Tuesday, August 25, 2009


2 cups of coffee, and palpitating again. Maybe a little more and I will have a heart attack. When I go home, I wish I can really do what I want. Clean my things. Watch my Korean DVDs. Arrange my files in my computer. So many things to do- so little time. I wish my day is more than 24 hours. I wish things were a lot better.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Urgency and responsibility

Attended Sunday worship with Sarah Edjan today. Sarah's one of my best friends and I thought of joining her today since I neede some spiritual healing. Fortunately, I did receive some spiritual healing even a little bit. I had a few realizations and that include the following:  

I. Sense of Urgency

For most people like me, or should I say to people like me, it is always a struggle to manage time properly. I never had that sense of urgency since I have this thinking that time will always be there and I can always have excuses. Much of my life has been reduced to petty excuses why I can't deliver my duties on time and it is really taking its toll on me like a big rock pressing my soul deeper and deeper until I can't do anything good anymore, until my self-esteem and self-respect has been nothing.

As I try to look at this problem this very moment, I realize that I get easily distracted by the simplest of things and I easily tire from the same old things that I do. I just want peace, to be left alone and do my stuff. Whenever I am with people, I tend to lose slef-control and before I know it I can no longer compose my self and get looking at my personal goals which is to become successful. But how can someone like me who can never deliver on time become successful? Seriously this is becoming my dilemma, and I want to move on with peace in my heart. But how can I?
II. Sense of responsibility

This sense of responsibility is still something that I need to learn to imbibe in my personal values. I just can't see the importance of upholding my responsibilities since I think it would only affect me when I fail to deliver, but what I don't see is that I am connected with people, to a bigger chain that failing affects many. I guess this irresponsibleness of mine roots from my over regard of myself.

I see myself as someone great, deserving of respect but even respect cannot be forced out of people. It is not something asked but freely given. And when people respect you, it's because they think you deserve it and not because you told them to do so. And so, have I earned their respect? Do I even deserve their respect? Sometimes I dwell on self pity because there is nothing much respectful about me. I am a liar, lazy, dirty, ugly, poor- and all I do my entire life is to wear a mask to cover all these scars in my character. And where has it brought me now? It's here- a land of pretentions where I don't even know who I am. This mask that I am wearing has become so prominent that there is nothing much about me anymore that people see. I am a fool to think that I am good enough.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Funny cartoons

If you just don't know what you're doing, admit it. People are just to egotistic of their imperfections. Like me.
I think this is really funny. I just love chicken.
Yeah right, when feel like we have the worst job in the world, it makes us feel good to know that there are some who are having worse.

Teaching Suggestions for teachers

Author: Francis Chua   

These training suggestions focus only on the necessary details that might be useful for you. If there are details that were not included, please feel free to add on to this. This module is also designed to address any difficulties you may have in teaching Korean students and you may edit or even correct some doubtful information. Only the general details have been included and supplementary materials and websites have been provided, since we don’t have enough time for a formal training. It will be just according to how you can make use of your individual schedules that is convenient for you. Hope this is helpful.  

A) Teaching suggestions: 


1) Determine the level of students and devise a lesson plan specific to the level of that student. 

2) Determine the common weaknesses of Korean students /r/ and /l/; /p/ and /f/; /b/ and /v/; sibilant /z/ and the diagraph /zh/, voiced /th/ and voiceless /th/, /w/ and the basic VOWEL sounds. Then focus on the specific weaknesses. Special focus: “schwa” 

3) Try to illustrate the correct positioning of the tongue, jaw, lip shape or how does the mouth and tongue feel (relaxed or tense) based on the VOWEL TRIANGLE. - awareness 

4) correct syllable length especially for past tense Verbs, ex: matched /maetcht/ not: “maetchid” or lunch /lunch/ not: “lunchee” or English /ING-lish/ not: “ING-lishee”, 

5) Correct stress patterns – (syllabicate and use the simplified approach and not the phonetic system) – ex: Banana /buh-NAE-nah/ not: “BAH-nah-nah” - Word stress - Sentence stress 

6) Correct rhythm and intonation – long or short Vowel sounds, pitch, pace of speech. 

7) Rising and Falling intonation 

8) Basic tones of English 1 – Low 2- normal 3 – high 4 – Extra high Effect of punctuation on intonation: (,) symbolized by a short pause and rising pitch which means that the speaker is not yet done speaking. (.) symbolized by a longer pause and falling pitch which means that the speaker is done speaking. 

