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Expat Longings

Koreabridge - Wed, 2014-10-29 02:08
Expat Longings  

No matter how much you love a country, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was right when she said “There’s no place like home”. When you move away, you find new things you love, you make replacements and adjustments. But sometimes, you just want the real thing: a Mars Bar, some Nando’s chicken, your favourite magazine. And, most importantly, real English tea.

Then, there are the things you don’t even realise you like about home, until you’re not there and can’t have them anymore: the smell of going to a petrol station, turning on the radio and actually understanding what the people are talking about.

Here’s a (rather nostalgic) list of those things that, dare I say it, even a bowl of the best Bibimbap in Korea won’t cure. The little things from home that I miss…

Tea

Let’s start with the most important thing, and it’s a pretty predictable one- tea. It’s a mystery to me that even when you buy English Breakfast Tea, it never quite tastes the same as when you’re at home. Why is that? Is it because the milk is different? Well, that leads me onto my next point…

 

Milk 

en.wikipedia

That horrible feeling you get when you go on holiday and the milk just doesn’t quite taste right? Imagine having that every day…do you get used to it? No, not really.

 

 

Supermarkets 

simple.wikipedia

Tesco. Sainsburys. Waitrose. Having that comforting feeling of walking into a supermarket and knowing where everything is, what everything is, what brands are the best tasting, and more importantly, which to avoid.

Imagine our delight when we found Tesco Homeplus in Korea: packages that we recognise! Best thing ever.

Reserved People

en.wikipedia

I never thought of myself as particularly reserved, but it’s fair to say that since being out of England, I’ve probably lived up to the famous stereotype of ‘The Great British Reserve’. I like socialising, sure, but sometimes I miss the English way; polite small-talk is fine with people you’ve just met, thanks! There is definitely such a thing as too much information, as I’ve recently found out…

Queues

en.wikipedia

There’s nothing like a nice orderly queue, whether it’s standing in line at the bank, a supermarket, or to buy food at a football match. It just makes sense.

And also, queue-jumpers definitely deserve to be regarded as the lowest of the low.

 

Confectionary

en.wikipedia

Cadbury’s. Maltesers. Walkers Crisps. Magnums. The list could go on forever really.

Treat snacks from home cannot be beaten and we miss it alot. And no, Hershey’s is in no way a suitable replacement.

 

 

Comfort Food

de.wikipedia

There’s nothing better than a hearty, warming, filling meal. Sunday pub lunches with roast potatoes, gravy, Yorkshire puddings and stuffing. It pretty much cures anything.

What I’d give sometimes for a fish pie with mushy peas, or a good roast chicken with chips. Well, a girl can dream…

English Weather

Sini Merikallio Flickr,Wikimedia Commons

Ok, so we all moan about the weather, but you have to admit there’s something comforting about sitting by a roaring fire with the rain pounding down outside.

It’s not great of course when you’re caught in the middle of a rain storm with no umbrella, but still… it’s weird but true that you do end up missing it.

 

Sheep and Cows In Fields

en.wikipedia

This one might sound silly, but it’s true that going for drives just isn’t the same without endless fields full of animals.

Believe it or not, the highlight of going to a Beef Festival recently was to see some cows- I was honestly excited by the thought of it… Weird.

 

TV

Asenine, Wikimedia Commons

Hearing the familiar tunes, recognising the faces and actually understanding what’s on the screen; it’s definitely something you start to miss.

Oh, and don’t underestimate the pride you feel when foreigners tell you how much they love the BBC…

Money

pixabay.com

Something that you take for granted- walking into a shop and actually knowing how much something costs, without having to do quick multiplications in your head.

‘So wait… 10,000 won is $10… which is £6?’ Pretty much guesswork. Let’s just hope I’ve been over-estimating my spending for the past 18 months…

 

Tea. 

en.wikipedia

And again, just because nothing says ‘home’ more than a cup of tea, does it? I know what the first thing I do when I get home will be: straight over to the kettle…

Ok, so it’s fair to say that there are also things which I definitely don’t miss: stupidly expensive transport, self-service machines which never work, having to pay 12% service charge in restaurants even if the service is bad… I could go on. And I know that when I’m back in England I’ll be moaning about the things which I miss from Korea.

I guess the saying in this case is true: ‘The grass is always greener’… in the other country.

 

© KATHRYN GODFREY 

Kathryn's Living
KathrynsLiving.wordpress.com

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Sakhalin – You Are Not Forgotten

Koreabridge - Tue, 2014-10-28 22:28
Sakhalin – You Are Not Forgotten Sakhalin Koreans, aka Сахалинские, корейцы or Корейцы, Сахалин

By Sea of Japan Map.png: Chris 73 derivative work: Phoenix7777 (This file was derived from: Sea of Japan Map.png) [CC-BY-SA-3.0],

Off the east coast of Russia, Sakhalin island houses roughly 55,000 Koreans; this island has gone from being under the Empire of Japan, the Soviets, and now a federal semi-presidential republic Russia.

Everyone has citizenship to at least one country and have documentation to prove it.  For Sakhalin-Koreans still residing on the island, they cannot officially call their citizenship to any country.

How Did We End Up Here?

After Japan acquired the southern half of Sakhalin through the Treaty of Portsmouth, semi-skilled workers were needed to harvest the newly discovered profitable island rich with coal, timber, and fish.

During WWII, many Koreans were forced into labor and a total of 140,000 Koreans were scattered throughout southern Sakhalin chopping wood and mining.

Korean Coalminers in Sahkhalin. Source: Japan Focus

Unfortunately, after the war was over, the southern part of Sakhalin, was quickly turned over to the Soviet Union, and consequently left Koreans stranded while 400,000 Japanese civilians were able to return to Japan.  In 1952, Japan officially announced that Koreans – 43,000 in counting – were not under Japanese citizenship, which made returning home to Korea impossible.  The few Koreans who did eventually return to South Korea definitely earned their right to be there.

Many had this idea that they would’ve been given the red carpet treatment under Soviet rule, so some made their way to Korsakov and other port cities of the island’s southern coast with no boat in sight.

A Mixing of Koreans

After the Soviets learned about the vast resources there, about 5,600 North Koreans were recruited to work in Sakhalin.  And a few years, the numbers peaked to about 12-13,000.

To add to the mix, in the 1940’s, communism was taught in classrooms and every child was to be indoctrinated.  However, Koreans that came under the rule of Japan and North Korea were being taught in Korean schools – and they couldn’t be trusted – so some 2000 communistic-Koreans from Central Asia (Russia) were transferred over to make sure children were being taught properly.

Also called the Koryo-saram, they spoke both Russian and Korean – read my previous article about them here – so the Soviets thought they would be perfect teachers to the Sakhalin-Koreans.

