Sunday, May 29, 2005


I thought I'd invented a new word but someone's beaten me to it. *crestfallen sigh*

The weather's beautiful. I know we Brits are famous for starting every conversation with a comment about the weather, but today's too nice not to mention. Not too hot, not too cold, and the sky's a surprisingly clear blue. It's the kind of weather that in most (developed) countries would see people flock to the park to kick a ball around with friends, maybe play frisbee, maybe sit under a tree with a good book or just hang out. Well, despite a few so-called "parks", Busan is sadly still lacking in that area - there's no green public space at all.

날씨가 너무 좋다. 우리 영국인이 날씨에 대한 말을 해서 이야기를 시작하는 것으로 유명한 건 알고 있지만 오늘은 화제가 오르지 않다면 안 된다. 너무 따뜻하지 않고 너무 춥지 않고 하늘이 놀랍게 맑은 하늘색이다. 대부분의 (선진) 나라에서 사람들이 친구랑 축구하거나 프리즈비를 던지거나 아마 나무밑에 앉아 책 읽거나 그냥 머물으러 공원으로 몰려들일 텐데. 그럼 이름바 "공원"이란 몇 곳에도 불구하고 이것에 관해서라면 슬퍼게도 부산은 아직 부족한데 공공의 도시공원녹지가 전혀 없다.

However, don't let's forget the beach!
그렇지만 해수욕장을 잊지 마자!

Yesterday, with a friend's help I managed to become a member of Haeundae Public Library - a real haven from the crowds and traffic of undeniably "Dynamic Busan"! So, book in one hand, shoes in the other, I carted myself down to the seafront.

어제는 친구의 도움으로 시립해운대도서관 회원이 된 걸 해냈는데 이곳은 "다이내믹 부산"의 많은 사람들과 교통량에서 먼 안식처군. 그래서 한 손에 책을, 다른 한 손에는 구두를 들고 있으며 해변으로 갔다.

Korean - concordancing / 국어

Type new words/phrases into or (or even Google Korea). That is, if you want to see how a new word or phrase is actually used in context, type it into a Korean search engine (as if it were a concordancer). A look at the list of search results can often help you work out which words are commonly associated with it, or at least give you plenty of examples of use, which should help you use it more naturally.

새로운 단어를 네이버나 다음에다 적어 넣어라. 즉, 새로운 단어가 문맥에서는 어떻게 사용되는 방법을 이해하려면 (어구 색인이듯) 한국 검색 엔진에다 적어 넣어라. 검색결과를 보니 흔히 관련하는 단어도 보이거나 적어도 사용의 충분한 예를 든다. 이게 단어를 더 자연스럽게 사용할 도워줄 것이다. (여러분 영어를 공부하고 있으면 진짜 어구 색인(concordancer)을 사용할 수도 있다. 예를 들어 Lexical Tutor가 나쁘지 않다.)

For example: I've just come across the word 미련 ['mi-ryeon']. According to Yahoo's Korean-English Dictionary, it means "lingering affection; regret; reluctance to give something up". Hmm, of course.

예를 들면 "미련"이란 단어를 지금 찾았는데 야후의 한영사전에 따라 "질질 끄는 애정; 후회; 뭘 양보할 꺼림"이라는 뜻이 있는데... 음, 물론~

Clicking the 국어사전 [Korean (monolingual) Dictionary] tab gives me perhaps a better definition, "딱 잘라 단념하지 못하는 마음" [a feeling that you can't completely cut out and abandon].

Let's clarify it with a search. These are common results from Naver:
검색으로 명백히 하자. 다음은 네이버에서 온 흔히 있는 결과들다.

[인간관계] 헤어진 남자, 미련 없애는 법
[Relationships: Guys who've broken up with someone - How to get rid of your 'mi-ryeon']
(We'd say something like, "How to get over her")

[여성] 헤어진 여자친구와의 미련없애는 방법
[Women: Girls who've broken up with someone - How to get rid of your 'mi-ryeon']

[여성] 좋아하는 여자한테 미련이 남습니다.. 도와주세요
[Women: I still have 'mi-ryeon' for a girl I like... Can you help?]
(We'd likely say, "I'm still in love with~" or "I can't get over her")

[여성] 미련 버리지 못했습니다. 벌써 2년이 흘럿습니다..
[Women: I can't get rid of my 'mi-ryeon'. It's been 2 years already...]

[사람과 그룹] 이게 미련일까요 사랑일까요?
[Individuals and groups: Is this 'mi-ryeon' or love?]
(We might say, "Is this just a lingering attachment or~")

Scrolling down the page shows up a few more 미련한 사랑s and 미련을 버리다s.
페이지 상하로 움직이며 또 다른 예를 보인다.

There are plenty of examples for you to work out the patterns for yourself. And besides, you've just seen the word 8 times (9 if you've been reading the Korean translation as well!), which probably doesn't hurt when it comes to remembering it!

홀로 모범.패턴을 발견할 풍분한 예들이 있다. 게다가 더 잘 기억에 남기 위해선 그 단어를 8번이나 봤다.

P.S. I realise Daum means 'next' (like the 'forward' tab on the web browser) but what about Naver? Do you think it could be just a mis-spelling of 'neighbour'? Otherwise, what's a Naver?

Saturday, May 28, 2005

EFL - pronunciation3 - intonation and stress / 영어 발음 도움3

For those of you who've been somewhere else, here are the first two parts of this post:
Part 1 - linking ; Part 2 - rhythm


"some expressions or words can have as many as 9 or more different meaning or connotations depending on how they are said"

This is the kind of lesson that you can and should get fired up about!

Some classes clam up for the first few minutes. A warmer activity really helps with this one. Perhaps try teaching them a short singing technique (if you're musically inclined), 'lah'-ing up and down a scale, then a slightly higher scale and a third one, to get them all using their voice - and in a range of pitches. Or tell them you've had a song in your head all day and teach them the chorus, and get them to sing or 'lah' along. [Sometimes singing a few notes to yourself before class makes your intonation far more listenable! It's also a great technique to use before a job interview.]

If the teacher is exaggerating their intonation in this lesson, the class is more likely to join in (and enjoy it!). The idea hinges around making the learners aware of the link between feelings and intonation, and then convincing them to let their feelings out in a very dramatic fashion (keeping it role-played is more structured and liberating for them) for the duration of the class. The more they exaggerate, the better.

Try saying the following in five different ways.
- Goodbye
- Hello
- How are you?
- Do we have to speak English, teacher?
- I never watch TV

When they've started to realise the possibilities:

Me: John, say "Hello" to me
John: "Hello" (neutral, polite tone)
Me: John, now say "Hello" to a friend
John: "Hello" (much more upbeat tone)
Me: John, say "Hello" to a 6-month-old-baby!!!
John: "Hello" (contorted face, exaggerated fall-rise tone, etc)

Note: Much of the "extra" meaning will derive also from facial expression and even body-language.

