Monday, April 14, 2008

Somalia: Islamic radicals raid private English school killing 4 teachers

Sunday, April 13, Hakab Private English School was raided by Islamic insurgents...
Visit for our new website
View full article here:

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Paranoia or Good Sense? Fire Safety

Following the tragic March 2008 death of American ESL teacher William Kapoun in a Seoul apartment fire, I decided to investigate the fire hazards commonly facing teachers in a foreign country...
Visit our new website at:
or read the full article at:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Possible Step Back: Korea Considering 2-Year Degrees

It's been four months since the Korean government issued new, strict regulations for E2 teaching visas and now some schools are asking for further changes, this time to lower the academic standards.

For the full article please go to our new website at

or visit the link directly HERE.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Korean E2 Visa Drug Test Pot Free

What might be old news to some teachers will be a sigh of relief to others. As of March 15th, the Korean Immigration Service announced the Ministry of Justice has dropped the cannabinoid test from the medical check required to receive an alien registration card.

For full article please see our new website at:
or go directly to our blog at:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Vietnam Slams TOEIC

Why aren't Japanese and Korean students more proficient in speaking English? Some teachers in Vietnam are blaming TOEIC standardized testing, which focuses more on listening and reading skills. TOEIC mimics other English as a Second Language products, like ETS and the old TOEFL version (before 1995), which was almost boycotted in US universities in the 1990's, until it updated to its current version.

Vietnam's education development strategy for 2008-2020 plans to implement English as a compulsory subject in primary schools...

Read full article here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

ESL Daily New features

Welcome to ESL Daily! We are proud to announce some new features to our website Our new main page menu now has four tabs of news to choose from. In addition to our daily news articles, which you can view in the In The News tab as well as at the top of the page, we now also feature three new tabs of ESL related news to keep you up to date in what is going on around the world in the ever-changing, fast paced profession of teaching English as a Second Language. In The Blogs provides links to news stories written by ESL Bloggers around the world. In The Forums provides you with links to what the hottest topics are in the ESL industry and what teachers are saying about them. In More ESL News, we provide links to other important news items not covered in the ESL Daily articles. Stay informed of what is going on around the world in the ESL industry by visiting ESL Daily.

This site is dedicated to the daily distribution of news relating to the global ESL market. As we continue to grow in the coming months, we will be adding several new features and even contests in an effort to connect and involve teachers around the globe. So keep coming back for the exciting new developments. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. From the team at ESL Daily, thanks for visiting and hope to see you again soon.

ESL Daily: By Teachers, For Teachers.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Ready, Set, Go! English Teacher Begins Taiwan Marathon

To view this article please visit our new website here

Sunday, March 30, 2008

From English to Panglish? The Possible Future of a Language

Dickens is probably turning in his grave. For purists of the English language, the thought of the language of Shakespeare or Dickens becoming a diluted language for world's masses is a nightmare. But Panglish, as experts are calling the new English, is already here. The folks at Oxford English Dictionary must be having strokes...

For more please see the following link:

Friday, March 28, 2008

15 Years For Sex Crimes: British English Teacher Sentenced in Greece

A British man identified by The Associated Press as John Norman Hardy Foss has received a 15-year prison sentence by a Thessaloniki court on March 25th for sexually molesting a schoolboy and trying to molest another...
For more please see our new website here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

English + Brain Science = A Japanese Clock Work Orange

t may sound like Anthony Burgess invented it, but it's purely non-fiction for the Japanese, who have fully embraced a rather unique method for improving their English language skills - that's right, it's brain science...
Read more at our new site:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

TEFLWatch Pulls the Plug on ESL Forums

TEFL Watch, a website dedicated to aiding ESL teachers make informed decisions about employment, has shut down its forum. After weeks of intense pressure and backhanded tactics from Thailand private language school owners to remove their names from the site's forum blacklist...
For further information please see the following link to our new website:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The New Korean E2 Visa: A Teacher's Story

This is a story in the words of an American teacher who recently went through the experience of applying for and receiving a Korean E2 visa after the new regulations of December 15th, 2007...

Please see our new site for the full story:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Japan: Butlers Cafe; An alternative to teaching?

Kitsch is synonymous with Japanese culture and a style of restaurant in downtown Tokyo that offers English lessons as a part of its dining experience is no exception, although the butler uniforms worn by the foreign wait staff might be a touch of the bizarre...

For more please see our new site at:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Korean-American Teacher Arrested for 1996 Murder: Seoul

It took 12 years, numerous arrests, an extradition treaty with South Korea and an international manhunt for the FBI to detain David Nam, a 31-year-old Korean-American accused of slaying a retired police officer and stealing his gun in Pennsylvania in 1996...

Full story can be viewed at:

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


A year has passed and still the search continues for a suspect in the murder case of a young British ESL teacher in Japan...

Full story can be viewed at:

Monday, March 17, 2008

New Regulations: Thailand

The Thai Ministry of Education has declared that all foreign teachers must have a Teacher Profession Certificate in order to legally teach in the country. The non-immigrant B visa needed for work permits for foreign teachers will no longer be enough to obtain a work permit. To receive a certificate, teachers will have to...

To view the full article please see:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

ESL Scams Part 2: Exotic Locations

In Part 1 of this series, we examined the "The Money Up Front" scam. In this scam, a school asks the potential teacher for 'commitment' or 'processing' fees before the commencement date of employment. In part 2, we explore the use of Exotic Locations in explaining the attraction and success of teaching scams through the example of my own personal experience with a scam two years ago in Valencia, Spain. Scams that use exotic locations such as Valencia, which is not a popular city for English as Second Language, convolute the first kind of scam by offering these "money up front" fees as refundable. They also locate their scams in exotic locations, by which I mean a city or a country with small ESL markets and in a location where research into the school or their offers is difficult to ascertain.

To read full article please see:

Friday, March 14, 2008

No Child Left Behind Act Leaves Many: America

A new study by Rice University and the University of Texas-Austin finds the 'accountability' model on which the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is based upon a direct contributor to lower graduation levels...