However, even though they were all technically Korean, there was unspoken tension amongst the Koryo-saram, the North Koreans, and the Sakhalin-Koreans.

Which Citizen Do You Want to Be?

There were sporadic opportunities to claim citizenship though unsuccessful and not favorable.

It reminds me of the Hunger Games when everyone’s lives were at stake and everything was random, except in this case, it was their citizenship at stake.

Source: hggirlonfire.com

In 1953, Koreans were given the opportunity to obtain Soviet citizenship, however, only about 25% of the people took the offer.

In the mid 1950s, Koreans were given a choice to take up North Korean citizenship, 65% claimed this one. The remaining 10% still chose to be stateless.

No political party and or country was paying any attention to these hardworking laborers and it seemed like they were going to be in citizenship-limbo forever.  But they were not forgotten.

Glimmering Hope

In 1966, Park No Hak, a Korean married to a Japanese woman living in Japan, started a movement to bring the Sakhalin Koreans back to South Korea.  He petitioned 23 times to the Japanese government, and got attention from the South Korean citizens.

Decades of ignorance finally crept up when about 500,000 voices from South Korea formed an organization to officially repatriate Sakhalin Koreans and broadcasted this message to those on the island.

What also aided in their return was through the works of Rei Mihara, a Japanese woman who formed a pressure group in Japan, along with 18 Japanese kickass lawyers who tried to sue the Japanese government.

The End Is Near

When Gobachaef came into power, many reforms led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and also brought back the 1st generation Koreans.

IMPORTANT: ‘1st generation’ are actually 2nd generation but listed arbitrarily as 1st, those born before 1945, and anyone born after this date were then labelled as the 2nd generation.

Limited to 1st generation, 2nd generation haven’t been granted the right so the issues are still remaining. Many 1st generation people have not gone back because that would mean leaving their child and or family behind.

Today, efforts to bring the remaining families back to South Korea still remains and Hae chul Chun, a politician, campaigned just that and very active in other areas of interest.  His twitter and facebook.

1990, Tao Nakayama issued an official apology and helped with the housing project in 2002 where the Sakhalin Koreans now reside in Ansan, South Korea.

To add to the bright note, Sakhalin Koreans can make a trip to South Korea in the meantime under the Japanese government’s expense $1.2 million dollars a year. About $5 million was spent building the Korean cultural center (корейский культурный центр).

Source: vk.com/club1227321

Here’s a short documentary about the history of these people and a campaign if you’d like to get involved.

Fun Fact

Sakhalin Korean writing is of the North Korean standard, while spoken Korean is from Jeolla & Gyeongsang dialects (South Korea).

Liberation Day of Korea from Japanese colonialism is celebrated every year on this island and this year marks the 69th anniversary.  See this event captured on the sakhalinmedia.ru.

End Off

In conclusion, there’s been a lot of neglect in regards to these people which can make you think what other groups out there exist today that are facing the same political duress and waiting for that sweet day to return to their country.

Here are some articles that I used to obtain this information: Korea.stripes, NY Times, Wikipedia

And if you couldn’t get enough of the read, here’s a thorough examination of the history of Sakhalin Koreans.

So what do you think about all this ?  Let us know your response below !

спасибо!


Kyopos all around the World
Koreandiaspora.wordpress.com




Instagram.com/zergsprincess

 

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with EVO Moderator Training Wrap-up Hangout for Week 1

Worldbridges Megafeed - Mon, 2014-10-27 12:04
This Hangout on Air (HoA)Models the technique of including crowds, more than just 10, in your HoA

Scheduled as an EVO (Electronic Village Online) wrap-up session

Sunday Oct 26, 2014 1400 GMT

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

During our Hangouts, the play button streams the live event
After the HoA it plays the recording

How this worked at showtime Oct 26, 2014

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will appear above on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL http://youtu.be/C8rELPDOjPM
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7u3fvu61dajsgud5mbs9qdk61s
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here on the day)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7u3fvu61dajsgud5mbs9qdk61s

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

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Learning2gether with EVO Moderator Training Wrap-up Hangout for Week 1

Webheadsinaction.org - Mon, 2014-10-27 12:04
This Hangout on Air (HoA)Models the technique of including crowds, more than just 10, in your HoA

Scheduled as an EVO (Electronic Village Online) wrap-up session

Sunday Oct 26, 2014 1400 GMT

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

 

During our Hangouts, the play button streams the live event
After the HoA it plays the recording

How this worked at showtime Oct 26, 2014

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed which will appear above on the day
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL http://youtu.be/C8rELPDOjPM
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • Join the conversation on the Google+ event page: 
      https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7u3fvu61dajsgud5mbs9qdk61s
    • You can join us in HoA via its direct link (posted here on the day)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you

Before, during, and after the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above
and / or join the conversation on the Google+ event page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7u3fvu61dajsgud5mbs9qdk61s

Connect with the Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

EVO Moderator Training Wrap-up Hangout for Week 1

Englishbridges - Sun, 2014-10-26 11:39
Extending your Hangouts on Air to engage participants in the stream as well as the ten in the Hangout

http://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/evo-moderator-training-wrap-up-hangout-for-week-1-c8relpdojpm.mp3
Download mp3: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/evo-moderator-training-wrap-up-hangout-for-week-1-c8relpdojpm.mp3?

Moderator training on Google+ Hangouts on Air

This HoA had only seven or eight live participants, but there were several who participated via the stream and engaged the live participants in an ongoing dialog which you can see at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

The embedded stream from YouTube is now our recording of the event

Those who wanted to join the HoA live were able to find its direct URL posted in the wiki spaces where they were told to go to access the chat. 

Others could

If you want to be IN the HoA you should check the social media sites such as http://webheadsinaction.org/live for the direct link from about half an hour before 1400 as I’ll post it there and wait for people to populate it. Find the direct link, click on it, and you’re in. If you’re not among the first ten you can listen to the stream and interact in the text chat and if we know you’re there we’ll try to make room for you in the HoA.

