This video was created by local admin and BGL teachers at Tsai Hsing Elementary School in Taipei to wish local staff a happy Chinese New Year. As a sign of cultural respect our teachers show off their Mandarin language skills in delivering a goodwill message to their colleagues.
Check out more Chinese New Year content here!
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Want to teach abroad? Check out our job listings here for Taipei and Kunshan (near Shanghai).
I should start with the caveat that “hot-blooded” in Chinese, rèxuè (熱血) is actually a very positive trait. In Taiwan, being a hot-blooded person means you are enthusiastic and full of passion. So when somebody refers to you as being hot-blooded here in Taiwan, they aren’t calling you a “hot-head” like in my native U.S. Rather, it’s a compliment!
This linguistic difference is just one of the myriad cultural nuances to navigate when teaching abroad. This, in turn, is just one of the many challenges you face while daring to pack up your life to live and work in another country. Two more challenges are finding a community outside of work and staying engaged in your professional life. It was these two birds that I killed with one stone: Spartan Races.
Having always been into fitness I was excited when in 2016 these events made their way to Taiwan. Spartan Races are essentially an obstacle course race completed either competitively or as a team-building event. I enjoy both aspects and soon they became a real passion of mine. Through Spartan Races, I have made good friends and recruited others into the sport. This has helped to make Taiwan my home away from home. After enthusiastically helping with some Spartan promotional activities, Taiwan’s Spartan organizers now refer to me as “the hot-blooded teacher” within the Spartan community.
Keeping my life exciting out of the classroom has made me more driven within my classroom as well. Students can be greatly moved by the things that matter to their teachers, and my students know I’m passionate about Spartan Races because I often use the races to make real-world connections and extend content across our curriculum. And so eventually some of Tsai Hsing’s students signed up for the kids’ version of the race. I made sure to run next to them through the course and encouraged them on each obstacle. They might have gotten involved on their own, but I think at least some were inspired to try the Spartan Races because of my “hot-blood.”
This all reminds me that though a person can keep work life and private life separate, they are interconnected. The adage “work hard to play hard” goes both ways, so one could also say “play harder to work harder.” My advice: be sure to find what makes you “hot-blooded” and pursue it, especially if you teach abroad.
Want to teach abroad? Go here to see BGL’s teach abroad opportunities in Taiwan and China!
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Hey teachers! We hope you’re enjoying the Fall as it slowly turns to Winter. Some of us may feel it more than others, so stay warm, stay dry, stay indoors, get outdoors – whatever suits you! Over here at BGL, we’re making lots of noise!
Teacher Jimmy and Teacher Lucas have made a flurry of new songs introducing our good phonics friend Professor Goofball! He’s joining Sophie Sounds in our phonics universe, teaching all sorts of fun, interactive lessons on single letter sounds, CVC words and phonemic blends.
And for those young learners just getting started on their English adventure, we’ve got some great new instructional videos from Teacher Kelly on consonants and vowels, too!
We’ve been on a video frenzy this month, getting loads of videos up for your classroom, your home or just for your dancing and singing enjoyment. On our YouTube page you’ll notice that we’ve got some themed playlists. Whether you want songs about school, eating healthy foods, numbers, shapes or colors, we’ve got you covered! So check back often as we’re always updating our page! Don’t forget to subscribe and Like!
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Hey everyone! While y’all have been enjoying your summer (we hope), we here at BGL have been working tirelessly to make sure the 2019-2020 school year starts off with a bang by creating fresh videos to brighten up your new classroom.
A great way to greet new students and build routines is with classroom songs, like our newly released Hi There! Hello! Good Morning! and See You Tomorrow. The catchy tunes bring such a smile to the kids’ faces as they sing along, simple words make for quick and easy sing-alongs, and fun dances make saying “hello” and “goodbye” a happy part of the day for young learners. For the silliest song to teach manners while getting out some giggles, check out May I Please!
