8.Join this Facebook group if you teach preschool kids: ESL/EFL Preschool Teachers.


9.Go Student Centered Style- It’s better for you and also for the students. Everyone wins! Check out: Making your ESL Classes Student Centered on YouTube.


10.Big Picture First- Give students the big overview before you get into the finer points.


11.Play the Odd One Out Warm-Up Game– It’s perfect for introducing just about any topic.


12.Use Role-Plays-They’re fun, student-centered and can help build some confidence in your students. I talk about using role-plays in this short video.


13.Get this book: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+)


14.Review Vocabulary- This will help out your students a lot because you need to hear a word many, many times before you can actively recall and use it. Here’s one of my favorite vocab review games.


15.Play a Warm-Up Game-How about Just a Minute?


16.Have a Routine- Perfect for children and useful for adults too! More details about having a routine in this post.


17.Get 40+ ESL games and activities, delivered straight to your inbox.

18.Be Patient-I once had a Korean teacher who would only give me about 1/4 second before just answering the question herself. It was so frustrating! Silence is okay. Be patient and wait for students to answer.


19.Give some Feedback-Your students will love it that you’re actually helping them get better at English speaking. Whenever I’ve done surveys, many of my students have listed this as their #1 expectation of me.


20.Use the textbook- You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. There’s likely lots of good stuff in the book that you can use in class.


21.Play some Board Game- This is one of my favorite things to do in ESL speaking class. They’re guaranteed to get your students engaged, active and having fun in English class. I talk about board games for ESL students in this short video.


22.Use Google Drive- It’ll make your life way easier if you can recycle things from year to year. Something like an “intro” game can be used again, and again, and again.


23.Show and Tell– It’s not just for kids! Everyone can do it.


24.Practice Small Talk with Your Students- Here’s my favorite ESL Small Talk Activity.


25.Provide a demonstration of the language- Students learn best by seeing and then doing.


26.Review often- It’s better that students know a few things well than a million things not really at all. Review lots and help them out.


27.Be Serious Sometimes- Your speaking classes don’t always need to be fun. Learning English is difficult! Resist the temptation to be an edutainer.


28.Play Never Have I Ever- It’s not just a drinking game!


29.Join this Facebook group: Resources for English Teachers.


30.Use Graded Language- Remember to adapt your language in terms of how fast you speak, the vocab you use as well as how difficult your grammar is so that the students will be able to understand you.


31.Incorporate some public speaking into your classes. It’s a useful life skill! Check out: How to Teach Public Speaking and Presentations.


32.Make Instructions Clear-Use ICQs (instruction checking questions).


33.Start with an Awesome Lesson Plan- 2 Lesson plans for advanced level adult students.


34.Focus on Communication- If students can get their message across and be understood, they’ve accomplished something.


35.Get this book: 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults.

36.Use CCQ’s (concept checking questions).


37.Don’t Correct All Errors- Students will get frustrated and you will too. Instead, focus on those that involve the target language for that lesson.


38.Engage Apathetic Students- My top 5 tips here.


39.Follow me on Twitter- @Bolen_Jackie


40.Focus on Fluency as well as Accuracy- Have some activities where the goal is to simply speak quickly and not worry too much about making mistakes.


41.Correct Errors as a Class- Instead of singling someone out, you can say at the end of an activity, “I heard someone say XYZ, but it should have been ABC.”


42.Don’t Expect Miracles- Sure, you can help the students but don’t beat yourself up if they’re not making massive progress especially if you have a big class that you only see for an hour or two a week.


43.Use a Great Textbook! ESL textbook reviews (children). ESL textbook reviews (adults).


44.Praise Liberally- Students respond well to positive reinforcement.


45.Follow this board on Pinterest: Teaching ESL.


46.Use a Discussion Starter. Here’s my top 10 list of discussion starters for children, and Top 10 Discussion Starters for Adults.


47.Make a Lesson Plan- Use this ESL lesson planning template.


48.Have your Students do a Presentation-Fun for you, useful for the students. Presentation Project Ideas.


49.Use Surveys- They are one of the best ways to get your students up out of their seats and talking to their classmates.


50.Play Charades-It’s a classic one for a reason!


51.Remind Students of Who/What/When/Why/Where/how- They’re really useful in conversation!


52.Get this book: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults


53.Use Flashcards- For kids, flashcards are pure gold in terms of what you can do with them.