Give out the first role play and ask them to try it in pairs:


A: What's your name?
B: Marcus.
A: Where are you from?
B: I'm from the U. S.
A: What do you do?
B: I'm a medical student.

Give them the following situations one by one and again ask them to practise them in pairs, reversing the roles after each turn:

i) B's a new student at the language school that A attends.
ii) To be said as quickly as possible.
iii) A's a customs official and B's suitcase is secretly full of illegal substances.
iv) To be said in as deep a voice as possible.

Then give out the second dialogue and go through the situations below.


A: I have something to tell you.
B: What is it?
A: I'm going to have a baby.
B: No.

i) B is A's mother. A's 16 years old.
ii) They're a 60-something couple.
iii) B is A's best friend. And A's male.
iv) To be communicated with gestures and facial expressions only.

(adapted from Counihan)

Rhythm revisited:

Practising the regular 3(pause)-3(pause)-2-2-3 rhythm of limericks can be a useful method of getting learners used to the (fairly) regular rhythm of spoken English and, moreover, it's good practice of fitting all those unstressed syllables into the spaces between stresses!

Bugs Bunny was cheating at Ludo,
So Daffy Duck floored him with judo.
Elma Fudd got his shooter,
Shot Bugs in the hooter,
And created a novelty version of Cluedo.

They weren't sure that Jack was insane,
When they put him in charge of the train,
But now they're convinced,
'Cause the train has been minced.
They should have known after the plane...

For advanced levels, Robert Louis Stevenson's rhythmic evocation of a train ride From a Railway Carriage works in much the same way:

"Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;..."

New Information Stress:

In response to a wh-question, the information supplied is stressed. Otherwise said, "it is pronounced with more breath force, since it is more prominent against a background given information in the question."

Also, these questions can be answered by just giving the new information. (Information given in the question may be omitted.)

a) What's your NAME?
b) (My name's) MIchael.

a) Where are you FROM?
b) (I'm from) ENgland.

a) Where do you LIVE?
b) (I live) in auSTRAlia.

a) When does the term END
b) (It ends) in juLY.

Emphatic Stress:

Moving the tonic stress from its sentence-final position to another word emphasises that content word, which is usually a modal auxiliary, an intensifier, an adverb, etc.

i. It was very BOring. (unmarked)
ii. It was VEry boring. (emphatic)

i. You mustn't talk so LOUDly. (unmarked)
ii. You MUSTN'T talk so loudly. (emphatic)

Some are emphatic by nature:
indeed, utterly, absolute, terrific, tremendous, awfully, terribly, great, grand, really, definitely, truly, literally, extremely, surely, completely, barely, entirely, very (adverb), very (adjective), quite, too, enough, pretty, far, especially, alone, only, own, -self.

Contrastive Stress:

Here, any word in a sentence can hold the tonic stress as long as the word can be contrasted with another.

A) Do you like this one or THAT one?
B) I like THIS one.

Or in a longer sentence:
She didn't steal your red hat! (It wasn't her.)
She didn't steal your red hat! (Emphatic.)
She didn't steal your red hat! (She only borrowed it!)
She didn't steal your red hat! (It wasn't yours.)
She didn't steal your red hat! (It was your blue one.)
She didn't steal your red hat! (It was your red scarf.)

Other examples:
I ordered caviar and champagne.
He played the piano yesterday.

Weak forms revisited:

1) Record sentences before class. Better still, ask someone else to read them without telling them it's for pronunciation.
2) Hand out the, er, hand-out with missing words. Students have to listen for the weak forms and fill in the spaces.

a) I'm going ___ town ___ half ___ hour.
b) I think they ___ gone ___ library.
['ve/to the]
c) They thanked me ___ helping ___ find the money.
d) Last time I saw ___ she ___ on ___ way ___ town.
e) If ___ been sensible ___ listened ___ my teacher.
f) ___ just got a present ___ my father.
g) ___ like ___ glass ___ two ___ water.
h) ___ know ___ Mary is?
i) Last night was went to a place ___ lots of cafes.
[where there were]

(This activity from Michael Vaughn-Rees' excellent book "Pronunciation".)

Accent reduction:

The idea here is that imitating the speech of a good native speaker role model will help learners reduce their accents.

My own self-realised experience of this has resulted in a French accent that, although still noticeably "British" (attractively, by any chance?), receives compliments. When I want to switch to French, I think of a typical French speaker and how they sound - preferably when speaking my native language. (For some reason Jean-Paul Gaultier springs to mind far too easily! Perhaps because I've often heard him speak my first language.)

So, in a rather playful way (and with no disrespect to any French people reading this), I zen joost statt too eemeetate 'ow zey speak een my orn langueege et après quelques secondes, quand je changes de langue, mon accent est vachement plus "français" que si j'avais changé directement entre les deux sans cette étape intermédiaire. [~and after a few seconds, when I switch languages, my accent is a hell of a lot much more "French" than it would have been if I'd changed directly between the two without the middle step.]

I now do the same with Korean too. (Though I have no specific role model yet.) It's bizarre how different my voice sounds even to me when I switch languages!

Here's another example I came across recently by a guy who runs a "Reverse Accent Mimicry" speech clinic. (His role model's Maurice Chevalier, by the way.) As he says, it's spontaneous and immediately effective!

Of course, a strong accent can be beneficial: most people you speak with will simplify their speech if your accent indicates you don't have much of a grip on the language. So there's the downside that if you accent is too good the person you're speaking to may think you to be better at their language than you actually are and quickly leave you behind.

Suggested (accessible) role models here in Korea include the casts of 'Friends' or 'Sex and the City'.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Love-making / 사랑만들기

This from today's Chosun Ilbo [The Daily Land of the Morning Calm]:
오늘의 조선일보에 따라:

Quarter of Korean Students Sexually Active
대학생 28% 성겸험…한달 5번 '사랑만들기'

Little more than a quarter of university students have had sex, and most of those first slept with their partner within six months of meeting them, a Chosun Ilbo survey of university students has found. They limit themselves to about five times a month.
관련 검색어대학생 성경험, 혼전순결 대학생들 10명 중 3명은 성경험이 있고, 이들은 만난지 6개월 내에 첫 성관계를 갖고 한달 평균 5회 가량 사랑을 나누는 것으로 나타났다.

The survey investigated the sexual attitudes of 1,276 students at universities in the Seoul metropolitan area.
본지가 지난 12∼20일 서울과 수도권의 17개 대학에 재학중인 1∼4학년 대학생 1276명을 대상으로 성의식 조사를 한 결과 이같이 드러났다.

