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Should the US Retrench from South Korea, part 1: Yes

Koreabridge - Mon, 2014-09-01 04:29
Should the US Retrench from South Korea, part 1: Yes

This is a re-up of a debate couplet on the US position in South Korea, which I wrote for the Lowy Institute. Part one, the reasons for US retrenchment, is here (and below); part 2, the arguments against a US departure, is here. And that pic is me and my North Korean minder at the North Korea side of the DMZ. Note the KWP pin above his breast pocket.

Whether the US should stay or go is a perennial issue, that surprisingly, doesn’t get discussed much. This is probably because if you really supported a US withdrawal, you would not be taken seriously in much of US or Korean foreign policy establishments. US foreign policy is dominated by a hawkish, interventionist consensus of neocons and liberal internationalists for whom the US positions in Japan and Korea have become ends in themselves as symbols of US hegemony (in neocon-speak, that’s read as: ‘global basing means we’re f****** awesome!’). In tandem, the Korean discussion, for all its lazy anti-Americanism, assumes a permanent American presence to the point of irresponsibility. But all this misses the real hole at the center – the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the North Korean conventional threat (and before you say, ‘heh wait, they could blow up Seoul,’ recall that South Korea easily has the resources to ramp up in a big way; it just doesn’t do it).

The essay starts after the jump:

 

“Over at War on the Rocks, Christopher Lee, a former officer in the US Forces Korea (USFK), and Tom Nichols of the US Naval War College, have gotten into a useful debate on whether US forces should remain in Korea. This issue is not widely discussed – surprisingly, given the end of the Cold War and the huge margin of advantage in South Korea’s favor. Although I have taught international relations in South Korea for six years, this idea is almost never mooted in academia or the media here, so I applaud War on the Rocks for broaching it. But I think Lee and Tom (full disclosure: Tom Nichols and I are friends) have missed the strongest arguments for a pull-out. Specifically, I think Lee understates his case and Tom will have to work harder to justify staying – although I think it can be done. Today, I want to lay out a more robust case for departure; tomorrow I will lay out the counterargument. In brief, I think that the case for staying just barely clears the bar and that the tide is running against it.

Why could/should the US leave South Korea:

1. South Korea is free-riding. It only ‘needs’ the US, because it is doing less than it would otherwise.

Free-riding is controversial issue, one that has bedeviled all US alliances for many decades. An entire literature within international relations is built around the curious dynamics, such as ‘buck-passing’ or ‘reckless driving,’ that characterize allies’ efforts to shift burdens to other allies, or tie others unwittingly to their own national preferences. The most acute free-riding problem in the US alliance structure is in Europe. NATO informally benchmarks 2% of GDP as a minimum for members’ defense spending. Yet only four NATO states break that marker. This has systematically crippled NATO, forcing the US to take the lead on should-be-European contingencies such as the Balkans wars, Libya, and the Ukraine. Japan is even worse at less than one percent of GDP.

By contrast, South Korea spends 2.6% of GDP on defense. This sounds better, but unfortunately is far from enough given its security environment – the massive garrison state of North Korea sitting right on top of it. There is no formal spending target – USFK places no such demand on Seoul – but the number I hear widely thrown around is that without the US, South Korea would spend two or three times as much as it does on defense now. Every foreign security analyst I know in Korea thinks the RoK needs to spend a great deal more: South Korea has significantly under-invested in C4ISR, missile defense, and counter-insurgency tactics. It is woefully under-prepared to occupy North Korea. It does not draft women, despite a declining birth-rate that is leading to a major shrinkage in the ground force. With a GDP twenty-five to thirty times that of North Korea, and a population more than twice as large, South Korea has the room to make a far greater effort. Where Lee and Nichols spar over the small amount of money the US contributes to Southern defense, the real issue is getting South Korea to take its own defense far more seriously.

2. The US presence in Korea (and Japan) discourages Japan-South Korea rapprochement.

I have written about this issue several times (here and here). In brief, the US alliance almost certainly inhibits much needed cooperation between Japan and Korea on regional issues, most obviously China and North Korea. Specifically, the US alliance permits ‘moral hazard’ in both: neither Tokyo nor Seoul suffer any consequences for ridiculous criticisms of the other, because the US insures them both against the consequences. Hence Japan, and Korea especially, focus far too much attention on each other, and not nearly enough on the real regional threats. There is a great deal of agonizing in the US over how to get these two allies to bury the hatchet and start working together, but no one wants to admit the obvious solution – a genuine threat of abandonment. Hawks will disagree, and there are indeed downsides to abandonment, but let’s stop pretending that US regional alliances don’t have costs, such as this, either.

3. USFK’s presence ideologically props up North Korea.

One point that neither Lee nor Tom brought up is the obvious propaganda boon to North Korea of the US peninsular presence. Overlooking this is not uncommon. Most researchers on the North tend to assume that its ideology is a lot of empty talk, bunk to fill the airwaves, demonize Seoul, and so on. It is just a smokescreen over a degenerate, gangster-ocracy whose real ‘ideology’ is living the high life and hanging onto power by any means necessary. While the elite’s emptiness and cynicism is certainly clear, I think this is too easy. My own sense though – perhaps from having visited North Korea and been bombarded relentlessly there with ideology – is that ideology is actually very important. North Koreans are expected to attend ideology training ‘classes’ at least once a week, and more often for officials and higher-ups. The (North) Korean Central News Agency and the three newspapers of Pyongyang exert tremendous ‘intellectual’ effort on ideological reinforcement. The focus of that ideology, particularly since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism, is anti-colonial nationalism, in which the United States has taken the place of the Japanese invader, and South Korea is the bastardized, globalized ‘Yankee Colony.’ An imminent American invasion symbolized by USFK is the primacy explanation of the regime to its people for their privation and the permanent national security emergency. Take that justification away, and North Korea loses its primary raison d’etre. If South Korea is no longer ‘occupied,’ then why does North Korea need to exist at all?

4. USFK’s persistence keeps China from cutting North Korea loose, which would accelerate Pyongyang’s collapse.

In the same way that USFK perversely acts as an ideological crutch for Pyongyang, so does it act as a reason for Beijing to endlessly prevaricate on North Korean bad behavior and unification. China is formally committed to Korean unification, but in practice this is a lie. Instead, the Chinese openly refer to North Korea as a ‘buffer’ between them and the robust democracies of South Korea, Japan, and the United States. Personally, I detest this logic; it suggests a breath-taking cynicism about the catastrophic human rights condition of North Korea. That China would callously instrumentalize a state that the UN recently likened to Nazi Germany is just appalling (and goes a long way to explaining way so few in Asia trust China). But that is the situation. However, were the US to retrench from South Korea, the Chinese fear of USFK on its doorstep would be alleviated. Indeed, South Korea could swap a USFK exit plus a promise of post-unification neutrality for a Chinese cut-off of aid to North Korea and pressure for unification. Hawks in the US and South Korea might not like that, but alleviating the extraordinary suffering of the North Koreans should be our primary goal here. If a USFK departure, tied to a major Chinese policy shift, could bring that about, it should be considered.

5. US is not an empire. Where it can retrench, it should. Commitments should not last indefinitely.

This is an openly normative argument. If one embraces a full-throated version of US hegemony – militarized, globalized, interventionist – then this will not appeal. But post-Iraq, there is clear public desire to rein in American interventions, and the normative case for restraint, on liberal democratic grounds, is strong. The costs of hegemony – not just financial, but the regular war-making and killing of foreigners; a sprawling, hugely intrusive national security state; domestic nativism; torture, indefinite detention, rendition, and similar penal abuses – suggest that retrenchment would be good for American democracy and liberalism. Allies may not like that. They will complain of abandonment. But sacrificing America’s liberal ideals at home to promote them abroad is strange brew. It is increasingly obvious that hegemony abroad is deleterious to American liberalism at home. Where allies can stand on their own, as South Korea very obviously can, US retrenchment would be domestically healthy.”


Filed under: Hegemony, Korea (North), Korea (South), United States

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

 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Seoul's Video Game Alley

Koreabridge - Mon, 2014-09-01 02:11
Seoul's Video Game Alley in

Attention Gamers: IF you haven’t been to Video Game Alley yet- RUN THERE! Game consoles from every generation and games can be found here!

Happy Market Monday! We’re back after a month of travel (videos and posts coming soon)!! Yesterday I headed back to the Electronics Market in Yongsan to purchase a card reader. Before heading that way I stopped in at a friends house. His beloved Xbox 360 had just stopped working so we decided to check out Video Game Alley and see if we could find him a new power brick. The unfortunate state of his Xbox lead us to explore another interesting specialty market in Seoul!

 

Many Games to choose from at Video Game Alley

Video Game Alley is located directly past the electronics market. If you walk through the tunnel continue straight. You will see a giant PlayStation poster on your left hand side. Directly underneath it are some stairs with a red sign. Walk in and the down to the basement.

 

Nearly every gaming console that has ever been in existence can be found in the Alley with hundreds of games and accessories. I relived my childhood as I found a TV hooked up with Super Nintendo and played a few levels of Mario Brothers while a girl next to me used the gun accessory to play duck hunt.

Seoul, Korea

 

We were instantly able to find the Power Brick, along with several other models for other Xbox 360s, that we needed. The vendor that sold it to us was very helpful. Prior to coming we took a picture of the label and he made sure that the voltage was correct and it was the exact power cord we needed. The vendor was able to read our picture to determine the precise model required.

 

They also sold a number of bargain bin xbox 360/playstation games, including recent releases for only 9,800 won. Xbox 1 releases in Korea next month.

 

If you are into Video games I highly recommend making this trip!

 

Directions: Sinyongsan Station (Exit 5)

Walk straight through the underground tunnel, just to the north of Ipark Mall.

50m past the tunnel you will see a giant PlayStation billboard on your left.

Look for the Red sign underneath and go down the stairs into Video Game Alley


 

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http://seoulmateskorea.com/ Facebook: Facebook.com/TravelSeoulSouthKoreaTwitter: @LifeTravelSeoul   Instagram: lifetravelseoul  Pinterst: Pinterest.com/lifetravelseoul

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Learning2gether with Dawn Bikowski discussing gaming and language learning

Englishbridges - Sun, 2014-08-31 10:44

https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2014aug31dawnbikowski-64k.mp3
Download mp3:
https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/2014aug31dawnbikowski-64k.mp3

On Sun Aug 31 Learning2gether was honored to meet with Dawn Bikowski discussing gaming and language learning

Dawn discussed projects she’s working on for teacher training by putting digital gaming into her MA teacher training courses, including Pedagogical Grammar and Teaching Reading & Writing. She also talked about her experiences as lead author of the Teacher’s Manual for the digital game Trace Effects, which she did for the U.S. Department of State.