54.Practice Pronunciation- Use this fun game!


55.Incorporate listening and reading into your class. It’s all tied together and you can’t really become fluent in speaking without a grounding in the other stuff.


56.Give Students Thinking Time-It’ll make that discussion time even better.


57.Rock-Scissor-Paper- Kids love it and you can also turn it into a fun ESL Speaking Activity.


58.Help Students Get to Know Each Other- Use the “My World” introduction activity.


59.Encourage Respect- When you’re talking, everyone is listening. Same with another student.


60.Follow this board on Pinterest: ESL Speaking Games, Activities and Resources.


61.Encourage Students-It’s hard to speak in English! Praise even small efforts.


62.Attend a Conference- Learn a few new tips and tricks from experienced teachers.


63.Have some Fun with Can/Can’t. Play this guessing game.


64.Do the CELTA- Learn how to teach so you can feel more confident in the classroom.


65.Read How to Teach Speaking– By Jeremy Harmer, it’s a classic for those new to teaching ESL.


66.Use Toilet Paper in Your Class. Here’s how.


67.Teach your Students about Relative Clauses- Here’s a fun game you can play to practice them.


68.Be Kind-Never make fun of students for the mistakes they make.


69.Learn a Language Yourself-Remember what it’s like to be be in the student’s shoes.


70.Encourage Risk-Taking-You can’t learn a language without making plenty of mistakes.


71.Like ESL Speaking on Facebook: all kinds of ideas for your ESL speaking classes.


72.Maintain a Positive Atmosphere- Don’t let students make fun of other students for their poor English ability in your class.


73.Follow this board on Pinterest: ESL Speaking for Children.


74.Make it Student-Directed- Let them have a say in the topics you study.


75.Smaller Groups and Pairs is Best- Maximize student talking time by generally avoiding discussions with the entire class.


76.Sing a Song- One of my favorites is “If I Had a Million Dollars.”


77.Teach Formal and Informal Speaking- Students will need to know both, depending on the circumstance so point this out, if relevant.


78.Use the “Do You Like to ____?” activity.


79.Don’t Interrupt- If students are doing an activity with a small group or partner, just observe but don’t get involved in the conversation.


80.Draw a Picture- It’s a classic ESL speaking activity.


81.Use Kindness- If students are speaking in the L1, kindly remind them to speak in English and they usually will. Getting angry won’t help you.


I hope your ESL speaking classes are even more awesome! Please leave your #1 down in the comments below.

The post 81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome appeared first on .

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

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Korean RPG: How to Order Food

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Here's the very first episode of "Korean RPG," a series for learning quick and easy Korean words and phrases for a variety of situations.

In this week's episode, we'll cover how to order food in a restaurant.

Check out the video below! You can also review using the RPG's dialogue written out underneath the video.

아... 정말 배고파. (a... jeong-mal bae-go-pa.)
Ah... I'm so hungry.

뭐 먹지? (mwo meok-ji?)
What do I eat?

아! 여기 뭐 있는지 볼까? (a! yeo-gi mwo in-neun-ji bol-kka?)
Ah! Should I see what's here?

저기요! (jeo-gi-yo!)
Excuse me!

네, 뭐 드릴까요? (ne, mwo deu-ril-kka-yo?)
Yes, what can I get you?

샌드위치 2개 하고요... (saen-deu-wi-chi du-gae ha-go-yo...)
2 sandwiches and...

사이다 주세요. (sa-i-da ju-se-yo.)
... a soda, please.

그리고 치킨 1마리도 주세요. (geu-ri-go chi-kin han ma-ri-do ju-se-yo.)
And give me a chicken too, please.

김치도 많이 주세요. (gim-chi-do ma-ni ju-se-yo.)
Give me a lot of kimchi too, please.

그리고 라면도 하나요. (geu-ri-go ra-myeon-do ha-na-yo.)
And a ramen.

네, 알겠습니다. (ne, al-get-seum-ni-da.)
Okay, I got it.

아! 음식이 너무 많다! (a! eum-si-gi neo-mu man-ta!)
Ah! There's too much food!

그래도 먹을 수 있어! (geu-rae-do meo-geul su i-seo!)
Still, I can eat it!

아, 배부르다! (a, bae-bu-reu-da!)
Ah, I'm full!

계산해 주세요! (gye-san-hae ju-se-yo!)
Please total up the bill!