Only 354 of the 1,276 -- 27.7 percent -- said they were sexually experienced. About half of them -- 46.3 percent or 164 respondents -- had their first sexual experience when they were 20-21, but a third of the group had their first sexual experiences in middle or high school.
조 사결과에 따르면 1276명 중 354명인 27.7%가 성경험이 있다고 했다. 이중 절반 가량인 46.3%(164명)는 20∼21세에 첫 경험을 가진 것으로 조사됐으나 중-고등학교때에 성경험을 가졌다는 학생도 33.4%나 달해 상당수가 미성년자때 이미 성에 대해 눈을 뜨는 것으로 나타났다.

Of the 175 that said they are having sex, 30 said they thought of their bedfellow as "just a sexual partner."
또 현재도 계속 만나면서 성관계를 갖는 이성이 있다고 답한 175명 중 30명(17.1%)은 파트너가 '단순한 성적 파트너'라고 답을 해 충격을 줬다.

Overall, students appeared fairly liberated in their attitudes, with a robust 61.1 percent (780 respondents) saying they were against the idea of chastity before marriage at least in theory, while 40.9 percent (522 respondents) said it was possible for men and women to live together without getting married. An overwhelming 85.3 percent (1,088 respondents) said they did not think it necessary for two people to get married if they have slept together.
대 학생들은 혼전순결에 대해선 61.1%(780명)가 반대의 입장을 나타내고, 40.9%(522명)는 결혼을 전제하지 않은 이성간의 동거도 가능하다고 답해 확실히 개방적인 성의식을 나타냈다. 또 '성관계를 하면 결혼해야 한다'에는 무려 85.3%(1088명)가 '노(No)'라고 해 전통사회의 성가치관이 완전히 무너졌음을 보여줬다.

Asked if prostitution helps prevent sex crimes such as rape, most men or 51 percent said yes, but most women or 65.5 percent said no.
'집창촌 등을 통한 성매매가 성범죄 예방에 도움을 준다고 생각하느냐'는 질문에 남학생들은 51%가 '예'라고 한 반면, 여학생은 65.5%가 반대해 남녀의 입장차를 분명히 했다.

Respondents revealed gaps in Korea’s sex education, with only 36.8 percent saying such classes were helpful in improving their understanding of sex. Among students who found out about the birds and the bees from other sources, 58.5 percent of women fingered friends, and 55 percent of men the Internet.
36.8%만이 성교육이 성에 대한 이해를 높이는 데 도움이 됐다고 답해 우리나라 성교육에 문제가 있는 것으로 나타났다. 또 성교육 외에 성에 대한 정보를 얻는 경로로 여자는 친구(58.5%), 남자는 인터넷(55.0%)을 꼽았다.

"At a time when open and conservative attitudes toward sex coexist in Korea, we need social agreement concerning the sexual culture of the young and adolescent sex education,” said Prof Kang Suk-ja, a women’s studies expert at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
한국외국어대에서 87년부터 여성학을 강의하고 있는 강숙자 외래교수는 "현재 우리나라는 개방과 보수가 공존하는 시기로 젊은이의 성문화와 청소년들의 성교육에 대해서 사회적인 합의가 필요한 시점"이라고 진단했다. 

Shows how relative the word 'liberated' is, doesn't it? It seems the questions asked were a little odd too - Chosun Ilbo is a conservative broadsheet. Even so, compare this to attitudes back home!!
"개방적"이란 비례하지! 문제도 약간 이상한 것 같지만 조선일보는 보수적인 신문이라서... 그래도 서양나라와 비교하네!!

It came up (sorry) in class and my students (open-minded young adults that they are) reckon 27.7 percent is far too low. Perhaps the phrasing of the questions, the interviewing style or the choice of sample left a lot to be desired....
수업에서 화제가 일어났다. 마음이 넓고 젊은 성인인 내 학생들은 27.7 퍼센트가 너무 낮는 거라고 생각한다. 아마도 질문의 말이나 회견의 방법이나 선택된 면접자들은 유감스러운 점이 좀 있는 것 같은데...

Oh, and just to mention, the writer deserves a prize for this: "Among students who found out about the birds and the bees from other sources, 58.5 percent of women fingered friends..."

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

EFL - Pronunciation1 - linking / 영어 발음 도움 1

This was originally part one of the pronunciation piece I posted last week.

Q. Why teach pronunciation?
A. Among other things, to reduce the sometimes robotic monotony (focus on intonation, stress and weak forms); to improve listening comprehension (focus on linking words). Both of these should also help boost learners' confidence.

It seems most Koreans who grow up learning English learn it from reading; sometimes from teachers with little knowledge of spoken English beyond individual words; from cassette tapes of American speakers reading slowly from scripts; from CNN reporters and their ilk over-zealously following their scripted news; and - alas, alack, and similar underused exclamations - from native speakers who over-enunciate to make themselves understood rather than help the students understand and use natural English.

All very unhelpful. It's not at all surprising that most learners suddenly clam up when confronted with the speed, rhythms and unrecognisable weak forms present in the English used outside the classroom.

Raising learners' awareness of these rhythms and stress/de-stress patterns is the important first step. From there, their listening should become easier and actual pronunciation may improve.



1) Write "the dime" centrally on the board. Explain to students that when they speak English it can be helpful to think of each phrase or sentence as one long word. Ask them to try saying the phrase on the board as one word for practice.
2) When you're happy that they've grasped the idea, add "easier" to the end of the phrase. Give a brief reminder ("One word!") and have them try saying the three words as one.
3) Add "They tell me" to the start of the phrase and repeat.
4) Add "to understand." to the end of the phrase and repeat.
5) By this time the phrase will read, "They tell me the dime easier to understand." Let them play around with it and try it out for themselves for a minute. If after that they're looking confused, write "that I'm" preferably in a different colour under "the dime".
6) You can then show them how (as in spoken Korean) when you have word that ends in a consonant sound then a word that starts in a vowel sound, a 'consonant shift' takes place.

(OK, strictly speaking the hard 'd' in "dime" and the soft 'd' from "that I'm" aren't exactly the same, but it illustrates the shift well. I see no reason why you couldn't use "the time" for British-style English.)

Another example of consonant shift:


1) Write up sentence, "Yesterday I got a potato clock." Ask students to try saying it as one word.
2) After a few attempts, in another colour write this underneath: "Yesterday I got up at eight o'clock." In naturally-spoken English, the pronunciation (except, being pedantic, the schwaed 'a' and the 'u' in "up") is the same, regardless of which variety of English you favour.

(Being unused to linking words like this, the vast majority of students have a hard time pronouncing the second phrase the same as the first.)


