The Pillars of Debate; essential in the EFL classroom

by Luan Hanratty

“Time spent arguing is, oddly enough, almost never wasted.” ~ Christopher Hitchens

Is this quote any more applicable than in the language classroom? Of all the activities I have used and enjoyed, debating has to be one of the most active and beneficial. Setting up a debate creates a dynamic and spontaneous atmosphere which provides substantial results not just in students’ language proficiency but in their understanding of a topic.

The Art of Communicative Teaching

The ultimate paradigm shifter

Debates are the ultimate paradigm shifter. Students come into the room at the start of class maybe not knowing much about the subject and being heavily inclined to sit on the fence. But by the end of the class the vast majority will have considered, listened and argued enough to augment their own schema and form their own assured opinions.

Continue reading

Finding Housing in China – Know the Differences

by Jason Luong

Finding Housing in China – Know the Differences

By Tangsabd (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

You will live in luxury. Maybe not by your standards. But to millions of migrant farm workers moving into the cities for work, your living quarters will be considered a luxury much more than an arm’s length away. Welcome to China, where you will automatically have a luxurious home!

You have options. The school you’re working at might offer you a dorm room. Everything will be arranged for you—Internet, meals, cleaning, etc. All you’ll have to do is move in. But this means less privacy.

You might be lucky enough to get placed in a service apartment (like a three star hotel where someone comes in to clean your room daily). This is better than a dormitory, and you get a lot more time to yourself away from other people doing private things away from prying eyes. Not every teacher is so lucky.

Continue reading

Getting Over The Grammar Fear

by Clara Harland

Getting Over The Grammar Fear

By MyName (Bantosh) (self-made, taken in course of professional work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Eight years ago, I decided to make the move into TEFL. Even now, when asked whether this decision was the result of a vocational epiphany, I have to reply sheepishly that, no, I ended up as a teacher by accident and in the process stumbled across a job I loved. I made the move as a means of escape. I had graduated from university and had then spent most of the following two years making tea and photocopying stuff in offices, slowly building up a layer of disillusionment and cooking up plans of running away. Whittling my ideas down to ‘live in another country’ and ‘learn another language’, I decided that TEFL would offer me these opportunities and, drawn by daydreams of wandering along pretty cobbled streets and sampling cheap beer, I signed myself up to a Trinity course in Prague.

Continue reading

Working as an English teacher in Cape Town

by Ryan Mackie

Working as an English teacher in Cape Town

By Andreas Tusche (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Cape Town is fast becoming a popular city for foreigners wanting to learn English. This has resulted in an influx in English teaching schools in this picturesque city. These schools not only focus on the English language but combine classes with business techniques and travel experiences that make the most of South Africa’s mother city. Students at these establishments vary from accomplished foreign businessmen, to students, younger high-school learners and foreign expats.

Continue reading

The Top 5 Cities for TEFL Teaching in Brazil

by Dan Clarke
Dan works for The Real Brazil

The Top 5 Cities for TEFL Teaching in Brazil

By Júlio Boaro (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

With Brazil’s increasing economic clout and rapidly-growing middle class, the demand for qualified English teachers in Brazil shows no signs of abating. Whether it’s business people in Sao Paulo, or diplomats in Brasilia, more and more Brazilians are looking to either learn English from scratch, or to improve the English skills they learned at school. In fact, you can find vacant TEFL positions in most Brazilian cities, but there are five places in particular that you’ll find dominating the message boards and job adverts.

Continue reading

How to Get Your First TEFL Job Abroad

by Amy Harris

How to Get Your First TEFL Job Abroad

Start with a TEFL course

TEFL courses are an ideal way to combine a love of teaching with a desire to travel. Courses are usually short and inexpensive and can lead to fantastic opportunities for living and working in different countries, cultures and environments.

Once students complete their course, they are usually itching to put into practice all the theory, the lesson plans and the tips and tricks they have learned. However, securing a first TEFL job abroad can be nerve wracking, especially if you have no idea where to begin. Fortunately, finding suitable work should not be a challenge. Here is some advice on getting your first teaching job overseas.

Continue reading

Traveler Alert: The 3 English Teaching Scams to Avoid

by Allison Lounes

Traveler Alert: The 3 English Teaching Scams to Avoid

By Bidgee (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

You just graduated college, you loved study abroad, and you want to travel the world to escape the horrible economy.

And to get by, you want to teach English.

Great! As a native English speaker with a degree, in most cases you already have 100% of the qualifications you need to teach English most places in the world.

But as a green employee, you may not know that some of the companies that may want to hire you are actually counting on your naiveté. They seek out young graduates who just want to travel and get them to accept crazy work conditions, making lots of money off of your skills in the meantime.

Here are three such scams to avoid:

Continue reading

How to Get an English Teaching Position as an Immigrant in Israel

by Mihaela Schwartz

How to Get an English Teaching Position as an Immigrant in Israel

A name often mentioned in newspapers’ headlines, Israel is also a country with a high immigration rate mostly because Jewish people from all over the world are encouraged to relocate to “their fathers’ land”. Once they commit to live here, at least for a medium term period, they are granted Israeli citizenship instantly and they acquire a special status of “new comers” (olim hadashim), which gives them access to different types of assistance aimed at ensuring a smooth integration in this rough country: Hebrew courses in special language schools called “ulpan”, financial incentives, logistical and administrative support, job seeking consulting services, etc.

However, as different religious groups co-exist in this country, the “olim” are not the only type of immigrants arriving to Israel. Moreover, mixed (interfaith, interracial and international) marriages are a common reality of the contemporary world.

Some of these immigrants choose the professional path of being an English teacher either because this is how they have earned their living in their country of origin, or because they find it an appealing opportunity for a career change. Little do they know when making this decision about the painstaking procedures they will have to go through before obtaining a stable English teaching position.

Continue reading

Teaching Large Classes; Advantages and Challenges

by Manjusha Nambiar

Teaching a large group of students is not as easy as teaching a small group. However, due to shortage of space many ESL schools are forced to offer large classes. A large class may consist of 50 or more students. Whether you teach a small class or a large class, an ESL teacher has to come up with engaging activities that will keep the students interested. Of course, it is not easy especially when you have a large number of students vying for your attention. Here are a few tips to cope with the challenges of teaching a large class.

Let’s start by talking about the advantages of teaching large classes. It is not easy to manage large classes especially when noise levels go out of hand. On the bright side large classes are fun and exciting. What’s more, time flies in a large class and you are unlikely to find yourself looking at the clock.

Continue reading

Can I still teach English abroad if I don’t know the local language?

By Katie Baxter
Guest blogger from onlinetefl.com

Can I still teach English abroad if I don’t know the local language?

By Viault (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The simple answer is yes. You really don’t need to have a full grasp of the local lingo to be an English teacher overseas. In fact because schools expect students to be fully immersed in the English language, it’s frowned upon for English teachers to speak the local language when they’re in the classroom. And because you’ll probably be working in a language school or institute, there will be lots of people around who speak English.

However, you’ll have a life outside of the school gates and it’s such a great feeling to be able to order a meal or book a train journey in the local language. It shows you’ve made and an effort and it’ll also make your time overseas a lot easier and a lot more rewarding.

Continue reading