Where? Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate)

Announcements 

 

 

Earlier this week Sun Aug 24 – Learning2gether with Rita Zeinstejer on Maximizing Collaboration and Sharing with Google+ and Hangouts

http://learning2gether.net/2014/08/27/rita-zeinstejer-maximize-collaboration-and-sharing-with-google-and-hangouts/

 

Aug 24 IT4ALL started with Understanding the teaching system on WizIQ

This is a part of the course Learn to Blend and Flip with Technology: http://www.wiziq.com/course/14339-blogging-reflective-learning

 

Tue Aug 26 1500 GMT Jason Levine with Mark Barnes -Throwing Out Grades: Revolutionizing Student Feedback for the Digital Age

Tuesday, August 26 at 11am EST (3pm GMT). Join world-renowned teacher, author, and teacher trainer, Mark Barnes, for “Throwing Out Grades: Revolutionizing Student Feedback for the Digital Age”, a free webinar on WizIQ. Here’s the link: http://goo.gl/lYy6Js

Tue Aug 26 AltEd Virtual Film Festival Interview with director Ian Reid

Alternative Education Virtual Film Festival: http://www.virtualfilmfestival.com/alternative-education.html

interviews director Ian Reid of Building the Machine on Tuesday, August 26th at 8pm ET

 

Thu Aug 28 0800 GMT edWeb.net hosts Mary Jo Huff – Literacy Learning with Storytelling and Puppetry

Make Literacy Learning Fun with Storytelling and Puppetry!

Presented by Mary Jo Huff, multi-award winning author, master storyteller and puppeteer for the early childhood classroom

Hosted by Don Monopoli, co-founder of the award-winning children’s recording and performing group, The Learning Company

More info and free registration: http://www.instantpresenter.com/AccountManager/RegEv.aspx?PIID=ED53DD878148

 

Fri Aug 29 Shelly Terrell American TESOL webinar on Survival Tips for Teaching with Chromebooks

The following screen with its many links live can be found at http://bit.ly/eltlinks which redirects to

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?tab_layout=side&id=292127#anchor

Aug 30 IT4ALL Understanding the teaching system on WizIQ

This is a part of the course Learn to Blend and Flip with Technology: http://www.wiziq.com/course/14339-blogging-reflective-learning

 


 

 

 


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Global English Talk Show Discussion Topics: Sept. 10

Englishbridges - Sat, 2014-08-30 06:44
Forum Category: Primary Audience:

Start of the Semester Topics



In the News

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live - 'Start of the Semester - Korean University Edition'

Englishbridges - Fri, 2014-08-29 08:27
ELT  Live Webcast
'Start  of the Semester - University Edition'
August 28, 2014A Group of University Instructors in Korea 'hangout' and discuss our approaches to the first week or two of classes and what projects and goals we're working on for this coming semester. 


Participants

Links Mentioned

Next Show: Tuesday, September 2, 2014  8pmKST, 1100GMT Global Times
Event PagesGoogle+  
Topic: Hows, Whats, and Whys (or why nots) of class websites and other online resources. 

Chat Log Below

 

 jefflebow We'll be starting soon... Stay tuned.  Gast 317   Hi to all from an Englishman in North Germany.  Sung Hee Lim   hello~~~^^ Sung Hee Lim   welcome to ELT Live, Gast 317  Gast 317   Thanks! Gast 317 = Dennis (Newson) Osnabrueck, Germany. jefflebow Dennis, can you hear the audio? Gast 317   Very clearly. Daniel Cross   I'm now following through chat, I'm a bit too distracted to keep up with the cam  Daniel Cross   Why am i undefined Robert Dickey   Rob Dickey is watching... Daniel Cross   Why am i undefined  Daniel Cross   there we go  Nina Liakos   Hello all from Maryland, USA  Daniel Cross   Hi nina  Nina Liakos   That's a lot of preps!  jefflebow Hello Nina jefflebow and Rob Nina Liakos   Tuesday morning for us in Maryland, because of Labor Day. Daniel Cross   What apps or tools are you using for the flipping? Nina Liakos   Hi Jeff! Gast 317   Hi, Nina. Nina Liakos   I always start out with diagnostics, because I have to, and housekeeping tasks like student information sheet, syllabus, and of course some kind of icebreaker. Daniel Craig   Daniel Cross, I've used a few different screencast utilities: Present.me has been my favorite so far in terms of quality, features, and ease.   Nina Liakos   I just read back in the chat and realized Gast is Dennis Newson. Hi Dennis!   Daniel Craig   Nina, I like diagnostics for my writing and listening classes. As much for me as for them.   Nina Liakos   @Daniel, yes, plus we need to make sure students have been placed correctly into the right level.   Daniel Cross   I give them 10 answers about myself and they work in partners to think of the questions   Daniel Craig   For me, it wouldn't really matter in terms of placement. I have to work with whoever comes to class :-) However, I could advise them to go elsewhere.   Nina Liakos   I like the idea of providing answers to the questions. Students always struggle with question formation.   Daniel Cross   ex. Then they interview each other with those questions   Nina Liakos   :-)   Gast 317   My wife always loved grouping people into what position they hada in their families - oldest, younger brother , only child etc.   Robert Dickey   fatherhood duties call. enjoy folks... Nina Liakos   In writing, so they can't claim you never told them. Nina Liakos   Give them an inch and they take a mile. True all opver the world, I suspect.  jefflebow  Doctopus Nina Liakos   Are there expectations that American teachers have which Korean teachers do not have, or vice versa? How do you deal with this, as a teacher from the "target culture" in the students' educational culture? Nina Liakos   How do you spell that--doctopus? How do you find it?   Nina Liakos   Actually I use Canvas here at UMD   Nina Liakos   What kind of picture file did they use?   Nina Liakos   I have had a lot of problems with adding timed handwritten essays to electronic portfolios.   James Buckingham   cowchat?   Nina Liakos   kakaochat?   jefflebow Kakao
  jefflebow http://www.kakao.com/services/8
  James Buckingham   Thanks Jeff   Daniel Craig   Sorry, yes. Doctopus. Go to a Google Doc and go to Add-ons for find and install it.   Nina Liakos   Do you train your Korean students to participate orally, or do you adjust your expectations?   James Buckingham   Have you used Doctopus Dan? What's the chief advantage...   Daniel Craig   The pictures worked really well. Zero complaints about that. I didn't have a lot of other complaints :-)   Nina Liakos   Thanks   Daniel Craig   Document management   Nina Liakos   I have heard that Korean (Asian, actually) students do not want to make a mistake publically Nina Liakos   whereas here we tend to think of mistakes as how you learn Nina Liakos   Some of my students are reluctant to open accounts with google, and although I use google everywhere I certainly sympathize with their desire to remain off google's grid James Buckingham   I agree Nina... jefflebow  http://powtoon.com  Rob Whyte   Jeff, any sense of what % your students use your quizzler vocab review files? Daniel Craig   Jeff, I like the animation sites as well. brian dean   Any thoughts on Socrative? Daniel Craig   Nina, I struggled with the Google monster a little, but I decided that it was something I was willing to have them do. Daniel Craig   Brian, I was just going to write about that.   Daniel Craig   My students have really liked Socrative both in terms of using as a student and as a teacher   brian dean   It has been good but little more than a game - not every student was able to connect - some had phones with low batteries...   James Buckingham   would like to learn more about it .. but more from the point of view of the data it collects on students ...   jefflebow http://socrative.com/   brian dean   I use it mostly to test comprehension - I post the questions on my powerpoint slides.   Nina Liakos   Low-tech way to do this: have students hold up cards with A, B, C, or D on them (front only so students are not influenced by others' choices)   Nina Liakos   Confession: I do not have a smart phone.   James Buckingham   the really power of these apps (i.e. Socrative) lies in the data collection.. error analysis   James Buckingham   ... that can be used to check a class' general understanding of a question or set of questions   Daniel Craig   Apps like Socrative are great for quick and dirty assessment. Best for anonymous assessment   jefflebow (Admin) If anyone would like to join the hangout, we're at:https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/hoaevent/AP36tYcgbDfqF5-yrOBBumg2hBJz0Upx2lBFDU9kTpYQCWPIA1_OeQ?authuser=0&hl=en

Remember to mute the Youtube stream before joining.   James Buckingham   Apparently the data collection is there and with some depth. 
From the Socrative site.. http://socrative.com/features.php
Review student understanding in a variety of report types: whole class overview, student specific results or question by question breakdown. All the reports can be downloaded, emailed or delivered to your google drive folder at any time. They are always accessible in your Reports section.   jefflebow http://www.kamall.or.kr/?r=Eng   James Buckingham   ... must be off. Wish I could have come sooner .. and could stay longer. Many thanks for sharing.   jefflebow (Admin) Thanks for stopping by James   Daniel Craig   by James. Thanks for your input   Nina Liakos   That must have been an awesome experience for those students!   Nina Liakos   Thank you for inviting me. I've enjoyed listening in and commenting.   Nina Liakos   Have a great fall semester!   brian dean   Thanks for doing this, Jeff.   Daniel Craig   Thanks for your participation Nina. Nice to (virtually) meet you :-)   Daniel Craig   Take care, Brian.   Daniel Craig   Thanks, Jeff. It was fun.   brian dean   Remember all that the international conference is crazy early this year - Oct 3 or 4 to 5. KOTESOL, that is.   brian dean   You too, Dan.   Nina Liakos   8 am EDT   Nina Liakos   How often are you planning to do this?   Nina Liakos   Thanks, Jeff and all   Nina Liakos   Bye!   jefflebowThanks very much everyone!   

 

Tags:
Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live - 'Start of the Semester - University Edition'

Worldbridges Megafeed - Fri, 2014-08-29 05:35
ELT  Live Webcast
'Start  of the Semester - University Edition'
August 28, 2014A Group of University Instructors in Korea 'hangout' and discuss our approaches to the first week or two of classes and what projects and goals we're working on for this coming semester. 


Participants

Links Mentioned

Next Show: Tuesday, September 2, 2014  8pmKST, 1100GMT Global Times
Event Pages: Google+  
Topic: Hows, Whats, and Whys (or why nots) of class websites and other online resources.  

Chat Log Below

 