In spoken English, if you have a word starting in vowel after a word ending in an 'O' (British English: schwa-u ; North American: ou), 'u:' or 'au' sound, a 'w' appears between the two.
How old is he? /ha wold~/
So am I! /so wa mai/

If the first word ends with an 'ei', 'i:' or 'ai', a 'j' appears between the two.
You say I'm too cheerful? /yu: se jaim~/
See all those folks over there? /si: jol~/

If the first word ends in a silent 'r' (er/ar/or/air/eer and so on), an 'r' is pronounced between the two.
Law and order. /lo: ra no: da/
Beer and chips! /bi: ran~/

Part 2 - Rhythm help
Part 3 - Intonation help

Adam's Awards... / 아담의 수여

... for contributions to Korean language learning among foreigners.
[한국어를 공부하는 외국인에게 도움주기로 수여]

Practical Korean Category
[실지 한국어 범주]

Best phrasebook [회화 편람]: Making Out in Korean

Runner-up for best phrasebook [차점 회화 편람]: Lonely Planet Korean Phrasebook

Best all-in-one course for beginners [잡화(?) 입문 과정]: Survival English by Stephen Revere

Best overall coursebook [과정 책]: Pathfinder in Korean (말이 트이는 한국어)

Culture Category
[문화 범주]

On Cultural Differences [문화차이에 대해]: Ugly Koreans, Ugly Americans

On the Koreans [한국인에 대해]: The Koreans by Michael Breen

Reference Book Category
[참고 도서 범주]

Best Vocabulary Help [언어 확장 도움]: Handbook of Korean Vocabulary

Best Grammar Reference [문법 책]: Korean Grammar for International Learners

Best Dictionary (on-line) [(온라인) 사전]: Yahoo Korean-English Dictionary

Best Dictionary (Korean-English, print) [(인쇄한) 영한-한영 사전]:

still open to nominations

Best Dictionary (Korean, print) [(인쇄한) 국어사전]:

still open to nominations

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Weekend Haiku

Gulls flying brightly -
Sea breeze-whipped sun-rays stroke these
stringless spring kites.


Warm morning brunch -
full cream clouds on the skygazing
hillside, Starbucks green.
- A-da-mu

FW: Missing Traveller

>>Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 19:47:52 +0100
>>This is an urgent request for your help.
>>We need this email to get to as many
>>people as possible and the hope is for it
>>to find its way to the Far East
>>where the likelihood of success is greater.
>>Eddie Gibson is a young man of 20 years.
>>He travelled to Vietnam during a "gap year"
>>in his education.
>>He has subsequently gone missing.
>>He was last heard of in November 2004
>>when he emailed his mother to say he
>>was planning to return to UK from Cambodia
>>on a flight due to leave Bangkok, Thailand on
>>1st November. He was last seen in Phnom Penn.
>>The British Embassy in Phnom Penh have all but
>>given up hope of his safe return. However his
>>mother has, quite rightly, not given up. She hopes
>>that forwarding this to people around the world
>>will result in some positive information as to Eddie's
>>Please help Eddie's mother, Jo Clarke, by sending this on.
>>email any news to:
>>or contact the BRITISH EMBASSY in Phnom
>>Penh (Tel 855 234 27124)
>>Many thanks

Saturday, May 21, 2005

EFL - the Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT)

Might I suggest that this could yield great benefits for the teaching community in Korea - for both 'native speakers' (who should have at least a basic qualification to show they actually know what they're doing in a classroom) and local teachers (many of whom are teaching English in private language schools with just as few qualifications as the 'natives')?

한국의 언어교육(적어도 교실에 뭘 해야 할 지식이 피요하는 영어 원어민도 자주 원어민이랑 같은 무자격 한국선생도)에 매우 유익할 제안을 해도 될까?

The Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) [TKT - (외국어)교육 지식 시험]

It focuses on the core knowledge needed by language teachers (new or experienced) anywhere in the world.
초점은 전세계에 어딘가 있는 (새롭거나 경험된) 언어교수들은 필요하는 중요 지식이다.

Basically, it tests teachers' (and would-be teachers') knowledge of:
-different methodologies for teaching
-the 'language of teaching'
-the ways in which resources can be used
-the key aspects of lesson planning
-classroom management methods for different needs

기초적으로도 시험이 외국어 교수들(과 지망 교수들)의 지식을 다음의 범위들에는 시험하다:
-외국어교육의 방법론들 [교수법?]
-'외국어교육의 언어'
-외국어교육 자원을 사용할 방법들
-레슨 플랜[수업계획]을 만들 요점들
-다른 필요로 학급운영방법들

It also aims to increase teachers' confidence and would be likely to increase job prospects too. As an initial teacher training certificate, it's also an obvious step up towards the Celta, Tesol or Tefl Certificates. 목적은 교수의 자존심을 올리는 거다. 그리고 취업전망도 개선할 것 같다. 초기의 언어교육양성 자격증로 Celta[성인 영어 교육 자격증]나 Tesol[타언어 화자에게 영어 교육 자격증], Tefl[외국어로서의 영어 교육 자격증]으로는 명백한 첫 걸음이네.

There are no formal entry requirements. But Cambridge recommends testees have at least an intermediate level of English. 케임브리지는 수험자에게 적어도 중급 수준의 영어가 있어야 하도록 권한다.

FAQs [질문·회답]
TKT Teaching Resource [자원]

There are 3 modules which can be taken together in one exam session or separately, and in any order. Each module has 80 objective multiple choice questions, lasting 80 minutes. Here's a more detailed description.
모듈 3개가 있고 동시에나 따로따로 그리고 아무 순서에나 따라 시험을 볼 수 있다. 더 상세한 묘사 여기 있다.

Scoring is by band, demonstrating:
1 limited knowledge of TKT content areas
2 basic, but systematic knowledge of TKT content areas
3 breadth and depth of knowledge of TKT content areas
4 extensive knowledge of TKT content areas

Cambridge have also published a book for those studying for it.
또느 케임브리지 출판부 펴낸 TKT를 공부책이 있다.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Ubiquity / 편재(遍在)

Two quick questions for all the English speakers out there: how many times in your life have you heard the word 'ubiquitous' ('유퀴터스')? Oh, and how many of you know what it means? [영어 하는 사람를 위한 질문 하나: 평생에 몇 번이나 "유비퀴터스"란 단어를 들었다? 그리고 몇 명이 뜻을 이해한가??]

Think about it now. [좀 생각해 보세요.]

Here's the answer to the second one: "ubiquitous - adjective - /yu-BI-kwi-tus/ - being or appearing to be in all places at the same time; omnipresent" [뜻은 편재하는, 도처에 존재하는]

For those of you wondering about the reason for this semantic interrogation: [질문한 이유는:]

To coincide with the launch of the APEC conference in Busan, the city council, together with KT (Korea Telecom) and BEXCO (Busan Exhibition and Convention Centre) is trying to brand itself as the world's first "Ubiquitous City". Well, I suppose it will be, but... has anyone responsible for Korean marketing thought to hire someone with a firm grasp of English for an hour or so to go over their use of the language before they throw large sums of money at new projects?!

