Welcome to Korea!

UPDATE: Apparently some of the links near the end are broken. I will try to re-link them this weekend.  Sorry about the problem.  If you do a search with the title of the link on Google it will lead you to the original blog post on my old blog, http://kimchi-icecream.blogspot.com/

The  Kimchi Icecream Guide for New EFL/ESL Foreign English Teachers/Instructors in South Korea, 2010 Edition is the culmination of five years of writing and blogging about living and teaching in South Korea.  It is based on my experience teaching elementary after school programs and camps, 1 full year of teaching at 3 different middle schools (all girls, and co-ed), 1 year at an all girls academic high school, 1 year at a foreign language training center (English immersion camp programs and the 6 month Teach English in English training program for Korean English teachers), nearly 2 years at a national university of education (training future Korean English elementary teachers in a full time English education program, and a second 6 month Teach English in English training program), and my current experiences teaching at an all boys vocational-academic (it’s currently transitioning from the one to the other) high school.  Add to all of this summer and winter English camps during the entire five years, with varying levels of public school students, university students, and Korean English teacher trainees, and you’ll see that I’ve accumulated quite a bit of time and experience teaching in Korea.

My goal is to help new foreign teachers entering Korea for the first time to be informed of everything they need to know in order to make the transition from just keeping their head above the water and doing what I call ‘survival teaching’ to beginning to be able to swim with varying degrees of success and  happiness.  I write about both the good and bad things that may or may not take place in your teaching and living conditions in Korea.  The really hard thing about trying to write an orientation guide is that each foreign teacher has a different personality and their teaching/living situations can be so different as to be almost as though they’re not in the same country.  Perhaps the 3 biggest things you’ll need in Korea are a sense of humor, patience, and the mental abilities to adapt and be flexible about things that are literally beyond what you can imagine being possible–these are the things I think are VITAL to surviving and thriving in Korea.

In the readings below I’ve created a 1-3 star rating system to tell you how important I think a particular post is for new teachers to read.

* A little important and something you should read after you’ve been in Korea for a month and settled in.

** Moderately important and something you should read after you’ve unpacked everything in your apartment, and been in your school for a few weeks.

*** Very important information that will help you avoid typical mistakes and problems that new foreign teachers face when they first arrive in Korea.

I’ve put together this guide with everything I think a new foreign teacher (and for that matter even some veterans might find something useful here) might want to read about when they first arrive in Korea that I’ve written and blogged about.  Yet there will be things that you think are incomplete or missing; please add comments or email me and if it is possible I will write about the question, issue, or topic.

If any of the following materials are used as a part of an orientation or new foreign teacher training manual I would appreciate being cited as the author (if it’s something that I wrote) and or as a source from which the materials were taken from (if it’s something I found and arranged and posted on the Net). I’ve spent a lot of time and energy writing and blogging and would appreciate the citation. Thanks.

I’ll leave you with this thought about teaching and living in Korea.

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

I wish all new foreign teachers in Korea good luck tomorrow as the first day of the spring/summer semester begins.

Jason Ryan

p.s.  There are a few kinks in the spacing and text size that I’m trying to work out, sorry.

Before Coming to Korea


***Before Coming to Teach English in Korea–Things to Bring with You on the Plane

***New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea: Bring pictures with you for an introduction lesson during the first week at your school***

Orientation (NEW!)

2009 SMOE Orientation — SMOE Orientations From The Past . . . taking a look at what’s online and trying to get a sense of what is coming soon . . .

On my way to SMOE’s 2009 August orientation in T-minus 4 hours . . .

SMOE Orientation August 2009 — Day 2, Notification: Everybody on the 10th floor gets ‘relocated’ due to ‘construction hazards’–uhm, excuse me?

SMOE August Orientation 2009: a brief description of Day 3, and preview of the SMOE orientation series coming soon

2009 SMOE August Orientation Day 4 – teaching demonstrations and getting ear-thermometered for the Nth time . . .

2009 SMOE August Orientation Day 7 (or 6 if you got here last Saturday) — And on the seventh day Smoe told the teachers to pack, get on the buses….