 jefflebow We'll be starting soon... Stay tuned.  Gast 317   Hi to all from an Englishman in North Germany.  Sung Hee Lim   hello~~~^^ Sung Hee Lim   welcome to ELT Live, Gast 317  Gast 317   Thanks! Gast 317 = Dennis (Newson) Osnabrueck, Germany. jefflebow Dennis, can you hear the audio? Gast 317   Very clearly. Daniel Cross   I'm now following through chat, I'm a bit too distracted to keep up with the cam  Daniel Cross   Why am i undefined Robert Dickey   Rob Dickey is watching... Daniel Cross   Why am i undefined  Daniel Cross   there we go  Nina Liakos   Hello all from Maryland, USA  Daniel Cross   Hi nina  Nina Liakos   That's a lot of preps!  jefflebow Hello Nina jefflebow and Rob Nina Liakos   Tuesday morning for us in Maryland, because of Labor Day. Daniel Cross   What apps or tools are you using for the flipping? Nina Liakos   Hi Jeff! Gast 317   Hi, Nina. Nina Liakos   I always start out with diagnostics, because I have to, and housekeeping tasks like student information sheet, syllabus, and of course some kind of icebreaker. Daniel Craig   Daniel Cross, I've used a few different screencast utilities: Present.me has been my favorite so far in terms of quality, features, and ease.   Nina Liakos   I just read back in the chat and realized Gast is Dennis Newson. Hi Dennis!   Daniel Craig   Nina, I like diagnostics for my writing and listening classes. As much for me as for them.   Nina Liakos   @Daniel, yes, plus we need to make sure students have been placed correctly into the right level.   Daniel Cross   I give them 10 answers about myself and they work in partners to think of the questions   Daniel Craig   For me, it wouldn't really matter in terms of placement. I have to work with whoever comes to class :-) However, I could advise them to go elsewhere.   Nina Liakos   I like the idea of providing answers to the questions. Students always struggle with question formation.   Daniel Cross   ex. Then they interview each other with those questions   Nina Liakos   :-)   Gast 317   My wife always loved grouping people into what position they hada in their families - oldest, younger brother , only child etc.   Robert Dickey   fatherhood duties call. enjoy folks... Nina Liakos   In writing, so they can't claim you never told them. Nina Liakos   Give them an inch and they take a mile. True all opver the world, I suspect.  jefflebow  Doctopus Nina Liakos   Are there expectations that American teachers have which Korean teachers do not have, or vice versa? How do you deal with this, as a teacher from the "target culture" in the students' educational culture? Nina Liakos   How do you spell that--doctopus? How do you find it?   Nina Liakos   Actually I use Canvas here at UMD   Nina Liakos   What kind of picture file did they use?   Nina Liakos   I have had a lot of problems with adding timed handwritten essays to electronic portfolios.   James Buckingham   cowchat?   Nina Liakos   kakaochat?   jefflebow Kakao
  jefflebow http://www.kakao.com/services/8
  James Buckingham   Thanks Jeff   Daniel Craig   Sorry, yes. Doctopus. Go to a Google Doc and go to Add-ons for find and install it.   Nina Liakos   Do you train your Korean students to participate orally, or do you adjust your expectations?   James Buckingham   Have you used Doctopus Dan? What's the chief advantage...   Daniel Craig   The pictures worked really well. Zero complaints about that. I didn't have a lot of other complaints :-)   Nina Liakos   Thanks   Daniel Craig   Document management   Nina Liakos   I have heard that Korean (Asian, actually) students do not want to make a mistake publically Nina Liakos   whereas here we tend to think of mistakes as how you learn Nina Liakos   Some of my students are reluctant to open accounts with google, and although I use google everywhere I certainly sympathize with their desire to remain off google's grid James Buckingham   I agree Nina... jefflebow  http://powtoon.com  Rob Whyte   Jeff, any sense of what % your students use your quizzler vocab review files? Daniel Craig   Jeff, I like the animation sites as well. brian dean   Any thoughts on Socrative? Daniel Craig   Nina, I struggled with the Google monster a little, but I decided that it was something I was willing to have them do. Daniel Craig   Brian, I was just going to write about that.   Daniel Craig   My students have really liked Socrative both in terms of using as a student and as a teacher   brian dean   It has been good but little more than a game - not every student was able to connect - some had phones with low batteries...   James Buckingham   would like to learn more about it .. but more from the point of view of the data it collects on students ...   jefflebow http://socrative.com/   brian dean   I use it mostly to test comprehension - I post the questions on my powerpoint slides.   Nina Liakos   Low-tech way to do this: have students hold up cards with A, B, C, or D on them (front only so students are not influenced by others' choices)   Nina Liakos   Confession: I do not have a smart phone.   James Buckingham   the really power of these apps (i.e. Socrative) lies in the data collection.. error analysis   James Buckingham   ... that can be used to check a class' general understanding of a question or set of questions   Daniel Craig   Apps like Socrative are great for quick and dirty assessment. Best for anonymous assessment   jefflebow (Admin) If anyone would like to join the hangout, we're at:https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/hoaevent/AP36tYcgbDfqF5-yrOBBumg2hBJz0Upx2lBFDU9kTpYQCWPIA1_OeQ?authuser=0&hl=en

Remember to mute the Youtube stream before joining.   James Buckingham   Apparently the data collection is there and with some depth. 
From the Socrative site.. http://socrative.com/features.php
Review student understanding in a variety of report types: whole class overview, student specific results or question by question breakdown. All the reports can be downloaded, emailed or delivered to your google drive folder at any time. They are always accessible in your Reports section.   jefflebow http://www.kamall.or.kr/?r=Eng   James Buckingham   ... must be off. Wish I could have come sooner .. and could stay longer. Many thanks for sharing.   jefflebow (Admin) Thanks for stopping by James   Daniel Craig   by James. Thanks for your input   Nina Liakos   That must have been an awesome experience for those students!   Nina Liakos   Thank you for inviting me. I've enjoyed listening in and commenting.   Nina Liakos   Have a great fall semester!   brian dean   Thanks for doing this, Jeff.   Daniel Craig   Thanks for your participation Nina. Nice to (virtually) meet you :-)   Daniel Craig   Take care, Brian.   Daniel Craig   Thanks, Jeff. It was fun.   brian dean   Remember all that the international conference is crazy early this year - Oct 3 or 4 to 5. KOTESOL, that is.   brian dean   You too, Dan.   Nina Liakos   8 am EDT   Nina Liakos   How often are you planning to do this?   Nina Liakos   Thanks, Jeff and all   Nina Liakos   Bye!   jefflebowThanks very much everyone!   

 

 

ELT Live - 'Start of the Semester - University Edition'

Koreabridge - Fri, 2014-08-29 05:35
ELT  Live Webcast
'Start  of the Semester - University Edition'
August 28, 2014A Group of University Instructors in Korea 'hangout' and discuss our approaches to the first week or two of classes and what projects and goals we're working on for this coming semester. 


Participants

Links Mentioned

Next Show: Tuesday, September 2, 2014  8pmKST, 1100GMT Global Times
Event Pages: Google+  
Topic: Hows, Whats, and Whys (or why nots) of class websites and other online resources.  

Chat Log Below

 

 jefflebow We'll be starting soon... Stay tuned.  Gast 317   Hi to all from an Englishman in North Germany.  Sung Hee Lim   hello~~~^^ Sung Hee Lim   welcome to ELT Live, Gast 317  Gast 317   Thanks! Gast 317 = Dennis (Newson) Osnabrueck, Germany. jefflebow Dennis, can you hear the audio? Gast 317   Very clearly. Daniel Cross   I'm now following through chat, I'm a bit too distracted to keep up with the cam  Daniel Cross   Why am i undefined Robert Dickey   Rob Dickey is watching... Daniel Cross   Why am i undefined  Daniel Cross   there we go  Nina Liakos   Hello all from Maryland, USA  Daniel Cross   Hi nina  Nina Liakos   That's a lot of preps!  jefflebow Hello Nina jefflebow and Rob Nina Liakos   Tuesday morning for us in Maryland, because of Labor Day. Daniel Cross   What apps or tools are you using for the flipping? Nina Liakos   Hi Jeff! Gast 317   Hi, Nina. Nina Liakos   I always start out with diagnostics, because I have to, and housekeeping tasks like student information sheet, syllabus, and of course some kind of icebreaker. Daniel Craig   Daniel Cross, I've used a few different screencast utilities: Present.me has been my favorite so far in terms of quality, features, and ease.   Nina Liakos   I just read back in the chat and realized Gast is Dennis Newson. Hi Dennis!   Daniel Craig   Nina, I like diagnostics for my writing and listening classes. As much for me as for them.   Nina Liakos   @Daniel, yes, plus we need to make sure students have been placed correctly into the right level.   Daniel Cross   I give them 10 answers about myself and they work in partners to think of the questions   Daniel Craig   For me, it wouldn't really matter in terms of placement. I have to work with whoever comes to class :-) However, I could advise them to go elsewhere.   Nina Liakos   I like the idea of providing answers to the questions. Students always struggle with question formation.   Daniel Cross   ex. Then they interview each other with those questions   Nina Liakos   :-)   Gast 317   My wife always loved grouping people into what position they hada in their families - oldest, younger brother , only child etc.   Robert Dickey   fatherhood duties call. enjoy folks... Nina Liakos   In writing, so they can't claim you never told them. Nina Liakos   Give them an inch and they take a mile. True all opver the world, I suspect.  jefflebow  Doctopus Nina Liakos   Are there expectations that American teachers have which Korean teachers do not have, or vice versa? How do you deal with this, as a teacher from the "target culture" in the students' educational culture? Nina Liakos   How do you spell that--doctopus? How do you find it?   Nina Liakos   Actually I use Canvas here at UMD   Nina Liakos   What kind of picture file did they use?   Nina Liakos   I have had a lot of problems with adding timed handwritten essays to electronic portfolios.   James Buckingham   cowchat?   Nina Liakos   kakaochat?   jefflebow Kakao
  jefflebow http://www.kakao.com/services/8
  James Buckingham   Thanks Jeff   Daniel Craig   Sorry, yes. Doctopus. Go to a Google Doc and go to Add-ons for find and install it.   Nina Liakos   Do you train your Korean students to participate orally, or do you adjust your expectations?   James Buckingham   Have you used Doctopus Dan? What's the chief advantage...   Daniel Craig   The pictures worked really well. Zero complaints about that. I didn't have a lot of other complaints :-)   Nina Liakos   Thanks   Daniel Craig   Document management   Nina Liakos   I have heard that Korean (Asian, actually) students do not want to make a mistake publically Nina Liakos   whereas here we tend to think of mistakes as how you learn Nina Liakos   Some of my students are reluctant to open accounts with google, and although I use google everywhere I certainly sympathize with their desire to remain off google's grid James Buckingham   I agree Nina... jefflebow  http://powtoon.com  Rob Whyte   Jeff, any sense of what % your students use your quizzler vocab review files? Daniel Craig   Jeff, I like the animation sites as well. brian dean   Any thoughts on Socrative? Daniel Craig   Nina, I struggled with the Google monster a little, but I decided that it was something I was willing to have them do. Daniel Craig   Brian, I was just going to write about that.   Daniel Craig   My students have really liked Socrative both in terms of using as a student and as a teacher   brian dean   It has been good but little more than a game - not every student was able to connect - some had phones with low batteries...   James Buckingham   would like to learn more about it .. but more from the point of view of the data it collects on students ...   jefflebow http://socrative.com/   brian dean   I use it mostly to test comprehension - I post the questions on my powerpoint slides.   Nina Liakos   Low-tech way to do this: have students hold up cards with A, B, C, or D on them (front only so students are not influenced by others' choices)   Nina Liakos   Confession: I do not have a smart phone.   James Buckingham   the really power of these apps (i.e. Socrative) lies in the data collection.. error analysis   James Buckingham   ... that can be used to check a class' general understanding of a question or set of questions   Daniel Craig   Apps like Socrative are great for quick and dirty assessment. Best for anonymous assessment   jefflebow (Admin) If anyone would like to join the hangout, we're at:https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/hoaevent/AP36tYcgbDfqF5-yrOBBumg2hBJz0Upx2lBFDU9kTpYQCWPIA1_OeQ?authuser=0&hl=en

Remember to mute the Youtube stream before joining.   James Buckingham   Apparently the data collection is there and with some depth. 
From the Socrative site.. http://socrative.com/features.php
Review student understanding in a variety of report types: whole class overview, student specific results or question by question breakdown. All the reports can be downloaded, emailed or delivered to your google drive folder at any time. They are always accessible in your Reports section.   jefflebow http://www.kamall.or.kr/?r=Eng   James Buckingham   ... must be off. Wish I could have come sooner .. and could stay longer. Many thanks for sharing.   jefflebow (Admin) Thanks for stopping by James   Daniel Craig   by James. Thanks for your input   Nina Liakos   That must have been an awesome experience for those students!   Nina Liakos   Thank you for inviting me. I've enjoyed listening in and commenting.   Nina Liakos   Have a great fall semester!   brian dean   Thanks for doing this, Jeff.   Daniel Craig   Thanks for your participation Nina. Nice to (virtually) meet you :-)   Daniel Craig   Take care, Brian.   Daniel Craig   Thanks, Jeff. It was fun.   brian dean   Remember all that the international conference is crazy early this year - Oct 3 or 4 to 5. KOTESOL, that is.   brian dean   You too, Dan.   Nina Liakos   8 am EDT   Nina Liakos   How often are you planning to do this?   Nina Liakos   Thanks, Jeff and all   Nina Liakos   Bye!   jefflebowThanks very much everyone!   