Full story can be found at:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Foreign Teacher' Association: Korea

There has been talk for years now about forming a foreign teacher's union to fight for and protect the rights of contracted English language teachers in South Korea. Although it is not a union, and does not have the power of one either, ATEK (Association of Teachers of English in Korea) will have to do for now...

Full article can be viewed at our new website:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Neil On Trail: Thailand

Five months after his October 19th 2007 arrest, Christopher Paul Neil, a 32-year-old Canadian schoolteacher charged with sexually abusing a 9-year-old Thai boy, has begun his trail in Bangkok, Thailand...

View the full article at:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Update: Foreign Teacher William Kapoun Passes Away

After almost two weeks in hospital, American William Kapoun passed away in Seoul on Saturday...

Full Story can be seen at:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sudden Demand: ESL in America and UK

A growing number of non-English speaking students are enrolling in schools throughout America and the United Kingdom, while the demand for qualified English language instructors is following suit...

For the full article please see our new website at:

ESL Daily Team

Friday, March 7, 2008

ESL Suicide

A British man has fallen to his death in Thailand. Paul Hollen, a 31-year-old English teacher at Siriwitthaya School in Samut Prakan, fell from the window of his 19th floor condominium in the Phra Pradaeng district...

To view full article click the following link:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Teacher Wins Dual Awards: America, China

Tom Merchant of Charlotte, North Carolina, is literally 1 teacher in 3000. He beat out that many of his fellow nominated colleagues to become the Teacher of the Year at the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University in Nanjing, China...
Come and see the full article at our new Site

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Uninsured Teacher Caught in Apartment Blaze: Korea

William Kapoun is living every teacher's worst nightmare, in a hospital without insurance and staggering medical bills...

Please visit our new website to see the full article here:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Misdirected Encouragement in Vietnam

Discipline in the classroom is always a difficult issue to tackle, and sometimes it can have catastrophic results. Such is the morale recently learned by one Vietnamese teacher...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

ESL Daily Website Opening

Welcome to ESL Daily! This site is dedicated to the distribution of news relating to the global ESL market. After months on we are proud to finally find a home at We cover every kind of news story associated with English as a Second Language as well as offering advice on subjects such as ESL Hotspots for 2008 and how to avoid scams, which draw on our own teaching experience. From fake degrees in Taiwan to India's burgeoning ESL market to the Chilean education fair, ESL Daily wants to keep teachers informed of what is going on around the world in the ever-changing, fast paced profession of teaching English as a Second Language. As we continue to grow in the coming months, we will be adding several new features and even contests in an effort to connect and involve teachers around the globe. So keep coming back for the exciting new developments. As always, we welcome your comments and feedback. From the team at ESL Daily, thanks for visiting and hope to see you again soon.

ESL Daily: By the Teachers, For the Teachers.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lee Takes Office: ESL Promises

President- elect Lee Myung Bak finally took office this past Monday, February 25th, to a crowd of 55,000 spectators at Korea's National Assembly. Lee's landslide victory on December 17th was due in large part to his promise to lift South Korea's somewhat stagnant economy up 7 percent by 2017. Among his other plans, he intends to double per capita income to $44,000 by creating new trade partners, cutting taxes and implementing the first stages of his controversial Seoul-to-Busan canal system, which is estimated to cost 16 trillion won (16.8 billion US). Tied to all of these projects is the commitment to increase and strengthen the English language proficiency of the country's workforce.

Visit ESL Daily at our new website to see the full article:

Monday, February 25, 2008

ESL Scams Part 1: Money Up Front

The global ESL industry is ripe with scams, schemes and frauds. As an industry that primarily relies on long-distance communication via the Internet and telephone to conduct its business, verifying the authenticity of employment opportunities is extremely important. If you have questions an employer can't or won't answer, that's usually the first sign something is wrong. If a job looks to good to be true, i.e. an outrageous salary and great benefits, then it probably is. If an employer asks you for something you shouldn't have to provide, like money for processing papers or an airfare through their company, then you may have stumbled upon a scam.

Full article can now be seen on the new website:

More stories at:

Friday, February 22, 2008

Middle East Calling

Reminder: ESL Daily has expanded and can now be viewed at

At the moment, Qatar has a shortage of British schools, but this will soon change as several new international schools are set to open this year in the capital, Doha. The British embassy recently announced that a number of schools will open as soon as September 2008. Responding to student's demands for a British curriculum, the British embassy is working in conjunction with the Supreme Educational Council (SEC) to open even more facilities in the nest few years. The schools will be open to Qataris as well as international students.

The Middle East has been an alternative destination for many teachers in recent years, offering an extremely unique, if somewhat strict, environment in which to live and teach. With the expansion of schools and a growing demand for Western curriculums, it may soon become an even more viable alternative for teachers looking to escape Asia's recent fluctuating and relatively volatile ESL market.

For more, refer to Here.
By Sean McCall

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Korea's Reversal is New Zealand's Misfortune

Reminder: ESL Daily has expanded and can now be viewed at

New Zealand's fears of a dwindling foreign student population at its international schools is a growing concern that should be shared by all English-speaking countries who enroll Korean students. Incoming Korean President Lee Myung-Bak's government has announced plans to spend 5.5 billion (US) on English education in a move to bolster the English talent and proficiency of the country's workforce and entice students to stay in Korea for their post-secondary education instead of spending their money overseas. It's a move President Lee believes will give Korea an edge in the global marketplace over its neighbours. For New Zealand's international schools this plan means trouble. According to the New Zealand Herald, who spoke with the school principle of Belmont Primary School, the school's income from international students "dropped from $114,000 in 2006 to $66,000 last year." With a strong dollar against the Korean Won, New Zealand's Korean student population, which is currently at 15,000, will likely further decrease.

Although America, Canada and Australia remain favourite overseas destinations for Korean students, New Zealand's dwindling student population could soon be a situation seen in these places as well. This all depends, of course, on how successful President Lee's plan is and if the bureaucracy that usually stifles Korea's educational system can be overcome.

For the full story in the New Zealand Herald, refer to here.