Is it just me or does it bring back memories of "Korea - the Hub"? (And isn't 'hub' such an attractive word?) Oh well.

It looks like we're going to be stuck with the "ubiquitous" label for the next 6 months, if the front page of today's Busan Shibo (Busan City News) is anything to go by. We'll also be seeing "U-medical services, U-education, U-administration and a U-environment".

Yes, I'm exactly as confused as you. [네, 나도 혼란스러워하네.]

What's wrong with "Busan - Universal City"? Look, same letter: you can still call it a "U-city"; no-one will notice! Change it now - or let it be filed away with other such advertising blunders as "Hi, Seoul" and Samsung "Digitall"!! ["유니버슬 도시 - 부산"이 안 될까?? 이봐, 똑같은 글자(U)인데. 그렇게 해도 U-도시라고 부를 수가 있네! 아무 사람도 깨달을 거네!...]

Thursday, May 19, 2005

EFL - Pronunciation2 - rhythm / 영어 발음 도움 2

Rhythm (and weak forms):
4/4 TIME

1) Write "1 2 3 4" on the board, with wide spaces between the numbers.
2) Let students know that sometimes it's useful to think of the rhythm of English as being like music. Demonstrate by chanting (not too quickly), the rhythm you've just written: 1, 2, 3, 4. You can tap, clap or whatever along with the numbers if you like.
3) Write "and" in each of the spaces between the numbers. Practise to the same rhythm, adding the 'and' in a natural manner. Note that 'and' is usually pronounced as a schwaed 'an' or 'and'.
4) Continue in the same way from simply "and", to "and a", then "and then a", and finally "and then it's a" or "and then there's a". So the students are bsically chanting '1, and-then-there's-a-2, and-then-there's-a-3,..." to the same rhythm as the original "1, 2, 3, 4".

5) You can then write a couple of example sentences below, trying to match the stressed words in the sentence with the numbers. Sentences with 4 major stresses are probably best here. Some examples: (the rhythm'll be fast!)
Have you SEEN the NEW SPIELberg MOvie?
D'you KNOW HOW I can GET to SEOUL?
HOW's it GOing with the NEW JOB?

Proverbs are perhaps also good for this:
ACtions SPEAK LOUDer than WORDS.
A WOman's WORK is NEver DONE.
You CAN'T TELL a BOOK by its COver.

Stress and weak forms:

1) You could point out firstly that the stressed words will usually be adjectives, nouns, main verbs, and (much underused in the classroom) adverbs.
(Plus pronouns are emphasised more often than most people realise.)
2) The unstressed words will usually be modals (stressed when negative), auxiliary verbs (ditto), and all those fiddly little 'grammar words' (determiners, prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns).
(Often reduced to weak forms with the schwa or short 'I' - can, as, from, that (conjuction), and,...)
3) A good example to illustrate this is poor, grammar-free Tarzan. He speaks only the stressed words: "Tarzan go river catch fish." (Tarzan's going to the river to catch a fish.)


In natural (unscripted) English, we give stress to certain words while other words are glided over very quickly and hardly pronounced at all. (Of course, in trying to make ourselves understood in the classroom there's a nefarious tendency to over-pronounce and all naturalness is lost.) English is considered a stressed ('stress-timed') language while many others are syllabic ('syllable-timed'). That is, in other languages, such as French or Korean, each syllable receives equal importance. There is stress, but each syllable has its own length, and therefore equal time is needed for each syllable.

However, what many speakers of syllabic languages don't understand is that English spends more time on specific stressed words while destressing and quickly gliding over the less important words. An example:

1) Say this sentence out loud (or listen to a native speak it naturally) and count how many seconds it takes:
The great mountain loomed dreamily in the mist. (11 syllables.) Time required? Probably about 5 seconds.
2) Now do the same for the following sentence:
He can come on Sundays as long as he doesn't have to do any homework in the evening. (22 syllables.) Time required? Probably about 5 seconds.
3) They take the same amount of time to speak because they both contain only 5 stressed syllables each. Notice that you needn't worry about pronouncing every word clearly to be understood (native speakers certainly don't). You should instead concentrate on pronouncing the stressed words clearly.

Do some listening comprehension or ask learners to spend some time with native English-speaking friends listening to how we concentrate on the stressed words rather than giving importance to each syllable.

After a while their understanding and fluency should improve as they begin to listen for (and use) stressed words. All those difficult-to-catch words are really not crucial for understanding the sense of an utterance or making yourself understood. Stressed words are the key to excellent pronunciation and understanding of English.

(adapted from

Phrasal Stress:

When we read a sentence normally (without giving any word extra emphasis), each phrase has one word that is most stressed. In a sentence, we tend to put the most stress on the last stressed syllable, showing the sentence is ending.
For example:

(When read slowly and deliberately)
The noisy car / has been parked / in the garAGE.
Many people / often read / the business section / of the NEWSpaper.
("business section" and "newspaper" are compound nouns)

(When said more rapidly, there are fewer pauses and less stress on the content words)
The noisy car has been parked in the garAGE.
Many people often read the business section of the NEWSpaper.

That is, the more slowly you speak, and the more pauses you use, the easier it is to be understand (but the less natural it is).

(adapted from Grove)


Again from Grove, I can't improve on this.

Final comments:

I'd suggest that a basic grasp of the International Phonetic Alphabet could be helpful. Possibly it might stop the practice, pre-ordained to failure, of trying to write a word's English pronunciation in the limited sounds of Korean script, thus cementing the Korean-ness of the pronunciation.

Part 1 - Linking
Part 3 - Intonation

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

EFL - Language Anxiety / 언어걱정

A lot of very motivated students here in Korea exhibit language anxiety. By that I mean many are nervous or hesitant about speaking in front of others. Others admit to simply lose all confidence when speaking in other languages. (In general they seem worried about speaking in 'ungrammatical' English. To what extent am I allowed to blame the TOEIC and the Korean education system?)

한국에 있는 동기가 주어진 많은 학생들은 언어걱정이 있는 것 같다. 즉, 많은 이들이 긴장되거나 남 앞에 말하기가 어려워하다. 다른 학생들은 외국어를 말할 땐 자심감이 없어 버린다.

According to many teachers here, students who are above average at other languages are generally ostracized. (An odd occurance in a society that holds education in such high regard.)

많은 교수는 평균 이상의 학생들이 왕따 받다. (교육을 정말 존경하는 이 사회엔 이 사실은 너무 이상하잖다.)