90,000원입니다. (gu-man-won-im-ni-da.)
That'll be 90,000 won.

저... 돈이 좀 부족한 거 같아요. (jeo... don-i jom bu-jok-an geo ga-ta-yo.)
I... don't have enough money.

뭐라고요! (mwo-ra-go-yo!)

저기, 누구 있어요? (jeo-gi, nu-gu i-seo-yo?)
Is anyone there?

점심 시간입니다. (jeom-sim si-gan-im-ni-da.)
It's lunch time.

아! 정말 배고파요! 점심은 뭐예요? (a! jeong-mal bae-go-pa-yo! jeom-sim-eun mwo-ye-yo?)
Ah! I'm so hungry! What's lunch?

어디 보자.... (eo-di bo-ja....)
Let's see....

샌드위치 2개 하고 사이다 하나... (saen-deu-wi-chi du-gae ha-go sa-i-da ha-na...)
2 sandwiches and a soda...

그리고 치킨 1마리하고 김치... (geu-ri-go chi-kin han ma-ri-ha-go gim-chi...)
And a chicken with kimchi...

아, 그리고 라면도 있네요. (a, geu-ri-go ra-myeon-do in-ne-yo.)
Ah, and hey there's ramen too.

아! 식당에서 주문한 것과 똑같잖아! (a! sik-dang-e-seo ju-mun-han geot-gwa ttok-gat-ja-na!)
Ah! That's the same stuff I ordered at the restaurant!

The post Korean RPG: How to Order Food appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Like Free Stuff? Enter for a chance to Win 1 of 3 Profs Abroad Memberships

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Enter for your chance to win some awesome. The contest ends in 5 days, so bali-bali!

Speaking of even more awesome, did you know that this blog has moved?

Go to the new and improved My Life! Teaching in a Korean University.

Enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 free Profs Abroad Memberships

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Profs Abroad

Profs Abroad

If you’re looking for a university job teaching English somewhere in the world, then the site you can’t really afford not to join is Profs Abroad. It’s pure gold because it compiles jobs from tons of other sites into a single, easy to search one.

It can save you quite literally a hundred hours when you’re searching for a university job teaching ESL.

Now, the best news for you! I’m giving away 3 free memberships, but the contest ends on August 13th so be sure to sign-up now.  Bali-Bali, as the Koreans would say.

Click this link to enter the Profs Abroad Giveaway

Now, the next best thing. Once you sign-up, share your lucky link with friends and if one of them enters the contest because of it, you’ll get 5 more entries into the contest. How could you not win if you got even 3 or 4 friends to sign-up? It’d be pretty difficult I’d imagine.

Ready? Go! Sign-up now.

The post Enter for your chance to win 1 of 3 free Profs Abroad Memberships appeared first on .

Single K women overwhelmingly in support of same-sex marriage, 50% of Single men against

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The matchmaking website Duo surveyed 616 people from the 25th of July to the 1st of August asking about their opinions in relation to the legalization of same-sex marriage. 69.3% of unmarried women agreed with the statement "Same-sex marriage is acceptable." while 50.2% of men were against gay marriage.

Married Korean couple at Seoul Pride, 2015
When asked about the reasons for supporting same-sex marriage, the majority of respondents stated that "It is a personal choice to marry who you wish"(67.5%). This was followed with "Sexual preference is determined by nature"(13.6%), and "In order to work toward ending social discrimination of minorities"(12%).

The reasons against same-sex marriage were more varied, including "It could aggravate confusion about one's personal sexual identity"(21.9%), "It could cause social confusion"(21%), and "Sexual preference is a learned behavior"(14.7%). 12.5% of respondents replied "I dislike same-sex marriage for no particular reason."

The survey also asked how you would react if you learned that a family member, friend, or acquaintance was gay. 27.9% of respondents replied that they would treat the person as before; the most common response for women was "I would understand and support them"(36.4%) with men responding "I would seriously find out more and think about it."

Only 12.8% of men responded that they have met someone who has come out whereas 48.3% of women have. While causality cannot really be determined with this type of study, the correlation between knowing someone who has come out and supporting same-sex marriage is clear.

In #Korea it’s traditional to have seaweed soup on your...

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In #Korea it’s traditional to have seaweed soup on your #birthday so my sweet coworker made me some! (at Busan South Korea)

from Tumblr


Gon’ party like it’s yo’ birfday…

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Gon’ party like it’s yo’ birfday…

from Tumblr

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