By Spencer McCall

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sri Lanka's Solution

Reminder: ESL Daily has expanded and can now be viewed at

The past few years have been tough on Sri Lanka's economy. If it's not a civil war, or a tsunami, then it's the English language bringing woes to the small island country. As India continues to dominate the global outsourcing business, Sri Lanka is missing out because of the small number of graduates with sufficient English language ability to compete in the global marketplace.

The solution to this problem is an English Task Force, proposed by Amba Research in response to a call made by the country's Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms for investment to improve English standards. Sri Lanka annually rejects thousands of students at its universities due to a lack of proper educational facilities. One of the results of this is that foreign businesses tend to overlook the country because of the small talent pool. "(Sri Lanka) sits in the right place geographically, it has the right kind of robustness around IT infrastructure in the country and there is a great education history that is recognized around the world for its high quality." With the right educational infrastructure in place and university graduates with the right skill sets, i.e. English language proficiency, Sri Lanka might be able to grab a piece of the coveted American outsourcing market that right now belongs to India and China.

Full Story

Monday, February 18, 2008

North Korea Rocks TOEFL

The statistics are in and it seems that having foreign teachers in the classroom makes absolutely no difference in the all-important TOEFL scores for Asian students.

North Korean and South Korean students are reported to have almost equal scores on the Internet based TOEFL exam (iBT). America's Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on February 14th that the average score for North Korean students was 69 out of 120 while South Korean students scored 72. This surprising statistic not only suggests North Korea is thinking ahead to the future and foreign trade, but they were also able to equal the South without spending millions of dollars on ESL education.

In South Korea, the TOEFL score is used for University admissions and it greatly influences employment opportunities after graduation. Millions of dollars are spent annually on public and private English as a Second Language education. Some of this money is spent recruiting and employing native-English speakers to teach and prepare students for the TOEFL test. But if North Korea, which does not have ESL education programs like the South, can achieve similar results on ESL standardized testing, then it is time to consider two possibilities: perhaps foreign teachers in the classroom are of no benefit for students taking an Internet-based test. Foreign teachers are not hired in the North. And if this is true, then perhaps this will result in a decrease in demand for foreign teachers in the South. But there is one more important possibility to consider in light of the iBT TOEFL test results: perhaps people shouldn't put too much weight behind Internet based testing.

For the full article, refer to:

By Sean McCall

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fake Degrees: Taiwan

The Chinese Language media has reported that up to 40% of teachers in Taiwan possess fake university degrees and are unqualified to teach ESL. Some Taiwanese University officials site the easy availability of fake degrees in Thailand as one of the major sources for the large number of unqualified teachers. According to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), the amount of qualified foreign teachers at cram-schools, private language institutions, was down 9% from 2006. The gap needs to be filled and fake degrees seem to be doing the job right now for most employers who are just meeting the demands of the parents who want to see someone with blond hair and blue eyes teaching their children.

The supply and demand in Taiwan for foreign English teachers has certainly been exacerbated by the discretion of consulates taking it upon themselves to regulate the visas necessary to receive an Alien Registration Card (ARC). Anyone familiar with the process will know how much of a gamble it is to go to a consulate in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Vancouver, etc, and receive an extendable tourist-visa, the only visa that allows a teacher to receive an ARC card. And a potential teacher still needs to lie to the consulate and tell them they are just vacationing in Taiwan in order to receive the extendable tourist visa. I recently just tried this and the consulate in Bangkok granted me only a 60-day non-extendable visa, which meant I could not receive an ARC card. If Taiwan wants to clean up their act, they need to clean up their visa process so everyone can stop lying to each other.

For a full report, refer to:

By Spencer McCall

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Bad Way to Spend Valentine's Day

This would be a bad way to spend Valentine's Day: in the custody of Thai police in Bangkok on charges of child sex abuse charges in the United States. Such was the case for Earl R. Bonds, a 42 year-old Missouri man working as an English tutor in Phuket. He was arrested at his apartment in Phuket Wednesday night after the FBI and Thai authorities cooperated to arrest and detain him. It is expected he will be extradited to the United States before the end of the week.

Thailand continues to be a hotspot for pedophiles and sexual deviants to find employment as ESL teachers. But with continued coordination and cooperation of international police agencies and the Thai authorities, perhaps 2008 will be another successful year of arrests following a very successful 2007. It's a good start to the year, anyway. And maybe someone will finally give Bonds some chocolate in prison.

Happy Valentine's Day!

For full details, refer to:

For a full google search on articles pertaining to this story, refer to:

By Spencer McCall

Thursday, February 14, 2008

British EFL Instructor Saved by a little Knowledge

Mr. Graham, A British foreign language teacher based in Saudi Arabia, felt the sharp pains of a stroke coming on while taking his morning shower. Knowing the symptoms of the age old killer, the 59 year old teacher raced to the hospital to receive proper care. Graham, still recovering from the stroke, but now in good shape, hopes to return to teaching in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia in the near future.

Foreign English teachers around the world die every year due to careless behavior or a lack of knowledge of any medical conditions they may have. While in a foreign country, you should still be aware of your physical condition and frequent the doctor when a check-up is necessary. Your health should not be postponed due to a lack of communication in a foreign country.

Further information on Mr. Graham's story can be seen at:

By Jim Korea

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chilean International ESL Education Fair

2008 marks Chile’s 3rd edition of Expo-Ingl├ęs, an Education fair solely dedicated to English as a Second Language. This year’s fair will take place in Santiago, Chile, April 11-12, 2008.

In the past few years, Chile has increased its demand for an English literate workforce.

The first two years of the fair attracted more than 9,000 visitors and 50 different exhibitors from every major English-speaking country. Chile is definitely a country to watch for in the future for an emerging ESL market.