Options for overcoming it (at adult level): (성인 레벨에 가능한 해결)

Obviously, everyone knows an open and tolerant group environment (tolerant of other opinions and of mistakes) is the best possible classroom environment for encouranging language use. [열리고 포용력 있는 그룹]

Not correcting them individually. Instead noting down problem areas or things that could be more natually communicated in a different way, and going through them later in the lesson, so everyone can benefit. [개성적으로 잘못을 고치지 않기]

Making classes as fun/ enjoyable as possible. Let them talk about topics of interest/ relevence. Perhaps present them with a list of possible topics to discuss and let them (in groups, in pairs, as a class) chose. [재밌게 하기 / 재미있는 화제를 쓰기]

Also, the minimal grammar approach helps - focussing on communication (and giving more natural ways of saying what they want to say) and teaching "chunks" of language rather than formal and complicated grammar. (eg. Chunks for replying to 'Thank you.': You're welcome. It's my pleasure. Don't mention it. Any time. No problem. etc.) [최소량의 문법 쓰기 / 통신에 초점을 맞추기 / 언어 청크(덩어리?)를 가르치기]

It seems that a little coaxing helps - calling on them by name to give their opinion to show them their views will be listened to. This can help link the experience of having their say with positive emotions. Creating a 'positive feedback loop'. [달래어 말하게 하기]

Eliminate the fear of the unknown. Much of this fear of speaking may result from learners being unsure of how the group will react to them speaking, giving an unpopular opinion, whether or not they will be laughed at for making a mistake, etc. Give them a chance to try. A positive experience will encourage quiet learners to get involved. (Also, letting weaker learners know what will be discussed in up-coming lessons will give them longer to think about what they'd like to say.) [미지의 것의 공포를 없애기 / 다가오는 수업의 개관]

Play around with the group dynamics. (ie. Mix the groups around.) Sometimes pairing quieter students with quiet students, so they can support and help each other and experience communicating at 'their' level; sometimes pairing a confident student with a weak one, so the weaker student can learn and the confident student can play a supportive role. [그룹의 상호 작용을 바꾸기]

Some speak too fast or have awkward pronunciation. How about encouraging them to slow down, calm down, or simply lighten up? [학행들의 걱정을 가라앉히기]

With quiet classes, putting them in pairs and getting them to talk diagonally across another group introduces an amount of 'noise' (similar to most conversational situations outside the classroom) and so forces them to speak up. (For example, imagine four students, one at each corner of a square, top right talks with bottom left and top left with bottom right.) A slightly more drastic version of this is to get students (let's assume all student A's are working with B's) A to stand against one wall and students B to stand against the opposite wall and challenge them to have a conversation without moving away from the wall.

Encourage real listening (try the online radio sites on my homepage) - it's a good way to pick up new (and useful!) vocabulary. With practice, it will also get them used to listening to (unscripted) spoken English, more used to the rhythm and intonation of (unscripted) English. [현실 (즉석 대화의) 영어 듣길 고무하기]

Any other ideas? [다른 생각 날까?]

The Ballad of East and West / 동과 서의 발러드

There's a poem by Rudyard Kipling, which starts with this very famous line:
루댜드 키플링이 쓴 이 아주 유명한 시구(詩句)로 시작하는 시는 있다.

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,..."
(오, 동은 동이고 서는 서이고 한 번도 둘 만날 수 없으리라,...)

I've been thinking about something an old Chinese-Malaysian [중국계 말레이시아인] and I had a deep conversation about a month ago:

I realise what I'm about to say is probably controversial. I'm offering it up for debate rather than offense or ridicule. [말할 게 논쟁적인 걸 깨닫는데 화나게 하거나 비웃음이 아니고 토의로 드린다.]

It seems, generally speaking, that westerners [서양사람] in the East (specifically here I mean East and South-East Asia) seem to have a lot of trouble adapting to local ways - struggling with the complex social rules [복잡한 사회적인 규칙], often closed cultures [닫힌 문화들], bemoaning sometimes blatant corruption [노골적인 부패],...

And that, again generalising, easterners in the West tend to thrive in the more permissive and individualistic societies there. 그리고 (일반화로) 서양의 더 관대하고 개인주의자의 사회에서는 동양사람이 잘 해내는 편이다.

Also, when visitors arrive, the West is often more helpful in making allowances for the cultural differences of the foreign guest (because of the higher number of foreigners who visit and participate in society?) and more welcomingly open. We still expect people to "do as the Romans do"[入鄕循俗(입향순속) 하라] but the West, like ancient Rome, covers a very wide scope of permissible behaviours and attitudes. We understand that people are all different. "Different strokes for different folks,"[사람마다 제 각각이다] as the saying goes. ("Ten people [have] ten characters,"[十人十色(십인십색)] as the Koreans say.)

East Asians (especially the conservative ones) often seem to find foreigners difficult to cope with - despite the quantity of western films and TV thrust upon them. Could this be due to the relatively low number of visitors from other continents? (Less trust or fairness in the society? Traditionally less tolerance of differences?)

Can it be put down merely to conservatism? These attitudes, for example, are still at large in the west too - especially, it seems, in the neo-conservative religosity of small-town USA.

Here, the "when in Rome" attitude is often a criticism, a restriction, sometimes very narrow, sometimes even exploitive of differences. (In particular, I'm referring to the way two of my previous employers in Korea used this phrase (and similar ones) to validate illegal practices.) It's also a way for old traditionalists to control young people who "don't know any better" - many of my students have been complaining about this recently.

Do we westerners get similar levels of exposure to Eastern cultures? I'd argue not. But perhaps there are parallels between the shallow cultural content of most western exports (cf. McDonald's) and the bastardised versions of Eastern cultures we import (the feng shui(풍수) fad, for example).

My Chinese-Malaysian acquantaince seemed resigned to the facts of how things are: high levels of bribery and corruption in his country; 'double standards'[이중 잣대] of laws that apply to the poor but not to those rich enough to bribe their way out of trouble or with friends in high places to solve their (il)legal problems; resigned to living under oppression.

There was nothing anyone could do about these problems, he suggested, so we should just give up. And westerners like me should indeed "do as the Romans do" and simply 'put up and shut up' [싫으면 입다물고 있어! (?)].

It seems deeply fatalistic to say things are forever wrong and can't change - that we can't change anything. (Isn't that what democracy's for?)

This is a view I've reached talking to people from both the East and West, and also from articles written by easterners who've lived or travelled outside the East. I'd like to hear if anyone else has views on the topic.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

보자기 / bo-ja-gi

On Friday I went out of a lunchtime coffee and doughnuts ["Dunkin' Donuts" - Ask me, am I happy with what the USA is doing to the English language??] with my last morning class, which was a nice chance to get to know them better as people rather than students, and then later for dinner with the final class of the day. I suggested to the second group we could share a pizza, so we all wandered across the road to 'Fresco' - but one of the group, an older male in his late 30s who hadn't been in class that day (I won't name names here) doesn't like Italian food, so we went for a spicy chicken and noodle stew (jjim-dak; 찜닭) instead.

