Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Unfortunate Names

It's kind of ironic that even while page after front page of the Korea Times reveals new corruption scandals, there's a new section of the paper trying to convince us of the "Changing Corporate Culture" in Korea.

The thing that amused me almost equally was the man being questioned in connection with the latest Hyundai-Kia slush fund scandal, "identified only by his family name, Kwak." My god, no wonder they're having problems, who would have a Kwak work for them? ;p

Which brings me to the poor sod below. The best comment I've seen read: "He was winning until the crowd started chanting his name."

And as a final note, I should like to pay homage to the unforgettably monikered former Korean foreign minister, Lee Bum Suk.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Readying for the World Cup / 월드컵 준비하기

Surname Dearth Brings New Clothes for Taeguk Warriors [slightly edited]

The relative scarcity of surnames in Korea will lead to a change in the way national football squad will be identified on their jerseys. Thus the Manchester United striker currently sporting a shirt that reads J S PARK will instead be identified as JISUNG.

"There are many players in the country with the same last name, and distinguishing among them can be difficult," the Korean Football Association said Tuesday. The current system "also makes it difficult to increase the international recognition of the players' names, so we've decided to change it." In the case of the team that played Angola on March 1, the names Kim and Lee accounted for 12 out of 23 players. Three players - Kim Do-hun, Kim Doo-hyun and Kim Dong-hyun - are all identified as D H KIM.

The new jerseys will first be donned in friendlies at the end of May and later be seen at the World Cup in Germany.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Baseball Classic

Congrats to Japan on a well-played game against Cuba to win the WBC.

Passions (and national pride) in Korea flared briefly - feeling like a watered down version of the 2002 (Football) World Cup. Team Korea beat the Japanese twice and even the Americans to get through - just like the World Cup - to the semi-finals. Excellent effort guys!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ways to Demonstrate Respect at Work and in Class

There's an interesting article at about.com from Susan M. Heathfield. She talks about the importance of treating everyone at work with respect, from the point of view of a good manager. I'd argue that these go equally for teachers in a class. Here are a few of her ideas:

Treat people with courtesy, politeness, and kindness.

Encourage coworkers to express opinions and ideas.

Listen to what others have to say before expressing your viewpoint.

Never speak over, butt in, or cut off another person.

Use people’s ideas to change or improve work. Let employees know you used their idea, or, better yet, encourage the person with the idea to implement the idea.

Never insult people, name call, disparage or put down people or their ideas.

Do not nit-pick, constantly criticize over little things, belittle, judge, demean or patronize. A series of seemingly trivial actions, added up over time, constitutes bullying.

Praise much more frequently than you criticize. Encourage praise and recognition from employee to employee as well as from the supervisor.

The golden rule does apply at work, or, as professional speaker Leslie Charles, says, “Implement the platinum rule: treat others as they wish to be

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Controversial Two

As a follow-up to my earlier post on discussing/debating controversial topics - here - I'd like to add just a few more possible topics to the list.

"Money has eyes." - Korean saying
[ie. trying hard to make money is a waste of time; money chooses you]

"He who has money can eat ice cream in hell." - Lebanese proverb

"Success is spending less time in the office." - Anon.

The majority is usually wrong.

If changing one's appearance by plastic surgery is looked down on, changing it with make-up, fashionable clothes, hairstyles and jewelry should be too.

A teacher can't teach a subject; a teacher can only help the learners learn for themselves.

"If you're not with me, you're against me." - George Walker Bush

If you kill a person, you should be killed.

Terrorism is a legitimate method of political struggle.

Cliché-free Similes

LOVE the similes game! Learners try to explain these.

Her silence was like a card game.
Her smile was like the sea/ a rocking chair.
Her need for revenge was like a train.
Her anger was like a museum.
Her sense of timing was like a shadow.
Her self-esteem was like a bell.
Her kindness was like a tree.
Her passion was like a toolshed.
Her laughter was like the jungle.

(Variation. 2 piles: 1 human trait, 1 interesting noun. Learners pick them at random and try to explain the meaning.)

Convincing Others

Students take a 'convince' card and have to persuade their partner (who plays the role of the person named on the card) to do the action on the card.

Convince your president to give you a million dollars.
Convince a good friend to swallow a goldfish.
Convince your grandmother to shave her head.
Convince a senior citizen to join a dance troupe.
Convince your brother to grow a beard.
Convince your teacher to buy you an elephant.
Convince a millionaire to wear a pink tutu.

The language they use to do this might involve anything from begging (Pleeeeease do it! Pretty Please!) to negotiating with conditionals (If you do it, I'll give you 20 dollars. How about it?) to threats (You'd better do it. Or else I'll... / Unless you do, I'll...) to advice (You should do this: it'll be a great benefit to your health!) to whatever else might spring into a creative human mind.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Quick Idea - Grouping

When putting learners into pairs or groups for an activity, don't just put them with the same partner they're always with. You can be more creative than that, I'm sure!

Try to find learners who have something visible (or otherwise known to the teacher) in common when creating pairs or groups. For example, 'the purple eyeshadow team', 'the white shirt team', 'the tied-back hair team', 'the grungy clothing team', 'the Japanese learners' team'.

It's something I've been doing for a few months now. Though (deceptively) simple, it provides an obvious starting point for conversation and mutual interest between the people you've grouped together. Try it yourselves.

EFL - all articles

vocabulary building

Anatomy 101 , Anatomy 102

Phrasal Verbs , Funky Phrasals

Long Day's Journey

Blame/Criticise, Lecture/Class


Metaphorically Speaking

Cliche-free Similes

Conversation Starters ; Conversation Starters Two


Crisp Otter -- consonant clusters

linking / 영어 발음 도움 1

rhythm / 영어 발음 도움 2

intonation and stress / 영어 발음 도움3


British Accents / 영국어 발음 듣기

Online Radio listings


Shaking her pen defiantly,...




language anxiety- the learning environment

From Linguistics to Language

varieties of English

Grouping Learners


controversial ; controversial two


Hot or hotter? - comparitives

Six Thinking Hats - creativity lesson

Convincing Others

Two Jokes


Anti-TOEIC rant


For TOEIC the bell tolls