For more information, refer to:

By Spencer McCall

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mutual Complaints: An Editorial

“It’s not fair,” says Korea, China, and India. “Sorry,” says Canada, with a slight shrug of the shoulders. This is the way the story has gone so far. But the Vancouver Sun seems to think British Columbia should do more. And perhaps for the sake of business, they should. Korea, China and India want to, in essence, regulate the ESL industry in British Columbia for fear they’re students are being scammed at unqualified, illegitimate private language schools. These countries have gone as far as to warn their students to stay away from B.C.’s private education. Yes, there are scams. The complaint is valid. But there is a lot of exceptional foreign language education in B.C. and the rest of Canada. Yes there are some bad schools operating that need to be shutdown, but foreign language studies in other countries, particularly China and Korea are just as rife with bad business practices.

It’s the image of B.C.’s education system, say the editors of the Vancouver Sun in an editorial on Saturday, February 9th that “is being tarnished by private schools that lure students here with promises they fail to keep.” Fine, fix the system, but don’t let these countries off the hook. This is not all B.C.’s responsibility. Canada should let them know this image business works both ways. Every year, hundreds of Canadian teachers move to Asia as well as Europe to teach ESL. Many teachers return with horror stories of fraudulent schools, crooked principals, being ripped-off or treated badly. But Canada doesn’t put any pressure on those countries to improve their systems. Canada rarely reports on ESL teachers at all.

These images would be damaging to those markets that heavily rely on Canadian teachers to teach in their schools and add prestige to their businesses. In China, you can contract AIDS or HIV from dirty, repackaged needles used for the mandatory blood tests necessary to receive a work visa. In Korea, employers overcharge on tax and pocket the difference. Sometimes they don’t pay into the mandatory government pension plan, depriving employees of roughly seven hundred dollars a year. In Japan, Nova Corp., the country’s largest ESL chain, withheld payment to its foreign teachers for up to three months before going out of business in 2007. The majority of schools in Taiwan force teachers to instruct kindergarten, which is illegal for a foreign teacher. If a teacher is caught, and the police make regular raids, they are deported.

The ESL schools in B.C. and elsewhere in Canada often employ teachers with experience in these countries. If places like China and Korea want Canada to improve the quality of its foreign education, then perhaps Canada, and especially B.C., should reply with the same message. Students will continue to suffer at home or away unless everyone concerned grants teachers better, safer, working conditions. This benefits the students by having highly qualified, motivated teachers who have chosen to make this industry a career.

If Korea and China want to complain then let them. India has a very small ESL market, but if they want to complain that’s all right, let them. If B.C wants to improve their education of foreign students then it’s a positive thing. But only improve for yourselves, not because other countries are pressuring you. B.C. schools should be attracting the best foreign students who want to study in the best environment, not because B.C. education has a good brand name. But perhaps Korea and China and even India just want another brand to market.
For the Vancouver Sun editorial in full, refer to:

By Spencer McCall

Saturday, February 9, 2008

An ESL Teacher’s Marathon for Cancer Research

An ESL teacher has decided to conclude his year of teaching in Taiwan, a country he has fallen in love with, by running a 30-day marathon for cancer research. Neil O’Maonaigh-Lennon has already run 13 marathons including the ING Taipei marathon in December 2007. With an April 1st start, of his envisioned 30-day marathon, he will add a third continent to his ambitious plan of running one marathon in every continent.

O’Maonaigh-Lennon cites Terry Fox, and his celebrated 1980 “Marathon of Hope” for cancer research, as an inspiration for his own run. On the teacher’s website, which will have journals of his marathon adventures, he has offered people a choice of two organizations to donate money to, the Cancer Research UK and the Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders.

People are welcome to join the run, which will cover a distance of 42km a day. The marathon will begin in Fugueijiao and follow the east cost south to Chialuoshui before turning north. O’Maonaigh-Lennon plans to take time to veer off course in order to visit some of Taiwan’s scenic hotspots.

By Sean McCall

Friday, February 8, 2008

Chinese English Teacher Caught in Train Delay

What was expected to be a regular 36-hour journey through Guangzhou province, Edward Wang describes as a hellish trip during China’s worst blizzard in over 50 years. After spending over double the time of the original trip aboard the train, food and water began to run out. People began getting desperate and knife fights broke out over food.

Chinese officials expressed to the international media that locals were struggling, but coping with the situation nonetheless. In reality, close to 7.5 billion dollars in damage has already been caused and a confirmed sixty deaths have taken place, though these numbers may rise. Another disaster awaits China if people choose not to attend the Olympic Summer Games this July as a result of the government’s slow reaction at the beginning of this crisis.

For more on Edward Wang’s story:

The BBC has reported that the Xinhua News Agency in China claims the “Widespread transport chaos ha[s] now eased.” But thousands remain without power and many families have given up trying to travel to see their relatives for the Lunar New Year. The Year of the Rat, or Earth Rat, is in Chinese astrology associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability. And in the effort to deal with the aftermath of this storm these virtues will be put to the test.

For the BBC article, refer to:

For current weather conditions in China, refer to:

By Spencer McCall

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Getting Started in Thailand

The majority of nationalities entering Thailand are granted a 30-day Tourist Visa. This visa usually gives teachers enough time to receive a work permit and extended visa and allows you flexibility on deciding where to work. However, it is a good idea to know where in Thailand you would like to look for work and perhaps, if possible, already be in contact with institutions.

Once you enter on a tourist visa you can travel to the area of your work and determine if the job is right for you. If you take the position, your employer will gather the required paperwork for your extended visa. If they are timely in this and you can get to the visa office in Bangkok with 20 days remaining on your visa the in-country office will be able to process your extension. However, if you have less than 20 days remaining on your visa, it will be necessary to leave the country for the paperwork.

Make sure to double-check all the paperwork for correct spelling, especially of your name. The visa office allows no leeway in this.

Things to bring with you:
- an official copy of your university diploma
- a certified copy of your transcripts
- several passport photos (preferably all of the same picture)

Things you will probably have to do for work:
- get a health certificate (this needs to be from a Thai hospital and it is very inexpensive. They just check your blood pressure/weight/temperature and give you a paper)
- sign every document you copy for the visa paperwork to certify that they are real copies

Katherine Whitton

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Scotland to Increase ESOL Funds

In 2006, Scotland had a 30% increase in students enrolled in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. Trying to meet the new demand has been proven difficult on the limited government resources allocated to this program. As a result, the Scottish government announced this week it would spend 9 million pounds on expanding its current ESOL program in an attempt to accommodate an additional influx of up to 7000 more “migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees who want to attend English language classes.”

