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Teacher training, ESL & EFL

I am collecting evaluations of various teacher training programs for this section of my site. If you'd like to share your expereince in a teacher training program, please email

I've completed two teacher training programs, my CELTA in 2001 and my Master of Applied Linguistics in 2004. While I learned something during each program, I was not satisfied with either. Currently, I am a teacher trainer in the TESOL certificate program at Sookmyung Women's University.

I hope to collect articles in this section of my site to help teachers make informed decisions about enrolling in teacher training programs and to help teacher trainers improve their programs.

Since I hate saying only a little, why not see if the latest entries on my Teaching English in Korea blog are of any interest to you?

Volunteer to work for many years teaching English in North Korea

I guess working in North Korea is so appealing, that Pyongyang University of Science and Technology, PUST doesn’t have to pay their English teachers. Description of Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate will be an energetic, responsible, and well-qualified professional teacher with relevant English teaching experience. In general, a Master’s level degree (in any subject) is […]

What’s the appropriate punishment?

Teachers at a bar playing a game where they would list 3 colleagues (not students) and choose one to kill, one to marry, and one to sleep with. Here’s an article with more info. The debate among my friends seems to be whether or not the teachers should be fired (nearly everyone I have spoken […]

Domestic violence discussion

Here’s a potentially interesting discussion topic. I’d suggest asking students if they would expect similar or different reactions in their hometown. The video shows two scenes in the UK – one where a man grabs a woman and one where a woman is the aggressor. On a related note, I sometimes did a roleplay with […]

A handy place to link to conferences that interest me

Since other intercultural trainers / language teachers may be interested in the same conferences I am, I thought I’d share my notes and links. TESOL international submit by June the year before (June 2014 for the 2015 conference) TESOL’s calendar – (focuses on immediately upcoming conferences for which the deadline for submissions has passed. Scroll […]

Controversy in New York over Smarter Balanced Assessment of Common Core State Standards

SBA = Smarter Balanced Assessment CCSS = Common Core State Standards NCLB = No Child Left Behind The CCSS and SBA have led to a huge uproar in many New York State school districts. Many parents had their kids opt out of testing, fearing the tests put too much stress on children. Here’s what one […] FAQ – certificate / letter for the TOEFL

The question: Hi Jim, I’m a foreign nursing graduate from the Philippines and I submitted applications to take the licensure to some states like Nevada but they required me to take ESL class before I could take a TOEFL exam. Is there any chance you could help me achieve that requirement. I know you help […]

Hourly rate in America vs. Korea for ESL teachers

I recently taught a 3 week course for some Brazilian teens here in Florida. The pay was $24 an hour. The money didn’t impress me but it was a good experience and I was exposed to some cultural differences that gave me an idea for a series of roleplays designed to help teachers prepare for […]

New roleplay for intercultural practice

New roleplay based on something my students taught me. Much like Korea, Brazilians often live with their parents until they get married. An American might not see this as normal so an American dating a 30-year-old from Brazil might wonder what’s wrong with the Brazilian who lives with his or her parents.

Describe these videos: wanted, asked, told, said practice

Friends, The Sopranos, Ace Ventura, Mr. Baseball – here are scenes I think are worth describing for students to practice reported speech, past tenses, story telling, etc.

Punish the zoo? the animals? the mother? noone?

Sad story here, with a few topics causing some controversy in America on this election night. In the next days it might make for a decent discussion topic in language classes. It is a gruesome topic – a young boy’s parents watched their son be killed by wild dogs. The boy’s mother had picked him […]