I wouldn't have minded except that he seemed to be implying that he wouldn't eat Italian food because he was Korean. And apparently asked the others why they wanted to eat non-Korean food. I hope it was just my imperfect Korean causing me to misunderstand.

Anyway, the jjim-dak was good and the guy drank like a fish while the rest of us chatted civilly.^^

On Saturday I met up with a good Korean friend I met in Western Australia and spent a lot of time with there. She's a lovely girl and great to talk with - and she seems intent on showing me as much Korean culture (old and of course new) as she possibly can! We visited the small art gallery beneath Lotte Department Store where the grandma(?) of one of her students has an exhibition of her work this week.

There's a traditional Korean object called a bo-ja-gi, a large square of fabric woven from scraps of material left over when the women used to make clothes - it's used as a cover for food. I suppose the British could compare it to a cross between one of those metal lids we sometimes cover plates with and a tea cosy. But in order to keep this craft alive, this talented woman has elevated this humble tradition to an art form and some of the bo-ja-gis are really beautiful. If you have time this week and you're in the area, I'd recommend a visit.

Without knowing that I'd missed out on a meal at Fresco the night before, we went to another branch of the same chain for dinner. The food was nothing special, but the nice decor and good company (and the discount card she had!) made it far more enjoyable than it could otherwise have been.

And today, Sunday, is Buddha's birthday. I thought about going to a temple to join the celebrations but for some reason I'm feeling burned out today. I'll pay Buddha a belated birthday visit later in the week instead. I just need a rest and an early night.

Studying learning - 학문을 공부하기

Attitudes towards learning seem quite, quite different between Korea and the western world. I'm thinking maybe a look at the different definitions of the terms might help clarify the gaps.

1) give one's attention to acquring knowledge (of a subject) - 지식을 습득하기 위해 주의하다
(eg. study economics at university, study music in Italy, study in private)
2) examine attentively - 체계적으로 연구하다 (잘 주의해 보다)
(eg. study social change in the region, study a picture)

1) gain knowledge or skill in - 지식이나 기술을 얻다 (익히다, 습득하다)
(eg. learn to cope with a busy schedule, learn to tell right from wrong, learn a language, learn to trust, learn to knit)
2) become aware of - 눈치채다, 알아차리다
(eg. learn a rule of thumb, learn where the limits of tolerance lie, learn from history)
3) memorize - 암기하다
(eg. learn this for the test tomorrow)

배우다 (bae-u-da)
1) 남에게서 가르침을 받다. - receive teaching from others (teachers/books/etc)
(eg. take piano lessons, take swimming lessons, take driving lessons)
2) 남의 행동·태도 따위를 본받아 그대로 따르다. - imitate others' actions/attitude/etc. Just follow.
(eg. A growing person watches his or her elders and imitates them.)
3) 어떤 습관이나 습성 따위를 붙이다. - take up a habit or behaviour, etc.
(eg. take up smoking, take up drinking)
4) 지식·기술 따위를 익히고자 힘쓰다. - Make an effort/work hard to pick up knowledge, skills, etc.

공부-하다 (gong-bu ha-da)
학문과 기술 등을 배우고 익히다. - (do the above and) acquire learning and skills, etc

익히다 (i-ki-da)
1) 익게 하다. - ripen; get used to, accustom oneself to
2) 익숙하게 하다. - familiarise oneself, develop (a skill), learn/acquire (a language)

I would suggest that the most common of these three Korean words, gong-bu ha-da (공부하다), can be expressed along the lines of "to learn through study", stressing that to learn you have to put in a lot of effort. (Compare this to 'study', stressing attention though not necessarily effort.) It also seems to suggest a reliance on others, rather than 'learning for oneself'. (Compare this to 'learn', which suggests gaining though not necessarily implying received knowledge.)

'I-ki-da' seems to be closest to 'learn' or 'acquire'.
'Gong-bu ha-da' seems to be 'learn (sth) through study'.
'Bae-u-da' seems to be 'learn (sth) from others' and (4) 'work hard at (sth)'.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Crackdown - 엄중 단속

Is this serious?? (이건 진지한가?)

The Korean government is now preparing for a June crackdown on illegal workers, and on those hiring them. (한국 정부가 불법 노동자과 그들의 고용주에 반대해서 6월 엄중 단속을 준비하는 것)

...the authorities have begun investigating the authenticity of workers' qualifications and the practices of the hagwon owners who employ them. A number of teachers have since been deported and fines of up to $4,000 (£2,000) have been issued against employers. (당국이 노동자의 자격의 신빙성과 그들을 고용하는 학원 원장의 업무를 조사하기 시작했다. 얼마간의 선생을 추방하고 고용주는 4천달러까지의 벌금을 부과받았다.)

That they're cracking down on illegal workers (hence setting the qualifications for teaching EFL in Korea as simply a university degree *sigh*; 그러니까 한국에 EFL(외국어로서의 영어)을 카르칠 자격은 대학 학위일 뿐 *탄식*) is a good thing, but as is quoted:

"The business is totally unregulated, that's the problem. Anyone can set up a
school. The owner doesn't have to know anything about teaching, he just needs a
licence. It's definitely an industry that needs a lot of work." ([학원들이] 전혀 규제되지 않은데 문제는 이거다. 누구든지 학원을 세울 수 있다. 소유자가 교육에 대한 지식이 피료 없는데 허가만 필요함. 많이 변해야 할 산업이다.)

As in most parts of the world these days, it seems, the authorities are targetting the symptoms (individual schools and workers) rather than the cause (regulations and the lack thereof). So the illness remains. [요즘 대부분의 나라의 당국이 증후를 목적(개별적인 학원과 노동자)으로 삼지만 원인(규제의 없음)을 모르는 척 해서 질병이 남다.]

He added that teacher numbers in the country have dropped from 13,000 in 1997 to
little over 5,000 in 2005 because of a tightening of immigration laws.

5,000 teachers would be plenty if the necessary qualifications were raised, if the authorities ever scrapped the 'letter of release' that teachers need to change jobs, and if they started weeding out unqualified employers (implying ones who have at least a background in language teaching and intercultural management skills) . They might actually attract good teachers! [자격을 올린다면 당국이 (일 바꾸려 고용주에게선 필요하지만 거의 안 주는) 'letter of release'를 폐진다면 (최소한 언어교육 배경과 이(異)문화 간의 경영 기술 없는) 부적격의 고용주들을 제거하기 시작한다면 선생 5천 명이 충분할 거구나!]


Once again, it's clear there's some confusion (unwitting or not) between three issues - the first two may be linked: [다시 한 번 (모르거나 알고 있거나) 문제의 3개 사이 혼란이 된 것 같다.]