First Week in Korea — Checklists


***Introduction For New Foreign English Teachers To The Korean Public School Environment

***New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea: Bring pictures with you for an introduction lesson during the first week at your school***

***First Day At School For New Native English Teachers in Korean Public Schools — Checklist***

***New Foreign English Instructors — First Day In Your New Apartment Checklist***

2005 New Foreign English Instructor Arrives at Korean Public School — A look back at my first week in Korea . . . wow, it’s been a long time . . .

Cultural Differences and Culture Shock


***New Foreign English Teachers in Korean Public Schools — One Foreign Instructor’s Take On Some Major Cultural Differences

Korean Education System Topics


***Introduction For New Foreign English Teachers To The Korean Public School Environment

***South Korean English Education Madness — 15 minute video that explains the general situation and problems

“Korean Children ‘Don’t Get Enough Sleep'” — Wow . . . now there’s a ‘revelation’ to foreign English teachers!

A Foreign English Teacher’s Reflections On 3 Years of Teaching in a Korean Public School English Program

New Foreign English Teachers in Korean Public Schools — Health and Homesickness in Korea

2005 New Foreign English Instructor Arrives at Korean Public School — A look back at my first week in Korea . . . wow, it’s been a long time . . .

EFL/ESL Teaching Books (NEW!)

List of EFL/ESL teaching methodology, lesson plans, games and activities, and cultural background books in my personal teaching library

***TESL/TEFL Teaching Method and Theory Books, Lesson Plan and Teaching Resource Books For New Foreign English Teachers In Korean Public Schools***

What are good EFL/ESL lesson plan, activity, game, resource books for teaching English in a Korean high school? – Here’s my list.

Bookstores in Korea


http://www.whatthebook.com/

New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea: Kim & Johnson Bookstore, Gangnam, Seoul

New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea: Kyobo Bookstore in Ganghwamun Station (near Gyungbuk Palace)

New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea: Young Poong Bookstore in Jonggak Station, Seoul

New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea: Bandi & Lunis Bookstore in Jonggak Station, Seoul

“What the book?” — New and Used English Books and Magazines — Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea

Used Book Store in Itaewon — not “What the book?” — a different place called “Foreign Book Store” — Check it out

Korean English Co-Teacher Topics


***8 Tips for Foreign English Instructors Co-teaching with a Korean English Teacher ***

New Foreign English Instructors/Teachers in Korea — What to do when your co-teacher doesn’t show up for class.

After School Programs/Classes/Extra Classes and English Camps (NEW!)

***Extra English Conversation Classes: Setting them up; Mixed levels; Getting paid; class size limits and levels of students in the class

***English Camps in South Korea – A Guideline for Foreign English Teachers***

Winter English Camp Konglish: “shampoo and rinse” and “wash towel”

Winter English Camp in South Korea: Camp #2, Day 1 — Lesson prep in Korea is the Achilles Heel of EFL teaching

Winter English Camp in South Korea: Camp #2, Day 1 — My Teaching Nightmare Becomes Reality: Zombie Student Attack!!!

Winter English Camp in South Korea #2, Day 2: The Zombies Return . . . and not even the power of kimchi ice-cream can wake the undead! (See pictures of kimchi ice-cream here!)

***New Foreign English Teachers in Korean Public Schools–Summer and Winter Camps Checklist***

English Winter Camps in Korea–What to do when your co-teacher tells you to design 20 lessons for a camp and submit them tomorrow–F*#@!!!

Korean Student Pointy-Sense: The 24 Hour Test/Assignment Point Radar Phenomemon in Korean Students

Living in Korea — Locations and Conditions (NEW!)

Bugs and Apartment Life in South Korea – A giant cockroach visited my girlfriend today . . . no, really.

2009 Foreign English Teachers Living in Korea: Best and Worst Living Conditions Contest

Memories from 2005 on Ganghwa Island

2009 SMOE August Orientation — My new apartment . . . and yep, there’s no gas, no power, and no furniture . . . lol, sigh.