9) Listening exercises – www.trainyouraccent.com or http://www.dailyesl.com/ - let them listen to the pronunciation of a native speaker, focusing on the vowel/consonant sounds and intonation, rhythm, especially the schwa and stress patterns. 

10) Allow them to repeat EXACTLY the way it was read, if not executed well, it is up to your teaching styles what is appropriate for that student and their individual levels. 

11) New words or idioms may also be learned using these sites. 

Suggestion: ELICIT an interactive attitude on the part of the students by making them aware that we are studying pronunciation, but we can also learn new words, it’s exact and alternate meanings according to the context on how it’s used in a sentence and the correct spelling as well. 

***although their pronunciation is influenced by their regional accent and we are not native-speakers, we can at least try to make them more aware of their pronunciation flaws. It is entirely up to them if they would like to take it to a higher level or not. (There are Koreans who can speak like an American, owing to the environmental influence. This can be a source of inspiration for those who are serious enough to improve their pronunciation skills realistically.)  

VOWEL/VIETOR TRIANGLE Sentence patterns/Context/Grammar

5) Questions and Answers http://www.englishdaily626.com/qna.php?020 

6) English in Advertisements http://www.englishdaily626.com/ads.php?001 

7) Learn American Slang Expressions http://www.englishdaily626.com/slang.php?171 


2) Learning how to give/receive instructions – prepositions of locations – ex: next to, in front of, kitty corner from, around the corner, behind, across from and Directions: ex: go straight ahead, walk up/down, turn left/right, etc http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/words/grammar/texttypes/instructions/game.shtml 

3) Stories– Reading comprehension/ sentence patterns/Vocabs/Pronunciation/phrases http://www.starfall.com/n/level-c/index/play.htm?f 

4) Stories – training for various skills ***please look at the bottom of the page http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/interactive/onlinestory.htmhttp://www.magickeys.com/books - stories are categorized according to levels 

5) Sentence Construction: funny but effective – more on Grammar, context may follow later on. http://pbskids.org/readingrainbow/games/silly_sentence.html 

6) English Articles specifically for Korean students : http://www.kidstimes.net/2008/ - low beginner – high beginner http://www.teentimes.org/2008/index.htm -low intermediate to high intermediate

1) Based on the level, determine the weaknesses - Correct usage of the articles: “the”, “a”, “an” (refer to pdf file about articles) - Correct usage of prepositions: “at”, “on”, “in” etc

- Correct usage of conjunctions - http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/conjunctions.htm - Correct usage of Prefixes and Suffixes and the proper usage depending on the context. - Choosing the appropriate word/phrase in a specific situation.

Ex 1: “We are normal teachers.” - Does this mean that there are “abnormal” teachers? – the better word would be: “good” or “ordinary”, since there can be “bad” or “extraordinary” teachers.

Ex 2: “The people of New Zealand are naive” – Does it mean that people there are “immature” or “inexperienced”? – the better word would be: “simple” or any adjective that would be contextually proper.

- Immediate correction of mistakes upon committing it.

Training should also involve a higher awareness of any obvious mistakes, so the student can be functionally independent.

- allowing student to correct his/her mistakes, by just giving clues that their spoken sentences were not accurately constructed according to:

- 1) grammar - 2) context - Start with very simple sentences then progress to a higher level once they exhibit proper usage of different words. This also means that the student can comfortably use a wide range of words and phrases. Newer mistakes may be made, thus the training is progressive. - A good and practical approach to conversational English would be: 1) Openers for your discussion - Appendix of Express Yourself 1/Express yourself 2 2) Common Mistakes in English 3) Glossary of Correct Usage
***use ID for logging – in = skyijh Password = sbe9522
7) Writing Exercises – Grammar/Context/ Vocabulary  

http://home.freeuk.net/elloughton13/setting.htm ***may be used for kids or adults (Intermediate level and up) 8) Conversational topics for higher level students: 


9) Quizzes or refresher tests http://a4esl.org/q/f/ - feel free to click the blue links on the top of the site http://www.manythings.org/ 


4) Student’s/teacher’s choice of Music 

***You can be very creative with your listening class, by focusing on the interests of the students and integrating some of the sites that are provided here. Any sites that you know may be used, for as long as it serves your purpose as a teacher. Any material can be a listening comprehension topic by reading it while the student listens.

- very situational, context is very important. 

