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Browsing Archive: April, 2012

Korean university students and EFL: challenges

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Sunday, April 29, 2012, In : EFL teaching in Asia 

In the South Korean education system there is intense pressure for students to achieve. From around 4th grade in elementary school a child's learning future may well be mapped out. Competition to get into the 'best' middle or high school is intense, and by age fifteen a large percentage of Korean kids will have spent about two thirds (or more) of their waking hours working towards this goal.

82% of high school graduates will enter university, (source: Glutted with graduates), their final desti...

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A question for authors

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, In : Being a writer 

Publishing my first non fiction book a couple of months ago was a wonderful moment in my writing life.I believed in the story I was sharing, felt totally committed to the project and didn't have a moments doubt that this was going to be a great read.

That it is still selling steadily thrills me. I feel like a proud mother. I want to do it again but I'm having problems.

Even with several exciting options at various stages of development I can't seem to pull anything together. It makes me feel li...

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Writing notes for future blog posts

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Sunday, April 15, 2012, In : Being a writer 
Are you the kind of writer who never leaves the house without pen and notebook?
I definitely am. Unfortunately my compulsion to be ever prepared for literary inspiration doesn't always have a positive outcome. I've no problem with making notes. It's making sense of them afterwards that causes me problems!

An example
During my recent travels to Sri lanka I filled an entire small jotter with mysterious scribblings that make absolutely no sense to me now. Perhaps I thought that phrases such as :

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Cooking at home in South Korea

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Sunday, April 8, 2012, In : Being an expat 

I don't eat out very often here in South Korea, for various reasons.

  • My limited language makes it too much of a lottery. Point and smile only goes so far!
  • Most restaurants serve food in portions intended for 2+ people, which is fair enough as few people here would go out to eat alone.
  • Lots of the food is high in salt or pickled.

When I get together with friends I enjoy good BBQ meat, lamb or fried chicken, but most days I fend for myself.

Because I live in a fairly rural area I have ...

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Sri Lanka phase 2: from Colombo to Habarana

Posted by Valerie Ann Hamer on Monday, April 2, 2012, In : Travel tales 

Having spent the first two days of the trip at the aptly named Paradise Hotel in Colombo, Jane and I reluctantly packed our bags for phase 2. We were to meet our driver and set off on the long journey to Habarana, complete with hangovers from the Arrack cocktails of the night before!

Needless to say, much of that journey passed in a blur. We were blessed with a great driver of course, and a comfy ride.

The famed 'cultural triangle' area was really more about my friend than myself. Being plagued...

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About Me

Valerie Ann Hamer Global nomad, writer, teacher


"bary inn kuala lumpar #100 happy days 'shopping confusion" 'teaching english in asia" 1970s music 50 shades of grey 50th a korean village abba abba tribute affiliate marketing african children's literature air anita maccallum anna bianchi apartment in korea asia auschwitz authentic teachers be a better teacher beijing beijing sideways being a writer birthday birthday. blind dates blog blog notes book stores in asia books books and expats bread british culture budget airlines budget travel busan busan dog cafe business class upgrade candy crush candy crush saga cargo ship passenger cargo ship travel cbrbound charity chatterbox cafe china chris backe chuseok clearly writing comfort food comments communication complimentary medicine concierge travel cornish rock pools coronation street costco creative writer's workshop creative writing courses creative writing courses in ireland cultural identity culture currency confusion dentists in korea dictionary definitions of expat dina porell dirty dancing dog blogs drinking at convenience stores driving in korea driving in the uk e-books efl efl activities efl and esl activities efl game efl games efl job applications efl teacher resources efl teaching in korea efl teaching tips egyptian food egyptian street culture emotional spring cleaning english engrade esl jobseeking essential efl classroom tips exceed driver training exchanging driving licence in korea expat expat friends expat friendships expat life expat medical care expat women expat writers expatriate expats expats in asia expats in korea facebook facebook fan falmouth university falmouth university ma professional writing filters fire risks foreign food shopping foreigner foreigners driving in korea france free esl teaching aid friends friendship frugal living fun efl activity fundraising galley girl tales getting a korean driving licence gift giving in south korea gift sets girl scout cookies golden baobab prize goukon great wall of china group dates guest blogging gypsies habarana hanjin brussels help korean kids hepatitis a in korea hi tech japanese toilets hite hoarding home how to engage efl students hygiene in korea identity theft inequality insurance for foreigners in korea interaction jackie bolen japan japanese apartments jeffrey miller jeongnamjin group home kindle konglish korea korea and road safety korean korean apartments korean convenience stores korean culture korean education korean education system korean thanksgiving korean toilets korean wedding halls ktx language language learning mistakes language learning. japanese lavender icecream learning japanese lee min ho left brain right brain writing little house on the prairie living in tokyo lost in translation louder \than words ma professional writing manu fieldel marketing marmite massage chair medical treatment in asia mid term test motivating teenagers in efl class motorbike motorbike and sidecar muslims naked without books nanowrimo national coffee day national novel writing month negombo new year resolutions nina davalun noise noise sensitivity noisy neighbours nomad nomadic lifestyle nomads nonsense english on the buses online food ordering onsen ordinary expats page paid forum posting patriate patriot pepero picky sticky or just plain icky? poland possessions prejudice private students in japan pyeongtaek questions racism readathon reading reading and expats recording student grades relationships relocation reptriation returns reverse culture shock self publishing in korea sento sewol ferry tragedy sidecar sigiriya. single malt female smashwords smoking plug social media social media marketing society songtan south korea south korean hospitals spa resort malaysia spam spewings of a sophist sri lanka stereotypes tb in korea teach efl in korea teaching at a university in south korea teaching efl teaching efl at a korean university teaching english in a south korean university teaching in korea the the archieness the hobbit the power of words the women in turkey project to tokyo tokyo coffee shops tolkien top websites travel by freight ship travel by freighter travel insurance travellers treasure hunt turning points twitter uk uk holiday uk travel university apartment south korea university grading efl university jobs in south korea university of falmouth us visa waiver usa to korea by ship used book stores in korea used bookstores in tokyo vacation plans varna virtual book tour want to write a novel weardale what is an expat? what the book whisky wholegrain bread winter in korea words writer's block writing writing articles writing competitons yorkshire tea
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