To understand better what this was about, please read, or at least look at the pictures, in these open educational resources:

For an example of how this works in practice, see http://webheadsinaction.org/live

From the Google+ event page:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/c7u3fvu61dajsgud5mbs9qdk61s

Announcements

Earlier this week Sun Oct 19 David Winet demonstrated Popupchinese.com

http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/19/learning2gether-with-david-winet-discussing-popupchinese-com-and-other-podcast-language-learning-sites/

Sun Oct 19 EVO Moderator Training Kickoff

First synchronous meeting of EVO2015 moderators and coordinators

https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cl6d52fi1qq2r6p3dl5k8ht0e0c?authkey=CMufsb-t_r75nwE

Webheads virtual office at Blackboard Collaborate

http://learningtimesevents.org/webheads/

Thanks to an ongoing grant from http://www.learningtimes.com/

Recording: https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2014-10-19.0624.M.7AE801FFB697DA460D4BF25AA8C21B.vcr&sid=75

Sun Oct 19 IATEFL Web Conference Day 2: Hot Topics Across Borders in ELT

IATEFL Events are free for all to attend (get a free ticket at the link above) but archives are of some accessible only to registered IATEFL members

The conference program can be downloaded here:

http://www.iatefl.org/downloads/category/1-documents?download=306%3Aweb-conference-programme

Anyone can access recordings of sessions which will be available to IATEFL members and non members until Wednesday 22 October, 2014. After that they will be only available to IATEFL members. Links to the recordings and handouts will be published on this web page so please keep checking back for updates.

http://www.slideshare.net/bcgstanley/killer-bunnies-and-the-quest-for-the-magic-carrot-gamification-and-elt

http://www.slideshare.net/MarisaConstantinides/how-i-got-here-tales-of-online-professional-development

Wed Oct 22 IATEFL SIG Webinar

More information on IATEFL SIG Webinars http://www.iatefl.org/web-events/sig-webinars

IATEFL Webinars are free for anyone to join, but recordings are normally available only to IATEFL members

http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/lamsigwebinars

Wed Oct 22 ELT Live #7

https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/ctq3pd7733f5jhtvduur31uo10k?authkey=CJy_9aSMu-__Yg

Recording of ELTLive#7 now posted at: http://eltlive.com/show/elt-live-questions-future-elts

Connecting with  +Benjamin L. Stewart   and his Applied Linguistics students at Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes (along with other future teachers out there) to discuss questions they have for experienced ELT’s.
A Google Doc is set up a http://bit.ly/1w68hRp  for the purpose of brainstorming questions from students and advice from teaching vets.  All are welcome to contribute.
The discussion will be streamed at http://eltlive.com/live
on Oct. 22, 2014 at 1300UTC
Global Times: http://bit.ly/11lEBqb

Fri Oct 24 1600 GMT Opening of Build Your Teaching Business Online: free MOOC from Jason Levine and Sylvia Guinan

http://www.wiziq.com/course/82415-build-your-teaching-business-online

Schedule: https://docs.google.com/document/d/114_-pZjCooPIGuIQNC7KR7kc2N9s0pYNX80NpqEbwYg/edit

October 24: Opening Ceremony

October 27-November 16: Guest presentations (Complete list published soon)

November 17-23: Learning to use the virtual classroom

November 24-30: Learning to create a course

December 1-7: Course creation

December 8-21 Course presentations

Fri Oct 24 and Sat Oct 25 Online Facilitation Unconference 2014

http://ofu14.eventbrite.com

Ongoing events Oct 13-26 Unit 3 in Connected Courses

http://connectedcourses.net/event/what-is-web-literacy-threshold-concepts-and-the-possibilities-of-the-open-web/?instance_id=119

Mon Oct 20-Oct 24 K-12 Online Conference strand on Stories for Learning and Games and Gamification

The 2014 conference will run from Oct. 20-31. (Pre-conference keynote Oct. 13.) This is a FREE, online, asynchronous conference organized by educators for educators around the world interested in integrating emerging technologies into classroom practice. A goal of the conference is to help educators make sense of and meet the needs of a continually changing learning landscape.

Presentations released so far

 Upcoming presentations listed here: http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=2429

As in past years, our conference is organized into four strands. Each strand has an invited keynote speaker and  additional selected speakers.

Strands for 2014 are:

Week of Oct 20 – 24: Stories for Learning and Games and Gamification

Week of Oct 27 – 31: Passion Driven Learning and STEAM

A schedule of all K12 Online 2014 presentations is available here!


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live - Questions from Future ELT's

Worldbridges Megafeed - Sat, 2014-10-25 01:51

68:54 minutes (31.54 MB)ELT Live #7  Questions from Future ELT's
October 22, 2014
Google+ Event Page   ELTLive Community

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ELT Live - Questions from Future ELT's

EdTechTalk - Sat, 2014-10-25 01:51

68:54 minutes (31.54 MB)ELT Live #7  Questions from Future ELT's
October 22, 2014
Google+ Event Page   ELTLive Community

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

21st Century Learning - Oct 23 2014

EdTechTalk - Fri, 2014-10-24 13:22

11:45 minutes (13.46 MB)

Alex and arvind discuss the book "The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane and how people can learn to build their charisma through practicing skills around presence, power, and warmth.

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

21st Century Learning - Oct 23 2014

Worldbridges Megafeed - Fri, 2014-10-24 13:22

11:45 minutes (13.46 MB)

Alex and arvind discuss the book "The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane and how people can learn to build their charisma through practicing skills around presence, power, and warmth.

 

read more

Learning2gether in Hangout with David Winet introducing us to PopupChinese

Worldbridges Megafeed - Thu, 2014-10-23 17:28
Hangout on Air withDavid Winet introducing us to PopupChinese

Sunday Oct 19, 2014 1300 GMT

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

Archive of this event: http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/19/learning2gether-with-david-winet-discussing-popupchinese-com-and-other-podcast-language-learning-sites/

 

How this worked at showtime Oct 19, 2014

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL http://youtu.be/-Is_q0qALA8 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • It has an event page: https://plus.google.com/events/cv6ofmjjicc83hrng6628rnj97k
    • You can join us in HoA via the direct link (posted here when the HoA is live)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you

During the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above

Connect with this Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

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Learning2gether in Hangout with David Winet introducing us to PopupChinese

Webheadsinaction.org - Thu, 2014-10-23 17:28
Hangout on Air withDavid Winet introducing us to PopupChinese

Sunday Oct 19, 2014 1300 GMT

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether

(redirects to ... 
http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

Archive of this event: http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/19/learning2gether-with-david-winet-discussing-popupchinese-com-and-other-podcast-language-learning-sites/

 

How this worked at showtime Oct 19, 2014

  • You can listen to the stream in the video embed above
  • You can chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You can listen to the stream at its YouTube URL http://youtu.be/-Is_q0qALA8 
  • If there is space available (up to 10 people) you are welcome to join us in the Hangout on Air
    • It is a public hangout in the profile of Vance Stevens on Google+
    • It has an event page: https://plus.google.com/events/cv6ofmjjicc83hrng6628rnj97k
    • You can join us in HoA via the direct link (posted here when the HoA is live)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you

During the live event, you can chat with us in the chat space above

Connect with this Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Lessons For The Teacher- What We Learnt To Expect When Teaching In Korea

Koreabridge - Wed, 2014-10-22 06:45
Lessons For The Teacher- What We Learnt To Expect When Teaching In Kor

We came to Korea to be teachers, to help children to learn. Turns out that working as an English teacher in Korea has taught us a lot of things too: lessons in leading, discipline, understanding and eternal patience (ok, still working on that last one…). And, we’ve learnt that school in Korea is completely different than in England; would you ask about a teacher’s relationship status in the UK? Most probably not. In Korea? It’s one of the first questions you’re asked (and repeatedly asked again, and again, and again).

