Stories and advice from real ESL teachers in Hong Kong

Setting Up a Taobao Account

22 Apr 2020 | Theodore

We like cheap things, right? We also love knowing how to navigate shops and stores. Below are some quick steps to navigating the hectic world of the e-commerce giant Taobao. But before we get into that, here are some quick tips and information about navigating Chinese e-commerce 

Ways to Make Use of the COVID-19 Pandemic

22 Apr 2020 | Theodore

Right now, during the CoVid-19 pandemic, many find themselves spending more time at home. Some use the time to catch up on Netflix shows, others spend an ungodly amount of time on Animal Crossings New Horizons. One thing is for certain, we all have a lot of time on our hands. 

5 Tips to Acing an ESL Interview (Skype or In-Person)

30 Jan 2020 | Theodore

When working as an ESL teacher, most of the time our interviews begin first over Skype, or one of the many other video chat applications. However, the idea of doing a video Skype interview is daunting. No worries, I have you covered.  

Language Centre or School?

16 Jan 2020 | Theodore

Teaching is an enriching experience. Regardless of the way you teach, each one comes with its own unique set of pros and cons. Below are some of the biggest differences between them. 

I want to be an ESL Teacher—How do I start?

16 Jan 2020 | Theodore

You want to get a job as an ESL teacher, but you don’t know how to go about it. Worry not, here is a quick guide to help you.Teaching English abroad is a fun and rewarding experience, and no matter where you go each school or language center will have its own unique differences and quirks 

Chinese New Year

16 Jan 2020 | Theodore

What is Chinese New Year? Chinese New Year or as it has become known in other countries Lunar New Year, is the time of year in which people go back home to celebrate the new year with lanterns of gold and red, new clothes, red packets 

Talking about Tough Subjects in the Classroom

5 Dec 2019 | Theodore

Being a teacher means having the trust of a student to ask questions about tough subjects. Being an ESL teacher sometimes means being asked to give your opinion on these tough subjects. 

Spending Christmas Away from Home

5 Dec 2019 | Theodore

This will be my first year in the past six years where I’ve been home for any holiday. Celebrating Christmas away from family and loved ones can sometimes be a difficult thing. But there are ways in which you can bring that Christmas and family spirit with you, wherever you go.

3 Weekend Escapes for the Busy Teachers (Without Flying!)

29 Nov 2019 | Theodore

Sometimes we just need a break from the hectic life in Hong Kong. Here are some relatively close and inexpensive weekend escapes that showcase all that living in Hong Kong has to offer 


4 Nov 2019 | Theodore

When people first hear of Hong Kong, they associate it with finances, feng shui, Bruce Lee, or shopping. In 2008, Jay Forster, Mike Hill and Justin Sweeting wanted to change that. They wanted to make Hong Kong the premier indie music scene in Asia. 

Budgeting Yourself in Hong Kong

31 Oct 2019 | Theodore

Hong Kong… well, it’s expensive. Don’t worry though, there are ways that you can live and work in Hong Kong without breaking the bank. While it will take some restraint on your part, it’s easily possible. 

Students Falling Asleep in Class?

24 Oct 2019 | Theodore

Your student falls asleep in class? Now what? We’ve seen, been told of it, or have done it ourselves- but what do we do when a student falls asleep in class? Should we let them sleep or wake them up and encourage them to stay awake? 

Five English Books to Recommend to Your Students

24 Oct 2019 | Theodore

While I’d be the first person to recommend all the Harry Potter books, I’m pretty sure most people aren’t as much of a Potterhead as myself. Instead, below are listed the best books I have read/remember reading at various ages and their recommended ages. 

How to Write ESL/EFL Lesson Plans

31 May 2019 | Veronica

As a new EFL teacher, one of the hardest parts of lesson planning is knowing where to start. Read on for some suggested guidelines to help you know how to write a lesson plan that is engaging, active, and educational! 

Housing In Hong Kong: Everything You Need to Know

12 Mar 2019 | Veronica 

Hong Kong’s real estate is famous for being some of the most expensive globally. So how do English teachers make it work? Read on for some recommended steps for finding your home in the city, as well as answers to the most common questions for finding accommodation in Hong Kong! 

