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Teaching English in a Foreign Land: A Humorous Travel Writing Biography of a TEFL Teacher's Adventure Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B0092FVLYS Follow Barry around the world as he tells the story of how teaching English as a foreign language changes his life. After doing a TEFL course in London, he flies to South America alone. He has no job to go to but hopes that teaching English will fund his travels – ultimately, it opens up opportunities all over the worl This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B0092FVLYS Follow Barry around the world as he tells the story of how teaching English as a foreign language changes his life. After doing a TEFL course in London, he flies to South America alone. He has no job to go to but hopes that teaching English will fund his travels – ultimately, it opens up opportunities all over the world. During Barry's two-year TEFL adventure he has several nervy encounters with local louts in Ecuador and Brazil, collapses after a trip to Machu Picchu, gets stuck next to ecstasy raving loonies and a transvestite on a Greyhound Bus across America, struggles to settle Down Under, finds himself working for strict Catholic nuns in Bangkok, and meets some sex mad Babushkas on the Trans-Mongolian railway. This book is essential for anyone who wants to see how rewarding it can be to teach English in a foreign land.


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This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B0092FVLYS Follow Barry around the world as he tells the story of how teaching English as a foreign language changes his life. After doing a TEFL course in London, he flies to South America alone. He has no job to go to but hopes that teaching English will fund his travels – ultimately, it opens up opportunities all over the worl This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B0092FVLYS Follow Barry around the world as he tells the story of how teaching English as a foreign language changes his life. After doing a TEFL course in London, he flies to South America alone. He has no job to go to but hopes that teaching English will fund his travels – ultimately, it opens up opportunities all over the world. During Barry's two-year TEFL adventure he has several nervy encounters with local louts in Ecuador and Brazil, collapses after a trip to Machu Picchu, gets stuck next to ecstasy raving loonies and a transvestite on a Greyhound Bus across America, struggles to settle Down Under, finds himself working for strict Catholic nuns in Bangkok, and meets some sex mad Babushkas on the Trans-Mongolian railway. This book is essential for anyone who wants to see how rewarding it can be to teach English in a foreign land.

30 review for Teaching English in a Foreign Land: A Humorous Travel Writing Biography of a TEFL Teacher's Adventure Teaching English as a Foreign Language

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Barry takes us to Thailand and Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia as he recounts his exploits teaching and travelling around the world. I particularly enjoyed the section in Thailand as I also taught in Bangkok albeit ten years earlier. If you want a lightning tour with valuable insight into different cultures as well as a bit of light relief then this is the book for you. It is divided into countries so you can just dip in but as it's so easy to read you may Barry takes us to Thailand and Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Australia, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia as he recounts his exploits teaching and travelling around the world. I particularly enjoyed the section in Thailand as I also taught in Bangkok albeit ten years earlier. If you want a lightning tour with valuable insight into different cultures as well as a bit of light relief then this is the book for you. It is divided into countries so you can just dip in but as it's so easy to read you may as well read the whole book. Brought back a lot of memories.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liralen

