Thursday, August 30, 2012


I've discovered pseudonyms are quite popular in Korea, my students and some co-teachers have given themselves English pseudonyms. I've decided to use these, and create some additional ones, throughout my blog to help retain anonymity.

Some of my students names:

I will add more when I remember...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Typhoon Bolaven

I moved to Seoul, during a typhoon none the less. It really wasn't that bad, but my School kids were ,sent home early, so I didn't get to meet them until the following day.
My co-teachers informed that it caused a lot of damage along the coast, mainly fishing boats and trees which means there won't be as much fruit for Chuseok (Korean thanks-giving).
My apartment is small, but it's clean and pretty smart because the block was only built a couple of years ago (it's not even on google maps yet, it's probably on naver maps but that's in Korean).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Farewell ceremony

We were finally told the names of our schools and their location in Seoul. Then, we went to the final ceremony and celebration meal. There were some excellent speeches from the five class representatives, and there was an entertaining wrap up video the EPIK staff created: Farewell video

I shall miss my home room teacher Rumi and her assistant Son.
My lovely home room teacher, Rumi and her assistant, Son.

Lesson demonstration and feedback

Planning for lesson demonstrations

I had to plan and demonstrate a 40 min lesson plan with two other EPIK teachers. Although, I had some nerves due to being observed by 60 of my peers and several teaching staff, again it was very familiar and similar to CELTA. Our group picked comparative adjectives, so for the production/game activity I chose the classic British playground favourite Top Trumps!

Our assessor told me that I need to ensure I always focus on projecting my voice towards the back of the room. Otherwise our feedback was generally quite positive.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Field trip day

During orientation we also had some Korean cultural experiences, these included survival korean classes, a welcoming performance with Korean musical instruments, a field trip to Gap-sa temple, Gonju national museum, Gyeryongsan pottery village and a Taekwondo class with the Korean Olympic team!

I've learnt that Koreans love poop, they think it's cute.
Gyeryongsan pottery village

Gap-sa temple
Gap-sa temple

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The dreaded medical

I was pretty nervous about the medical assessment and it was a pretty strange experience (see the farewell video). Thankfully I was in the first group of check-ups. This meant that by 9.45am, I was finished and eating my muffin snacks, hurrah!


EPIK orientation program
Our schedule was pretty full-on. We had lectures on Korean culture, the Korean education system, lesson planning, after school programs and camps. All of this was vary similar to what I'd covered in my CELTA, but from Korea's perspective and expectations. Thankfully nothing too scary or daunting. 

The opening ceremony included traditional music and modern k-pop, which composed of a highly entertaining EPIK staff introductory Gangnam style video montage.

Orientation was a fantastic networking opportunity. Our class for Seoul was huge, over 60 native English Teachers, a lot of introductions and names to remember.... Class 1

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Arriving in Daejeon

I arrived at the KT human resources centre in Daejeon at 10.00pm. 
This was temporary home for the next week. 

Our room
My new roomie was from California, San Francisco bay area.  

Our Korean style shower over the toilet bathroom

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What every tourist wants

I spotted this in Dubai international airport and I managed to find some free wifi, so I uploaded it to facebook for others to share my amusement. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fond farewells

I applied for the EPIK program through a recruiter, ESLstarter. Phil was tremendously helpful, he replied promptly and courteously whenever I fretted over the long application process and various different official documents. I would highly recommend them, for more information see their website: ESLstarter EPIK  

Applying for the EPIK program took over six months and I'd been offered a teaching placement in Seoul. I was extremely excited and nervous. However, I knew the departures lounge was going to be difficult, saying farewell to loved ones always is. My mum and Ian took me to Birmingham airport, and as a special treat my brother came to meet us. He helped provide a welcome distraction and some light relief. Unfortunately he'd been unable to obtain permission to enter departures with me, but he still turned up to say goodbye in his van and when he left he flashed his 'blues' for me.