About “Throwing Back Tokens”

A lot is shifting in my life. Major shifts. New family members and career moves. I’ll soon be leaving my longterm career in English language teacher education to start my own coaching/consulting business.

If you’re interested in my journey or would like to work with me, please subscribe to this blog. Topics I write about and help people work through include: self-expression via self-acceptance; mind and body alignment; and mindset tuning. Let me know what you’re most interested in learning about.


Throwing Back Tokens is play on the term reflective teaching. According to the dictionary definition, the word teach is historically related to the word token. As for reflection, a quick thesaurus search shows the synonym throwing back. This is how Throwing Back Tokens was born.

When I started this blog in 2009, this was the main topic I was writing about: my life as a teacher. As the years pass, I feel more drawn to write about the magic and mysteries of life. This may be found at the front of the class; within my favourite podcast; on the streets of South Korea; among the rainforests of Costa Rica; or in the hammock in my backyard. I’m looking forward to throwing back a different kind of token.

Some of these “tokens”, past and present, may include:

Thank you for joining me on this new journey.


Costa Rica Josette

*I also want to honour the origin of this blog and the supportive readers who commented based on that content. The only way I know how to do this is to add screenshots of the old About page.



28 thoughts on “About “Throwing Back Tokens”

  1. Not directly related to your blog here perhaps, but it seems a good place to share this thought. I saw your “Interview” in KOTESOL’s magazine The English Connection. You commented about the lack of women as major speakers at KOTESOL conferences. While I’m pretty much gender-blind (I try to be), I’m also not ignoring facts people present. Here’s another – roughly 45% of TESOL International’s presidents (since founding) are women, and well-over half of the more recent presidents are women (have been women? English grammar KILLS me!). Probably half of all English teachers globally are women, won’t guess about E2 visas in Korea… but you make a good point. Perhaps you will be interested in the new Women in TESOL group and their inaugural conference.
    Links of convenience –
    recent issue of The English Connection (must be a current member to access before summer) – https://koreatesol.org/content/english-connection-tecv19n4-winter-2015
    Women in TESOL website – http://womenintesol.org/


    1. Dear Robert,

      Thank you for your comment and also for subscribing to my blog! The facts you brought up are really important and interesting. I also appreciate getting a clear picture of what is out there as it helps us to make better decisions.

      I also appreciate you using this forum to share your comment. In fact, it has inspired me to write a blog post on the status of women (not only limited to ELT). This is something I’ve been meaning to do for quite some time, and now I see an opening, so thank you for that!

      First of all, I am grateful for all the work that KOTESOL does for professional development. I’d like to make it clear that I’m not claiming that KOTESOL is a sexist organization. I also want to point out that I know KOTESOL has invited women as featured speakers.

      My intention was to point out something I’ve noticed in the last few years, and it’s also a topic I’ve heard buzzing around me. I thought that by sharing this observation KOTESOL would have the opportunity to move it from being a topic of conversation to perhaps conversation of action. If it inspires KOTESOL to start talking about inviting more women, then this is a positive step forward.

      And your comment in itself alludes to this need. If there are so many women teaching English in the world, and at the helm as you say, why aren’t they being invited?

      Again, thanks for initiating the conversation Robert. This is good stuff. Lots to learn!


  2. Hi Josette,
    I appreciate your points of view. In all the blogs I have seen (maybe not a huge number) I have rarely found anyone self-reflective in a way that I can relate to. It is like watching a different place in my timeline – not that it is ahead or behind – just not exactly where I am now. “Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I understand in part, but then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.” (1 COR 13) That last bit, being fully understood, is what hits me. All I can do is offer it to others, but I sure would like it to happen to me also.
    Since you read the entire RS blog you might as well look at the original, much more uplifting. The Hetaira page gets hits from around the world. These blogs came about from my Personality Project: developing myself through the Archetypes. Therapists I have told think it is great. My former wife did not agree.
    Blessings – Namaste, Scott


  3. Very interested in NVC. Been starting to read a (the) book, and watching videos of Marshall. I studied conflict mediation in the Quaker vein at Guilford College (but majored in Comparative Religion) before heading off to Asia and into ELT. I was starting to organize my app for SIT TESOL teacher training process when I got a job as a CELTA trainer in training (starting soon) and that’s what my blog is (mostly) about..along with twitter @newbieCELTA. Anyway, I’ve been reading you on twitter but didn’t realize you were an SIT person and a NVC person too! Very cool, looking forward to following…:)


    1. Hello Matthew,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Much appreciated. It was also a great reminder that I need to update this page. Our NVC practice group took a break as of last summer.

      How wonderful to meet a fellow ELT teacher interested in NVC and it seems, SIT! I’d love to share more thoughts on how your conflict meditation training has influenced your experiences as a teacher and trainer. Have you written any posts about that?

      I’m also curious to know where you did you SIT TESOL cert and who was your trainer? I went to Costa Rica last February to work on Stage 1 trainer training with Mary Scholl.

      Take care and see you “around”! :)


  4. Dear Josette,

    My name is John Arnold, and Vicky Lloras suggested that I contact you.

    I am the Events Officer for BELTA (the Belgian English Language Teachers Association – http://www.beltabelgium.be). We offer a series of monthly webinars for Belgian English language teachers and for the at-large ELT community. Vicki and Mieke thought that you would be a great addition to our line-up.

