TEFL TIPS #4 – Verb of the Day

Verbs are the skeleton of any language. Most ESL learners know the basics:. ‘eat,’ ‘go’, ‘play‘ etc., but expanding this list is vital to those working towards achieving a higher level of both spoken and written English.

verb of the day

In my classroom, I introduced a method I call ‘verb of the day’. It’s pretty simple but effective.

Every day I spend a few minutes introducing a new verb and ask my students to use that verb in a sentence. In a few weeks, my students progress from using standard verbs: ‘I eat‘ ‘I go’ & ‘I like‘ to the more advanced: ‘I climbed’, ‘I jump’, ‘I travelled‘.

The more creative you are at introducing the verb (you could use a song, dance and games), naturally the more the class will learn. For the smaller kids, acting out the words can be very effective.

A list of verbs I use to teach in kindergartens – elementary school are as followings:

– stretch
– push
– pull
– visit
– bend
– think
– cry
– rush
– throw
– move
-chase
– bite

The older or more advanced the students the further you can go:

– quit
– shake
– whisper
– scare

I find these Verb Flashcards from Amazon super helpful in my online and brick and mortar classroom:

Visa Guide: Korea

Getting Your Work Visa in Korea

South Korea has one of the most complex and time-consuming Visa processes of all the countries I’ve been to. The amount of paperwork involved is intense and unlike most countries, you really need to begin the process of collecting documents long before you’ve actually secured a job. Further, while most countries process these applications at their foreign consulates, your documents will actually need to be sent to Korea before you can proceed. Let’s start with the basics—here’s what you’ll need to collect:

  • Three sealed copies of your University transcripts
  • Notarized copies of your degrees
  • Two copies of an FBI Criminal Background Check—depending on where you live, this can be quite a hassle. In order to obtain the correct check, you need to supply them with fingerprint cards. Getting your fingerprints taken in the past meant walking into any police station, but these days finding one that still does it (or even better—does it for free) can be hard to do. For the process on ordering or to print out fingerprint cards, go to https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/identity-history-summary-checks/identity-history-summary-checks . This one has to be timed correctly as well—these checks often take up to 3 months to get back to you and they need to be less than 6 months old to be valid.
  • Signed Health Statement—this will likely be provided by your school or recruiter.
  • Resume with at least 2 letters of recommendation
  • Copy of your Passport Information page
  • 5 Passport-sized Photos
  • A signed copy of your new school contract.

So far this seems pretty standard, right? Well, here’s where it gets complicated. You’ll now need to take your notarized degree copies & FBI Check and have them apostilled. For those of you who are completely unfamiliar with this process, welcome to the club. It’s a needlessly complicated and expensive way to basically notarize the notary—double-confirm that the document is real. In the US, each state has a designated office that can issue apostilles, each with their own fee ranging from $0 – $35 per document. You’ll need to send your degrees to the office of the state they were notarized in. Occasionally, you’ll be asked to send them to the state they were issued in instead—make sure you clarify this with your recruiter or school before sending your documents.

Your background check will need to be apostilled at the federal level, so you’ll need this form (http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/183033.pdf ) and will send your documents to the Department of State.

For those not in the US, apostilles may be obtained from:

Okay, so now you’ve spent a few hundred bucks and wasted hours waiting for the mail to arrive, but you’ve finally collected all your papers. Now, you’ll need to send them to your school or recruiter in Korea. They’ll then file for your visa issuance number and send the required documents back to you. Now, you’ll need to collect the documents you’ll need at the consulate:

  • Passport
  • E2 Visa Application form (obtainable from the consulate or online)
  • Consulate’s Checklist (obtainable from the consulate or online)
  • Passport Photo
  • One set of sealed university transcripts
  • Visa Issuance Number

The final step in the process, after your documents have been reviewed, is an interview with the consulate which can be scheduled via telephone, although most require you to appear in person for the actual appointment. They’ll mostly just ask about your employment, your housing, your long-term plan, and your medical record/vaccinations—all pretty basic.

You then need to wait for your passport to arrive with your newly minted Korean Work Visa, and once it arrives you’ll be on your way!

-Ashley

Teaching in Thailand: Part 3 – Reflection, one year on.

April 2014.

“I’ve been in Thailand a year. WOW, that went quick.”

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An overwhelming sense of accomplishment is gladly welcomed after you finish something after a long period of time. If you enjoyed that something, it’s combined with a great sense of sadness too.

I’m not going to continue this with the monsoon of clichĂ©s (‘it was life-changing’ etc.) because that would be stating the obvious. But, instead, say that a year in Thailand for me wasn’t just a year abroad, a gap year, a way of travelling (even though I thought it would be before I left), but a new way of life and career. I am referring to the idea of a teaching/ travelling lifestyle, more than Thailand itself. The list of benefits this lifestyle offers is huge.

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However, I wasn’t done with Thailand just yet and signed a contract for a new semester, in a new school, in a different part of the country……

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-Liam

Learning Korean (Hangul)

hangul 2

Being born and raised in Wales, different languages have always been present in my day to day life. That sounds a lot more exotic than it actually is; everyone in Wales is required to study Welsh until he/she finishes school, so basically, I always had that in addition to the standard French and German lessons most people have at school. And then,  not to mention the millions of pounds the government spends on road signs in both Welsh and English that can be seen throughout the country (the second most common thing in Wales, with sheep being the first).

_62457276_roadsignadelemallows

However, it wasn’t until I moved to Thailand where I started to really enjoy learning a language that I thought about seriously trying to becoming fluent in one. I could understand these weird tonal noises (Thai)- ‘How incredible is that?’ I thought.

However, that said, I still am not fluent in any language apart from English (and many may question that). So now, a few weeks before I head to South Korea, I have thrown myself into learning Korean, like a 25-year-old virgin throws himself into a brothel. More specifically I have started learning their alphabet: Hangul. I am determined to study these alien symbols and learn to construct sentences using them. I am studying using the following book, which you can buy from Amazon:

hangul

I have already mastered using a few vowels and consonants, and I just learned my first word:

 한글

(Hangul)

Ill keep you updated on how it goes.

-Liam

All photos were sourced from Google images and Amazon.