So travelling across the world to teach is a learning curve, to say the least. Here are some of the things that I’ve come to expect as a teacher working in Korea:

Everyone Says Hello

You simply cannot walk down the corridor without being bombarded by greetings from students at every turn. It was quite a shock at the start, although a nice one, of course. Waving, children calling your name, sometimes even giving you a hug. So this is what it feels like to be a celebrity…

Inappropriate Questions

“Teacher, do you have a boyfriend?” “Teacher, do you live with your boyfriend?” “Teacher, why aren’t you married?” “Teacher, how old are you?” If I had ever asked a teacher their age, I think I would have received detention or at the very least a good telling-off.

And I don’t really mind the personal questions, but it’s a bit disruptive when you’re answer that  “yes, I have a boyfriend”, causes about 10 minutes of giggling from your class full of embarrassed teenagers.

Students Being In Awe 

blog.pokerjunkie.com

You’d think that the students would be used to Westerners, having been taught by them for years. But still, they are continually amazed by a Westerner’s appearance. If you walk past students who haven’t seen you before at a neighbouring school, their stares are as incredulous (and sometimes as scared) as if you had just arriveded from another planet. Seriously.

The most common feature which leaves the students awestruck? Height: if the male teachers are 6 foot or above, they are regarded with such amazement it’s as if they’re some kind of freakish giant.

K Pop Rules All

en.wikipedia

I guess working with teenagers, you’re going to expect adolescent obsessions whatever country you’re in. But the love for K Pop really is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. All I need to do is say the word ‘EXO’ in class, and the screams are so loud you’d think that the Pop Band had actually appeared in my class. K Pop pencil cases, wallets, mirrors, photos, folders, makeshift tattoos… Korean schools are definitely in the midst of K Pop mania.

Exams Will Cause All Kinds Of Stress

Exams are a stressful time for anyone, but in Korea it’s a new extreme: students crying in the hallways, accosting their teachers to find out why they lost one mark in their test. And a day of total depression the day the results come out; every student you ask “How did you do”, you’re answered with a tearful “Not good.” Surely everyone can’t fail? Well, it sure seems like it here.

The worst I’ve seen was a student in our office for 2 hours, crying over one mark in her English test; she only finally left because it was time to go home. And no, she didn’t get the extra mark in the end either.

The Parents Are Very Involved

For this reason, I’m very glad I don’t speak Korean. Parents will text and call teachers, come into the school, and again it’s usually to argue over their child’s exam score or because they’ve been put in bottom set. One of our co-teachers was called until 11 pm by parents during exam time; she is a better person than me… I think I would have changed my number! Oh, and then there’s the parent who came into our office and cried over her daughter’s exam score for an hour… which really made it quite awkward for everyone in the room.

Sleeping In Class

forum.thefreedictionary.com

So when I was at school, anyone who dared to sleep in class would be thought of as a proper rebel. In Korea, it’s pretty weird if you get through a class without someone falling asleep (or trying to at any rate). I guess the reason for this is the long days they have studying, as I discussed in my Korean Education post.

Still, it would be nice if I didn’t have to spend half my time prodding students awake when it’s all become to much for them. And the individuals who decide to bring along a blanket and cushion to class to make themselves comfortable? That’s really just taking things too far!

The Students Have Power Over Teachers

It’s normal for teachers to write reports and evaluations for students. But in Korea, the students can get-their-own-back by writing reports on the teachers. That little terror who always disrupts class and I’m always telling off? Well, he’s going to give me a bad rating for sure!

If only I could have done the same when I was in school; some teachers would definitely have felt my wrath…

Boys and Girls Do Not Mix

I thought the ‘boys and girls hate each other’ phase was usually over when children become teenagers. Apparently not. A minority of boys and girls and friends, but the majority of students? No such luck. Sometimes if I ask a boy and girl to sit next to each other, or, even worse, work together, I’m greeted with looks of such surprise and worry you’d think I’d suggested they get married.

The one time in my class when the students found out that one boy fancied someone, there was such uproar that I couldn’t calm them down for fifteen minutes. True story. Which leads me on to my next point…

No Kissing. Ever.

funscrape.com

Ok, I’m not suggesting that students should be getting up to mischief in school by any means. What I’m talking about is how students can’t even talk about kissing, let alone see someone kissing on TV or in a movie. Before I knew this,I showed Taylor Swift’s ‘You Belong With Me’ music video in class. When Taylor kissed someone at the end… well, the reaction was the same as if I’d shown something on an X Rated Movie Channel.

I just hoped I hadn’t scarred them for life. I felt as guilty as a parent telling their child that Father Christmas isn’t real, making my students lose their innocence. Bad move me.

Students Want Your Food And Drink

Another type of inappropriate questions which the students ask: “Teacher, can I have some of your water?” “Ooh teacher, your lunch looks delicious, can I eat some?” Um… no… you cannot get your germs on my water bottle, and you cannot eat the lunch I prepared; get your own!

Giving Food = Undying Love

tinalicious.com

This is the last, and most important thing I’ve learnt while teaching in Korea. Food is the best reward you can give, and will earn you top teacher points among students.

If only I’d known this at the start. Food is the answer to everything: a bribe to make the children work, a reward for the hard-workers. All you need to do to get a student to profess their adoring love for you is to give them a piece of chocolate. Works every time. Well, you live and you learn…

 


Filed under: Korea, Living

© KATHRYN GODFREY 

Kathryn's Living
KathrynsLiving.wordpress.com

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Glamping Under the Stars at Raventree in Gapyeong

Koreabridge - Mon, 2014-10-20 10:46
Glamping Under the Stars at Raventree in Gapyeong Fall has officially arrived in Korea. The season may not be the longest, but it is, without a doubt, the most beautiful. The country's autumn colors, crisp air and cool temperatures beckon its inhabitants to don their sweaters and head outdoors for festivals, mountain hikes and danpoong noryi, excursions to see the fall foliage. Yet there is one autumn activity that has particularly taken off in Korea in recent years that sets itself apart from every other seasonal activity -- glamping.



Although camping has always been popular, with campsites often booked months in advance, glamping (or glamorous camping) offers a bit of luxury to those seeking to get the full experience of the great outdoors without sacrificing any creature comforts of civilization.

