Tag Archives: TESL

Sharing the Power!

7 Nov
Proud moment in the #LifeofLiv!  Today I taught the Chinese staff at my school how to draw an ampersand (&) symbol.
 
Me (in writing) 👱‍♀️: It belong to SCM (supply chain) 1 & 2.
 
Staff girl 👩: What is the ‘&’ mean?
 
Me 👱‍♀️: It’s a symbol – it means ‘and’
 
Staff girl 👩: You can write that! I thought it was only on computers.
 
Me 👱‍♀️: Here, I’ll show you. 😁
 
Staff girl shares the knowledge with other staff. They all start going crazy, writing it on the students sheets. By the end of the exam, they were all using it. 😂😆
 
If I die tonight, I know my life had meaning!

Lovely #Memories – Sad #Goodbyes

8 May

My students returned to school today for graduation photos.  They do not take classes their final semester, so most already have jobs, internships, etc.  Some are already leaving for grad school!  I’ve known them for 3 years – love them so much! 

In our university, students don’t pick their classes.  Everyone in their class takes the same 10-11 classes together each semester.  Then they share a dorm.  So all 60 students in her class (Finance 1, 2013) have been together pretty much 24 hr a day for 4 years.  Making great memories, but sad goodbyes.  

#Astrill VPN 2017

4 May

Astrill VPN

If you pay any attention to my blog, you’ll know that for the last 3 years I have been living abroad. The world has many wonderful aspects to it (the mountains are GORGEOUS!), but stable and safe internet service is not one of those. My friend recently took her computer back to the States after a trip abroad to be repaired and the tech guy said she had more than 200 viruses on her system.  

So if you aren’t looking to break firewalls and get into sites you shouldn’t be getting into, why would you want a VPN?  You can find my list of the pros and cons of a VPN here. In general, I like the security a VPN provides to me, whether at home or abroad. I still use my VPNs in the US, especially if at a public location to avoid the same hacks, viruses, and trojans I worry about while traveling.  A VPN can help keep you fast and safe. Sometimes. Depending on which VPN you choose.  Also, it sometimes helps me bypass technical issues in the system. For example, my university uses Blackboard, but it does have random glitches that drop it a lot.  About 25% of the time, it only works if the teachers use a VPN.   When other teachers are down and out, those with a VPN can still get on.

To be honest, I actually go back and forth between Astrill and VyprVPN which runs at about $80/year for 1 device or $100/year for 2 device. Another one recommended to be was ExpressVPN which runs at about $100/year for 1 device and 1 phone/ipad (I’ve never tried them so I have nothing to give you for Express).   

After more than 3 years as an Astrill user, I thought I would offer you a report on how it’s going.  Continue reading

Life in China ~ Bring It (Managerial Econ Style)

22 Mar

😛 I am teaching a class of students whose English is particularly bad, but I had them last semester too and we have been moving along. It takes translating every couple of words (money, war, economy, market, cash, coin, card) to communicate, but we were happy with our steady if slow pace 🙂 

Then Today, I had two new students join the class from Int’l Trade 1 (the best students, include one who has excellent English). At the beginning, I asked the students to translate one of the words as usual. Normally it takes us a bit to look it up and figure out a Chinglish version. Now, immediately the new boy spits out verbatim the precise 3 sentence long definition from the textbook by memory. 0_0 It was the funniest thing. The entire class stopped, turned and stared at him. One girl threw up her hands, another started groaning. The entire group almost in unison went “ooooohhhhhh” and one actually WHIMPERED. LOL. He jerked back and looked around. After that he figured out pretty quick the others weren’t at that level. 🙂 Seriously, we’re working at “this is called demand” level and he’s off on QD = a + bP + cT + . . . . level. Boom. . . mic dropped, bar raised.

I Have Great Students

17 Feb

It is seriously unfair to other teachers that I got the best students in the world. 🙂 Remember I love each of you and I believe in you! You deserve the best this world has to offer, thank you for being so amazing!