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Sampling Seoul: A Night Dining Tour with O'ngo Food Communications

Koreabridge - Fri, 2014-08-29 01:24
Sampling Seoul: A Night Dining Tour with O'ngo Food Communications Korean cuisine, much like the country's people, is vibrant, flavorful, eclectic and packs a lot of punch. It's so diverse that it would take years to try each banchan (side dish), variety of kimchi (there's over 200!) and regional and seasonal specialty. Fortunately for gastronomes eager to sample Korea's tastiest cuisine in a limited amount of time, O'ngo Food Communications offers a number of food tours that take all the guesswork out of the search for the country's best restaurants.

This week, I joined O'ngo on their highly popular Korean Night Dining Tour, an activity that consistently ranks in the top 5 list of things to do in Seoul on TripAdvisor.  After meeting my tour mates- a diverse group of friendly Singaporeans, Germans and Australians- and our enthusiastic local guide Gemma, we hit the streets of Jongno with our mouths watering and our bellies growling.
From the get go, Gemma gave us fun tidbits about the landmarks we passed and the streets we wandered, including Galmaegisal-gil, the first stop on our tour. This street, a cramped alley of tiny restaurants, smoking grills and boisterous businessmen perched on plastic chairs downing soju, was incredibly picturesque and captured the true essence of the city.


We took our seats at an unassuming corner restaurant, the first in the city to serve galmaegisal, pork skirt steak. The table had already been prepared for our group, and the servers were kind enough to do the cooking for us, a big plus for foreigners less versed in the art of table grilling. Gemma explained how to wrap the perfectly cooked pork in mustard greens and sesame leaves, adding just the right amount of mung bean and sesame powders, salt, and ssamjang (dipping sauce), all the while devouring it in one bite.


Suddenly, the entire table was quiet as we stuffed our mouths with the deliciousness that is ssam (lettuce wraps). But, the silence wouldn't last long, as Gemma didn't waste any time in serving us cojinganmek, a "bomb" shot of Coca-Cola, soju, and beer. We were all a bit flushed and full by the end of the meal, but it was soon off to the next stop.


Weaving through Insadong's alleys, we found ourselves at a hidden tteokbokki joint. The rice cake snack we sampled was a twist on the original, and rather than being spicy, was sweet and soupy, and was mixed in with carrots and fish cakes in a soy-based broth. Although I still prefer the original, it was nice to try something new. We slurped up the tasty dish, and washed it down with few shots of maehwasu, Korean plum liquor.


We managed not to stumble to our next destination, a pojangmacha, or tent bar. Gemma explained to us that these quintessentially Korean drinking establishments are expected to be extinct within the next ten years, as the government has been doing away with them, firmly believing their existence tarnishes Korea's image as a clean and forward-moving society. (They've yet to understand the fact that they're one of the favorite places of foreign tourists and residents to experience the country's culture.)


We may have looked a bit out of place to the elderly gentlemen that surrounded us, but we were welcomed with smiles and hospitality. Despite the warm summer weather, the generous portions of dakbokkeumtang, or spicy braised chicken stew, hit the spot and was the perfect companion for the somaek (beer and soju cocktail) that Gemma so impressively whipped up for us. By this point, we had all bonded, not necessarily because of the alcohol, and were having a great time exchanging funny travel stories and telling jokes.


It didn't take long to reach Gwangjang Market, one of Seoul's oldest and most famous traditional markets, particularly popular for its food. The market was packed and scents of fermenting seafood, fried goodies and spilled alcohol permeated throughout. We were led to a three-story restaurant and were quickly served up plates of bindaekduk (crispy savory pancakes) and mixed jeon (fried veggies, meat and seafood). By this point, I wished I had worn elastic pants but still managed to shovel down a few bites. Gemma poured us bowls of makgeolli (Korean rice beer) and taught us a few basic drinking games. We couldn't stop laughing at our ineptitude to play, yet were still probably the tamest group in the entire place.


After a night of drinking games, wandering Seoul's streets, meeting new friends and gorging on the city's tastiest treats, we parted ways. Half of the group headed out to Dongdaemun for some late-night shopping while the rest of us, practically in food comas, went home. 
Overall, I was extremely impressed with O'ngo's Korean Night Dining Tour. Even after living in Seoul for five years, I was introduced to neighborhoods I had never visited and dishes I had never tried. The guide was fun and helpful, the tour well-structured and organized, and the price excellent for the value. It's the perfect tour for those wanting to make the most of a short trip in Seoul, but is also fun for long-term expats like myself looking to learn more about the hidden gastronomic gems of the city.


Photo courtesy of Chang Thuy.
More Information
The Korean Night Dining Tour runs daily at 6PM and is three and a half hours long. The tour begins at the O'ngo Culinary School, located just a few minutes' walk from Insadong. The cost is $88 USD per person and there are discounted rates for those not drinking alcohol, kids, and groups of eight or more. For more information about O'ngo or to make a reservation for this food tour, click here and fill out the form.

*Although this post is sponsored by O'ngo Food Communications, the opinions are, of course, my own. 
Words and photos by Mimsie Ladner of Seoul Searching unless otherwise noted. Content may not be reproduced unless authorized.


Seoul Searching
www.MySeoulSearching.com

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Love is like Ice, it will Trick you! - Unique museums in Seoul.

Koreabridge - Thu, 2014-08-28 06:37
Love is like Ice, it will Trick you! - Unique museums in Seoul 4th episode with our dearest friend, Charly!

She went to explore the most unique and popular museums right now in Seoul. If you want to have some fun then this is the place for you.

In the middle of Hongdae, the street of youth and indie music, stands a very special museum that you can enjoy. It’s called Trickeye Museum and it recently added two more theme museums- Ice & Love.

The first museum that Charly visited is the Ice Museum where everything is made of ice, which means it’s cold and perfect to cool down during hot humid Korean Summer.

Secondly, she went to the Trickeye Museum which is right next to the Ice museum. As the name suggests, it’s all about tricking your eyes. It’s fun because you can take super fun pictures with different situations. Not only kids but adults actually love this place as well.

Last is the PG 19 (in Korea), the Love Museum which is one step above the Trickeye museum. It basically offers the same experience as Trickeye but with a sensuous and sexual theme. The background and pictures are pretty raw and down to earth(?). No kids or teenagers are allowed here!

Trazy offers free coupons for all three of the museums so simply click on the name and download it.

Also, don’t forget to vote for your favorite! :)

XOXO, Trazy.

 

Trazy.com
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Rita Zeinstejer – Maximize Collaboration and Sharing with Google+ and Hangouts

Englishbridges - Wed, 2014-08-27 12:49
On Sun Aug 24 we enjoyed Learning2gether with
Rita Zeinstejer – Maximize Collaboration and Sharing with Google+ and Hangouts

Rita Zeinstejer has been asked to prepare a presentation on Google+ and Hangouts, so in this event, she piloted it first for Learning2gether in the the Webheads Bb Collaborate / Elluminate room

Would you like to easily connect, collaborate, and communicate with other educators, parents, or classrooms- whether they’re next door or around the world? Join Rita Zeinstejer as she explains how GOOGLE+  is the social network that adds to all of Google’s other services, including Gmail, YouTube, and Blogger; how Google+ brings popular social-media features like comments, photo- and music-sharing, videochat, etc. to your social circles.

She will also share how to easily connect and collaborate with the free video chat resource, Google Hangouts, and how you can use Google Hangouts to conduct parent-teacher conferences, collaborate with other teachers, or chat with other classrooms. You will also learn how students can work on collaborative projects with students in other parts of your state, country, or the world.

“With Hangouts on Air, you will be able to broadcast yourself publicly to the entire world, see how many viewers you have, and even record and reshare your broadcast. The public recording will be uploaded to your YouTube channel and to your original Google+ post.”

Announcements

 

 

Earlier this week  Sun Aug 17 – And the winner is … Learning2fly high with iTDi

http://learning2gether.net/2014/08/18/and-the-winner-is-learning2fly-high-with-itdi/

iTDi continues with participant sessions

Jason Levine is indefatigable, obviously enjoying himself; e.g. Thu Aug 21 

  • Using the WiziQ Whiteboard to Write Chinese Characters
  • Online Student  Retention – Rob Howard 
  • To Use or Not to Use L1 in the ESL classroom’. by Anastasia

Mon Aug 18 – Steven Anderson on Digital Citizenship, from Learning Revolution calendar
  • Monday, August 18th at 4pm Steven Anderson on “Building a Solid Digital Citizenship Program from Day One”, The beginning of the school year is such an important time for digital citizenship. Schools are distributing their Acceptable Use Policies or Responsible Use Policies. Students may have access to new technologies. Teachers are often planning on integrating new digital tools into their teaching. And parents may be hopeful about the educational potential of digital tools, but also anxious about their kids’ media use. What are some ways for you to start off the school year right and set the foundation for your digital citizenship program throughout the year? Hear from Steven Anderson, who will share advice and strategies to build a positive school culture around digital citizenship. Get inspired with practical ways you can implement your digital citizenship program, and involve the school community throughout the year!
  • For a full calendar of all upcoming events and conferences, click here.
Mon Aug 18 TL News Night LIVE from Learning Revolution calendar
  • Monday, August 18th at 8pm TL News Night LIVE, This is a LIVE show presented in news show format featuring a Wrap up of “This Month in School Libraries” and deeper discussion of topical school library issues with special guest experts. Did we mention it was LIVE?

For  full calendar of all upcoming events and conferences, click here.

  Tue Aug 19 Karen Collias Fostering Creativity Inside and Outside the Classroom on EdWeb Presented by Dr. Karen Collias, founder of Knowledge Without Borders
Hosted by George DeBakey, President, DeBakey International Fri Aug 22 Shelly Terrell American TESOL webinar on Survival Tips for Teaching with iPads

The following screen with its many links live can be found at http://bit.ly/eltlinks which redirects to

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?tab_layout=side&id=292127#anchor 

   

 Sat Aug 23 Carlos Fernandez and 81DASH on Classroom 2.0

Peggy George, Lorie Moffat and Tammy Moore will be hosting another Classroom 2.0 LIVE show. As an extension to the Classroom 2.0 Ning community, Classroom 2.0 “LIVE” shows are opportunities to gather with other educators in real-time events, complete with audio, chat, desktop sharing and closed captioning. A Google calendar of upcoming shows is available at http://live.classroom20.com/calendar.html

On Saturday, August 23rd, the special guest was Carlos Fernandez, creator/developer of a fantastic, free new backchannel tool for the classroom called 81DASH. He will be joined by Jerry Swiatek, a District Technology Specialist for the Citrus County School District in Citrus County, FL where he works with teachers and students helping them integrate technology into their classrooms. Jerry is the founder and organizer of EdCamp Citrus, a Google Certified Admin and Teacher, and is also the archivist for the very successful #edchat community. Please join us to learn about 81DASH and the ways teachers are using it in their classrooms. We know you are going to be eager to start using it too! If you’re already using it we hope you’ll share your experiences either in the chat or on the microphone during the Q/A. Communication is vital in the 21st Century way of work and education is no exception. As the 81DASH team saw schools make the digital transitions, they knew that they needed to come up with a safe solution that would allow students access to communicate anytime, anywhere. But they also needed a solution that would keep students safe and give the teacher the opportunity to monitor and have full control of that chat environment. Although the chat feature is heart and soul of 81Dash, they believe that students need more than just a safe chat environment. They need a Dashboard that allows them to communicate, share files, take notes, and keep track of important tasks. 81Dash has been a tremendous passion project of theirs and is created by teachers for teachers. Follow 81DASH on Twitter and sign up on 81DASH to start using it with your students. More information and session details are at http://live.classroom20.com. If you’re new to the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! show you might want to spend a few minutes viewing the screencast on the homepage to learn how we use Blackboard Collaborate, and navigate the site. Each show begins at 12pm Eastern (GMT-5) and may be accessed in Blackboard Collaborate directly using the following Classroom 2.0 LIVE! link at http://tinyurl.com/cr20live. All webinars are closed captioned.