The government has not yet announced whether they will hire local or international teachers to fill the new positions. As the ESOL classes are run for the purpose of integrating immigrants into Scottish society, it would make sense to hire local, qualified teachers that would allow the students to grow accustom to the Scottish accent.

Further details can be seen at:

By Spencer McCall

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sprechen zie Deutsche? Some British Teachers Soon Will

The BBC has reported that British language trainee teachers will now spend one month abroad training in either Germany, Spain or France. The future teachers will teach cumpulsory language courses at primary schools upon their return to England. The aim of the program is to provide the student teachers with a chance to enhance their secondary language skills before beginning to teach their pupils "another subject through a modern language other than English."

For further information, refer to:

By Spencer McCall

Thursday, January 31, 2008

English Teacher Murdered in Ghana

A High School English teacher in the Dzodze Township of the Volta Region in the Republic of Ghana was found comatose in his apartment on January 19th under suspicious circumstances. The Daily Guide reported the teacher was found in a pool of blood on his apartment floor and was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital. Many in the township, including police, suspect foul play, but no suspects have been named and no arrests have yet been made. The police have not commented on whether they suspect students or teachers at the school.

The West African country’s official language is English. The Volta Region of Ghana lies Southeast, bordering Togo and is comprised of 15 districts, the capital of which is named Ho.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New English Tests for Korean Children

The Korean public education system is renowned for placing special importance on English proficiency tests. And it seems the government of incoming President Lee plans to follow in that tradition. This week, the President Transitional Committee announced plans to reform the English proficiency tests for all levels of education to take effect between 2012 and 2014. Some grades will see more lenient tests, like Middle schoolers, who will only be expected to take a listening and reading exam and forego the intense pressure of a major written exam. This format closely resembles a TOEFL style test. University entrance exams will also being revised along the same lines as the TOEFL, although a writen component will remain for these tests.
For further information please read:

By Korea Jim

English Immersion in Korea Quashed

Here today, gone tomorrow. Incoming President Lee Myung-bak's transition team has stopped the current government's proposal of introducing an English Immersion program into the public education system. Only last week the South Korea government announced their plan to implement English immersion in all middle and high schools by 2010. The announcement was met by an uproar from teachers, parents and students.

For further details refer to:

by Jim Korea

Monday, January 28, 2008

E2 Denied: Korea's Universities, Government Not On Par

It's a tough lesson to learn, but if you're going to teach in Korea, read the fine print. Korea's E2 visa regulations have been transient as of late, but one stipulation that has not changed is the fact you must have a degree from an accredited university from Canada, America, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, or South Africa. A British student studying at the Hangkuk University of Foreign Studies, a prestiguous University in Seoul, recently discovered this hard truth when he applied for an E2 teaching visa just ahead of finishing his English Education degree. Mark Thomas, the British student, recevied the news he had been denied an E2 visa just after Christmas 2007 by the Seoul Immigration Bureau. The Bureau cited that because Thomas had not graduated from a University in a native-English speaking country, he did not meet the requirements of the E2 visa.

This incident speaks volumes to the dicord between official goverment departments. Korea remains a country where there is an obvious lack of commitment on the part of the government to the quality of its public education system, if a Korean univeristy will train a foreign teacher and then refuse to hire them as one. Although Thomas was eventually denied an E2 visa by the Seoul Immigration Bureau, the Seoul Board of Education had given him a green light on receiving a visa prior to the Bureau's decision. The Board of Education should have been aware of the law before misleading Thomas. Nevertheless, it is still the responsibility of the student or teacher to be aware of all laws before embarking on such an undertaking.

By Spencer McCall

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taiwan's first English Village

Following the idea of the English Villages in South Korea, Taoyuan county, Taiwan has finally opened one of its own. The non-profit 'Car King Education Foundation' and the local county authority spent over one million dollars last year to open an immersion program featuring hotel, bank, airplane, drug store, convenience store, science class, coffee shop, cooking and dance studio theme rooms. Twelve students will participate in each theme room with a volunteer English teacher with approximately 120 students per day. Happy English Village has had excellent reviews by both students and parents alike. Taiwanese students will now have a greater opportunity to study English immersion.

For more information,

By Jim Korea

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Korea to Drastically Change English Education By 2010

South Korea, home of thousands of private English academies, will soon introduce a public English emersion program. Regular classes will be conducted in English.

“A pilot English immersion program will be introduced at some elite private and public high schools starting this year”
An educational team stated.

This program will then be gradually expanded to all Korean public schools. Korea already has over 2000 foreign English teachers working across the peninsula in the public school system and earlier planed on having every public school hire foreign English instructors. This program will extend not only to the elite wealthy class citizens of the country but extend to even the less fortunate living in rural areas.

By Korea Jim

Friday, January 25, 2008

India, the future of ESL Education

New Delhi, India, home of over 14 official languages (30% Hindi, the national language), has always valued English as the “national, political, and commercial communication” language of the country. And it has just agreed to further its progress in education development and especially English education. Both Britain and India have come to terms to expand the system for mutual benefit, meaning both Britain and India will grow from the outcome of this new deal.

In a report recently published by, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has apparently, "extended his country's support for the Indian government's 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) that aims to expand higher education sectors by setting up eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, seven new Indian Institutes of Managements, five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research and 30 new central universities.”

The report also spoke of Brown's anncounment, before he embarked on his trip to India and China of a plan "to teach English to two billion people around the globe by 2020. This initiative would be kicked by recruiting 'master trainers' in India to develop 750,000 English teachers within five years.”

