Teaching, Korea and Covid

Laura arrived in Korea several years after I left, but we have quite a few mutual friends and have talked many times online. At the time of this interview, she was at home in Pusan, and I was at home in Antipolo. Thanks to Laura for the photos.

Laura’s story

So, how did you end up teaching in Korea, of all places?

In 2008, I was selling business franchises in Los Angeles when the bottom fell out of the economy. I lost my house, sold my car, put my stuff away and gave my two cats and dog to my … Read More

Hungary, or ESL after Korea

Five years ago, Steve and I had an interview about his early days in the Peace Corps, starting in 1973, and his then current gig at Yeungnam University near Daegu, where he taught from 2012-2017. We called it “Korea Forty Years Later (Link)

In this recent interview he talks about this past year he and his wife Marsha spent teaching in Hungary, which he sees as a possibility for other teachers after they leave Korea.

Steve’s story

 How was it teaching English in Hungary? When did you go and what was your experience?

My wife and I arrived … Read More

American Teachers in China, Part 2

Before coming to China, Amy taught for two years at a for-profit language school in South Korea. She returned to the United States, worked at some non-traditional education outfits and taught as an adjunct college professor. She  then went back to school for K-12 teaching certification to supplement her Master’s in Fine Arts. She’s now had a successful first semester teaching at the Peking University Experimental School in Jiaxing, in part because of her online negotiations with the school. She passed relatively swiftly through the difficult stage two of culture shock.

Amy and I talked at my house in the Read More

American Teachers in China, Part 1

In 1984-86 I taught English as a Foreign Expert at Xiamen University on the coast across from Taiwan (Link).In many ways it was a great job, but my starting salary was only about $200 a month with free housing. I heard this was ten times what the lowest-level university teachers were making and twice Deng Xiao Ping’s take-home pay, although I’m sure his perks were a lot better. I had a great time and learned a lot. If the pay had been better I might have stayed on, but I was over forty and needed to start Read More

Teaching English in Taiwan and Japan

My first experience in language teaching was in 1966, when I taught German with the Audio-lingual Method of repetition drills, substitution drills and communication exercises—a close relative of the Direct Method or Berlitz Method—all conducted in the target language and reinforced in the language laboratory. It can be extremely effective with most beginning language learners, so that students can produce a few short sentences after the first hour of instruction.

John’s experience with language teaching includes classic novice mistakes followed by proper training, success, administrative duties and finally the frustration of apathy and “chalk and talk.”

John and I spoke Read More