--Teaching qualifications (and how to attract qualified professionals to Korea and keep them). [교육 자격 (그러나 자격이 풍분한 직업인을 한국에 어떻게 끌고 지킬까)]

--People working in Korea illegally (probably without the required degree; possibly with teaching experience). [한국에 불법적으로 일하는 사람들 (아마도 학위 없는데 혹시 교육 경험이 있는지 모른다.)]

--Morals - fighting, foreign males hitting on Korean women, drugs, alcoholism,... [도덕상 - 싸움. 외국남성들이 한국여성들에게 구애함. 만약. 알코올 중독. ...]


And this is useful to know:

The men claim they were provoked, but provocation and self-defence are not recognised under Korean law. It is the person with the least number of injuries, or no injuries at all, that is charged with any crime.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

목요일 / Thursday

Yesterday, two students from Anthony's intensive class collared me on the stairs as I was going out for lunch. We chatted a bit as we walked and decided to go out for Spicy Tofu Stew (Sun-du-bu jji-gae), my favourite^^, and for a coffee after that.

어제 앤토니의 집중 수업에서 둘 학생이 계단에는 점심을 먹으러 가는 나를 만났다. 걸어가면서 좀 얘기했고 (난 좋아하는^^) 순두부찌개를 먹기로 했고 그 후에 커피를 마셨다.

They were both very funny and great company! I really appreciate such intelligent and fun conversation with learners, especially after teaching little folks for so long!

둘 다 아주 재미있고 사귐성이 좋았네! 학생이랑 이렇게 똑똑하고 재미있는 회화를 깊이 감사한다. 특히 오래간 어린 애들을 가르친 후에는.

Then I got home, seriously in need of a nap. (Yu-ra in my final morning class mentioned that I looked tired - she's very perceptive.^^) And what did I find when I arrived home? My landlady was hoovering while a glazier was fixing the window that broke in the fire last week.

집에 돌아갔다. 정말 피곤했다. (마지막 아침수업 학생인 유라는 난 피곤해 보인 걸 알아차렸는데 그녀는 눈치 강한다.^^) 그리고 집에 도착할 땐 난 뭘 찾았을까? 집주인 여자가 청소하면서 유리장이(?)가 지난 주의 화재 때문에 부러진 장문을 고정시키고 있었다.

It was of course very kind of them, but... Well, maybe it's just cultural differences, but I really don't like people invading my private space and moving my things without my permission. I really had to bite my tongue not to shout at them to get out of my space. But it's a cultural thing and they almost certainly wouldn't have understood how rude I felt they were being, so...

물론 그걸 아주 친절하지만... 뭐, 바로 문화차인지 모르지만 내 사유 공간에 들어가고 허가없이 여기저기 내 소유들을 옮기는 사람은 싫다. 큰소리치지 않려고 분노를 억눌러야했다. 하지한 문화의 것인데 나는 그들이 이해하지 못할 게 거의 확신해서...

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Science of Fire

Would you believe it - I wandered home for lunch on Wednesday and as I was going up the stairs to my flat on the 2nd floor, I met the owner, Mr. Hwang coming down. He told me there had been a fire but my room hadn't been affected.

It turns out that the 3rd floor of the apartment block next door had been gutted. Probably an electrical fire. I opened my window (slightly cracked by the heat; I'll need to have it replaced) and I could see charcoal.

For safety, the electricity had been turned off, so the lights didn't work and the my washing had to wait. When I returned after work on Wednesday, Mr. Hwang had left me a torch (a flashlight, as he called it in his American accent).

Yesterday was a day off - Children's Day. A day for Korean parents to treat their kids. So I avoided all cinemas and other places children would likely be swarming. Don't get me wrong - I love kids, but my experience of Children's Day is that they come in herds.

The flat was noisy with drilling and banging, and lots of glass being broken, so I chose to stay away.

I've been reading Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything", an enlightening history of science. This must be the first science book that's ever held my attention - even made me laugh out loud.^^ Reminds me of the British scientist and inventor, Adam Hart-Davies, in that he makes science fascinating, easily understandable and practical.

Monday, May 02, 2005

First Day

11am / 오전 11시

The first two classes were good - fairly quiet, but intelligent and enthusiastic people. And the third lot were great - a really lovely class, it's going to be a pleasure to teach them. I reckon the first two can reach that level of enjoyment / interaction in a few days, too. These are my three highest levels for this month, this evening I've got 3 more.

첫번째 두 수업이 좋았는데 약간 조용하지만 똑똑하고 열심이 강한 사람들이다. 3번째는 대단했는데 정말 좋은 그룹이고 그들을 가르치는 게 즐거울 것이다. 그리고 며칠후에는 첫번 이 두 수업도 이 즐거움에 이를 수가 있는 거라고 생각한다. 이번 달 이들이 나의 가장 높은 레벨인데 저녁에도 수업이 3개 있다.

It was an early morning, 7am start, but I'd slept quite well. The first class is always the most nerve-racking, isn't it? - but I was actually looking forward to it a lot.^^ By the third I was feeling a lot more comfortable and more in tune with the learners.

아침 7시에 시작된다. 하지만 난 충분히 잘 잤다. 첫 번째 수업은 항상 가장 신경이 많이 쓰인다. 그렇지만 사실은 나는 정말 기대하고 있었다.^^ 3번째 수업까지 훨씬 더 편안해 지고 학생들을 이해하게 되었다.

It's break time now and I'll be moving into my new flat in about half an hour.

지금 쉬는 시간이다. 그리고 나는 새로운 아파트로 30분 후에 이사할 것이다.

Just heard the bizarre and worrying news that one of the Korean teachers (I haven't met them yet) has a weird stalker guy who came into the language school earlier and put his hand under the paper cutter, threatening to cut it off if she didn't love him. He had a good try, as I hear it. There were two loud screams at the start of this last lesson, but we thought it was just another class having too much fun... Scary stuff.

5pm / 오후 5시

Gorgeous weather outside and with this schedule I can get out there and enjoy the best of it!

날씨가 너무 좋다 오늘. 이번 달의 스케듈 때문에 밖에 나가고 즐거울 수 있네!

Just moved into the flat - spacious and airy. Burnt an incense stick to calm the smell of the guy who had the place before. The owner of the building and his wife were halfway through cleaning it when I arrived - and, get this, putting new wallpaper over the old stuff (without actually measuring at all). It's a decidedly halfhearted effort - air-bubbles a-plenty, irregular lengths of paper, cut with a wonky knife rather than scissors... Oh, well. It does look a fair bit cleaner than it did! Hope they've finished cleaning the bathroom before I get back this evening... Nice neighbourhood too - peaceful, scenic, comparatively friendly.

Meeting a Korean friend I met in Australia after work - must brush up my spoken Korean!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Catching up.

Spent a deeply satisfying afternoon with a very special woman.^^ The most delicious meal I've tasted in a very long time, then a funny/tragic Iranian film. Good company's so important, isn't it? Tired, but so happy.^^