This deal will likely ensure the growth of the ESL market in India for the near future. However, the majority of teachers will be recruited from England seeing that the majority of education facilities will have been provided by the British government. With the expansion of English language eduction in countries like India and countries such as China and Korea opening up their markets to non-native speakers, ESL as it presently exists is set for a significant change. More and more Asians are seeking cheaper English education, both in their own countries and outside as well. If someone wants to study abroad, they will soon have the choice to do it at a cheaper cost in places such as the Philippines, already a popular spot, and now India, where English is already fluently spoken. For many it will make more monetary sense than travelling to an expensive Western country.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Canadian ESL Teacher Dead in Taiwan

Chiayi City, Southern Taiwan, Matt Stever, 27 from Quinte, Ontario, Canada, died Tuesday, Jan 22 after spending over a week in hospital. Matt sustained life-threatening injuries on January 14th and remained on life support until the 22nd. Matt collided head-on with another motorbike, killing a local teenager and leaving another in critical condition. Details of the accident have not yet been released. Matt Stever passed away shortly after his family had arrived to visit him in the hospital. Further details can be seen on:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

E2 is Prejudiced: Foreign Envoys Criticize

The Korea Times recently reported an outcry by foreign ambassadors that Korea’s E2 teaching visa discriminated against other English speaking countries. The term “native” speaker was the word of contention that caused ambassadors from Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, and even India to request changes be made to the visa regulation which would allow teachers from non-native countries, but with a high proficiency in English language, to seek employment in Korea’s strong ESL market. For further details go to:

Korea only accepts foreign English teachers from Canada, America, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The large majority of these teachers also happen to be Caucasian, although this is a prejudice that exists only in hiring practices and not as a stipulation in the Visa itself. In an independent report published online last year, Caucasians has a higher success rate of employment that any other racial group.
In many ways, this policy is discriminatory since the E2 Visa is based upon nationality rather than a teaching qualification, unlike most other Asian countries that offer teaching visas.

The new visa regulations that came into effect on December 15th have discouraged many potential teachers from applying because of the long process involved in getting a criminal background check and paper work processed. The new regulations have also discouraged many experienced teachers from reapplying to Korean schools, choosing to find employment elsewhere. This has begun putting pressure on many private institutions, as well as public schools to continue guaranteeing the prestigious presence of a native speaker in their classrooms. In the Korea Times article of January 20th, 2008, the envoys were reported as suggesting the “ ‘narrow-minded’ visa policy prevents Koreans from developing English proficiency in a more efficient and cheaper way.”

Although no official announcement has been made in response to the ambassadors requests for a change in the policy, if one is made it could not only benefit the Asian teachers, but the Korean school system as well. The suggestion that hiring other non-native English proficient teachers would be a cheaper and more effective way to develop English language ability would definitely help many of Korea’s private language academies which are financially stretched offering foreigners generous salaries in order to entice them to suffer the long, arduous task of applying to the new E2.

By Spencer McCall

Kenya Anyone?

Hey ESL teachers, vacation is coming soon and it’s time to choose a vacation destination. Some of you might have only a week or two for vacation, while others may have over a month. Perhaps some people will even be completing their contracts. Before you book your flight, have you ever thought of volunteering during your break? If you’re an English teacher and experienced traveler, you might consider a different sort of vacation this year. Alison Lowndes, the founder and trustee of AVIF, is inviting teachers to volunteer for summer school in Kenya.

Following is a brief ad for AVIF:

AVIF is an innovative online charity, with a promise to Invest in our Volunteers. We assist with sustainable development via online & onsite volunteering in rural Kenya, East Africa. Being virtual means negligible administration costs for worldwide impact. We believe in efficiency, honesty and transparency. AVIF doesn’t do bureaucracy or charge fees. If you have the commitment to travel to Kenya, we’ll take care of you & provide access to extensive details. We encourage you to do further Internet research to ensure you are fully informed. Orientation is available in Nairobi & is recommended.

You’ll be fully immersed into rural communities. If you’re looking for a tourist’s view of the country then this is not for you. You may need to wash your hair in a river or cook over open fires. You will be living traditionally, in no less comfort than your hosts who wake at 4/5am to light fires to boil water. The children will surround you with enthusiasm and an eagerness to learn ~ you can repay them by helping to provide a range of simple but effective concepts such as solar cooking & power, disease prevention, empowerment to women. After your visit, we use NABUUR to action specific projects, an entirely online system allowing anyone, anywhere to simply log on to contribute to the project.

At the end of each program we organize an optional group safari from a base camp in Oropile, Maasai Mara. The Maasai people are the perfect example of how to live in symbiosis with nature, not Land Cruisers !

[Itinerary available on the website].

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Am I qualified to teach English?

If you graduated from University with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Sciences then the answer to that question is yes, you are qualified, in certain countries. Korea, Japan and even Taiwan in certain cases are countries that are accepting of almost any degree and who pay their teachers a competitive salary. And if you have previous teaching experience then you are also qualified. But this is misleading. Many employers choose to ignore previous teaching experience because of the higher salary it entails. Schools in some countries are specific about the experience you have, i.e. If you have taught in Korea for several years, and wish to move to Taiwan, you are highly unlikely to receive additional pay for a new job because the experience wasn’t in Taiwan.

Just because a school is willing to hire you does not necessarily make you qualified to teach either. This is aggravating if you accept a new job thousands of miles from home and discover only after you arrive you are being paid less and working for a disreputable school because you lacked the proper qualifications. ESL teachers are hired for many reasons (James, article reference to experiments article)

There were many instances in 2007 where, in both in local and foreign online magazines, it was reported that English as a Second Language education was generally poor in quality. The list of complaints stretched anywhere from a lack of experience in the classroom, to the education of the teachers not pertaining to English teaching.

On one website it was reported that in Korea, “Only 3 percent [of current English teachers] have a teaching qualification, while 2 percent have a qualification that relate to the teaching of English in a foreign language setting”

And there have been recent cases of foreign teachers illegally teaching with fake degrees. On another website it was reported “A Canadian English instructor who was arrested for using a forged bachelor's degree to get a visa and a job in Korea has been sentenced to jail.”