Step-By-Step Guide: How to Complete an Employment Visa Extension

14 Dec 2018 | Veronica 

This guide explains the procedures for a working (employment) visa extension with the same sponsor. Please refer to the Immigration Department website for detailed information or other applications.  Guide last updated September 2018 …

Learning Cantonese Part 3: Useful Apps and Resources for Learning and Practicing Cantonese

2 Nov 2018 | Veronica 

If you haven’t yet, check out Part 1: 8 Reasons Why You Should Learn Cantonese and Part 2: Where to Learn Cantonese in Hong Kong! Here are some Cantonese-specific tips, apps, and resources to help you learn Cantonese! For general language learning suggestions, I recommend you check out these common mistakes language learners make and how to fix them …

Learning Cantonese Part 2: Where to Learn Cantonese in Hong Kong

1 Nov 2018 | Veronica 

Aren’t sure yet that you should learn Cantonese? Check out part 1 on 8 Reasons Why You Should Learn Cantonese! Fast, Good, Cheap. Pick two. When it comes to Cantonese classes in Hong Kong, you’ll end up compromising on something. I’ve written this guide based on personal experience and reviews from colleagues with the goal of helping you find …

Learning Cantonese Part 1: 8 Reasons Why You Should Learn Cantonese!

31 October 2018 | Veronica

Thinking about studying Cantonese? Check out these 8 reasons why you should learn Cantonese. 1. Investing in a foreign language is always beneficial. Have you ever heard someone say they regret learning a language? On the other hand, there are numerous benefits. Language skills open up connections and opportunities …

How to Deal with Culture Shock

17 Sep 2018 | Veronica 

You’ve been in Hong Kong a few days, weeks, or months, you post online about this amazing adventure you’re on, and in so many ways it’s all the excitement you imagined. And then there are moments that you (perhaps inexplicably) feel disoriented, detached, depressed, isolated …

How to Eat at a Wet Market Cooked Food Center

12 Sep 2018 | Veronica 

They’re loud, they’re chaotic, and potentially very overwhelming (especially if you have bad memories of your high school cafeteria).

They’re also very cheap, very fast, and usually delicious! …

The First Day of School - Confessions from an English Teacher

6 Sep 2018 | Veronica 

Who’s heard that being an English teacher in Asia is easy?  Lots of holidays, often only minimal experience needed, being with cute kids all day. Should be a breeze, right? Now picture answering the phone the day before you’re meant to start work because another school needs a cover teacher …

6 Sep 2018 | Veronica 

If you’re considering Asia for the first time, or if you’re a bit intimidated about culture shock, Hong Kong is the perfect place to live. Walk around neighbourhoods like Sheung Wan to see exactly how East meets West here as you pass a western coffee shop followed by a traditional Chinese medicine …

6 Must-Try Foods in Hong Kong

6 Sep 2018 | Veronica

This article has been years in the making. I personally have done the very hard work of eating countless delicious meals to bring you this list. I have done that, for you, new-arrivals-in-Hong Kong (and you, been-in-Hong Kong-for years-but-never-leave-the-island)! You’re welcome in advance …

How to Find Your Tribe in Hong Kong

29 Aug 2018 | Veronica 

Hong Kong is a very transient city and as a result the expat community is very welcoming. It’s normal to be invited to tag along to a birthday party, going away party, or junk party of people you’ve never met. You can easily find other new arrivals to the city – as lost and as …

4 Must-Have Apps for Life in Hong Kong

29 Aug 2018 | Veronica

Delete those photos from 3 years ago, get rid of that ex’s phone number that is just bad news in your phone anyways, do whatever you need to make space for these 4 apps to get you through daily life in Hong Kong …

5 Unexpectedly Awesome Things About Hong Kong

20 Aug 2018 | Veronica

After moving to Hong Kong on a whim, I knew very little about what to expect from the city. Two and a half years later, these are 5 of the unexpectedly awesome things about Hong Kong that I love the most. Enjoy! …