Just found out that one of the big English teaching programs out here (run primarily by Taiwanese) openly discussed rejecting all east Asian American applicants at one point, since they don’t look “American” (i.e. white) enough. The program in question was already predominantly white, but the second biggest group was composed of said applicants. 

It just goes to show you how pervasive and damaging white supremacy is, even out here.

More signs that I just need to GTFO of Taiwan

So I was a little annoyed or whatever at the fuckery at English camp last Saturday where students specifically targeted me for harassment (since I was the only black teacher there). But at the end of the day, I was just meeting these kids so I really had no expectations (sadly), either way.

Earlier this week, though, at one of my schools where I’ve been working all year and feel like I’ve really connected with the students, I had my last period of class teaching 6th graders, and stayed after class for a bit to chat with them in Chinese. We were chatting when suddenly one of the students that I really like asked out of the blue:

"Teacher, why don’t you have blue eyes?"

Which was the exact same question that I’d gotten at English camp from students who’d never met me before, just days earlier.

This was followed in short order by a number of other students asking,

"Why don’t you have blonde hair?"

"Why is your hair curly?"

And they were all laughing while asking. Not maliciously, but in an “oh this is interesting and entertaining” kind of way.

I was surprised by all of this to say the least, as these are students that I’ve been working with for almost a year now, and yet they still conflated Americanness so blatantly with whiteness. My very presence at the school, the relationships that I’d built with them over the last 10 months— none of that seemed to mean anything to them, or to have made any type of real difference in changing their perceptions. It didn’t seem like any of my hard work over the past year had even made a tiny dent in challenging these entrenched white supremacist narratives that in order to be a “real” American, you have to be white.

And to my students, at the end of the day, as a POC I was still deficient in my Americanness by not being white. 

Still. After almost a full year with them. And these are 6th graders not 1st or 3rd.

When I challenged them on these questions, they just responded flatly that “most foreigners have blonde hair and blue eyes” and laughed. My Chinese isn’t good enough to have made that opportunity into a fully developed learning moment, even if I wanted to, but at this point, I can’t even bring myself to care really anymore. Because if my own students who I’ve worked with for this long STILL don’t see me as having equal value compared to a white person… then I don’t know what else to say.

19 Days until departure. 


La diferencia entre los verbos speak y talk es el tema de este video. En la mayoría de los casos, como explico, los verbos son iguales, pero hay una excepción: se usa speak cuando hablamos de hablar un idioma.

I speak English and Spanish.

Do you speak Spanish? 

She speaks Italian, but she doesn’t speak Spanish.

Por lo demás son bastante iguales—lo único es que speak suena un poco más formal que talk.

Las preposiciones que se usan con estos verbos son las mismas: with y to.

I need to speak with you about something important.

She’s on the phone talking to Richard.

Nada más para hoy… Tengo varios videos más de camino. Así que suscríbete por correo para no perderte nada.

Buen aprendizaje,


P.D. Ha sido aplastante el éxito de La Guía Definitiva de los Condicionales en la primera semana. Y ya estoy recibiendo comentarios muy positivos. ¡Pronto más!

The chapter my fifth graders have been studying for the past two weeks deals with food and how to ask for helpings of food, etc.  More importantly, through this lesson, I’ve learned that my students are obsessed with the eating habits of foreigners, specifically of white people and their gastric problems.

I was modeling a dialog for one fifth grade class this morning in which I said, “This 찜닭 is delicious!’  New Co, with a surprised look, asked me if I like 찜닭.

"Oh, yeah, I love 찜닭!"

"But….it is not too spicy for foreigner?"

That got my students shouting over each other all at once, “NO, ILLY TEACHER IS BROWN! BROWN PEOPLE EAT SPICY FOOD GOOD!”

New Co seemed a bit shocked. “Really….” And here she was obviously hesitating to refer to me as a “brown person” when she said, “….So…people…like Illy Teacher….eat spicy food good?”

"Yes, Teacher, white people do not eat spicy food good!"

This spiraled into a nearly ten minute story time where all the students had to share times they’ve seen white foreigners try and fail to eat spicy foods.  The third of these story times we’ve had since starting this chapter.

Finally, it ended with one student mournfully stating, “White people too sad.”