And the ajumma said: “Behold! I bring forth the fridge for your apartment!” — And the foreign teachers Jason and Julianne bowed down in awe before it

Moving Sale – A friend of mine is leaving Korea and she has lots of stuff to sell…


Life in Korea – Issues for Foreign Instructors


***Act on the Treatment of Foreigners in Korea — Brian in Jeollonamdo has a translation link about this***

Lesson Topic Ideas


“I can’t think of any English lesson topics . . .” Lesson Plan Topics List For New Foreign English Teachers In Korean Public Schools

Where to find western and foreign foods in Korea (NEW!)

http://www.vegetarianinkorea.com/

Seoul Eats

Seoul Food

Indian Food in Seoul, South Korea – Go to Namaste in Jonggak Station in the World Food Court, it’s awesome!

Outback Steakhouse Restaurant in Jongno-gu, Seoul — Wow, there’s one just two blocks from Jongno Tower/Jonggak Station

Gecko’s in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea — Trying their cheese burger …

Subway merchants, Jongno Tower, VIPS for dinner, and heading to Lotte Mart . . .

Namdaemun Market, Seoul, South Korea – How do I get to Namdaemun Market? Where can I find foreign foods and products in Seoul?

The Best Hamburger in South Korea — The Smokey Saloon in Itaewon

Where can I get kebabs and middle eastern style food in South Korea? Sultan Kebab in Seoul: 3 locations

Coming Soon: TURKEY DINNER IN KOREA!!! WOO HOO!!!

2008 Thanksgiving in Korea with a Turkey!

Dinner at the Olive Garden–YUM!

Where can I get Indian food in South Korea? — Foreign Restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul.

Taking Julianne to VIPS in Chuncheon

Korean Foods (NEW!)

ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal

http://www.vegetarianinkorea.com/

Seoul Eats

Seoul Food

http://www.maangchi.com/

There’s a five part series from the TV show “Bizarre Foods” where they talk about Korean food culture and give a lot of info.

Also check out aeriskitchen How to make Korean food videos from youtube–Aeri is amazing!!!Here’s a show explaining ‘bibimbap.’

Shaving in my kitchen, eating dokgalbi, and Julianne’s first time shooting a bb gun

Everyday Korean Foods — Julianne’s First Dolsot Bibimbap

Weird bacon for breakfast, a walk by the river, and dokgalbi for dinner

When the Korean winterscape gets you down reach for your favorite comfort food

Yang Yom Galbi BBQ in Korea

Korean BBQ Galbi Video 2008 Nov 21 Dinner in Chuncheon

Lyn likes to eat steak with kimchi–That’s so WRONG on so MANY LEVELS–lol

Chicken dokgalbi in Chuncheon, South Korea–up close and personal

Seoul subway stairs, pseudo Chuncheon dakgalbi, and dodging scooters on the way home . . .

BBQ Yang Yom Galbi in Seoul, South Korea — Dinner tonight was yummy!


Teacher Training and Conferences in Korea


***Check out KOTESOL’s official website to learn more about it. You can become a member and then attend monthly sessions with presentations, and also attend the yearly international conference held at the end of October in Seoul.

2008 KOTESOL October 25, 26 COMING SOON . . . THIS WEEKEND!

2008 KOTESOL Weekend

2008 KOTESOL: Me acting like a cat . . . yikes, or should I say “Meow?”

NOTE: Before reading this post below be aware that regardless of the criticisms I make in this post I will still be attending the KOTESOL conference. It is a great place to network with other foreign teachers from hogwans, public schools, training centers/institutes, and universities . . . and get some teacher training and hear presentations about EFL/ESL methodology . . . and the list goes on.

KOTESOL Conference 2008: Amateur vs. Professional/International

2009 SMOE Workshop Day 1 – Unrealistic expectations?

TESOL course & TESOL certification with online certificate programs

http://www.tesolonline.com/

CELTA, TESOL TEFL, TESL and CELTYL Certification & Certificate Courses for EFL ESL Teachers. Teach English abroad or overseas at ECC (Thailand) ASIA. Survivor Education Thailand

http://www.eccthai.com/

CELTA Courses Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults

http://www.eccthai.com/training/schedule.asp


Shopping for Clothing


“Big Size!” Clothing Shopping Trip to Itaewon

Being Sick and Hospitals and Medicine in Korean Culture


“You should go to the hospital.”

The Nurse Who Could Speak English — Visit to Seoul National University Hospital International Foreigner Clinic

Got a cold and cough like me? Try Chinese Herbal Cough MedicineChinese Herbal Cough

Medicine in South Korea vs. Buckleys–Which one do you think makes your face contort the most?

