Aug 162010
A Hot Dog Eating Contest as an ESL Field Trip

Pop quiz:

You’re an ESL teacher at an accredited English language school in Boston’s posh Back Bay.

Where do you take your students for the final field trip of Session 8?

Obvious Answer:

First to bowling, then to a hot dog-eating contest, of course!

I’ve written a photo essay about Laos, but what follows is far classier: a photo essay documenting a hot dog-eating challenge!

To be frank (haha!) I think you’ll dig the tale’s shocking [...Read More!]

Aug 122010
The Sexiest Buildings in Boston: Part 2

Today is my ONE YEAR anniversary of taking that first flight out of Boston into the 9-month journey that would ultimately span Japan, Southeast Asia, Ghana, Iberia… and a whole heck of a lot of learning and fun!

How to celebrate?  By sharing with you my absolute FAVORITE building in Boston.  I am panting a little as I write this, I love this structure so much.  Please honor my love and read [...Read More!]

Aug 112010
Faleh's Article: Lost 3 Days in the Saudi Desert

Article #13 in the ESL Student Life Story Project, by Faleh from Saudi Arabia, age 23.

My mother was crying and we didn’t know what had happened.   I came to my mother, then she said, “I have been calling your father for two days, but his phone is off I don’t know why!  There must be something bad that occurred to him.”

Later on we received the news: he had [...Read More!]

Aug 102010
Mei’s Article: Life in Boston Versus Life in Taiwan

Article #12 in the ESL Student Life Stories Project, by Mei from Taiwan, age 35.

Pedestrians First!  The cars stop behind the white line whenever I cross the road here in Boston.

I am so surprised by the street action!  I come from Taiwan, where drivers and passengers always contest each other.

Sometimes in Taiwan, a driver will curse at you if you don’t let his car pass.  He will [...Read More!]

Aug 092010
Amanda's Article: My Mother's Stories

Article #11 in the ESL Student Life Stories Project, by Amanda from China, age 20

There is something that makes me more mature than before.  My mother is 48 years old, and in her life she has already had 3 operations in the hospital.

When I was 8 years old, my mother had her first operation, because she had an “Ectopic Pregnancy.”  In this operation, my mother stayed in [...Read More!]

Aug 062010
The Sexiest Buildings In Boston: Part 1

One reason Boston is so deep in my heart is because its buildings are so darn sexy. They’re sleek, tasteful, not overly huge… and a lot of them are nice and shiny!

This post is the start of a series of odes to Boston architecture, so it’s only right to start with the biggest and best: the Hancock Building.

The John Hancock Building, located right near the Copley stop on the Green Line and [...Read More!]

Aug 032010
Faisal's Article: When I Met Obama and Angelina Jolie

Article #10 in the ESL Student Life Story Project, by Faisal from Saudi Arabia, age 28

In July of 2009, I met President Obama.

The meeting was simple and very fast.

I simply introduced myself and asked Obama, “Could I sit in your chair in the Oval Office of the White House?”

Obama shook his head in humor, and, smiling, said, “OK!”

And then I was sitting in the chair of the President of the strongest [...Read More!]

Jul 312010
Feeling Strange, 2 Months after 9 Months Traveling

Blogs are supposed to be honest, so after a bunch of weeks of trying to hide it, let’s be honest here: Things are weird.

I suppose it was to be expected, right?

You can’t just uproot your life and meander around the world for nine months, then come home and expect everything to be silky smooth.

Now, it’s not that things are bad: in fact, most things are lovely.

It’s all just… weird.

The best way [...Read More!]

Jul 292010
Jeremy's Article: Acting Stupid in Beautiful Singapore

Article #9 in the ESL Student Life Story Project, by Jeremy from China, age 20.

When I finished high  school in China, I went to Singapore to keep studying because I felt there were too many high school graduates like me in China, and I wouldn’t get into a good school there.

Living in beautiful Singapore was a huge challenge for me because I wanted to learn English well, so [...Read More!]

Jul 262010
5 Facts on Teaching ESL… and my Blogiversary!

First: today my info-packed article, “5 Facts About TEFL Courses and Teaching ESL” was published on The Expeditioner.  Check it out for handy tips about teaching English to speakers of other languages!

Second, let us pause to celebrate a milestone.

Exactly 365 days ago on this date, I clicked a button labeled “Create New Blog,” trembling slightly with the nervousness that comes from embarking on something utterly foreign.

A blog?  I had barely thought [...Read More!]