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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

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