E2 Visa Health/Medical Check for Renewing a Contract — One of the things I truly dislike about living in Korea

Visiting a Korean Emergency Room — Gangwon National University Teaching Hospital: a nurse gave Julianne a needle full of “red stuff” tonight . . .

Things you can do when you’re sick and at home on a Saturday night in Korea: Disney XXX

“You should go to the hospital” — Korean cultural norm of going to hospital for many things may backfire on it for H1N1

H1N1 will become an epidemic in Korea that will see a revolution in hygiene awareness, and Koreans staying home when they’re sick

South Korea – Swine Flu will close all schools and pretty much shut the country down for 10 days–and give foreign teachers another 10 day quarantine

Being sick and actually having a sympathetic and understanding co-teacher . . . somebody pinch me!!!

H1N1 and visiting a South Korean Hospital — Do NOT pick your nose and then hand out sterile masks!

H1N1 ‘Clinic’ is really a tent outside the International Foreign Clinic and ER at Seoul National University Hospital — Nothing says quality care like a screeching bleep sound from construction vehicles outside the tent flap…sigh!


Stories About Teaching in Korean Public Schools (NEW!)

Jason, you’re going to prep the seniors for the listening section on Suneung, and do you want to be in a promotional video for our high school? Wow…

Halloween Classroom Decorations — Looking back at 2005 and my first Halloween lesson in Korea

Shopping For Halloween Decorations at Lotte Mart, Seoul Station

Carving jack-o-lanterns with my co-teacher — Co-teaching . . . it ain’t just in the classroom.

EFL Classroom Halloween Culture Lesson Craft Activity and Display Part II

“Please pay attention.” (And stop wiggling your tongues at each other, lol)

It’s class time . . . and yep, no students (again).

EFL Teaching and Curriculum Design in Korea – Tried to make a 2 month syllabus and in the first week it’s already been destroyed…

Being sick and actually having a sympathetic and understanding co-teacher . . . somebody pinch me!!!

Because its Punny and I am laugh when read

Winter English Camp Konglish: “shampoo and rinse” and “wash towel”

***EFL Foreign Teacher Motivation – What do you do when you don’t feel like teaching but have to?

Winter English Camp in South Korea: Camp #2, Day 1 — Lesson prep in Korea is the Achilles Heel of EFL teaching

Winter English Camp in South Korea: Camp #2, Day 1 — My Teaching Nightmare Becomes Reality: Zombie Student Attack!!!

Winter English Camp in South Korea #2, Day 2: The Zombies Return . . . and not even the power of kimchi ice-cream can wake the undead! (See pictures of kimchi ice-cream here!)


Expat/Foreign Instructor Blogs (NEW!)

Blogs can be a great source of information about teaching and living in Korea, but they can also be a very bad source.  Be careful not to get sucked in by the ranting and raving blogs–they will poison how you see yourself and Korea.

The Korean Blog List

Top South Korea Blogs

General Bloggers (NEW!)

Ask a Korean!

Paul Ajosshi

Dokdo Is Ours

Jumping the Asymptote

Expacked

Galbijim.com

http://www.efl.htmlplanet.com/index.html

http://www.korea4expats.com/

http://discoveringkorea.com/

Korea Photography Blogs


http://hermithideaways.com/

Scribblings of the Metropolitician

Photoblogs from South Korea

Korean Food and Western Food and Restaurant Bloggers


ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal

Women Expat/Foreign Instructor Blogs (You get your own special category because there aren’t many of you.)


Going Places

Amanda Takes Off…

♫ ♥ Lola O. In Seoul ♥ ♫

A Fat Girl in Seoul (Korea, books, and calories)

Seoul Searching… ^_^.