So, to any white foreigner in Korea who is suffering under the irritable combination of stomach acid and spiciness, my students’ hearts go out to you.  That and a few antacids should help.

our EFL [spread][VOTE] ELF! Please vote for Super Junior in Seoul Music Awards! This is important.

Seoul Music Awards Voting Tutorial

There are 2 methods for voting.

Method 1: Mobile Phone voting (This requires Korean mobile phone)
Log on to http://www.seoulmusicawards.comto create an account.

Step 1:
Creating via mobile phone:
Key in your mobile phone number then click on the blue button on the right to send verification number to your mobile. Key in the verification number upon receipt then click the red button below.

Creating via email:
Key in your email then click on the blue button on the right to send verification number to your email. Key in the verification number upon receipt then click the red button below.
(Note: Email verification may take awhile)

Step 2:Tick all the checkboxes to agree to terms and conditions.Then fill in the form as follows.

Next proceed to log on to m.seoulmusicawards.com with your smartphone. 

Once you log-in, proceed to buy voting tickets (투표권). Each one costs 500won and accounts for 1 vote. You can complete payment via mobile phone payment.

Then you can proceed to vote!
 (Or you can just click on vote immediately after signing in and they will prompt you to buy the voting tickets)

Method 2: Phone call voting (International calls can work too!)
Step 1: Call +82 060-600-0006. (There will be a voice coming out. Wait till the talking ends and for the beep to sound)

Step 2: Press 1 (This is to vote for Bonsang)

Step 3: Press 25 (This is Super Junior’s number. The voice will confirm that you have voted for #25 Super Junior - Sexy, Free & Single.)

Step 4: Press 1 if the choice entered is correct. Press 2 if the choice entered was wrong.

You would have had completed the voting for Bonsang. (The voice will first say thank you for voting, your vote has been recorded. Then she will repeat that you can vote for other categories.)

Step 5: Press 3 (This is for Popularity Award)

Step 6: Press 25 (This is Super Junior’s number. The voice will confirm that you have voted for #25 Super Junior - Sexy, Free & Single.)

Step 7: Press 1 if the choice entered is correct. Press 2 if the choice entered was wrong.(Wait for the voice to confirm that you have voted before hanging up.)

Every 30seconds of call costs 300won. 

SJ is nominated for both Bonsang and Popularity award so please take note to vote for both! Votes account for 20% in Bonsang and 100% in Popularity Award. For both methods (mobile phone or phone call), you can only vote once per day per phone. Every vote counts so please vote if you can and also help to spread! 

Super Junior won the Daesang for Seoul Music Awards last year, Teuk also reminded members that the popularity cannot drop! Seoul Music Awards is one of the big award shows in Korea too so please work together to give this award to Super Junior like we have been doing all this while!


10 Shakespeare Quotes that you can use in Modern English.

The English Language owes a huge debt of gratitude to William Shakespeare. Not only did he give us some of the world’s most memorable plays that have stood the test of time, he also enriched our language with a variety of wonderful English phrases.

In fact, a lot of common, modern English phrases originally come from Shakespeare quotes. Whilst researching this blog post, I was very surprised to find just how many  Shakespeare quotes form part of our everyday, modern English usage.

I’d like to share  with you just 10 of these quotes. I’ve given you the modern English phrase, its meaning with an example and the original Shakespeare quote.

1. Bated Breath -  worried or excited and paying a lot of attention because you want to know what will happen

EX: ‘We waited with bated breath to find out who had won’.

Shall I bend low and in a bondman’s key,
With bated breath and whisp’ring humbleness,

(The Merchant of Venice)

2. Cruel to be kind - to say or do something to someone that seems unkind but is intended to help them

EX: ‘I told her the facts - sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind’.

So again good night.
I must be cruel only to be kind.
Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.


3. Foregone conclusion - a result that you can be certain about before it happens

EX: ‘That the company was moving to California was a foregone conclusion’.

O monstrous, monstrous!

Nay, this was but his dream.

But this denoted a foregone conclusion.


4. He hath eaten me out of house and home (humorous) - to eat too much of someone’s food when you are a guest in their home

EX:’My nephews came to see me at the weekend and ate me out of house and home!’