    A little about the BELTA Webinars:
    They are usually offered on a Sunday afternoon, around 4 pm CET.
    They last about one hour, which includes a short introduction from a BELTA officer, your presentation, and time for questions.
    The session is recorded. The recorded session and any materials for the webinar are then placed in our secure ‘Members Only’ area for BELTA members to revisit your presentation or to view it for the first time.
    You choose the topic, but we are happy to suggest topics that might be of interest to our members as well.
    The webinars should be interactive.

    In the past, our webinars have been attended by experienced teachers, teacher trainees, freelance teachers, and school administrators. The audience is diverse, allowing for a range of topics to be presented.

    We are looking for presenters for 2014, except for the months of March, April and August. We will work with you and the person in charge of the virtual environment to find a date and time that is agreeable for all parties.

    If you are interested in being a presenter, please contact me .
    Thank you!
    Kind regards,
    John Arnold
    Events Officer


    1. Hello John,

      Thank you very much for visiting my blog and for offering this wonderful opportunity. I would very much like to work with you and Vicky and the BELTA team. I think April would be the best month for me. Could you email me at josette.leblanc@gmail.com with suggested topics? I have ideas of my own but would love to know if there is something you are looking for which would match my area of interest.



    1. You’re very welcome! And thank you for following my blog about teaching and learning. :) It’s fun to see work and play cross paths like this. A pleasure meeting you as well, Viveka.


  5. I have a question I hope you can answer for me. I have been considering taking an in-class TESOL/TEFL certification course. I did finish an online 100-hour TEFL certificate two years ago and I find that I want to teach ESL in the long run. However, if I want to teach outside of South Korea, an online certificate isn’t sufficient. I’m well aware of the CELTA courses they offer in Seoul, but I was also wondering if you could recommend any TESOL/TEFL courses in South Korea.


  6. Hi Josette,

    I finally found your blog! (On Twitter, it’s listed as throwingbacktokens.com rather than this wordpress url)

    It’s great to find another blogger willing to get into the details and the whys as well as the hows of their teaching. :) I’ll be back to read more soon (and maybe for some data when I get to my MA thesis :))


  7. Hi Josette,

    If you can believe it, I just stumbled upon your blog during a random Google search. I thought, wow, ¨Throwing Back Tokens.¨ I remember that name. Let me see what Josette´s been up to. And clearly, you´ve been up to a lot. I was just reading your entries on non-violent communication with interest, and checking to see if there are groups in Mexico, where I´m presently located. Not so many that I can tell.

    Anyway, the Google search that I was doing was on ¨experiential learning cycle language learning SIT.¨ Not so random after all, right?

    I´m glad to see that you´re still doing so much with your passions. It´s great inspiration to us all.

    Take care and a big hug from Mexico,


    1. Dana, that is so cool! Thank you so much for telling me this story. It means a lot to me to know that despite the distance, we are still connected. Thank goodness for Google for making the link once again! It’s fun to know that my blog is connected to that kind of search inquiry.

      I’ve been following Oscar on Facebook, and he gives us small updates about what you and him are doing in Mexico. I am also happy to see that you are following your passion, and that you are also moving along that path with Oscar by your side. We are all really keeping the SIT spirit alive around the world. It never ceases to amaze me.

      Keep up the great work, Dana! Great big hugs from Korea!


  8. Hello Josette,
    I just found your blog, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you here in your world of teaching- great snail picture, and your school looks inspiring by the video montage! I start Thursday at Seoul National University of Science and Tech so I look forward to reading more now that Im teaching here. Please let me know if and when you make it to Seoul.


    1. Thank you for stopping by Megan! I’s so cool that you’re in Korea now! I think the best time for us to meet (and where most SIT folk meet up once a year) is at the KOTESOL international conference. I’ll be presenting this year, and I’m sure Tana will be attending. It’s at the end of October and Sookumyung University. Just do a Google search and you’ll get the info.

      Congratulations on your position! Hope to see you soon!


  9. Hey great blog Josette! I got my CELTA in June and I am thinking of returning to Korea sometime in the future. It’s good to read your thoughts on the ESl world. I visit Joseph Benjivini’s blog quite often too. Makes me feel nostalgic about my time in Korea. Anyway I hope all is well with you.

    Peace and blessings



    1. Thank you for reading and leaving a comment Mike! CELTA is a great program isn’t it? I didn’t recognize who you were by looking at your email address. Now I got it :) Hope to see you back in Korea!



  10. Josette! I have to admit that this is the first time I actually read through your blog and I am inspired! In fact, I’m going to consider creating a blog this year to document, reflect, and share my teachings. HUgs*


  11. Hi Josette,
    This blog is wonderful! I work with another teacher who went to SIT (you might remember her visit?) We love talking about teaching and reflecting on our own teaching. It is so good to talk, listen and read about teaching. It is so inspiring. I look forward to this blog. I am adding it to my favorites now!


    1. Thank you so much for the positive feedback Erin! I’m happy that you enjoyed reading, and that it might inspire you. I really enjoy writing. As you say it’s helpful to talk(write) about teaching. Take care!


    1. Erin, thank you so much for checking it out and for the positive feedback. I look forward to your readership :) Take care bella!


  12. Beautiful, Josette! What a gorgeous campus and I love your blog — it feels good to have a connection like this to SIT again! I look forward to reading more!


    1. I’m happy you enjoyed it and to hear that helps you feel connected to SIT. It was so much fun to revisit my time with all of you. I’ll do my best to keep you as a reader :) As always, my best to you and your family.


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