Anything but the Squid

Intransitive

I Got Two Shoes

Chubbo Chubbington

Foreign/er

Korean Culture and Language Study Blogs


Asadal Thought

An Introduction to Korean

by J. David Eisenberg

University Bloggers

Roboseyo

http://eflclassroom.ning.com/index.php

Gangwon Notes

Gusts Of Popular Feeling

Joe S e o u l m a n

The Grand Narrative

My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

Public School Bloggers


Brian in Jeollanam-do

Lost on Jeju

Going Places

The Chosun Bimbo

Ranting Englishman

♫ ♥ Lola O. In Seoul ♥ ♫

The Seoul Patch

난는, 외국인 – I, Foreigner

Hogwan/Training Institute Bloggers


Ruby Ramblings

an acorn in the dog’s food

Korea English News Blogs and Websites

http://joongangdaily.joins.com/

http://english.hani.co.kr/kisa/section-014000000/home01.htmlhttp://english.chosun.com/

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/

http://south-korea.alltop.com/

http://english.ohmynews.com/

Seoul Korea Movie Listing and Times

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/


Korean Tabloids (also known as anti-foreign teacher crap sites)

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/index.asp

EFL/ESL Academic Journals


Asian EFL Journal

The Internet TESL Journal

Foreign Teacher Association


Definitely worth checking out though I, and other expats, are still waiting to see what ATEK is developing into . . . check it out and decide for yourself.

Welcome to ATEK The Association for Teachers of English in Korea is a new organization of teachers on visas in Korea and their supporters.

Traveling in Korea


http://info.korail.com/2007/eng/eng_index.jsp

http://www.adventurekorea.com/main/

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto

Useful EFL/ESL Websites for Foreign Teachers in South Korea


http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/ (great site for making ready to photocopy handouts for class, for example crosswords and word search puzzles)

http://www.mes-english.com/ (not accessible at schools anymore, have to do some work from home internet)

http://www.eslprintables.com/ (have to put up some of your own work in order to download stuff)

http://bogglesworldesl.com/ (best for elementary/beginner students)

Kimchi Icecream Blog Stories About Living in Seoul (NEW!)

63 Building, Seoul, South Korea — Walking along the Han River in Seoul . . .

Han River Ferry Boat Ride in Seoul, South Korea

South Korea Subway Station Walk Through – Walking from my school to Jonggak Station in Seoul

Mass Freeze in Seoul at COEX Mall, South Korea 2009

I almost dongchimmed an ajusshi in the subway tonight . . .

Chang Deok Gung/Palace in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea — Part 1

Chang Deok Gung/Palace in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea — Part 2

Choong Ahn High School, Seoul, South Korea — Fall pictures, a soccer game, and a magpie . . .

Club Freebird, Hondae, Seoul, South Korea — A band I saw the other night and nobody can tell me their name, lol.

Fall Leaves Around My Neighborhood in Seoul

Disco Jump Ride in Dongdaemun Market — The guy who does flips in the center of the ride wasn’t working tonight–damn!

H1N1/Swine Flu — Shutting down all schools in South Korea . . . will it come to that with Suneung only 16 days away?

Fiery Red Fall Leaves and A Monk Waiting for a Taxi in Seoul, South Korea

Soju Street Advertising in Seoul — Nothing says eat me, drink me like a neon pink costume …

Morning walk to school . . . check out the mountain in the background, wow.

2009 Seoul Lantern Festival at Cheonggye Stream, Seoul, South Korea

2009 Seoul Lantern Festival — Saturday night pictures . . .

Rubber Seoul Event and World AIDS Day, Hongdae, Seoul, South Korea – Saturday December 5th, 2009

Seoul Snow Jam 2009 — World class snowboarders and a 3 story high snow ramp in Ganghwamun Plaza?

Snow Jam Seoul 2009 / LG Snowboard FIS World Cup BA — Awesome snowboarding with huge air and a few wicked wipeouts

New Year’s Eve in South Korea – Julianne cooks some salmon and spiced potatoes . . . and a low key warm night in the apartment.

Seoul Heaviest Snowfall Pictures, January 2010

Gwanghwamun Plaza Ice Skating in Seoul, South Korea

Hard working Koreans in Seoul, 2010

Pigeons on ChangDeok Palace’s Main Gate, Seoul

Random things from this past week . . . a motorcycle, my school, an ugly dog, a mountain landscape, and a student’s lunchbox — this is my life…

Bugs and Apartment Life in South Korea – A giant cockroach visited my girlfriend today . . . no, really.

The Staring Ajusshi — I know my girlfriend is hot but will you please stop staring at her?

Things I’ve seen while walking around Seoul’s streets and in the subway . . .

Daily pictures of life in Korea #1: Choong Ang Boys High School


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