On the Classroom 2.0 LIVE! site (http://live.classroom20.com) you’ll find the recordings and Livebinder from our recent”Assessments That Don’t Suck!” session with our special guest Paul Bogush. Click on the Archives and Resourcestab. When tweeting about Classroom 2.0 LIVE, be sure to use #liveclass20. Special thanks to our sponsors Weebly, The Learning Revolution and Blackboard Collaborate!

Classroom 2.0 LIVE Team: Peggy George, Lorie Moffat, Tammy Moore, Steve Hargadon

Visit Classroom 2.0 at: http://www.classroom20.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network 

 


Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

The Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

Koreabridge - Wed, 2014-08-27 05:29
The Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

It feels like a long time since I was in Malaysia and Singapore in February and I almost feel like I’ve forgotten to write a blog post since then. The last few months have been tough for a variety of reasons, bereavement, break-ups and contractual issues at work (I’ve re-signed for what will be a final six months in South Korea) and since I booked my flight tickets six weeks ago I have eagerly been looking forward to just getting away from it all.

After some deliberation I decided to keep the flight cost down, keeping in mind my plans for 2015, and I booked myself 12 days in Okinawa prefecture at the very tip of southern Japan. When people think of Japan I would venture they mostly imagine the snow-capped peak of Mt. Fuji, the quirkiness and blade-runneresque Tokyo streets or the composure of the Buddhist temples in Kyoto. In all honestly when I lived in England this was my distant assumption, too.  When you sit down with an atlas (or Google Maps…) you quickly realise how expansive Japan is, so expansive that Japan, sitting upon the Pacific Ring of Fire, is made up of innumerous islands. (6,852, thanks Wikipedia). This sprawling archipelago therefore has distinct topographical and cultural variations, which to a traveler looking to stay close to home (my Korean home), gives you a multitude of options. With it being summer the snowboarding peaks of Hokkaido and the snow monkeys of Jigokudani would have to wait for another day and I entertained the idea of exploring the isolated Okinawan Pacific Islands to the south.

Okinawa-honto:

My journey began with a flight to Tokyo and a nap waiting for my connecting flight to Naha in Tokyo’s rapidly aging Narita airport. A bumpy flight over typhoon Halong  followed. In Naha I took the monorail to a centrally based downtown guesthouse.I arrived quite late and pretty much checked-in and passed out.

On my first full day in Naha I got up reasonably early and set off to one of the most important historical focal points on the main island. Shuri Castle sits atop a hill on the northern outskirts of central Naha. Since the mid-1300’s there has been a castle there and for 450 years it served as the administrative centre of the Ryukyu Kingdom before being seceded to the Satsumas (not the fruit) and then being annexed by the Japanese. It was almost completely destroyed by the Americans during World War II as the Japanese military set-up their headquarters beneath it. What stands today is a reproduction of the castle based on photos and memories,  nonetheless the castle walls shield an impressive burnt-red wooden structure that stands out amongst the surrounding rolling whitewashed concrete urban sprawl. From the monorail I walked down in the searing heat and humidity following the outline of the castle walls to the entrance gate. A reasonable entry fee (Okinawa is significantly cheaper than the other areas of Japan that I have previously visited) allows you access to the castle buildings and gardens that provide a good view across the city surroundings. The Ryukyu kings seemed to have had a pretty sweet deal, entertaining their trading partners from China in simple tatami floored rooms looking out over miniature landscaped gardens and ruling from the elegantly simple throne room. Outside the main castle there are some gates which the significance has since been lost to me but provided some nice photos and there are some mausoleum tombs and ponds to walk around.

From Shuri I returned to the downtown area and got my bearings by walking around some of the main shopping streets. To experience true Naha you first need to get away from the garish Kokusai Street lined with endless tourist shops and over-priced dining offerings and head to the streets that splinter off it where you can find quirky eateries and bars, this is especially the case along the area that is sandwiched between Kokusai Street and the monorail (Kumoji District). Another good area that I wandered upon was along Ushikima, definitely worth checking out for its vintage clothes shops, cafes and bars. Considering I was burning up by this point in the afternoon sun I bought myself a cap and literally found a cafe to chill-out in.

In the evening I had some amazing noodles in a friendly eatery called Mazemen. The two owners, a young couple seemed delighted to see me and I pleasured them with a couple of return visits during my stay. Cheap and delicious. I checked out the ferry times for some ill-fated trips to the Kerama Islands (more on that later) and had a mango smoothie in a coffee shop. Unlike Korea none of the locals were on their smartphones, but rather reading which I found nicely refreshing and a common theme across the islands I visited. It would appear the Japanese love a good book.

My second day began in faltering fashion as I enjoyed a lie-in under the presumption that the bus schedule to Churaumi Aquarium was a little more frequent than it turned out to be. After twiddling my thumbs on Naha’s streets for a few hours I then endured a two hour bus journey to the aquarium on the north-west coast. I say endured because after one hour the air-conditioning on-board packed up. I was beginning to understand why a large proportion of the population walk around with a hand towel either draped across their shoulders, wrapped around their heads (this is definitely a fashion accessory for young men) or easy to hand in their bags. After exiting the sweaty bus it was already early to mid-afternoon and with the last bus running back to Naha I had to rush down to the aquarium.

Churaumi Aquarium was previously the largest in the world and I guess if I was ever going to go to one it wasn’t a bad place to start, although my experience of zoos has never been a particularly positive one. The main attraction here is the whale sharks and they can be found in the main tank along with a wide selection of rays and other large fish. As I worked my way round the tropical reef fish I arrived at the main show, the 7,500 cubic metre tank. Although it is big, I’m sure the whale sharks probably felt it wasn’t big enough. I happened to arrive as their feeding time was held and they gulped down big buckets of krill that were spilt into the tank. The rest of the time they circled around giving the odd small child a fright as they glued their faces to the thick glass aquarium windows.

Across from the main tank was the ‘dangerous’ shark tank. A tiger shark a few bull sharks and some others that I could not name aimlessly swam around. It looked pretty dull and if they weren’t man-eaters before they must be seriously considering the decision to become one. the tiger shark looked especially pissed-off as it swam clockwise with its nose glued to the surface and tank wall. Outside the manatees and turtles fared much worse, crammed into tiny pools that would only suffice as a toddlers play pool at your local community pool.

A dolphin show was on and a rather black and angry looking dolphin (it looked almost like a killer whale) splashed half-gleeful, half-terrified children who had been made to gather at the base of the tank windows by some either cynical or guilty parents.

My time was up and although I had seen some pretty amazing animals it was a bitter achievement in my mind and I decided it didn’t really count unless I was lucky enough to one day encounter them in the ocean.

I managed to have no more bus mishaps and headed back to Naha, showered and headed out to enjoy a walk around the backstreets of Sazaruka and Tsuboya. The highlight of my evening walk being an encounter with a man who had set up a projector in a back alley and was enjoying his own outdoor cinema viewing of Raging Bull on his or possibly a neighbours house.

Ishigaki-jima:

The next morning at breakfast I had the misfortune to meet the most beautiful girl I may have ever encountered just as I was checking out and heading to the airport. Such is life (or just my life?)… Anyway little was I to know the joys that Ishigaki Island, my next destination, would hold for me. After an hours flying time I arrived in the Yaeyama Islands the most southern points of Japan and landed at Ishigaki airport and took a local bus to Shiraho Friends House in Shiraho village.

On arrival I met the friendly owner Hiro who helps his guests out enormously by giving them expert insider information about the island and some of the trips you can take and the sights you can see. I had some time in the afternoon to check out the main town and look at some of the ferry schedules to the local islands. I ate a small dinner at a local izikaya and then sat on the roof of the hostel with beer admiring the crystal clear sky and the stars that you can so rarely see through the hazy city skies of Busan. The view of the stars was only obscured by the odd giant fruit bat that swooped through my eye line and then some clouds that eventually rolled in to obscure an apparent meteor shower that was expected around midnight.

I woke early as I was joining a snorkeling trip with some of the other guests who were staying at the guesthouse. At around 08:30 Robyn, Stefan, Misato and myself were picked up by the snorkeling company staff Nao and Hazu (Jiyujin) and after a few of my new friends grabbed some wet-suits we headed to the harbour and jumped on the boat with the captain Yama-chan. The plan was to sail the boat to the very remote Kuroshima and Panari islands but because of some dark skies and rough seas we had to make do with a plan to snorkel around Taketomi Island.

 

We spent the morning snorkeling around the abundant coral reefs encountering some exotic fish before having lunch on the island. We had some time after lunch so I took a walk along the virtually endless beach that encompasses the island. After my walk and everyone’s lunch having settled we hit two more reef spots.

After the first one I half-jokingly suggested I wanted to see a shark and so our final spot was to be in some deeper but equally crystal clear waters. Be careful what you wish for. As we laid anchor and tied up to another companies boats their guides spotted a shark but I didn’t have my mask and flippers on yet so I didn’t manage to see the shark… Nonetheless the deep waters were incredible, the receding tide brought the coral perilously close to you (I already had cut my foot open on some coral in the morning after taking a swim sans flippers) and the coral reef raised an incredible height from the seafloor making it more exciting to dive down and work your way alongside the fish and coral rather than looking down upon them. We had a waterproof camera with us and the staff took some good shots of life on the reef for us.

The whole day, bar the stinging sunburn I got on my shoulder blades and my coral slashed foot,  was fantastic. A great day spent with good people, this was enhanced even further as Nao invited us out to dinner with the dive team and his Hawaiian girlfriend. We planned to go to a popular yakinikuk restaurant, (like a refined Korean barbecue joint) but they were full, instead we went to another one that I can only imagine was equally as good. It was great to get to know Nao and Hazu a little better and we enjoyed plenty of delicious meats and alcohol including the local awamori liqeur. Yama-chan spoke little English but was making up for this with his ability to keep mine and particularly Stefan’s, whose last night in Ishigaki was today, glasses of awamori and iced water full. Hazu was very talkative and the others described her as being a typical Japanese genki girl which I have decided must be a quite endearing feature. Nao was quite the conversationalist and has a vibrant personality. I was beginning to feel that living in these islands was so enjoyable it would be difficult for anyone to have a negative personality trait. The evening gradually drew to a close and we headed back to the guesthouse.

The following day Misato and I took a trip to the neighbouring island of Iriomote. We took an inexpensive high-speed ferry from Ishigaki that included a free multi-use bus ticket around Iriomote. We planned to take the Urauchi river boat tour and then hike into the jungle to see some of the waterfalls. The river tour began slightly upstream from the river mouth at the edge of the mangroves. Our boat was virtually empty so we had space to move around and look at the sights on both sides. The tour was narrated in Japanese but I had been given an English translation paper where I read that tiger sharks like to swim up the river to feed on the abundantly rich river waters. Swimming was immediately vetoed.

