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Welcome to Expacked (Issue #85)

September 3, 2010

We’re back from our Thailand vacation and, after 2 weeks of relaxation, we are ready to tackle the rest of 2010.  Well, maybe another vacation would be good too…Falling Tree

How’s this for the start to semester two – For those who missed it (I would have no idea how you could though), Korea was smashed by typhoon Kompasu on Thursday.

Typhoon Kompasu was the first typhoon to reach Seoul in over 10 years, causing wide-spread damage, shutting schools, disrupting public transport and killing 3 people.  Here’s a link for further details.

Chance to win Barryfunenglish membership

We will shortly be running a competition to win memberships to the fantastic ESL website, Barryfunenglish.  I will give you further details over the next couple of weeks – so keep an eye out for it!

Here are the teaching related stories this week:

Feel free to comment on any of these stories and continue to share Expacked with your friends. Enjoy the read and, of course, have a good laugh at this week’s jokes.

Cheers,

Ken


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Seoul education chief vows to innovate schools

Korean students have been driven into a competition to study higher grade courses in advance at private cram schools or hagwon.

In what is known as “seonhaeng hakseup” here or learning in advance, students at elementary schools study middle school courses and middle school students study what will be taught at high schools.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Korean Times)

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Foreigners to be fingerprinted, photographed on arrival

Foreigners entering Korea will face more stringent background checks under a new government measure intended to weed out terrorists and drug smugglers.

The Ministry of Justice announced on Monday it will begin collecting fingerprints and facial images of foreigners entering the country through 22 airports and ports from Wednesday.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Chosun Ilbo)

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More chatter about schools unwilling to hire older, experienced, more expensive NSETs

In April I posted about Korean public schools and their recruiters wary of hiring older, experienced native speaker English teachers [NSETs] because of an unwillingness to pay them what the payscale would dictate, and in May I wrote that this tendency will not siphon from the surplus of “qualified” un- and under-employed teachers in the United States.

A reader passed along last week a conversation from Dave’s ESL Cafe with perhaps further evidence that public schools aren’t hiring experienced NSETs.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: Brian in Jeollanam-Do)

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A foreign school with a family feel

Seoul Foreign School SFS, the oldest international school in Korea, is known for its challenging curriculum and for fostering community.  Founded in 1912 by seven Christian missionaries with a class of just 18 students and one full-time teacher, Seoul Foreign School prides itself on being the oldest international school in Korea and one of the oldest in the world.

Having laid down the foundation for many other international schools today, the quiet, 25-acre campus in Yeonhui-dong, Seoul, has uniformed children walking in rows – in contrast to the neighborhood outside, which bustles with people and traffic throughout the week.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: JoongAng Daily)

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Western schools sprout in South Korea

By 2015, if all goes according to plan, 12 prestigious Western schools will have opened branch campuses in a government-financed, 940-acre Jeju Global Education City, a self-contained community within Seogwipo, where everyone — students, teachers, administrators, doctors, store clerks — will speak only English. The first school, North London Collegiate, broke ground for its campus this month.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The New York Times)

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Seoul City to crack down on parking in school zones

Motorists will face crackdown on illegal parking or stopping in school zones across Seoul for one month from Aug. 30 to Sept. 30, the Seoul municipal government said Tuesday. noparking

A spokesman said that the city has formed a special team with officials from lower administrative unit, gu, and police to control traffic violations of drivers in 1,861 school zones, including 588 elementary schools, 865 nursery schools and 361 childcare centers.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Korean Times)

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Korea can soon be crossed in 90 minutes

A planned expansion of the bullet train network will soon make it possible to reach any part of the country within an hour and a half, according to a blueprint unveiled Wednesday. The plan is part of a broader strategy to boost the role of the railway and reduce dependence on roads.

Improved Speed:

The second stage of the Seoul-Busan high-speed railway, which will connect Daegu and Busan, is scheduled to open in November, while another link passing through South Jeolla Province in the southwestern part of the country will become operational between 2014 and 2017. Another connecting Suseo in southern Seoul and Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province will be completed by 2014.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Chosun Ilbo)

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Touch rugby tourney attracts most teams yet

Seoul’s international touch rugby competition on Sept. 4 has attracted the largest number of overseas teams in its five-year history. Ten international teams have been confirmed, compared to last year’s two. There were 22 teams last year in total, with 10 international teams already registered for the men’s and mixed divisions this year.

International Touch Seoul (ITS) will be held at the Korea Military Academy, Taerung (subway Hwarangdae, line 6). There will also be a junior competition for Korean school kids running in parallel with the main events.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Korean Herald)

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TOEFL Junior starts receiving applications

TOEFL Junior started receiving applications Wednesday for the first time. The inaugural exam is scheduled for Oct. 24 and the test organizer Educational Testing Service (ETS) will open the applications for a month until Sept. 30.

Applicants can register online at http://www.toefljunior.or.kr, or visit designated venues across the nation. The English ability test, for those aged 12-15, consists of 126 questions in three parts; listening, reading comprehension and language form and meaning.

Click Here for the Full Story (Source: The Korean Times)

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This week’s jokes

1) Final comic (ROKetship)

ROK FINAL COMIC WEB

By Luke Martin (www.ROKetship.com)

2) Funny doctor quotes

It is amazing what the medical profession will write. These are actual statements taken from medical interview records written by various paramedics, emergency room receptionists, and (we are afraid) a consultant or two at major hospitals.

  • The patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.
  • The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut and handed to the paediatrician, who breathed and cried immediately.
  • The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.
  • I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.
  • The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet turtle, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.
  • Exam of genitalia was completely negative except for the right foot.
  • While in the emergency room, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.
  • The skin was moist and dry.
  • The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.
  • Coming from Detroit, this man has no children.
  • Patient was alert and unresponsive.
  • When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.
  • Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid

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