- Retention problems? 

- allow them to relate the phrase or the word to a common idea that they know or by using the word or phrase yourself during your daily lessons whenever possible 

- Immediate application of any new word or phrase learned 

– use these words or phrases in a variety of sentences or questions IMMEDIATELY UPON learning them. 

- PRACTICE - Low-level to high-level words/phrases – depending on the readiness of the student – progressive training 

2) Vocabulary – Various levels http://www.englishdaily626.com/tips.php 3) Vocabulary games – ice breaker/to break the routine – (for kids) http://www.englishbanana.com/games1.html http://www.vocabulary.co.il/  


  - generally the same with speaking. - “What you say is similar or even the SAME with how you write.” - Punctuation, indentations, proper spacing and Grammar - New words or phrases (slang/idioms) learned may also be applied – student needs to be aware of this. - Parts of a letter - Formal writing/Creative Writing/Writing letters (formal and casual) – standard styles - Creating Resume’s, Reports, and Presentations. - For higher level students (Intermediate high – Advanced) - Movie reviews, poems, short stories, essays, etc. - Your own sources, materials or even experiences can be an invaluable tool. 

*** The websites provided and other personal learning tools can also be READING COMPREHENSION materials as well as for other purposes. We can emphasize on certain skills, but it is holistic most of the time. 




- most of you know that they study early in the morning until late at night, the reason why they can’t even practice. 

- They commit what they learn to their temporary memory banks, so having a “short-term memory loss” would also be an appropriate condition for them. 

- Perfection is not the goal, but to make them AWARE so they can be more functional in different situations. 

- Your own teaching strategies and talents determines the outcome of your lessons - Answering these questions may help: 

1) Why am I teaching English as a Second Language? (ESL) **** EFL or ESL? TEFL or TESL? What is the difference between English as a Foreign Language and English as a Second Language? Firstly, EFL is essentially a UK term whereas ESL is a US term. Beyond that, a distinction is made between teaching English to non-native speakers in a non-English speaking country (EFL) and teaching English to non-native speakers in an English-speaking country (ESL). This distinction does not seem to be well observed, and many British teachers use EFL as a blanket term whereas many US teachers use ESL as a blanket term. The same of course applies to TEFL and TESL. 

2) Why do students can’t seem to learn despite the long period of time that he/she has studied English? 

3) What are the student’s goals? Are they realistic enough? Do they have valid reasons? Or do they have more excuses than valid reasons? 

4) Are they just being forced to study English? 

5) Am I too idealistic as a teacher? Am I a realist? Or am I a balance between the two? 

6) What are the words or phrases that I use based on the level of the students? Do I have a lot of words or phrases to choose from so I can use them on-demand? 

7) Am I too worried of my students getting offended? Or am I honest enough to tell them that I’m merely doing my job. 

8) Is my student too demanding? Does he/she even understand what he’s/she’s demanding? 

9) Did I honestly tell my students what I do and don’t like in my class? 

10) Do they realize that their progress or improvements are based on their learning attitude and that is their responsibility? 

11) If they are “aware” of this, what have they done or doing at the moment to improve? 

12) Do they look at me as their teacher in its real sense or just their “genie” whom they can ask anything as they please? 

13) Do they know why their mistake is considered a “mistake”? 

14) Do their standards match yours? And vice versa? 

15) Are their expectations the same with yours? 

16) Are they becoming over familiar with me? Instead of having a professional relationship? 

17) I know their culture; I know how they tick, but how come I can’t get along with every one of them? 

18) Do I aim to please or do I aim to teach? 

19) We are not Native-speakers to start with, but we can adapt well, if this is the case, does it mean that we are not authorities in our own right? 

20) How do I see myself as a teacher? As a person? As a student? How does it affect my way of establishing rapport with my students? ***These questions will give you more insight about your goals, values and your weaknesses, strengths and potentials as a teacher and as a person. 

Again, I am not an authority in teaching, as all of you are authorities in your own right, and these are merely suggestions.  

1) Enhancement of their AWARENESS on the context of words and the proper usage of such. 

2) Practical application – English is very situational 

3) Error detection – as a result of heightened awareness 

4) Progressiveness – making newer mistakes and learning from them. 

5) Integration of all the skills and lessons learned or gained. 

 6) Functional Independence – being able to efficiently communicate by responding or initiating a conversation, adapting well to different situations by choosing the right word/expression to say.

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