 

The tour was scenic and as the river narrowed and the elevation of the treetops increased we came to the docking point. The water changed from an ominously tranquil murky brown to clear water tumbling between rocks. From here we hiked up a semi-cleared jungle path to a viewing point for the Kanbire waterfall, after taking a few pictures from distance we continued following the path upriver to another section of cascading waterfall. Our time was up, it had taken an hour to get here and we had to be back at the docking point in one hour. The trail was littered with lizards of all kinds and the odd frog and bird. Other things rustled in the undergrowth but it was impossible to see or react to the sounds quick enough with the slippery roots and mud beneath our feet. We definitely didn’t spy one of the elusive Iriomote wildcats, maybe if we missed the last boat and were stuck over night in the jungle we would have had a better chance…

We grabbed the next bus that came along from the entrance to the river centre and headed to the ‘Star Sand’ beach, famous for tiny star shaped shells that can be found amongst the other grains of sand. We found a few and cooled off with a brief paddle in the rock-pools and admired the isolated rocks that had been left by coastal erosion. Time was drawing in on us and perfectly timed our arrival at the dock to catch the ferry. Back in Ishigaki we cooled off after being caught in the hot and stuffy rear end of the ferry by enjoying some salted ice-cream with hibiscus and wasabi sprinkles. Sounds odd but is also surprisingly delicious!

In the evening Misato and I joined Kayoko, a long-term Shiraho Friends House summer resident, at one of the local run restaurants and we tried some goat sashimi with ginger and garlic amongst some other dishes. We went back to the hostel and met up with some other guests from France, Japan and Germany and walked down to the beach to look at the stars in the night sky. Later in the evening when Kayoko and I were reading books on the roof terrace a small rat and a snake came tumbling out of the vines and faced off against each other amongst the outdoor slippers, not a great time to be stepping outside for anyone… The snake didn’t eat the rat as it ran away, but I managed to grab a quick picture of the snake as it slithered off before showing it to the hostel owner, despite being a young snake it turns out it was one of the greatly feared and aggressive ‘habu’ snakes that are responsible for numerous biting incidents every year and quite a few deaths (although not recently) throughout the Okinawan islands. Hiro suggested I could have tried to catch it as awamori producers would pay good money for a snake to place in the bottles during fermentation (in some shops you can even see the awamori being sold with a snake curled up inside). Feeling slightly nervous due to all the open doors in the hostel I watched where I was stepping on my way to bed.

On my final day I hired a car for the day using my international drivers licence and took to a tour around Ishigaki. As always it was nice to be behind the wheel again as I don’t drive in Korea. I began my trip across the sugar cane farmland of central Ishigaki before arriving at Kabira Bay on the north coast. Kabira Bay is a tranquil richly coloured enclosed bay with a smattering of beaches dispersed by undergrowth topped volcanic rock cliffs. I took a walk along one beach and waded around the small cliffs to some of the others.

From Kabira I traveled to Kabiraishizaki a peninsular to the north-west and drove along some deserted roads stopping off wherever I saw a path going off into the undergrowth. By doing this I was able to reach some incredibly isolated and empty beaches and coves at the base of the jutting cliff tops. I spent a few hours basking in the solitude and sun on my own private beach.

My next destination was the breathtaking views from Oganzaki, on the far western peninsula. I walked up to a lonesome brilliant white lighthouse and along the surrounding cliff area that overlooks the crystal clear waters and the outline of the coral reefs below. I took a few sketchy paths that were overgrown to reach some difficult to reach clifftop positions, apart from the uneven rocky surface beneath I was also a little concerned about last nights snake encounter and it wasn’t particularly comfortable putting my feet where I couldn’t see what laid below! The views were incredible, so I think the risk was worth it.

I headed east via a recommended juice shop where I had a tangy pineapple smoothie (pineapples being a popular local product) and a sad encounter with one off the local birds that flew across my path and disappeared up into the air above in a puff of feathers as it failed to avoid my bumper. I took a winding mountainous road through the national park before hiking to the summit of Nosokodake. From the top I was afforded some great cross island views in all directions.

Back at hostel I had a quick shower and picked up Kayoko. I had promised to drive her north to a beach famous for dramatic sunsets after she had finished a Chinese class she was taking in the main town. We hoped to see a phenomenon called the green flash which can occur seconds after a sunset, despite mostly clear skies there were some clouds on the very far horizon and we just missed out on it.

We headed back and walked along the unlit village roads to a different restaurant on the far outskirts of the village in hope of catching up with some other guests, but they were not there so we shared a dinner of pork and noodles with seaweed tempura and bacon, mushrooms and goya (bitter melon) together.

After one final night of stars on the roof terrace and a very local trip to an Okinawan shrine which Hiro suggested I see in the morning, I reluctantly headed to the airport. Ishigaki was an amazing adventure and an incredible place to visit and with the benefit of hindsight I wish I had stayed there for much longer during this particular trip. I was fortunate to meet some amazing people and I think if they read this they will understand that they helped make the experience unforgettable.

Okinawa-honto:

Back in Naha I had booked a cheapish hotel for the remainder of my holiday. While staying in hostels is great for meeting people, sharing a room with the odd snorer and the lack of privacy gets to me after a while, those who know me well know I love a bit of my own time. Feeling a bit wiped out from everything I had done over the last six days I took a day off and slept most of the afternoon following my check-in, I headed out in the evening and went to watch the return of the Premier League in a bar called Cafe de Camp Nou. This bar was something special in itself, Hiro (another Hiro) the owner was a fully commited football fan and had decorated the small bar with shirts and memorabilia from all over the world. In his broken English we had a conversation about the new season and I watched Swansea beat United and then Spurs scraped past West Ham much to my personal delight.

The next day was a rainy one and I enjoyed an extensive lie-in and read my Khaled Hosseini novel most of the day. In the late afternoon the rain eased off and I walked to the nearby Okinawan Prefectural Museum and Art Museum. I decided just to view the art museum on this day and save the Okinawan Prefectural Museum for another day. They had an exhibition of post-impressionist French painters, some photos from a local photographer (Taro Okamoto) who had documented the changes in Okinawan life since the 50s/60’s and some local Okinawan fine arts. In a prequel to another night of football at Cafe de Camp Nou I had dinner at an underground place called Afronest. This Jamaican place served me an incredible sizzling and fiery plate of Jamaican jerk chicken. All the staff (Japanese) had well manicured afros and the reggae music was tone perfect the rainy chilled day that I had experienced.

The next day began disastrously at Naha port where I discovered all the boat tickets to the Kerama Islands had been sold for the coming week and I wasn’t going to be able to do the island hopping that I hod hoped to do. Advance online bookings was the only way to go and I had literally and figuratively missed the boat. Instead I went to the bus stop at the front of Tomari Port and took a bus north to Yomitan. Zampa is famous for its beach and cape but neither impressed me, possibly because of the cloud in my mind about the ferry tickets I had missed out on. The beach was crowded and small; jetskis and banana boats zipped around so I walked to the cape. The lighthouse was under renovation and a gaggle of Chinese tourists greeted me on the sharp rock volcanic cliff-tops. Only a walk along the cliff edge and a little adventure down to some rocks below could appease my mind, I relaxed a little and then watched an amateur football game nearby. I walked back past the beach and discovered an adjacent beach to the main one, it was virtually deserted so I relaxed in the sun and felt a little better about everything. I walked through Yomitan village and visited the remaining walls of Zakimi Castle.

From Yomitan I took the bus back to Naha, it was getting insanely hot and I’d had enough sun, but I stopped off briefly at Mihama American Village on the return journey. I had hoped to find some decent clothes shop but found a really tacky complex. Apparently supposed to help American servicemen feel closer to home and to provide a themed tourist attraction for Japanese tourists I couldn’t help but feel they had missed the mark for both. Imagine the English trying to make a Japanese theme park without ever visiting Japan, full of cliches and sub-par food outlets, this is all of course presuming I’m not overestimating America… My day was pretty average and the only thing to fix it was some of those awesome noodles at Mazemen.

Maybe I was a little affected by the previous days disappointments but the final two days were quite mundane in that I found little motivation to do anything. I would have liked to have visited the northern area of Okinawa but I lacked the motivation to endure a long bus ride so I took comfort in being lazy and enjoying some of the good things I had already done around Naha. Maybe it was the product of the last six months or possibly overdoing it in the high summer sun over the last week or so.

I ate some amazing sausages at a little bar called Baku in a back alley and I spent my last evening in Afronest with another generous portion of jerk chicken. Cultural activities included a visit to the Okinawan Prefectural Museum where I learnt about the history of the Ryukyu Islands and the suffering experienced during the American invasion in 1945 and an hour spent book shopping in the Junkudo Book Store picking up some books by Haruki Murakami and another Japanese author.

That was that and my time in Okinawa prefecture had come to a timely conclusion. On reflection I feel that I missed out on some experiences that were out there but my blase attitude to planning had cost me on this occasion when on other trips it has been to my benefit. That being said, the time I spent in the Yaeyama Islands was right up there as one of my best traveling experiences. I would have loved to visit the Kerama Islands, and if you want to as well, heed my advice and pre-book online!

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Protectors of an Ancient Time

Koreabridge - Wed, 2014-08-27 03:31
Protectors of an Ancient Time

 

Originally Published at TeyMarieAstudillo.com

Today, we have satellites, aircraft, bombs, guns – a whole slew of modern warfare technology that countries use to protect themselves from other nations.

But in ancient times, the only thing that separated people from a potential invasion or destruction by a foreign nation or their soldiers was a simple brick and mud wall.

These defense walls were the common protectors of cities and sovereign lands in ancient times. We can see the remanence of them all over the world – from The Great Wall of China to The Walls of Constantinople in Turkey.

Which brings me to the Seoul Fortress Wall.

Bordering the heart of Seoul, very much in the same manner as it did thousands of years ago, the Seoul Fortress wall winds its way up and down through four mountain ranges – Bugaksan, Inwangsan, Namsan and Naksan.

It perimeters some of Seoul’s most famous and important landmarks including Gyeongbokgung, the main palace of the ancient Korean Joseon Dynasty, and Cheong Wa Dae, the Korean presidential headquarters and residence.

Once a total of about 11.3 miles (18.2km) many parts of the wall were destroyed over the years, primarily from the invasions of Japan in the 1500s and early 1900s and then the Korean War in 1950.

Over the years, the South Korean government has restored many segments of the wall and is continuing revitalization efforts.

**All photography is copyright of Tey-Marie Astudillo and may not be used, distributed or reproduced in any way without consent of the owner.**

Tey-Marie Astudillo
Journalist & Videographer
teymarieastudillo.com

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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Serious Floods Hit Busan

Koreabridge - Mon, 2014-08-25 11:32
Serious Floods Hit Busan

After a couple rainy weeks, up to 30cm of rain fell on the Busan region today leading to serious flooding, casualaties, flight cancellations, and the shutdown of a nearby nuclear power plant.  If you have media or links related to these floods, please comment below or click 'create/photo' to share you photos on Koreabridge. 