Raventree in Gappyeong, located just a forty minute's drive from Gangnam, is not only the most conveniently located glamping site in Korea, but is also one of the most beautiful. A couple weeks ago, a friend and I packed our bags and made our way out to the rolling landscapes of Gyeonggi Province. Thanks to her GPS, the site was easy to find, and offered a scenic route which conveniently passed by some tasty restaurants and snack stalls, as the glamping anticipation worked up our appetites.



Upon arrival, our eyes widened at the site of the campground's lavish tents, arranged in a neat semi-circle and perched on the side of a mountain overlooking a picturesque valley. Unable to contain our excitement, we jumped out the car and were quickly welcomed by the friendly manager of the campground who escorted us to our home for the evening. We wasted no time in exploring our two-story tent, an incredible shelter unlike any I had seen before.

In the lower level of this two-story tent was a kitchen and living area that extends out onto the wooden deck. Equipped with a mini-fridge, a hot plate, cutlery, plates, pots and pans, the room offers everything one might need to prepare a hot bowl of ramen, a simple camping meal or a feast (as we would later learn many visitors opt for). The sleeping area upstairs is accessed via a ladder and is completely screened in, so as to keep out bugs. Additionally, it is fairly spacious and easily fits two people very comfortably, but is also big enough for a family with two small children.





We took a walk around the site, which boasts a nice pond, a playground, shower facilities, a dish-washing station, a convenience store that sells snacks, drinks and basic camping necessities, and the quintessential karaoke machine. (This is Korea, after all.)

The sun began to set on the campground and as clusters of constellations and a full moon claimed the crystal clear skies, the friendly manager stopped by our tent with plenty of firewood (that he would refill throughout the evening) to help us start up a fire in the raised pit on our deck. He also delivered the Raventree BBQ Glamping Combo that we ordered ahead of time for an additional cost. Packed in our set was a tasty variety of pork, sausage, shrimp, veggies, kimchi and condiments. We got right to grilling and inhaled lettuce wraps of barbecue goodness and slurped down cold beer. It was all very good but my friend and I agreed that bringing our own food on the next visit would be far more economical.





I had intentionally made the reservation for this particular night, as I knew there would be a full moon, but to to our surprise, a lunar eclipse also took place. Families gathered together after dinner to marvel at the spectacular site, one that I am sure wouldn't have been as nearly as impressive in the city.

Just as we finished up another round of beers, an American gentleman invited my friend and I to join his gumbo party a few tents down. Not ones to turn down gumbo, we joined the feast that was already well under way. The group had packed all sorts of treats and were quick to share as we exchanged travel stories and playlist recommendations. It never ceases to amaze me that despite being out in the middle of nowhere, there are always new friends to be made and laughs to be had.



Unlike most campsites in Korea, Raventree was occupied by families and couples rather than the rowdy groups of intoxicated ajusshi (old men) that tend to shout and blare trot music all through the night. With this added sense of calm, my friend and I had no problem falling right to sleep. Additionally, despite the frigid temperatures, the heated mats under our pallets kept us cozy. From the beginning of November, heaters are installed in the lower level of the tents to provide extra warmth, making camping in the winter not only possible, but also enjoyable.





I woke to a view of misty mountains in the morning and after whipping up a mug of hot cocoa, bundled up and did a bit of reading on the deck, a last attempt to enjoy the great outdoors before check-out.

Sure, a stay at Raventree isn't exactly roughing it and some might even consider it a bit too pricey for a night out in the middle of nowhere. However, I could equate our stay to that of one in a decent hotel, but with the added benefit of good service, friendly neighbors, fresh air, incredible surroundings and a memorable experience that only the nature of the Korean countryside can offer.

More Information: Raventree

Address: 10 Wegoklee Seorak-myeon Gaypeong Gyunggi-do (경기도 가평군 설악면 위곡리 10)
Phone Number: +82 2-1688-8614
Price: Tents 165,000 won/ night (Sun-Thurs); 177,000 won/ night (Friday); 198,000 won/ night (Saturday, holidays); Premium BBQ Combo Set (2 people) 98,000 won
Check-in: 3pm
Check-out: 12pm
Reservations: By the Raventree website (Korean), Glamping.com (English) or by e-mail at raventree@naver.com (English)
Facebook: Click Here
Get There: Take bus number 7000 from Exit 9 of Jamsil Station (Subway Line 2 or 8) to Seorak-myeon (설악면) (4,000 won). The bus runs every hour and the travel time is about 40 minutes. After arriving at Seorak-myeon, take a taxi to Raventree (about 8,000 won).


Disclaimer: Although Raventree provided accommodations free of charge in return for this post, the opinions are, of course, my own.

Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.


Seoul Searching
www.MySeoulSearching.com

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with David Winet discussing PopupChinese.com and other podcast language learning sites

Englishbridges - Sun, 2014-10-19 14:41

https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/learning2gether-with-david-winet-about-popupchinese-is_q0qala8.mp3
Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/learning2gether-with-david-winet-about-popupchinese-is_q0qala8.mp3?

Sun Oct 19 1300 GMT David Winet demonstrates Popupchinese.com

Dave Winet, who  coined the name “webheads” for a community of practice that has burgeoned since its inception as an EFI course (http://study.com) late last century, has offered to show us around http://popupchinese.com, and its “particularly intriguing method for language teaching” before going prime time at the CATESOL conference on Oct 23.

Where? In Google+ Hangout streamed live at http://webheadsinaction.org/live

Listen and watch it streamed live at any one of these places

Announcements

Sat Oct 11 and Thu Oct 9 Vance Stevens plenary and live-streamed workshop on Hangout on Air from Ahmedabad, India

Find the archive of this event at its permanent location here
http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/09/learning2gether-with-glocall-2014-ahmedabad-india/

Learning2gether Sun Oct 12 1500 GMT with Jeff Magoto about ANVILL

Blogged at http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/12/learning2gether-with-jeff-magoto-talking-about-anvill/

Tue Oct 13 2300 GMT IATEFL YLT Webinar: Digital Storytelling – Storyboard That

IATEFL YLTSIG has rescheduled the class on ‘YLT Webinars: Digital Storytelling with Storyboard That’ to Oct_14 2014, 03:00 AM ((GMT+04:00) Abu Dhabi, Muscat).