Hostess Quickly:

He hath eaten me out of house and home, he hath

put all my substance into that fat belly of his

(Henry IV Part 2)

5. Wear my Heart on my sleeve - to make your feelings obvious to others

EX: ’ You always know how Jack is feeling, because he wears his heart on his sleeve’.


In complement extern, ‘tis not long after

But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve


6. In my heart of hearts - used when you know something is true but don’t want to admit it

EX: ‘In his heart of hearts, he knew that he would have to sell the company’.


That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him

In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart,

As I do thee.


7. In/At one fell swoop - with one sudden action 

EX:’In one fell swoop, he’s destroyed everything we’ve achieved in the last year’.

MacDuff (on hearing that all his family have been killed):

What, all my pretty chickens, and their dam,

At one fell swoop?


8. Short shrift - a firm and immediate refusal to do something

EX:’I’ll give them short shrift if they ask me for money’.


Come, come, dispatch: the Duke would be at dinner;

Make a short shrift: he longs to see your head.

(Richard the Third)

9.What the Dickens (informal, old fashioned) - used for emphasising a question when you are surprised or angry

EX: ‘What the dickens do you think you’re doing?’

Where had you this pretty weathercock?

     Mrs. Page:

      I cannot tell what the dickens his name is my husband had

       him of. What do you call your knight’s name, sirrah?

NB: 'dickens' here refers to satan and not Charles Dickens.

(The Merry Wives of Windsor)

(The Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare’s Globe, London)

10. Wild-Goose Chase - a futile pursuit, a worthless hunt

EX: ’ I wasted all afternoon on a wild-goose chase - it was so annoying’. 


Nay, if our wits run the wild-goose chase, I am done; for

thou hast more of the wild goose in one of thy wits than, I am

sure, I have in my whole five.

(Romeo & Juliet)

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10 British Slang Expressions You Will Hear When Visiting London

If you’re planning on visiting London this summer, you might just want to familiarise yourself with some British Slang expressions that are very commonly used by the British. They will be very useful particularly if you’re likely to be socialising with Londoners. 

1. "Mind The Gap" 

This famous expression  is always used on trains and the London Underground (Tube). The “gap” refers to the space, often wide, between the train and the platform. Be sure you take a big step when getting off the train or tube or you could hurt yourself!

2. "All Right, Mate?"

"Mate" is British Slang used to refer to men. A lot of English people, especially in the pub, use it instead of "How are you?". They don’t always expect an answer, but you could just respond: "Yes, Thank You".

3. "Naff"

If something is “naff”, it is very uncool. "That jumper is so naff. There is no way I’m wearing it."

4. "The Full Monty"

This British Slang word is not to be confused with the film of the same title where the main characters removed all their clothes for a striptease act. It actually means the whole thing. You can often hear it when the English are asked at breakfast what they would like to have and they answer: "The Full Monty” meaning the Full English Breakfast (sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, fried bread and black pudding)

5. "Grub"

The literal meaning is larva, but it is also another word for food. Some English will say: "What’s for grub?" meaning ‘What’s for dinner or lunch?’.
Sometimes, you will see the word “Pub Grub” referring to Pub Food outside pubs.

6. "Moreish"

"I love Pringle Crisps. They are so moreish." This comes from “more” and simply means that something is so good that it makes you want to eat more of it.

7. "Not My Cup of Tea"

When the English don’t like something, but don’t want to be rude they will say: " I’m afraid that going to nightclubs is not my cup of tea".

8. "Quid"

This is another British slang word for the UK currency, the pound. You will often hear people use this word instead of ‘pounds’. Example: "I paid ten quid for that shirt."

9. "Spend a Penny" or "Loo"

This is not as commonly used as the other British slang words but I love it so I thought I’d add it here. It means to go to the bathroom. It’s often used in situations where people don’t really know each other well, for example, in a business meeting. In that case, they might say: "I need to spend a penny”.
The other word commonly used is the “loo” to refer to “toilet” or “lavatory”. 'Where is the loo?'

10. "Ta"

This basically means ‘thank you’. 

Do you know any other British Slang words or expressions? What are your favourites?

If you found this post useful, please share it.

Ciao for now.