The Shakespearean Tabletop RPG!

Paul Budra, of Simon Fraser University, has created Play Extempore, the Shakespearean tabletop role-playing game — and has put it online free! (more…)

Might Be Going To Korea…

Because there’s not enough work here.  Or, there’s work, but it’s difficult to get many hours, and the pay is pretty bad.

I’ve heard things are better in Phenom Phen, the Cambodian capital, but the basic trouble is just that Cambodia’s starting to feel the pinch, and there’s not a lot of money going around.

Anyway, if you want a good free Korean language course, this is the one I’ve found:

the FSI (Foreign Service Institute) Korean language course, by Unit

the FSI (Foreign Service Institute) Korean language course, by Volume 

BTW, it’s shockingly expensive to fly to Korea from Cambodia — as much as it would cost me to go home!  What’s with that?

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 12:37 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Rainy Season in Cambodia

It hasn’t been too bad, all together.  But now, toward the end, we’ve gotten the tail-end of a local typhoon.  (In the States we have hurricaines; here they have typhoons.  The nature of the difference eludes me.)

I was at the bar I go to (Mary’s) when the typhoon hit.  It just started pouring.  Several of us were hanging out on the balcony.  Mary’s is a guesthouse, so I rented a room for the night.  Later, I found out that the host had made it on the house; or as the girl put it, “free for you.”

It rained so much that the river overflowed.  As of Saturday, this was the view from Mary’s:


The sanitation engineering is very basic in Siem Reap, so I don’t really want to think about what this girl is walking through.  The host on the day I took this photo said the previous night he’d pulled a leech from between his toes. (more…)

Published in: on October 5, 2009 at 10:34 pm  Comments (2)  
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English Class – Problems and Solutions (maybe)

What I’ve done the first week is this —

I started on as a teacher a few days before the end of the month. So I was supposed to give them a monthly test — basically not possible, as I don’t know what they know.

So I got permission to put that off, and I made up a cumulative quiz with questions on each of the five things they’re supposed to know.

Those are, nontechnically: I was printing the paper; I have printed the paper; The paper was printed by me; If you eat the last cookie, I will be angry; tall, taller, tallest, but modest, more modest, most modest.

So, for a week and a half I’ve been hammering away at different variations of these same exercizes. The current educational theory is “immersion,” and the idea is that with enough exposure you “just get” the language.

I’m not doing that; I’m teaching them grammer, and I’m teaching it like math: This is the pattern. Learn the pattern. The test will look a lot like this.

(I’m all for immersion to build fluency, but not to get proper grammer into their heads.)

The slow kids still weren’t getting it. Basically, they’d given up.


Published in: on September 5, 2009 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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English Teaching Geeking

I have previously sung the praises of Inspiration Pad Pro, which is a free, nifty, simple little program that picks items from lists and puts them into blanks in a template you write — like an automated version of Mad Libs.

I’m currently using this tool to create problem-sets for my English students.  This will allow me to tailor daily quizzes to focus on each individual student’s needs — with a little bit of tinkering per student, but not much.

And, once I’ve defined a problem set, I can just aim the computer at that set and tell it how many examples I need.  So, if two weeks from now I want 3 passive voice questions and 2 first conditional questions, I just aim the thing at the problem set I’ve already defined.

And, it’s better than cutting-and-pasting old questions, because there’s variety to the wording.

It’s a nice little program.

Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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