We all know that phonics is an important part of a balanced kindergarten diet, but it can be less like a boring vitamin and more like a rainbow sprinkle ice cream cone with Sophie Sounds. Young learners can explore the magic world of sounds, letters and words with Sophie and friends. Aligned with the BRIDGES curriculum, students can see words from their book come to life in the short, sweet animated adventures of Sophie Sounds.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see the latest phonics adventures of Sophie Sounds and browse our library of free quality educational content for young learners. If you love what you see on BGL’s blog and want to become part of our collective of educators and innovators, see our job postings.
A special thanks to our BGL media production team that brings the magic to life!
Happy teaching, everyone!
Kunshan is a sleepy little city of 2 million people (!) about 45 miles to the west of the Shanghai, China. It offers a good balance between living in a relatively peaceful smaller-city experience and having easy access to the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s premier cities. Plus, it’s a great travel hub.
In this video, BGL‘s Teacher Joanna guides teach-abroad candidates through what it’s like to live in Kunshan, China.
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Some of the most fun we have here at BGL is when we write original songs and produce music videos to go along with them.
The following are intended for a kindergarten English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) audience, but try them out with your little ones at home and sit back as the inevitable booty-shaking sing-a-long commences!
Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites from the past year.
Does your curriculum yearn for some content-connected songs and videos? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment to find out more about our services.
The following is Teacher Joanna’s reflection on her teach abroad experience.
The last place I ever thought I would call a home is Taipei, Taiwan. I am originally from the midwestern hub of Chicago, Illinois but have spent a significant portion of my academic and professional career living outside the United States. I have lived in Spain and South Korea and traveled to more than 25 countries, yet, there I found something different in Taiwan. Taiwan is special; it is an overlooked gem in the heart of Asia.
Prior to my stay in Taiwan, I was working as an English Teacher in Daegu, South Korea. I had taken a brief three-day trip to Taipei on a spontaneous travel whim. It was pleasant, but I was not blown away. Throughout my travels, I had experienced a grab-bag of emotional, heart-stirring encounters upon first contact with a new place. I had gazed upon the splendor of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and wistfully dined with a baguette and cheese picnic in front of a lit-up Eiffel Tower. I had stood above the world in the icy mountain tops of the Swiss Alps in Zermatt and stayed in a bungalow on the Gili Islands in Bali, a bike ride and ten coconut trees away from a stunning ocean view.
So what convinced me that Taiwan was worth a long term chance, you might ask?
At first, the attractive job offer at BGL‘s Tsai Hsing School. The allure of adventure and accessible travel to other places was hard to pass up, with an all-inclusive offer of excellent pay, adorable children, and perks like free accommodation and roundtrip flight bonuses.
Accepting that offer led me to one of the happiest, most fulfilling experiences I’ve encountered in my life’s journey thus far – and yes, even amidst that large grab-bag of “Instagram-post-worthy” emotional travel whims.
After a first impression, the true joy in Taiwan is the journey of its discovery: the people and the hidden gems that reveal themselves when you really know and understand a place. I didn’t fall in love with Taiwan because of a short-fleeting, lustful “one night stand;” I fell in love because I put in the work to have a long term relationship with it, work that is required to reach true understanding.
Taiwan is more than a short-term study abroad destination or a brief stopover on the way to another city. The friendly people, luscious greenery, unending hiking trails, mountainous beach towns, diverse food tastes, vibrant art scene, bustling night markets, and local festivals make this country a place you can actually stay. Taiwan perpetuates a value for life, one that simultaneously upholds its unique traditions while openly embracing all the innovation and progress that define the “new.” It is an evolving city that accepts all that it is a part of it: the good, bad, ugly and beautiful.
Taiwan is genuine and authentic; a place that will undoubtedly offer you another home.
If you’re interested in teaching in Taiwan, check out the current offerings here.
Otherwise, here’s a collection of some of my best photographs of the experience.
Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! There is a famous legend that accompanies Chinese New Year about a monster named Nian (which is Mandarin for “year”). In ancient times, Nian terrorizes a town until an old man figures out that Nian is afraid of loud noises and the color red. That’s why today people wear red and shoot off firecrackers to celebrate the new year – to keep Nian at bay!
And, BGL Media wrote a song about it! It’s a good little ditty that has over 34k hits on YouTube!
Happy New Year!