News Stories

Photos

 

  
    

Videos





Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

TTT#407 Welcome Back after Ferguson w/ Marcia Chatelain, Karen Fasimpaur, Alicia Lobaco, Jo Paraiso, and Chris Sloan - 8.20.14

Worldbridges Megafeed - Mon, 2014-08-25 01:40

59:39 minutes (40.96 MB)

We were planning a "Welcome Back" episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers, something about how to launch connected learning with Youth Voices in our classrooms and how to be more planful about connecting our curriculum. #connectedlearning.

How do we do that after Michael Brown's killing and the Ferguson protests? More than ever we need those days, even weeks of trust-building with our students, yet we also can't pretend that Ferguson isn't happening.

In addition to this webcast, we offer a small contribution with a #FergusonSyllabus http://bit.ly/1AkhCba or http://youthvoices.net/michaelbrown using Gooru, NowComment, Crocodoc, and Vialogues.

Start with your own questions, then deepen your inquiry into Michael Brown's shooting, and the protests and confrontations in Ferguson by choosing from these articles, songs, interviews, photographs, blog posts, podcasts, reviews, videos, reports and surveys.

For this episode of TTT, Youth Voices teachers Chris Sloan, Paul Allison, Jo Paraiso, and Alicia Lobaco talk about how we are going to be launch a connected learning curriculum this year on Youth Voices http://youthvoices.net and how we are talking about and learning from Michael Brown's shooting, the protests, and the confrontatons in Ferguson. In addition we were also joined by Dr. Marcia Chatelain, who has been organizing #FergusonSyllabus on Twitter. On LinkedIn, Marcia writes:

I am first and foremost an educator. I have been teaching high school and college students since 2003. My career goals include publishing on the experiences of women and girls in the United States, African-American women's leadership and the relationship between food and society.

Dr. Chatelin is also a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow and she is the recipient of a 2012-2013 Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on her second book on food and civil rights. She is also Assistant Professor in History

#FergusonSyllabus is a great way to connect with others who are thinking about when and how to bring the Michael Brown shooting into the curriculum.

One of the take-aways from this episode of TTT was to be reminded of the power of http://youthvoices.net for our students. It's important to see and hear the views of students from different communities. The students in Chris Sloan's classes in Salt Lake City and the students in Jo Paraiso's classes in Oakland and my students in the Bronx are relatively homogeneous, and they can learn a lot from talking with students outside of their immediate school communities, especially on issues of race.

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast,
and to find links to a few of the resources shared during this episode of TTT.

 

read more

TTT#407 Welcome Back after Ferguson w/ Marcia Chatelain, Karen Fasimpaur, Alicia Lobaco, Jo Paraiso, and Chris Sloan - 8.20.14

EdTechTalk - Mon, 2014-08-25 01:40

59:39 minutes (40.96 MB)

We were planning a "Welcome Back" episode on Teachers Teaching Teachers, something about how to launch connected learning with Youth Voices in our classrooms and how to be more planful about connecting our curriculum. #connectedlearning.

How do we do that after Michael Brown's killing and the Ferguson protests? More than ever we need those days, even weeks of trust-building with our students, yet we also can't pretend that Ferguson isn't happening.

In addition to this webcast, we offer a small contribution with a #FergusonSyllabus http://bit.ly/1AkhCba or http://youthvoices.net/michaelbrown using Gooru, NowComment, Crocodoc, and Vialogues.

Start with your own questions, then deepen your inquiry into Michael Brown's shooting, and the protests and confrontations in Ferguson by choosing from these articles, songs, interviews, photographs, blog posts, podcasts, reviews, videos, reports and surveys.

For this episode of TTT, Youth Voices teachers Chris Sloan, Paul Allison, Jo Paraiso, and Alicia Lobaco talk about how we are going to be launch a connected learning curriculum this year on Youth Voices http://youthvoices.net and how we are talking about and learning from Michael Brown's shooting, the protests, and the confrontatons in Ferguson. In addition we were also joined by Dr. Marcia Chatelain, who has been organizing #FergusonSyllabus on Twitter. On LinkedIn, Marcia writes:

I am first and foremost an educator. I have been teaching high school and college students since 2003. My career goals include publishing on the experiences of women and girls in the United States, African-American women's leadership and the relationship between food and society.

Dr. Chatelin is also a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow and she is the recipient of a 2012-2013 Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship to work on her second book on food and civil rights. She is also Assistant Professor in History

#FergusonSyllabus is a great way to connect with others who are thinking about when and how to bring the Michael Brown shooting into the curriculum.

One of the take-aways from this episode of TTT was to be reminded of the power of http://youthvoices.net for our students. It's important to see and hear the views of students from different communities. The students in Chris Sloan's classes in Salt Lake City and the students in Jo Paraiso's classes in Oakland and my students in the Bronx are relatively homogeneous, and they can learn a lot from talking with students outside of their immediate school communities, especially on issues of race.

Click Read more to see the chat that was happening during this live webcast,
and to find links to a few of the resources shared during this episode of TTT.

 

read more

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live - 'Start of the Semester - Korean University Edition'

EdTechTalk - Sun, 2014-08-24 19:50

59:51 minutes (27.39 MB)ELT  Live Webcast
'Start  of the Semester - University Edition'
August 28, 2014A Group of University Instructors in Korea 'hangout' and discuss our approaches to the first week or two of classes and what projects and goals we're working on for this coming semester. 


Participants

Links Mentioned

Next Show: Tuesday, September 2, 2014  8pmKST, 1100GMT Global Times
Event Pages: Google+  
Topic: How's, What's, and Why's of course websites and other online class resources. 

Chat Log Below

 

read more

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

ELT Live - 'Start of the Semester - Korean University Edition'

Worldbridges Megafeed - Sun, 2014-08-24 19:50

59:51 minutes (27.39 MB)ELT  Live Webcast
'Start  of the Semester - University Edition'
August 28, 2014A Group of University Instructors in Korea 'hangout' and discuss our approaches to the first week or two of classes and what projects and goals we're working on for this coming semester. 


Participants

Links Mentioned

Next Show: Tuesday, September 2, 2014  8pmKST, 1100GMT Global Times
Event Pages: Google+  
Topic: How's, What's, and Why's of course websites and other online class resources. 

Chat Log Below

 

read more

Korea's Best Grocery Delivery Websites

Koreabridge - Sun, 2014-08-24 13:29
Korea's Best Grocery Delivery Websites Seoul is, without a doubt, one of the most convenient places to live in the world. It's a 24 hour city, with businesses remaining open until the wee hours of the morning. It boasts an incredibly efficient and affordable transportation system.  And you can get just about anything delivered to your house. Including groceries. Which is particularly handy when you live in the hilltops of Gyeongnidan like myself.

Below is a list of helpful websites to use when you don't feel like hauling around heavy bags of veggies or fighting ajumma in chaotic supermarkets.

iHerb.com

Although I live in Itaewon and have easy access to a number of international markets, I prefer shopping on iHerb.com for the price, selection of food and quick delivery. iHerb.com is based in America and prides itself on having the best overall value for natural products in the world. You can find just about anything on iHerb, from user-reviewed breakfast foods and baking items to vitamins and toiletries. One of my favorite brands to order is Bob's Red Mill; I'm particularly fond of their gluten-free bread mixes, steel-cut oats, and soups. I'm obsessed with their hearty Vegi Soup Mix for $5.37 USD which sells at Itaewon High Street Market for the equivalent of $10.69. And I won't even get started on the mark-up of vitamins in Korea.

Surprisingly, the shipping is crazy cheap- a flat rate of $4.00 USD for up to 15 pounds. Shipping takes about a week and despite the more complicated customs process as of late, all you need to complete your order is an ARC number (either yours or a co-signer's).

First-time users can use the code STJ541 to save up to $10.00 USD on one's first purchase. Be warned, however, that once you start using iHerb.com, you WILL become addicted.



Gachi CSA

Korean farms use 15 times more pesticides than those in the United States.  Scary, I know. Fortunately, for the health-conscious, there's a new farm-to-table initiative quickly gaining popularity in Seoul. Gachi CSA is a food delivery system that provides residents in Korea with trustworthy, local, organic produce directly from local farms straight to your doorstep.

Gachi offers a base basket of local, seasonal fruit and vegetables in two portions: one for couples, the other for families. The Couples' Basket contains 8-10 different items and is priced at ₩27,000 per week, whereas the Family Basket contains 10-12 different items and is priced at ₩35,000. These two baskets both have a time-frame option of month share, half share and full share (1 month, 3 months and 6 months respectively). For an additional fee, add-on options such as snacks, juice, bread and meat can be added.

Gachi posts recipes using ingredients of their weekly boxes on their Facebook page and those interested can register for the service at their website.



High Street Market

As I mentioned earlier, a lot of High Street's prices are a rip-off, but for those items that can't be purchased on iHerb- i.e. perishables- their website comes in handy. High Street has a great selection of meats, including harder to find options such as pastrami and chorizo. Additionally, High Street offers whole cooked turkeys and hams, which is particularly convenient if you're hosting a holiday party. (Just remember to order a couple weeks in advance.) They also have a good, albeit expensive, variety of cheese, which is nice for those living outside the city with a lack of access to the unprocessed stuff.

The delivery fee for orders under ₩120,000 is ₩3,000- not a bad price, considering they ship all over Korea, including Jeju Island. Check out High Street's online store here.



Waeg Farm

Located in Gyeongju, Waeg Farm is home to 7 goats and former university teacher Doug Huffer, who has made goat cheese available for purchase on the internet in an otherwise goat cheese-less country.  Each 200 gram container of goat cheese costs ₩10,000 and shipping is ₩4,000, or free if you order 4 or more containers. Additionally, Waeg Farm sells their own farm-grown veggies, so inquire as to which are available.

Visit the Waeg Farm website or Facebook page for more information and photos of their oh-so-adorable goats.



Alien's Day Out Bake Shop

Vegans with a sweet tooth will be happy to learn about Alien's Day Out Bake Shop. Opened by Mipa, food blogger and owner of PLANT Cafe in Itaewon, the online store offers tasty cookies, muffins and cakes at prices comparable to other bakeries around the city, but are made using organic, unrefined cane sugar and organic soy milk.

Some of Mipa's especially yummy goodies include pumpkin cranberry oatmeal cookies (₩7,000 for 6 cookies) and banana chocolate nut muffins (₩9,000 for 4 muffins). She also has a nice variety of cakes on sale that start at ₩30,000 and should be ordered a week in advance.

Alien's Day Out Bake Shop ships all around Korea for ₩4,000/order and delivery takes a few days. Visit the website to place your order or visit PLANT's Facebook page for more of Mipa's treats.



ExpatMart

For those looking for authentic Indian groceries, spices and sauces, ExpatMart is the place to shop. While the website offers a variety of curries, flours and varieties of rice, it also sells fresh items. Hard-to-find produce like cilantro and okra can also be purchased on ExpatMart, which is perfect for those hoping to whip up some Mexican or Southeast Asian cuisine. Additionally, halal meats are available, making this website a go-to for Muslim residents in Korea.

For orders over 70,000 won under 22kgs, shipping is free. A ₩4,000 shipping fee is charged for orders under ₩70,000. Browse the Expat Mart website here.



Happy shopping!

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

 


Seoul Searching
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Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Korean Name Creation: 5 Killer Ways to Write Your Name in Korean

Koreabridge - Sun, 2014-08-24 10:29
Korean Name Creation: 5 Killer Ways to Write Your Name in Korean

What’s in a name? Well, in Korea — quite a bit actually!