Click here to access the Class

Nellie Deutsch says in her invitation to “teachers from around the globe. Join IATEFL YLTSIG free bi-monthly webinars to receive reminders of the live online events and watch the recordings as many times as you wish. You’ll have an opportunity to learn by engaging with the presenters, the content material of the webinars, and with other educators from around the globe. Just click on the following link: http://www.wiziq.com/course/75751-webinars-for-iatefl-ylt-sig to join the  webinar area”

Mon Oct 13 K-12 Online Conference pre-conference keynote goes online

The 2014 conference will run from Oct. 20-31. (Pre-conference keynote Oct. 13.) This is a FREE, online, asynchronous conference open to ANYONE organized by educators for educators around the world interested in integrating emerging technologies into classroom practice. A goal of the conferenceis to help educators make sense of and meet the needs of a continually changing learning landscape.

Presentation released Oct 13

Dr. Wesley Fryer, Igniting Innovation in Teaching and Learninghttp://youtu.be/_q2dThmwg0s

Tue Oct 14 1200 GMT Jeff Lebow hosts ELT Live#6 – Lesson Planning and Preparation

Jeff Lebow

Invited us to: ELT Live#6 – Lesson Planning and Preparation

1200UTC/9pm KST  Global Times: http://bit.ly/ZcY4Ya
Connecting with the #KELTchat  community (https://www.facebook.com/groups/KELTchat/ ) after a day-long slow burn twitter chat discussing how we get ready to do what we do.
Tune in live at http://eltlive.com/live

Recordings and Twitter chat

http://eltlive.com/show/elt-live6-lesson-planning-and-prep-w-keltchat

Thu Oct 16 2300 GMT Maria Colussa is organizing a Hangout for Connected Educators Month

https://www.smore.com/vbzxp

Google event page: https://plus.google.com/events/c4gfhtdjt7dmljhlq0l1340r3fs?authkey=CMvB6ortgqafcg

YouTube: http://youtu.be/UHPiaDdo8kg

This event has been picked up by Paper.li: http://paper.li/VanceS/1358485290?edition_id=53721bf0-55bb-11e4-9a03-0025907212f5

Sat Oct 18 1300 GMT IATEFL Web Conference Day 1: Hot Topics Across Borders in ELT

Register here: IATEFL

or here http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/iatefl-web-conference-hot-topics-across-borders-in-elt-tickets-12289027813?aff=affiliate5

Saturday, 18 October 2014 at 14:00 BST – http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedtime.html?msg=Hot+Topics+Across+Borders+in+ELT+day+1&iso=20141018T14&p1=136

IATEFL Events are free for all to attend (get a free ticket at the link above) but archives are of some accessible only to registered IATEFL members

The link for the Conference room is https://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/webcon2014
This Conference room has capacity for up to 500 participants, and we expect that will be sufficient. If we reach this maximum, you will not be able to get into the main conference room and will need to log into our Livestream channel to watch the presentation. The link for today’s Livestream channel ishttp://new.livestream.com/accounts/7463507/events/3495872

If we need to use Livestream tomorrow, Sunday, we will send out a new Liverstream link.

The conference program can be downloaded here:

http://www.iatefl.org/downloads/category/1-documents?download=306%3Aweb-conference-programme

Sat Oct 18 from 1500 GMT -Art Education and Digital Technologies: Virtual World Conference

Are you interested in art education and technology? This is the conference for you!
Join us in Second Life OR Google Hangout on Air. Participants can interact with presenters through Google accounts. The conference is free!
Find the presentation that interests you, turn on your computer or mobile device, sit back, relax, and join the very first virtual art education conference!
Date/ Time: October 18, 2014 (Saturday)/8:00 am PDT to 4:30 pm PDT (To convert the time: see http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html)
Virtual Venue: Second Life http://goo.gl/vQzTud
Online Venue: Google Hangout on Air: http://goo.gl/MLqrEl
Physical Venue: UBC Lillooet Room at Irving K. Barber
Conference program: http://www.inaea.org/post/2014/10/06/Art-Education-and-Digital-Technologies-Virtual-World-Conference-Schedule.aspx
Conference fee: Free
Hosted by InAEA
Supported by AET
Sponsored by Wu Ya Hsien


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live

Englishbridges - Sat, 2014-10-18 14:19
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Beauty Standards: Another Pressure Point

Koreabridge - Sat, 2014-10-18 05:14
Korean Beauty Standards: Another Pressure Point blog.asiatown.net

Working in a middle school full of adolescent girls is like being transported back in time to a teenage world of worries, insecurities, and an ever-present wish to change pretty much everything about yourself- hair, skin, body- in fact, if you look for it, you can pretty much find fault with anything, and that’s exactly what teenagers do.

It’s true that on the surface, Korean girls don’t appear as obsessed by their looks as Western girls; they don’t wear any make-up until high school (and even then wear a minimal amount), they don’t wear a lot of jewellery, no hitched-up skirts or high heels, and the ponytail is the only hairstyle I see. However, underneath the surface, these girls have far more disdain for their appearance, and it’s only when talking to them that you realise how incredibly low their self-esteem actually is.

Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Brandon Myrick, via Wikimedia Commons

The way the word ‘ugly’ is thrown around is shocking; it’s a word only really used in England as an insult or as an extreme, and definitely not a word used normally to describe people. In  my opinion, it’s a word which shouldn’t be used at all due to its overwhelmingly negative connotations.

What’s even stranger is the girls’ treatment of other people, especially that of their friends. Here are just a few of the things my students have said about their friends. Oh, and not in a bitchy, behind-their-back way: this is said to their friend’s face:

“Her cheeks are like an apple, they’re so red from pimples.”

“She is quite ugly. She has a square face.”

“She is not pretty and has thick legs.”

It’s so weird to see friends talking about one another in this way, when for me, it’s always been girl code to automatically support your friends when they’re feeling down about themselves: “You’re not ugly”, “No-one can notice the spot on your chin”, “Of course you haven’t put on weight”.

The fact that friends are so quick and happy to insult, and to receive insults from each other without any offence just demonstrates how low their self-esteem actually is; it’s normal for them to be called ‘ugly’ and to accept this as fact, because they believe it.

ryot.org

With such bad views of themselves and how openly they discuss their ‘bad’ looks, it’s no surprise that plastic surgery levels are sky high. According to reports, ‘1 in 77 people’ now have surgery to change their appearance, and ‘20% of women aged 19 to 49 in Seoul admit to going under the knife’. Double eyelid surgery is increasingly popular and is something many of my students have expressed their desire to get done when they’re older. when I see double-eyelid tape and glue in CU convenience stores, it reminds me how the pressure for girls to change their looks is everywhere. 

Of course, the K Pop girls don’t do anything to boost confidence among teenagers- they actually have the opposite effect, and make the girls feel even more inadequate. One K Pop star admitted that she had so much plastic surgery, people no longer recognised her. Pop Dust website also describes how the stars no longer care about keeping their surgery a secret; one girl group, Brown Eyed Girls sang a parody of Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’, called ‘Plastic Face’. Is this a good message to send to impressionable young girls? I think not.

http://www.georgianewsday.com/news/world

When photos of the 2013 Miss Korea Beauty Pageant finalists were made public, they were criticised by many people who thought the girls had undergone so much surgery that they all looked the same. The desire for surgery was blamed on the desire to look more Western.