But Korea is not the only country currently experiencing negative feedback about the quality and qualifications of its English teachers. The Thai government has had many of the country’s English language and other educational institutions investigated to ensure their teachers are adequately certified. Many EFL teachers in Thailand are now required to take special modules in Education to retain and maintain a legal teaching job.

As mentioned in a previous article in, even Saudi Arabia is now questioning the qualifications of its ESL teachers.

“What is a qualified English teacher?” It’s a very difficult question to answer because the word “qualified” has many definitions. If you have a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature or Education, a TESOL certificate, or even a Masters degree you will be considered a qualified teacher depending upon the country in which you teach. Not all degrees are considered equal.

There are also teachers who have obtained a PhD in TESOL. These teachers should by all accounts be deemed the most qualified to teach English as a Second Language. And although this is true, over qualification actually decreases your chances of finding employment in many sectors of the ESL market. A private study published on the web last year showed that English job seekers who possessed post-graduate education and teaching experience had less opportunity for employment.

In the report, a Bachelor of Education was the degree that showed the greatest potential and success in finding employment. Nonetheless, a degree in English literature had a higher chance of success than a Masters degree in TESOL. Experience was also shown to decrease the amount of job options.

Returning to the original question, are “we” qualified to teach English? One must first look at what are we being hired for. Many experienced and inexperienced teachers alike are now being regarded as unqualified because of their degrees. At the same time legitimately qualified teachers are being overlooked and denied employment because they are overqualified. On occasion they are even discriminated against because of their age, sex, race, etc.

Perhaps it is the responsibility of the educational institutes to properly train teachers. The demand is there for teachers and the teachers are willing to teach. Are the educational institutes ready to accept the responsibility to guide and train its teachers? An international job in high demand should set up programs to deal with its new teachers. I have been an ESL teacher for seven years and have been to many “professional conferences” designed to enhance teaching abilities. However, the majority of these conferences tend to focus less on improving the quality of a teacher’s abilities and more on “cultural adaptation” to the host country.

In a personal opinion, I believe there is no such thing as a REAL qualified ESL teacher. Nothing can prepare someone for the classroom more than experience itself, and if the educational institutes do not appreciate experience, they are always going to have problems with finding a “qualified teacher.”

Korea Jim

Friday, January 18, 2008

ATELFC first ever teachers conference

Teachers in China are welcome to the ATELFC first ever teachers conference. Hundreds of EFL professionals are expected to be gathering in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province South East China at the Fountains International Community Center ( ATELFC is the Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language in China, a group of professional teachers dedicated to improve the quality of English education in China. The workshop intends to focus on issues such as teacher preparation, classroom techniques, learning management, student assessment, culture awareness/shock and other related issues. ATEFLC is searching for Speakers to present at the 2008 regional conference. If you wish to partake in the event or require further information, contact Josie Roberts at by April 5, 2008.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Teaching ESL in Taiwan: A look at the visitor visa

You may have to distort the truth in order to get a job teaching ESL in Taiwan, but don’t worry, your employer will most likely return the favor. In order to get a work permit you will need to get an extendable visitor visa outside of Taiwan. Most teachers do a visa run to Hong Kong while others may get one from their home country or elsewhere. Here is a link to the Taiwan consulate in Hong Kong,, it gives you an idea of what is involved in applying for a visa. The hitch is you can’t tell the authorities that you intend to work in Taiwan, instead you must make up a story about wanting to visit a friend or learn Chinese for two months. This fictionalization of the truth really only becomes a problem if the consulate doesn’t believe your story and issues you a non-extendable visitor visa, which will allow you in the country but prevents you from getting a work permit. One fun way to look at things is that legal teachers in Taiwan began illegally.

Now lets look at just one (and I think one of the more blatant) ways in which some employers can be dishonest. You will hopefully notice that the repercussions can be much more dramatic.

A bill passed for political reasons in 2003 by the Taiwanese government made it illegal for foreigners to teach kindergarten classes ( Not only is it illegal for you to teach kindergarten age students (many jobs on will list “very young age” or “3 to 10 years old” instead of using the word “kindergarten”), but it is also worth noting that it is illegal for foreigners to even teach in a school where there are kindergarten classes being held. It will come as no surprise to teachers who have worked in Taiwan to hear that a number of schools still have foreigners teaching kindergarten classes. These schools will often simply dismiss or play down the legalities of teaching kindergarten if questioned by a possible teaching candidate. It is also not uncommon to hear stories of teachers who were told to practice an escape route in case government officials raided their school. Be assured the raids do happen and the escape routes are used and an unfortunate few do get deported. Why does this practice still continue? The schools with kindergarten offer teachers more hours and sometimes better pay, while the schools themselves generate a wealth of extra income. So maybe you should ask yourself if you would like jumping out windows or hanging off fire escapes before signing that kinder contract.

Both the visitor visa and the kindergarten classes fall into the ESL grey zone. This is not unique to Taiwan, as bending the “rules” for both employee and employer in most Asian countries is nothing new. But never forget that the teacher, and not the school, will pay the higher price...if one should be caught doing something one should not.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Canadian Consulate: Further Information on the E-2 VISA Korea

Recently, in South Korea , there has been much speculation about the changes in the laws regarding E-2 VISA regulations, otherwise known as a "Teacher's VISA". This is the VISA required for teaching English in South Korea.

Upon browsing through the Canadian Consular website at, I believe that I've found information on where to go in South Korea regarding information on the E-2 VISA. I hope that this information will be helpful and useful.

In South Korea , the Immigration Bureau of the ROK Justice Ministry should be contacted for information regarding other types of visas and/or adjustments of visa status. You can learn more from the Immigration Bureau on-line. Their main Seoul office is located at #319-2, Shinjeong 6-dong, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul , telephone 02-2650-6225/6. Take Line 5 of the subway to Omokyo Station, Exit No. 6. The Bureau is about a 10 minute walk once you exit the subway system.

You will find their pamphlet, "The Korean Immigration Service" (their number 11-1270000-000279-1) a useful English-language reference for visa questions. Contact the Immigration Bureau directly or refer to its website

Concerns and complaints should be made to Korean Immigration's "Foreigner's Advice Office", telephone number 02-2650-6341, or to the "Control Office" at 02-2650-6212 in South Korea .