Teaching Humor: Religious ESL Mix-Ups

17 Feb

Had a rather hilarious ESL fail / miscommunication error with one of my Ethics students this past semester. 

One of the chapters in our textbook covers the professional approach to ethics taken by various religions including Hinduism and Islam.  Consequently, we spend part of a class discussing the fact that Islam is based upon the Koran and that it is very important to Muslims and effects how they approach Business (some of my students will be working in Dubai so this is a good lesson for them to learn!).

The day before the final, one of my students came to see me. This girl is adorable, brilliant, and a good friend of mine, but her ESL is not perfect and she has some trouble understanding all of the content.  

She said she had a problem with the whole “Koran” thing because “you [the teacher] kept saying it was Islam, but I always thought the Koran was Christian.”

0_0 ? I could understand them not knowing what the Koran was – many of my students don’t know the name of the religious book. But how did we come to the conclusion that the Koran was Christian?

Then she added: “you know, the higher Koran are atheist and the bottom, South Koran are Christian. I don’t think there is a lot of Islam in Koran.”

😛 Aha! The light went one! 

“Korea? Do you mean North and South Korea?” 

Hahaha! Once I understood the mix-up it was easy to see the problem. Because of the accent here in Henan, “Korean” often sounds a lot like “Koran.” That long E sound is extremely important.  And they look similar too, not helping.

Once we went over the fact in simpler terms that the Koran was a book and not a country, it was much easier. 🙂  

Sigh! The little things you think are so easy to teach only to find out were an epic fail later.

 

Understanding Stocks and Share (Corporate Governance ESL)

11 Sep

**This is very simplified for the sake of ESL learners who are new to Corporate Governance.

Let’s pretend you want to start a corporation – you have a name and products.  But you need money.  You don’t have any money, your partner’s don’t have any money.  What do you do? The only thing you can sell for money is the company itself.  

So that’s what you do.  You decide that you will sell stocks.  What is a stock? – it is the right to claim the profit’s the company earns and the right to decide what the company does.  Now let’s say you divide the stock into 1000 shares – what is a share? – it is a small piece of paper saying you own 1/1000th of the stock – you get 1/1000th of the profits and you get 1 vote of a 1000 possible votes deciding what the company does.  In return for owning your share of the stock, you give the company money so that it can develop and grow.  To prove that you own the shares, when the corporation begins, it gives the owners, or shareholders as they are called, stock certificates – the papers we were filling out in class (basically fa piao or official receipts)

One person can buy more than one share – the board will decide a certain price for each share (i.e. $1 per share) and you can own as many shares as you pay for.  So let’s say I decide to pay $500 = I get 500/1000 shares = my vote will be counted 500 times and I will get 50% of the profits.  In most family-run corporations, family members will own 50-90% of the shares so that they control the majority of the votes and make most of the profit. If they own less than 50% of the shares, the other owners can out-vote them and make decisions for the company that the family doesn’t want.  This is a problem, so families are very careful to avoid that risk.  

The board has to think about this when starting the corporation because they will have to be careful about who holds power over the profits and votes.  Remember the agency relationship – the shareholders or stock-owners are the principals, the board is the agent – the shareholders can always vote to remove or change the board, but the board cannot replace owners they don’t like. Basically, the original board of directors chooses their owners by selling them shares, but once they do that all power goes to the new owner.   

**Note that the number doesn’t have to be 1000, the bigger the company the more shares will be available for purchase.

Whew!

5 Mar



4 classes done, 2 more to go!  Feeling a little crazy, but the students are awesome!  Hoping for a good year!

Life In #China: Astrill VPN

5 Jan

Astrill VPN

Life abroad has many, many benefits for foreigners to reap – great food, cheaper cost of living, easy travel.  It also comes with slow internet speed in many places (just too many people online at once), and lots of online threats (the sheer technological ability of the people even in my student body is mind-boggling.) This is why I always work with a VPN (virtual private network), in fact I use one in the US too.

I like the security a VPN offers from those with bad intentions towards my laptop.