Even without resorting to surgery, I’ve witnessed many older girls wearing a lot of make-up, especially eye make-up, to try and look more like the ‘pretty’ girls on TV. Of course, it isn’t just in Korea that celebrities and the media have a damaging effect, it happens everywhere: extreme diets, changing of hair colour, make-up experimentation, fake tans… people trying to transform into someone else. But in Korea, it seems more extreme, perhaps because everyone wants to look the same. This results, as was made clear with the 2013 beauty pageant, in a group of beautiful clones with minimal individuality.

thefw.com

I know that for teenage years, and for many years after, women all over the world use make-up, endless hair and beauty products, and go on fad diets to achieve some sort of ideal. But I feel like pressure on Korea girls is so much worse, and it’s worrying. It seems like all societal expectations of the Western World are magnified in Korea; school pressure is ten-times worse, the pressure on women to find and marry a ‘suitable’ man, and in the same way, the pressure to look good seems so much more extreme than in other countries.

My question (and worry) is ‘when will it stop?’ A lot of Koreans face too much stress in their lives as it is, and beauty is one pressure point too much. Instead of trying to alter their looks, girls should accept who they are and not view themselves with such harsh negativity. I want to shake sense into my students sometimes, to stop them being so down on themselves and make them believe that they are in no way ugly. Teenage years are for having fun, for being with friends and family- not for worrying that you don’t look the same as the celebrities. In fact, I wish I could go back in time and tell my teenage self the same thing… well, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Why South Korean High Schoolers Want Plastic Surgery? Check out their answers here.


Filed under: Beauty, Korea, Living

© KATHRYN GODFREY 

Kathryn's Living
KathrynsLiving.wordpress.com

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Attempted live-streamed workshop on Hangout on Air from GLoCALL Ahmedabad 2014

Worldbridges Megafeed - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:21
Vance Stevens attempted to live-stream a workshop on Hangout on Airfrom GLoCALL Ahmedabad 2014

on Thursday Oct 9, 2014

For the full event description and archive, please visit

http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/09/learning2gether-with-glocall-2014-ahmedabad-india/

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether (redirects to 

http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

The video was taken down but an mp3 was preserved and is available here
http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/09/learning2gether-with-glocall-2014-ahmedabad-india/

How this worked at showtime Oct 9, 2014

  • You could listen to the stream in the video embed above
  • You could chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You could listen to the stream at its YouTube URL (removed by user)
  • If there was space available (up to 10 people) in the Hangout on Air
    • It had an event page: https://plus.google.com/events/cf8kelr4u3eere73u1me5bqfbsk
    • You could join us via the direct link (relevant only while the event is in progress)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you

During the live event, you could chat with us in the chat space above

Connect with this Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

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Attempted live-streamed workshop on Hangout on Air from GLoCALL Ahmedabad 2014

Webheadsinaction.org - Fri, 2014-10-17 06:21
Vance Stevens attempted to live-stream a workshop on Hangout on Airfrom GLoCALL Ahmedabad 2014

on Thursday Oct 9, 2014

For the full event description and archive, please visit

http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/09/learning2gether-with-glocall-2014-ahmedabad-india/

For further information on all our upcoming events please visit

http://tinyurl.com/learning2gether (redirects to 

http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/w/page/32206114/volunteersneeded#Nextupcomingevents)

The video was taken down but an mp3 was preserved and is available here
http://learning2gether.net/2014/10/09/learning2gether-with-glocall-2014-ahmedabad-india/

How this worked at showtime Oct 9, 2014

  • You could listen to the stream in the video embed above
  • You could chat with us in real-time in the Chatwing space below
    or open it in a new window here http://chatwing.com/vancestev
  • You could listen to the stream at its YouTube URL (removed by user)
  • If there was space available (up to 10 people) in the Hangout on Air
    • It had an event page: https://plus.google.com/events/cf8kelr4u3eere73u1me5bqfbsk
    • You could join us via the direct link (relevant only while the event is in progress)
    • If the Hangout is full, listen to the stream and interact with us in the text chat
      • You can let us know if you want to join the Hangout
      • We will let you know when space comes available
      • When you enter the Hangout
        • Wear a headset to avoid broadcasting speaker sound back into the Hangout
        • Switch OFF the stream as it is on a delay and will create an echo for you

During the live event, you could chat with us in the chat space above

Connect with this Chatwing from any browser at http://chatwing.com/vancestev

 

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+"://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

In Ulsan (Cups Song – South KoREMIX)

Koreabridge - Thu, 2014-10-16 14:23
In Ulsan (Cups Song – South KoREMIX)

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: my most advanced first year high school students singing a revised version of the Cup Song from Pitch Perfect! Enjoy!

So, what do all the references in the song mean? Well, I’ll tell you! Ulsan is the city where my school resides. T-money is a type of “currency” used to travel all around Korea (it’s mostly used for intracity buses and subways, but it’s accepted by taxis too). Soju is the most popular adult beverage in Korea (*disclaimer* I don’t condone under-age drinking. The original song mentions bottles of whiskey, so I changed the lyric to the Korean equivalent, that’s all!). Nam-gu is home to the new downtown area of Ulsan (a “gu” is a district or neighborhood). In Nam-gu you’ll find outlet malls, department stores, movie theatres and restaurants. Dong-gu is the coastal area of Ulsan. There you can go to Ilsan beach, take in the ship yards, and stroll through scenic Daewangam Park! “Munsu” is short for Munsu soccer stadium, which is named after nearby Munsu Mountain. Grand Park is one of two main parks in Ulsan where you can enjoy the outdoors without actually leaving the city (additional mini-parks and bike paths are all over the city too, especially along the Taewha River). And lastly, true to the original song, Ulsan is surrounded by mountains (the gorgeous Yeongnam Alps are only a short bus ride away) and the mighty Taewha River runs right through the city!

I had an absolute blast working on this project with my students, and I think they liked it too!

 


To view the original post and other great content, visit Korealizations at:
http://korealizations.wordpress.com

Like Korealizations on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube! Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

On Dodko (for the U of N’s Blog Symposium on Asian Territorial Disputes)

Koreabridge - Thu, 2014-10-16 11:19
On Dodko (for the U of N’s Blog Symposium on Asian Territorial Dispute


The China Policy Institute of the University of Nottingham in Britain is running a blog symposium – cool idea! – this week on Asia’s territorial disputes. Here is the series page, and here is my submission. I’d like to thank the CPI blog director, my friend Jon Sullivan, for inviting me to submit. Not surprisingly, I was solicited to write on Dokdo/Takeshima/Liancourt.