    We toured the city by foot, but got bored with the shops and lack of G-strings. (232) Mm. Started as three stars: unexceptional but entertaining enough, and I'm curious about stories of teaching English abroad. Slipped down to two stars when I tired of the repeated sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Towards the end, when O'Leary was no longer teaching but simply wandering through Asia, the tone took a marked turn for the worse, with a heavy emphasis on racism, objectification of women, and drun We toured the city by foot, but got bored with the shops and lack of G-strings. (232) Mm. Started as three stars: unexceptional but entertaining enough, and I'm curious about stories of teaching English abroad. Slipped down to two stars when I tired of the repeated sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. Towards the end, when O'Leary was no longer teaching but simply wandering through Asia, the tone took a marked turn for the worse, with a heavy emphasis on racism, objectification of women, and drunken tomfoolery. I expect that there's a way to present that sort of experience in a way that suggests that the author has since learned better or doesn't actually find racism/sexism/homophobia/etc. funny, but this...wasn't it. And I can't in good conscience give that kind of tone any more than a star. I'm not going to go into the drunken touristing or the homophobia and transphobia, because it's pretty pedestrian. But! Honestly, I mostly finished reading the book because I find some of the blatant -isms kind of fascinating and want to break them down. There's this definite sense of othering when O'Leary is wandering through Asia. I wonder if it comes about partly because, although he'd had a chance to get to know some locals when he was working, as a tourist he was really only spending time with other (western) tourists (and hitting on tourists and local women he thought was hot, and assuming that women he didn't find hot were hitting on him). And...it's easy to other people when you don't know them and don't understand them. So there's this: The lonesome fear rose as I waited in the lobby full of Chinese people. Beady eyes gazed at me over steaming meaty pot noodles (228) As the train pulled away, Chinese men garbled... (229) What I'm seeing here is an 'I was uncomfortable and therefore I assumed that me being different made everyone else a risk to me'/'I assumed that what is normal to me is normal everywhere'/'this language is unfamiliar to me, so I treat it as though it sounds like nonsense'. This is carried out further with one of his boorish travelling friends: He blurted out a fake Chinese, which startled the waitresses. (229) He blurted in his Chinese (233) This is with reference to one of the western tourists O'Leary ends up spending a fair amount of time with. It comes up repeatedly. O'Leary treats it as something sort of...endearingly silly...but there's some coding in here, no? I can't remember the last time I heard someone making nonsense noises and pretending it was French (to a French person's face, no less!). Or English, for that matter: I really only hear people making up words, often mockingly, when it's a language or a culture they don't respect. I have felt other too, when travelling. I don't think it's inherently a bad thing to feel other, to recognise that your backgrounds and experiences and cultural context are different. But there's a world of difference between recognising those differences and taking them both as valid, and treating those differences as automatically insurmountable. He could be a pain at times, but his confidence and eccentric ways had brought out the real me. (240) Man. That this is in reference to the tourist bro who runs around talking in a 'fake Chinese' and ogling women makes me uncomfortable. What a comparison to make when talking about one's 'real' self. She had the same physical appearance as some Thai women...I know I said I was uninterested in conversation, but she was exotic (191) Aiii, that makes me uncomfortable too. Haven't we learned yet that 'she's hot because she's exotic' is problematic at best? (Haven't we learned yet that calling people—or cultures—'exotic' at all is problematic at best?) Being back in Europe, closer to civilisation, felt good (269) This is relatively innocuous, but it speaks to the bigger picture: that Asia isn't, in this book, counted as 'civilisation'. This is one of many things that would be so much more palatable with a bit of reflection: an acknowledgement that to many people, getting back to (for example) Phnom Penh from London would represent a return to civilisation. It's not about civilisation: it's about where one is comfortable and feels at home. But let's talk gender. I mean, there's the whole G-string thing, and stuff like this: (view spoiler)[ "You see, you see how we're so similar?" she said, smiling. "Yeah." I couldn't, but who cared, she was fit. (198) ...the manly one with the huge thighs...wore a baseball cap and looked like a bloke (246) "I don't speak to invisible people," I said, hoping she was cute. "Is that so?" She peered over the bunk; her spiky black hair came first, followed by her thick black goggle glasses covering her thin oval eyes. Her small button nose appeared pig like. She looked more Chinese than French and she was far from cute. (252) (hide spoiler)] But this is the line, the throwaway phrase, that most fascinates me: slim Thai woman and skinny Thai men (131) My gosh. Look at the gendering in that. Why not 'slim Thai men and women' or 'slim locals' or something else entirely? To me (rightly or wrongly) this suggests a sort of passing of judgement: the women are not big, which is perceived as attractive; the men are not big, which is perceived as weak. If the descriptors had been reversed, I'd probably (again, rightly or wrongly) read something else into it. (I'm also probably more attuned to this use of words than I should be, because I've read too many 1960s Harlequins in which 'slim' is overused to demonstrate a heroine's attractiveness.) And that's it, folks. That's the throwaway line that propelled me to the end of the book, which, like...is probably the thing the author would regret most about including said line. I see that others have had better responses to the book, so I hope the author got out of it what he wanted, and I'll just...be over here reading something else.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Luisa

