Achives: tefl teacher advice

By Daniel Cariello
BA Hons English Literature graduate

Teaching English in Berlin: Burst Through the Wall

By grafkoks2002 (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin is regarded as one of the best European destinations in terms of culture. A relaxed and tolerant city, Berlin offers exquisite museums, theatres and opera houses to visitors. Furthermore, Berlin is one of the leading cities in the world when it comes to art, fashion, cuisine and music. A very trendy city, a TEFL Course in Berlin would be fantastic for anybody with a passion for any of these subjects.

Because of the size of the city, the demand for English-speaking language teachers is high, and accommodation can usually be found relatively cheaply. However, beware of some of the cheaper accommodation, as sometimes tourists are offered living spaces of a poor standard. Just make sure to check out the place thoroughly before signing. Obviously be sure to do any necessary visa requirements checks also.

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By Kori Czuy
An ESL Professional, with 8 years’ experience teaching, consulting and adventuring in over 50 countries worldwide

coffee ladies on the equatorIt was a humid hot March morning on the equator, and I was driving through the jungle to one of the schools where I was mentoring.  By this time, I had been working at this job for a few months, so I had already experienced many of the cultural, climactic, linguistic and social quirks of the country. On this day, however, many of them seemed to gang up on me at once and slap me in the face, to make me really realise where in the world I was.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

As a teaching assistant, you’ll find yourself ‘testing the waters’ so to speak time and time again: figuring out which lesson plans work for you and which ones don’t.

I’ll try to save you some grief by mentioning that rap songs (like Estelle and Kanye West’s “American Boy”), although hip and cool for most, aren’t the best teaching tools. I learned this through one big flop of a lesson plan.

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By Tammy Reed
Connect with Tammy on Facebook

Teaching in South Africa: A Magical Linguistic Escape

By Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Camps Bay) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This nation is a treat, not for those hungry for cash flow or any such materialistic plenitude, but for those craving experience. South Africa is a handsome, sport-loving, sociable and incredibly versatile country. The controversial historical and political past is no reflection on its warm and friendly people. It could be argued that its phenomenal climate keeps the population smiling, or maybe it’s the 3,500 kilometres of incandescent coastline.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita, About Monika

Too Many Teachers in the Classroom?: How to Effectively Apply Your Skills in the Classroom while Working With Another Teacher

As a native English speaker in a classroom full of students clamoring to learn the nuances of the language, teaching these students the intricate facets of formal and not so formal English should be easy. That is, unless you are working alongside a senior, non-native English speaking lead teacher who is consistently dominating lessons.

Does this lead teacher, who spends considerably more time with the students, fear your infiltration into a precisely structured lesson, throwing it off course? Perhaps. It’s up to you to prove your value in the classroom.

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By Eduardo Santos
Eduardo’s Website, @eltbakery

4 Steps for a Successful TEFL Career: Part 3 – Time to reflect and go a step further

By Henri Bergius from Finland (Conference starting ceremony audience) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been one year since you started working as an English teacher, and by now your responsibilities and roles as a teacher should be clear for you. Some experienced teachers say this period of adaptation may take over a year, which I think is true, but by now you must have a better idea of everything involved in teaching and what your employer’s expectations are. It’s time to reflect and look back at your first year and decide on the best way to go a step further in your career.

Now that your contract is over, you must be thinking of taking a summer job to get some extra money, or taking a long break and enjoying not having to prepare lessons or mark exams. Whatever you decide, most schools give you 20 days paid holidays at the end of a year’s contract. My advice is to take these days off and reflect on the year and how things went before accepting another job offer. It’s important to look at your life from the outside, away from your busy routine as a teacher. Your next steps will be crucial for your professional development.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Top of Space Needle- Aug 2008I was 23 and 24 years old while I was teaching high school students in France. The age gap between me and the students I taught wasn’t huge, yet, establishing one’s self as the authority figure in the classroom, especially as a young teacher, is a facet of the teaching experience which must be dealt with.

Right from the start it is important to do some of the following:

1. Set ground rules for interactions in your classroom.
It’s easier to loosen the reigns later on than to tighten them back in. Tell the students what you’d like to be called, expectations for completing in-class work and homework, and so on. If you’re working with a co-teacher, consider their wishes as well.

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By Eduardo Santos
Eduardo’s Website – @eltbakery

After having completed your TEFL course, you are ready to start teaching English – aren’t you?

Your initial TEFL certificate has given you the basis to start working as an English teacher and maybe it included some hours of teaching practice. Either if you have taught a few hours during your TEFL course or if you have taken it online, you will probably feel nervous on your first weeks teaching. Don’t worry, this is normal. Some highly experienced colleagues still get butterflies in their stomach on their first
day with a new group.

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By Lindsay Varty

Living and Teaching in Paradise: The Seychelles

By Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Close your eyes and dream up the ultimate vision of paradise: palm trees swaying in the wind as crystal blue waters lap against vast beaches of pure white sand. Hot summer sun and cloudless skies an everyday inevitability. Well, that’s where you could be heading if you choose to teach English in the Seychelles!

With an archipelago of 115 islands sprawled across the Indian Ocean, and a year-round temperature range of 24 to 31 °C, the Seychelles offer an array of tropical honeymoon-esque delights. Between classes, why not pop out for a spot of snorkeling or scuba diving and experience some of the world’s most spectacular marine life? With dolphins, whales, sea turtles and over a 1000 species of fish, these waters will transform any pale city-dweller into a veritable sea baby in no time!

Hire a boat and go sailing around the islands or try your luck at hauling in a dog-tooth tuna or giant barracuda on a deep sea fishing excursion. And don’t worry if you accidently hook a shark (apparently not too rare an occurrence) as they are a common delicacy in the Seychelles islands.

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By Eduardo Santos
Eduardo’s website, @eltbakery

You have decided to start teaching English as a career or as a part-time job but you’re not sure where to set about taking the first steps. Perhaps you want to work and travel during your gap year or go deeper into the career, but don’t know how to start. Do you feel you are ready to embark on this journey, even if it’s for a short period of time?

In this series of 4 posts, I will mention 4 essential steps anyone wanting to start their career in English teaching should take in order to achieve short-term and long-term success.

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