Regular readers of my work will notice some of my preferred themes – that Korean claim is probably stronger; that a Japanese acceptance of that is nonetheless necessary to legitimate that sovereignty claim; that Korea wildly overblows the importance of this conflict because ‘anti-Japanism’ is central to modern South Korean identity.

The other entries in the series are worth your time if this area interests you. I was happy to participate. Below the jump is my contribution:

 

Korea and Japan have been locked in an on-again/off-again dispute over two small volcanic rocks in the Sea of Japan since the 1950s. In Korea, these two rocks are known as ‘Dokdo’ (독도); in Japan, they are called ‘Takeshima’ (たけしま). In the West, they are called the ‘Liancourt Rocks,’ after a French ship that nearly foundered there. For those new to the dispute, the Wikipedia write-up is actually pretty good, and some of its links are helpful. The literature on this issue in Korea (which I know best) is immense. The Korean government even supports a ‘Dokdo Research Institute.’

Ownership

I have no definitive comment on proper ownership. In my experience teaching in Asia as an American, there is little value to westerners making determinate judgments. Americans particularly are often seen as a referee in this conflict, as the US is an ally to both Japan and Korea. Hence I think it very unwise for Americans to definitively take a side. The US government position is that Japan and Korea need to work it on their own. I follow that line myself, as do most of the Americans and westerners I know in this area.

As best I can tell from the historical data – which are themselves hotly disputed, of course – the Korean claim is probably stronger, but there is likely no way to seriously establish that. The Koreans control the island and will certainly not surrender it, barring a Japanese use of force, which is unthinkable due to the mutual alliances with the United States. But Japan is unlikely to accept Korean control as legitimate without arbitration to which the Koreans will not agree. Hence the stalemate.

The historical problem is that sovereignty as we understand today, with strict, mutually exclusive zones, did not really exist in Asia until the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. There were borders, and Asia arguably had state-like bureaucracies before the West. But details like who exactly owned small, uninhabited rocks were simply not the focus of traditional Confucian governance and diplomacy. It is possible that some undisputed map from the 18th century or something will be unearthed that definitively settles the dispute, but I doubt it. In the end, even if Korea’s claim is stronger, the issue will not be resolved without some kind of agreement with Japan to legitimate it.

The Koreans do of course control the islets. To bolster its claim, the Korean government runs tours, stations police there, and routinely patrols the airspace. Seoul has also sought to change the international practice of using the term ‘Sea of Japan’ for the body of water between Korea and Japan to ‘East Sea.’ This is partly from Korea’s post-colonial, anti-Japanese nationalism, but it is also intended to bolster Seoul’s Dokdo claim by diluting the idea that the waters around Liancourt are ‘Japanese.’

Finally, it should be noted that the Japanese, for all the bluster coming from Seoul, have not actually pushed this issue much. The claim is formally maintained, and Shimane prefecture does celebrate ‘Takeshima Day’ on February 22. But there is little Japanese effort to change facts on the ground. Japanese fishing and naval vessels are not prodding the South Koreans. There is nothing like China’s behavior in the Paracels or Spratlys.

My own sense from Japanese colleagues is that Japan cares little for the issue. It makes for good politicking, and in the heated atmosphere of Japan-Korea relations today, it would be impossible for any Japanese politician to step back from the claim. But my own sense is that Japan holds to its Takeshima claim because it fears the ‘demonstration effect’ of flexibility on its other territorial disputes, with Russia and China, which are far more important. If Japan gives on Liancourt, Russia and especially China will push harder in their respective disputes. Given that an accidental Sino-Japanese clash over Senkaku is now a major regional worry, the Japanese will not budge on Liancourt.

Korean State-Building

The larger context on the Korean side of this flap is the intense Japanese focus of modern Korean nationalism. Japanese, Americans, and others have frequently noted the extremism of Korean rhetoric regarding Liancourt (here, here, here, here). One Korean president even ordered Korean ships to fire on Japanese ships near the islets; Seoul has also tried to include its Dokdo claim under the US-Korean defense treaty, which implies a possible American use of force against Japan. I have argued elsewhere (here, here, here) that much of this comes from the unique legitimacy challenge facing South Korea, as a half-country in contention with a mendacious, duplicitous national competitor.

Korean tension with Japan is obviously rooted in memory and territorial issues, but antipathy toward Japan also serves a national identity-building purpose in South Korea. The ROK (Republic of Korea) is trapped in a debilitating national legitimacy contest with the aggressively nationalist DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) which does not hesitate to play powerful nationalist cards against the South: South Korea is Hanguk, while North Korea is Joseon. South Korea is the bastardized, globalized, ‘Yankee Colony’ selling Korea’s heritage, folkways, and racial integrity to foreigners, while North Korea, despite its poverty, defends the minjok against its many predators, including Japan and the United States. To counter this narrative and the national confusion it generates, the ROK targets Japan instead the DRPK as the focal point of its state-building nationalism. If the ROK cannot be the anti-DPRK, then it will be the anti-Japan. And China, especially under Xi Jinping, clearly manipulates Korean disdain for Japan. But when Korea unites, the anti-Japan animus needed for the intra-Korean competition will be unnecessary. This is the long-term solution Korea-Japan tension.

Is there a Way Forward?

There is no dearth of proposals to improve Japan-Korea relations. Resolution of the territorial issue would help, but I believe that it is more the outcome than the cause. That is, the intensity of the Dokdo dispute stems not from the value of Dokdo itself, but from its symbolism for Korean national identity. Because South Korea defines itself against Japan (rather than against the DPRK), Dokdo has taken on an importance all out of proportion to its material value.

Seoul often seeks to deflect this critique with arguments about local natural resources or the seabed, but these are fairly transparent dodges. It is not at all clear that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) would allow control of Liancourt to project claims to the sea around it or to reset the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of Korea and Japan. Liancourt is not traditionally understood as ‘habitable;’ it cannot support indigenous human life. How to define that could of course be disputed, which Korea would likely do if it came so far. (Here is a good treatment of the UNCLOS tangle in the Asia-Pacific.)

If I am correct, the Liancourt/Dokdo/Takeshima fight will remain locked in place indefinitely. The only two events that would break the deadlock – a Japanese climb-down or a North Korean collapse – are unlikely in the medium-term. And Seoul will regularly deploy the Dokdo tussle in its geopolitical and historiographic contest with Tokyo. If there is one upside to this mess, at least Dokdo humor is pretty funny.”


Filed under: Asia, Foreign Policy, Japan, Korea (South)

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University
robertkelly260@hotmail.com

 

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