A VPN can satisfy the need for speed and security for me- the internet system here at my university is A. slow as heck (yes my VPN makes my laptop faster here for some reason) and B. filled with hackers and viruses waiting for me to seek them out.  A VPN can help keep you fast and safe. Sometimes. Depending on which VPN you choose.

I just hate the feeling that I’m that at risk to viruses, and I’d been using a VPN in the States to help combat malware and data theft.  I didn’t want to travel abroad and leave myself at risk to scams or bad people sneaking into my computer.   I’ve heard good things about VyperVPN which runs at about $80/year for 1 device or $100/year for 2 device. Another one recommended to be was ExpressVPN which runs at about $100/year for 1 device and 1 phone/ipad.  However, after some consideration, I decided to run with Astrill, recommended to me for its price and easy usability.

After more than 5 months as an Astrill user, I thought I would offer you a report on how it’s going.

Price: $70/year + $60/year for use on 5 devices (covers my whole family, phones, laptops, iPad, and more).

Review: The price was one of the lower ends of the group, especially if you want a family plan.  Honestly, I’m still paying a surprising amount, but it isn’t too terrible.  I get StealthVPN (a safer option) free if I tweet an ad for Astrill every month, which is nice.  One problem I ran into is that I attempted to pay Astrill in August, only to find out in October that despite having a confirmation number, the bill was unpaid.  I tried a second time only to find out the same again.  Their payment system kid of sucks. Conversely, they didn’t shut off my program for any of the mess though, so that was a plus.

Installation: Easy (sort of)

Review: Installation is pretty easy. You set up an account with username and password and then download the program.  It’s all fairly straightforward. There was a problem with my first installation because it screwed up the Proxy Settings on my computer so that NOTHING worked. I took it to the resident tech expert and he fixed it in about a second.  Something about DNS servers not responding. Not ashamed to admit I don’t know what went wrong, just that it was easily fixed.  

Use: Easy

The program is extremely easy to use as long as it is working. It automatically signs you in, you pick your server from a drop down list, and it connects you right up.  If you want to see what server is the fastest, go to Help-> Test Speed and just test all the servers.  I recommend using a server from the USA if you want to access all US websites. Remember that if you want to use websites not available in the US like Youku or Tudou you need to use a Chinese server.

Access: Scattered and Bumpy

The technology is easy to use but works sporadically and is highly unreliable.  Unfortunately, they failed to tell me until after I paid that Astrill rarely works on Apple Products right now. Something about IOS 7 and IOS 8 not being compatible. Astrill keeps dropping off on my iPad and often fails to work at all.  On my laptop, it is often extremely slow, even if I use multiple different servers or if the speed test says it is fast. I have had repeated days when it simply didn’t work at all.  I also got a pretty snotty email about a week ago on CHRISTMAS EVE!?! telling me that they “detected suspicious movement” and were freezing my account. Given that this was my only way to contact my family in America (one of the reasons I had Astrill), I was not impressed.  Upon responding to them, I was told that I was changing servers too many times. 0_0 well duh! I purchased a product that now rarely works and only then if I test out several different servers.  I wasn’t amused. That said, when it works it does pretty good. I don’t really have any trouble accessing Facebook or Youtube videos when it is working. It helps if you have a fast internet connection cause Astrill can slow you down. My mom’s internet connection is pretty week and Astrill OFTEN stops working at all for her regardless of the server chosen. Continue reading

TESOL Abbreviations

8 Jun

TESOL ~ Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Situations where English is taught as an L2 or where it is taught as a foreign Language.

ESOL (English for Speakers of other languages)

ELT (English Language Teaching)

EMT (English as a Mother Tongue)

ESL (English as a Second Language ~English is being taught and learned in countries, contexts, and cultures in which English is the predominant language of communication)

EFL (English as a Foreign Language ~ English is neither widely used for communication, not used as the medium of instruction)

EWL (English as a World Language)

ESP (English for a Specific Purpose)

EAP (English for Academic Purposes)

EST (English for Science and Technology)

SLA ~ Second Language Aquisition

L1 ~ English as a First Language

L2 ~ English as a Second Language

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