Many Korean parents will spend a lot of time and money to come up with the perfect name for their child. They believe that a person’s name can determine their destiny. With a child’s future on the line, it’s important to come up with a good name.

Here at 90 Day Korean, we want you to have a Korean name as well. While it can be tough to come up with the perfect name, we’re going to help point you in the right direction so that it becomes much more likely. 

As an expat living or traveling in Korea (or even living in your home country and interacting with Koreans), it’s easy to notice a barrier at times due to cultural differences. 

Having a Korean name is a great way to break the ice with Koreans and get started on the right foot. It adds just a little extra layer of comfort and Koreans will have fun calling you by your Korean name. It sounds familiar to them!

You may have seen Korean names before. Maybe you have a favorite KPOP star, Korean drama character or athlete. Any of these names ring a bell?

Kim Yuna  (김연아)

Lee Hyo-ri(이효리)

Lee Min-ho (이민호)

Bae Yong-joon (배용준)

As you can see, most Korean names have three syllables. There are some names with more and some with less, but the huge majority of names have three syllables.

You should probably stick with three as well when coming up with a Korean name for yourself! 

In Korean, the surname is written first. So the first syllable you see is the family name. By far the most common Korean surnames are 김 (Kim), 이 (Lee) and 박 (Park).

The second two syllables you see are the given name.

We’ve come up with a list of five methods you can use to make your very own Korean name. 

Take a look through, try out the different methods, and hopefully come out with a Korean name you can start introducing yourself with starting tomorrow! 

It’s going to be lots of fun. Let’s get started!

Method 1: Write Your Given Name in Korean Characters

The first method you can use to make a Korean name is not to make one at all! You can simply take your name and write it in Korean based on the way it sounds.

While this isn’t a Korean name per se, it is a first step you can take to make it easier for Koreans to pronounce and read your name. It makes things comfortable! 

No matter which method you choose to go with for making your Korean name, you should probably go through this step first anyway. There are many situations when knowing your name’s spelling in Korean will come in handy! If you can’t yet read Korean or don’t know the Korean characters, you can learn them in about an hour by taking our 90 Minute Challenge.

When writing your name in Korean, it all comes down to vowel sounds. It’s important to sound it out just right! 

When you do this, sometimes an English name with only a few letters can have many syllables in Korean. 

Let’s take the English name Michael for example. To write it in Korean, we need to sound it out. 

The first thing we could do is break it into two syllables.

For the first syllable, we need to think which Korean characters could make that ‘long i’ sound. No single Korean character has that sound on its own. 

How about 아 + 이? That sounds right. Let’s add in the “m” sound in front of the ㅏand we’ll be good to go! 

First part: 마이

Now let’s focus on the second syllable. If you sound it out, it sounds more like “keul.” As you remember from the 90 Minute Challenge, the character that makes the “k” sound is ㅋ. It looks like a key! Let’s use that one.

The final step is to add in the “eul” sound. That should be easy! The Korean character that makes the “eu” sound is ㅡ and the “l” ending we can make with ㄹ. Shall we stack them together?

Second part: 클

There we have it, we’re all finished! We ended up with three syllables:

Let’s take a look at some more common names in English as examples:

So go ahead and give it a try yourself! Write out your name in English and then break it into syllables. Work on deconstructing it piece by piece.

There is a smartphone app  called “Write Your Name In…” and it has a Korean function. The main problem we have found with it is that it doesn’t have that many names in its database. However, if you have a common Korean name, this is one way you can check your work once you’re done. 

You can find it here:

Write Your Name In…

Definitely try writing it yourself first though. Not only is it great practice, but it’s a lot of fun! 

Method 2: Use a Korean Name Application

There are some applications and websites out there that can help you come up with a Korean name of your own.

Some of them use your real name to help generate a similar-sounding Korean name, while some use your birthday.  Others seem to come up with a Korean name at random — when you refresh the page, you’ve got a completely different name!

Those are the main reasons we recommend against using this method. However, you never know — you might just get a great-sounding Korean name that suits you or at the very least, it could be the starting point for improvement.

For example, maybe you get a first name you like but the surname sounds strange to you. You could simply customize it yourself by swapping out the surname and putting in one of your choice.

In any case, these apps can be fun to play around with. Here are three of the Korean name applications floating around the internet that you may wish to try out:

AndKPOP’s Get Your Korean Name Facebook Application

Korean Name Generator

Auto Korean Name Generator Application

Method 3: Choose Your Korean Name From a List

Choosing a name from the click of a button not for you?

When Koreans choose English names, they often choose the names of English-speaking stars that they admire. Maybe you have a favorite KPOP star or actor. You can start to get name ideas from them!

Of course, you probably don’t want to take their entire name including family name (imagine meeting a Korean who introduced himself as “Tom Cruise!”), but you could easily switch out the surname to one of your choosing. 

Here are links to lists of Korean names. The first is just a list of baby names like you often see on the internet for English names. They are romanized, however, so if you see one you like, you will have to change it into 한글. That’s the fun part! 

List of Korean Names

The second is a list of popular Korean names. You can see which names parents choose most often. Maybe you’ll find one that suits you! 

Popular Korean Names

Finally, here is a list of Korean family names. Take a browse through and give some thought to which matches you best. 

List of Korean Family Names

Method 4: Choose a Korean Name That Sounds Like Your English Name

Another method for choosing a Korean name is finding a Korean name that sounds like your name in English.

This may require some help from a Korean, however, but you can make use of the name lists and other resources to try for yourself. 

For example, maybe your name is Kimberly Johnson. Through the name lists or from the help of a Korean friend, you come up with the following name:

Some expats may wish to choose a last name that sounds similar to their given name in English! One student named Joe chose the surname 조 when making his Korean name. He then just chose a modern and cool-sounding given name in Korean. 

Be creative!

Method 5: Choose a Korean Name With a Special Meaning

This method may also require some assistance from a Korea friend but it’s a great way to come up with a Korean name that has a story or meaning behind it versus an arbitrarily chosen name!

Some names in Korean have special meanings. For example, these common names in Korean have the following meanings:

Cool! Why not ask a Korean to help you come up with a name that has a special meaning?

Many Koreans are also concerned with a name’s meaning in Chinese characters. This requires added research, but can help you come up with a Korean name that has meaning behind it.

Remember how we said Korean names usually have three characters? You could look up the meaning of each in Chinese characters or have someone assist you. This would help you have a cool backstory for the meaning of your name and what it represents!

Regardless of which method you choose for coming up with your Korean name, it’s important to get feedback from a  Korean. Having a trusted ally on your side can make all the difference in the world to choosing the right-sounding name. 

This guide will help set you off on the right track. Get started by writing your first name in Korean characters. Then try your last name. This will be a fantastic starting point and you may wish to stop there! For those of you that want an authentic-sounding Korean name, however, you can continue on and try the other methods.

In either case, we wish you the best in the quest for your new Korean name! Let us know which name you came up with for yourself below in the comments!

 

Photo Credit: Robert McLane

 

Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series: http://www.90DayKorean.com/learn

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  Please share, help Korean spread! 
    

 

 

Categories: Worldbridges Megafeed

Starting a Business

Koreabridge - Fri, 2014-08-22 05:01
Starting a Business There are several preliminary issues to consider before your business can even worry about the usual issues like costs, contracts, advertising, and the actual operation of the business:

1.  Visa (are you here legally and are your workers)?  There is a new "startup visa" and sometime in the future I hope to discuss it in more detail.
2.  Financial law (what restrictions / rights do you have as a foreign investor)?
3.  Business structure (what kind of business do you run)?  This also affects ...
4.  Taxation, which is always a concern.

We've tried to briefly touch on those in our Korea Herald column.  Each area is really quite complex but hopefully you can get an idea of the basics, or places to look for more answers.  If there are more specific areas of law people show significant interest in, we hope to address those in the future so don't hesitate to ask.  (And, of course, please read the disclaimer.)

Starting a business in Korea: Visas, entities, and taxesThe Korean economy has seen a constant stream of new small businesses opening, many operated by non-Koreans. The government has been proactive in trying to reduce barriers to entry, even offering free classes, office space, and money to selected ventures. But whether they are restaurants (and we thank you, tasty Indian and Mexican places that are multiplying), IT services, advertising consultants, hagwon, or other enterprises, all businesses and business owners face some central issues. 

First, you need to be able to legally be in the country and run a business. E-series visa holders and those in the country on visa waivers are generally not permitted to do so. If you invest 100 million won you can qualify for a D-8 visa, but you will be limited to the type of business the company does and cannot open other businesses or accept outside employment. Those who have one of several residential visas (F-2, F-4, F-5, and F-6) have the freedom to basically operate just as a Korean citizen would, with no limitations on business type or kind, except that, of course, the business must be lawful. Leave the drugs and guns overseas, please, and think twice about that “Kiss Bang” with extra services you always wanted to manage.

After you’re sure you can open a business without risking deportation, the next step from a legal perspective is to determine its structure. The most common structures are solo proprietorship (“sa-eopja”), general partnership (“hapmyeong hoesa”), limited company (“yuhan hoesa”) and stock corporation (“jushik hoesa”). Which structure is used generally depends on the ownership and management structure and tax consequences of the business. There are other forms, too, but they are less common.

The first two, proprietorship and partnership, are not separate entities from a tax or liability perspective ― that is, the proprietor or partners directly receive earnings and are directly liable for damages caused by the business. Ownership is simple and, in the case of more than one person, equal. These structures are typical for “mom and pop” style shops and small businesses such as small hagwons, restaurants, stores, or legal offices with few partners. You do not need any formal corporate documents (such as articles of incorporation) but in the case of a partnership, a partnership agreement is recommended to minimize possible future disputes.

The last two, limited company and stock company, are separate entities and taxed separately ―that is, the entity is taxed and then the person is taxed, creating the possibility of double taxation and making planning a bit more complicated . Generally a well-planned entity can minimize tax liabilities. Also, ownership interests can be transferred by sale and broken into different classes, allowing more flexibility in terms of control and profit sharing. You will, however, need corporate documents (such as articles of incorporation) and the law places certain restrictions and liabilities on directors and other parties.

A Korean limited company is like most other nations’ limited liability companies, and has fewer reporting requirements than a stock corporation. Many larger foreign businesses begin life as limited companies and become stock corporations only if they need the additional flexibility or will seek to be listed on a stock exchange. 

Of course, if your business needs to change, the structure can always be changed with a little time, planning, and of course paperwork.

Whichever your type of business, you should register with the local branch of the tax office, and the commercial registry. You will need to pay at least two types of taxes: value-added tax and income tax. Some businesses, including translation, are VAT-exempt so what purpose you pursue can affect how much of your income you keep. Tax itself could be several articles, particularly once you start considering personal and business income tax planning, so we would suggest finding an accountant with whom you can communicate, although we will try to address those issues in the future.

You may also need to register with and meet the requirements of other government entities, such as the Ministry of Education (if you are a teacher) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (if you are assisting with foreign visa applications). If you invested more than 100 million won you will need to register with the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and you will have some extra legal protections under the Foreign Investment Promotion Act.

The Seoul Global Center has great pamphlets on businesses and registration in multiple languages, as well as information about the periodic sponsorships the government has been giving, so we would suggest starting there. As any small business owner can tell you, there is a small mountain of paperwork to surmount and headaches to suffer, but generally the long-term personal rewards and financial freedom are worth it. 

By Darren Bean and Yuna Lee

AskaKoreanLawyer.blogspot.com

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