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Home » Entries posted by Antonio Graceffo
Stories written by Antonio Graceffo
Antonio Graceffo is the author of the Monk from Brooklyn, Warrior Odyssey, and several other books about Asia. He lives in China, where he is a PhD candidate at Shanghai University of Sport.

Foreign Education in China

Foreign Education in China

Education in the US is way out of reach for the average Chinese family. The solution that China has found is to move the foreign education to China…

Listening and Self-Study in Asia

If language learners developed the habit of watching several hours of these free broadcasts per day, by the end of a single year, they would see a marked improvement in…

Watching ‘The Avengers’ in Chinese

Watching ‘The Avengers’ in Chinese

Learning Language through TV and Movies…

Cultural-Linguistic Context for Language Learning

Cultural-Linguistic Context for Language Learning

Knowing all of the words isn’t enough. Student need to understand the culture of the English language, in order to achieve fluency.…

An Unemotional, Even-Handed Reaction to Thailand’s Retarded Decision to Ban MMA

An Unemotional, Even-Handed Reaction to Thailand’s Retarded Decision to Ban MMA

It is so stupid that Mixed-Martial Arts (MMA) was banned in Thailand on grounds that MMA makes Muay Thai look brutal. …

China, Canada, Britain, and the US as Economic Powers

For the time being, the US still seems to be the economic power.…

MMA in Malaysia, The Sport of a New Generation

MMA in Malaysia, The Sport of a New Generation

The bell rings, and Malaysian national san da team member Raymond Tiew flies out of his corner, ready to do battle. His opponent, Kong Ravy, is a Khmer Bokator fighter,…

Vo Thai Lan in Saigon

Vo Thai Lan in Saigon

My first experience training with a Vietnamese boxing and Muay Thai team didn’t work out very well. A bigger boy picked on me, and smashed my innards into jelly. After…

Shan Refugees in Malaysia

Shan Refugees in Malaysia

For seven days, they were locked in a container, traveling in the back of a truck. With no idea where they were going, they may just as well have been…

Now I’m Talkin’ Vietnamese, Part 2

Two older American guys, hanging out in the alley next to my house, introduced me to their Vietnamese friend. When I said my name, one of the Americans asked me,…

Now I’m Talkin’ Vietnamese

After an exceptionally long and frustrating “silent period”, I am finally speaking real Vietnamese. Many people who have been following my blog posts told me that I should already have…

Burmese Intellect in Exile

Burmese Intellect in Exile

“In Burma, the uprising could happen any time, and form anywhere.  All of the people are angry. Now, we are afraid. But like a volcano, it could explode at any…

The Chinese Calculator and the Coupons of Death

I was living in a Chinese neighborhood outside of Kuala Lumpur while doing some martial arts and filming work with my master. Mornings, I would normally take my breakfast at…

Hmong Searching for a Home

Hmong Searching for a Home

More than thirty-five years after the end of America’s War in Indochina, America’s greatest allies are hunted like animals. I was recently approached by a Hmong representative, asking me to…

Using a Foreign Language

Using a Foreign Language

Back in Vietnamese classes again and meeting the age-old problems. The Asian teachers and students seem to be mired in a single dictionary definition for each English word, and they…

Asians Plus Math Does Not Equal Asians and Critical Thinking

Fifth graders across Asia can do math that I didn’t see during my BA. Yet when they need to calculate a 10% discount, they reach for the calculator. I have…

Shan Migrant Workers in Thailand

Stateless, undocumented, exploited and fearful, they say it’s still better than going back to Burma. Down a dirt road outside of the city, I find myself in a makeshift camp,…

Development East and West (Part 1)

Development East and West (Part 1)

Burma ethnics never wanted to be Thai citizens. They never wanted to own land in Thailand. These desires were forced on them by a terrible situation, which forced them to…

Dictionary Culture and Anti-Fluency

Doing my translation homework, I looked up the Vietnamese word, “buc,” and found it had three meanings: picture, face, or sultry. That’s not confusing. While face and picture could sort…

What Makes a Polyglot? And What do Polyglots Think? (Part 2)

This is the second article in a series about polyglots on the internet (Part 1 here). I sent email to polyglots I found on YouTube, Facebook, and elsewhere on the…

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