    This book was amazing.. It felt like I was travelling around the world with him! And while reading I often googled some of the places and monuments Barry was visiting, to make the reading experience even more real.. I work for a language school in Sardinia which also hosts TEFL courses so I meet people like Barry all the time, and I never get tired of listening to where they come from and what they are planning on doing with their future. Not only, it's amazing to see what they think of the islan This book was amazing.. It felt like I was travelling around the world with him! And while reading I often googled some of the places and monuments Barry was visiting, to make the reading experience even more real.. I work for a language school in Sardinia which also hosts TEFL courses so I meet people like Barry all the time, and I never get tired of listening to where they come from and what they are planning on doing with their future. Not only, it's amazing to see what they think of the island and Sardinian's way of living. It was also very amusing to read about the actual teaching: all the comments, remarks and descriptions are what I see and hear every day at work and I think that is what made this book all the more special. My only piece of advice would be: more attention to the few spelling mistakes and the repetitions. Thank you for the great read, Barry!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Cunningham-smith

    A fantastic holiday read following Barry's adventure around the world Teaching English as a foreign language. Nicely written, nicely paced and captures the risks involved in travelling to some of the more hostile, less safe parts of the world. A few grammatical errors don't really mar this good, likeable book. A fantastic holiday read following Barry's adventure around the world Teaching English as a foreign language. Nicely written, nicely paced and captures the risks involved in travelling to some of the more hostile, less safe parts of the world. A few grammatical errors don't really mar this good, likeable book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becca Sloan

    Overall I enjoyed reading about Barry's adventures as he traveled different countries throughout the world. However, I felt like at times the book dragged on. Also, I felt like the end flopped a little bit. However, these were minor things in comparison to some of the fun stories and adventures he had over the course of the 2 years he covered. Overall I enjoyed reading about Barry's adventures as he traveled different countries throughout the world. However, I felt like at times the book dragged on. Also, I felt like the end flopped a little bit. However, these were minor things in comparison to some of the fun stories and adventures he had over the course of the 2 years he covered.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jayney

    I didn't think it was particularity well written, it was lacking in interesting anecdotes and the writer seemed to have traveled the usual backpackers trail. It wasn't until I got to the chapter in Thailand that i really got into the book and the personality of the writer came out. However it was an interesting insight into travelling and teaching English. I didn't think it was particularity well written, it was lacking in interesting anecdotes and the writer seemed to have traveled the usual backpackers trail. It wasn't until I got to the chapter in Thailand that i really got into the book and the personality of the writer came out. However it was an interesting insight into travelling and teaching English.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hollie Secrest

    Such a great read This was a great book! One that I didn't want to end. Barry's descriptions of his travels make you feel like you are there beside him experience the world with him. Such a great read This was a great book! One that I didn't want to end. Barry's descriptions of his travels make you feel like you are there beside him experience the world with him.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    kindle 284 (travel stories)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Henderson

    Interesting if very 'blokey' take on travelling and teaching! Interesting if very 'blokey' take on travelling and teaching!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Katia Perrone

    Thirst for travel very real, honest book about real time travel in multiple countries. I get lost in these, it makes me want to drop everything and go.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Annemieke

    Very interesting, especially for those who want to go and teach english in a foreign country.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John Ferrie

    Great travel book I do enjoyed this book. I disagree with a reviewer Who said they may have enjoyed it more if they Were younger. Nonsense , age doesn't come into It. As a pensioner I got so much enjoyment from Reading of Barry's travels and travails . I also found The book a very easy read. Great travel book I do enjoyed this book. I disagree with a reviewer Who said they may have enjoyed it more if they Were younger. Nonsense , age doesn't come into It. As a pensioner I got so much enjoyment from Reading of Barry's travels and travails . I also found The book a very easy read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Harri

    As someone who wants to travel and teach, it was interesting reading about the different classrooms and teaching experiences. I hated the personality of the writer though. Also didn't really appreciate the transphobia and obsession with getting laid. As someone who wants to travel and teach, it was interesting reading about the different classrooms and teaching experiences. I hated the personality of the writer though. Also didn't really appreciate the transphobia and obsession with getting laid.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tamsin Elsey

    Definitely a travel book for student party goers. The sites and experiences were out numbered by the, to me irrelevant, details of other drinkers/backpackers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    Thoroughly amusing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  18. 5 out of 5

    Luke Fisher

  19. 5 out of 5

    Beatriz

  20. 5 out of 5

    rosemary baird

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cilka Demsar

  22. 5 out of 5

    mjbrown

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vaibhavi Bhakta

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  25. 5 out of 5

    Edgar

  26. 4 out of 5

    Myra L Rice

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eli

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mr. benjamin c crane

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adam Bromby

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