If you have any questions or concerns about the new changes in the E-2 VISA regulations, you can try this website for information.

John "pipes" Lawley

Friday, January 11, 2008

China Cracking Down on Plagiarism

In a country notorious for pirated movies, music and software and where copyright infringement and intellectual property are truly foreign words, the wind of change is coming. In the past, China has rarely, if ever, punished a teacher or professor for plagiarism. But things are changing. Huang Zongying, a former associate professor of English literature and language studies at the Foreign Languages School of Beijing University has been fired. Authorities found that a good portion of his academic work from 1999 to 2003 was laden with plagiarism. This is a rare move by a Chinese University to fire one of its professors. Hopefully it will mark the beginning of a new era for academic writing in China.

For further details see

Turkey: A Teacher’s Right?

In Turkey, students are not allowed to record and distribute video of their teachers, even if they are being beaten and abused by them. One Turkish student learned this the hard way. A ninth grade student was recently expelled from school after he recorded his English teacher in class. The teacher was allegedly beating and swearing at her students. In retaliation the student posted the recording on the Internet. But in the end, the English teacher was found not guilty. As reported in the Turkish Daily News, “The teacher isn't found guilty for bashing and beating the students. However, the students are found guilty when they record the teacher on video to uncover her manners”

Further information can be found at:

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Invest while teaching in 2008

By Jim Korea

Previously we talked about saving money ( However, there are ways to make money while teaching ESL overseas. There are the obvious solutions like asking for a raise, do some overtime, and teaching privates classes. However, these solutions may not be for you. Perhaps you are not in a position to ask for a raise. Your school does not offer overtime, or pays even less than your regular pay. Teaching privates may be illegal in your host country or the school frowns upon it. Instead, we will focus on how to invest your money while teaching.

Previously we talked about exchanging money into other currencies. Not only does this prevent you from spending your money, but if done properly, can make you money as well. For example, if you converted $1000 US into Euro one year ago, you would have received € 769 Euro. Today it would be worth $1132 US. That's 13% growth in one year; no bank offers such an interest rate. The American Dollar did fall this year, but it did not fall by 13%. One thing to consider is in the past currencies have risen and fallen due to large events like the Olympics. China is hosting the summer Olympics this year. Chinese currency COULD rise significantly during the Olympics. You may consider investing a little money into Chinese RMB prior to the summer and then convert it back before the Olympics are over. One thing to keep in mind, banks charge a percentage of the money converted for every transaction. Expect to loose about 2.5% each time you convert. (you can track currency history through the following site:

Perhaps banking is not your thing and you prefer something you can touch. Perhaps you are a gold lover? Gold and silver are climbing on a daily basis. As of today, gold is at $862 US per Oz, up from about $620 US per Oz a year ago. Roughly a 40% increase in one year is better than keeping your money in the bank collecting dust. Gold is easy to carry from one country to another as well. Silver is also expected to climb in price. Unfortunately, silver is quite heavy and not as easy to transfer from country to country. (See conversions here

Okay, so converting money and buying gold is not your thing. But before you start investing in the stock market, there are other ways of making money to consider. You can earn extra money on the Internet. Ever thought about starting a Blog or website? For setting up a Blog check out or, it’s completely free and easy. To make some money you can sign up for And the best part is the minimal investment: zero.

You can also try Recruiting. Some countries pay up to and even over $1000 US per English teacher. Try contacting a recruiter and ask to become a “sub-recruiter” or simply ask if can help them find a teacher. Generally the recruiters will pay you half the rate they charge the school. You find the teacher, and they find the school. You can network with your friends to find new teachers or you can look on the Internet on job data bases.

These are just some ideas for investing or making additional income. If you have any other ideas post a comment after this article. We would love to hear your ideas and feedback.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Commonly used Acronyms for English Teachers

By Jim Korea

First time instructors of English as a Second Language are often bombarded with new, sometimes confusing, abbreviations and acronyms. Although the majority of them are simple enough to dicpher, because they deal directly with the industry it's important to know exactly what they mean. Teachers will often encounter these acronyms when searching for employment as well.

The basic terms that all English teachers should know are as follows:

ESL - English as a Second Language
This is probably the most widely used abbreviation in the teaching industry. Originally this term was applied to the study of English as a Second Language by non-native English speakers in a foreign country. It is now widely used in English language and non-English language countries and can apply to the study as well as to the teaching of the English language.

EFL - English as a Foreign Language
This generally means Teaching English to a non-native English speaker in a non-English country.

ELT - English Language Teaching

ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages

TESL - Teaching English as a Second Language
TESL also stands for Test of English as a Second Language, but is not widely used.

TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language
TEFL also stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and also is not widely used.

TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TESOL also means Test of English for Speakers of Other Languages.
KOTESOL is also commonly used for Korea TESOL.

CALL - Computer Assisted Language Learning

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
A commonly used test that many World Universities and businesses have used to test the English level of future prospects. This test was first designed for students applying to American universities.

TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication
Another commonly used aptitude test used primarily for everyday English and business English.

Other Acronyms

JET Program Japan Exchange and Teaching
The program for both teachers and coordinators coming to Japan. Primarily used for teachers in the public school system.

CLAIR Council of Local Authorities for International Relations
This is a term primarily used in Japan.

ALT Assistant Language Teachers
The commonly used term for English Teachers in Japan

EPIC English Program in Korea
The teaching program set up for instructors in Korea.

GEPIC Gyeonggi Province English Program in Korea
Gyeonggi province English Program in Korea (Province around Seoul)

SMOE Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education

ETIS English teachers in Seoul
Commonly used for teachers in Seoul, Korea

FAT Foreign Assistant Teacher
Currently the term used for foreign public school teachers in Korea.

NET Native English Teachers
Another common acronym for an English teacher

If you have any other terms from the country that you are living in please feel free by posting a new comment at the bottom of the page and add your suggestion.

Thanks, ESL Daily Team.