Five Essential Things EFL Teachers Should Bring to China

by Clark Nielsen, author of Yes China!

Five Essential Things EFL Teachers Should Bring to China

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

1. A laptop

You will need a computer while you are in China, whether it’s to look up new teaching ideas or to stay in touch with friends and family back home. Now it’s possible your school will provide a computer for you. It’s also possible that said computer will be a piece of junk. It’s even possible that this computer won’t even exist, and any mention of it was simply a lie to get you to stop asking questions. Bring your own laptop. It’s actually cheaper to buy a laptop in the US than it is in China, and most (if not all) laptop power adapters can support the voltage in both countries.

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Inspiring EFL Students Without Breaking Your Back!

by Elliot Lord
Author of TEFLing Without Resources (except this one!)

Sometimes, when you open the course book to see what you need to go through next, you get disheartened by the presentations or exercises on the page. Despite using good quality books most of the time, I would still come across this situation many times. The things that came to my mind was my concern for how well the students would be able to learn from the activities I presented to them. I realised that it’s fundamental to get their attention, to make them want to take part in the lessons, and have them leave the class feeling that they’ve both enjoyed it and achieved something.

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5 Ways to Kick Ass* in Your First (or 10th) EFL Job

*(Obviously we don’t want you to actually, literally, kick ass, or you’ll get fired!)

by Stuart Allen @Stu_RAYEnglish
Ray English TEFL Recruitment, China

5 Ways to Kick Ass* in Your First (or 10th) EFL Job

By Stefan Kloo (originally posted to Flickr as April10 001) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Moving 6,000 miles to a strange land to start a new job is daunting enough. Wouldn’t it be great to have a few simple rules to follow that would pretty much guarantee success at your new job, whilst allowing you to have fun?

Well, strangely enough, that’s exactly what we have here – 5 of the wisest tips culled from years of experience living and working abroad. Everyone we spoke to (OK, about five other experienced TEFL-ers) wholeheartedly agreed that these five tips will give you the most value.

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Do I need a TEFL or TESOL qualification?

By Katie Baxter
Guest blogger from onlinetefl.com

If you’ve been hanging out in online TEFL forums, you’ve probably wandered across a conversation about whether you really need a TEFL  qualification. It’s a natural enough question; after all, you may well be planning a career in teaching because you can’t afford to travel without working. And the truth is, in a couple of countries you can secure a teaching position without a TEFL qualification. The question is – do you really want to?

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Essential Equipment for an English Lesson

By Katie Baxter
Guest blogger from onlinetefl.com

Essential Equipment for an English Lesson

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

So you’re going to spend a year abroad teaching English? Full of enthusiasm, you pack your bags with tons of books, resources, teabags, so that by the time you’ve finished packing, you’re three times over the maximum luggage weight allowance.

Or perhaps you’re a travelling teacher who has decided to backpack around the world, and you need a rucksack that you can carry. With limited space in your rucksack, do you actually need all of those heavy books to teach English? Remember, the only really essential item is you!

If you are lucky enough to teach in a state of the art language school, where they have everything from satellite TV, video cameras, DVD players and an interactive whiteboard, then fantastic! But even if you are teaching in a small impoverished village, with little in the way of resources, don’t panic. Here are a variety of suggestions of essential equipment to help you prepare for your time in the classroom.

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Teaching English in South Korea – Part Four

Part four: South Korean celebrations and festivals.

Part three: Seoul by day and night
Part two: South Korea’s culture and character
Part one: Being a TEFL teacher in South Korea

Traditional Korean building

by Jonathan Last @JonathanLast1
Author of Teaching English with Chopsticks: TEFL from the Frontline

Winter

Despite its Buddhist heritage and the large number of temples scattered around the countryside, South Korea is a predominantly Christian country; therefore Christmas is a national holiday.  However, there is only one day off as a national holiday, so you’ll be working the day before and after.  There is also a solitary day’s holiday for New Year’s Day. Both events are celebrated with less fervour than in the West, with little of the same decoration and festivity.

Much more important is the Korean New Year, AKA the Lunar New Year, celebrated on the first day of the lunar calendar. Since this is dependent on the moon’s cycle, its date varies from mid-January to mid-February.  It is a time for family celebration, with ancestral rituals performed whilst wearing traditional hanbok dress.

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Teaching English in South Korea – Part Three

Part three: Seoul by day and night

Part four: South Korean celebrations and festivals.
Part two: South Korea’s culture and character
Part one: Being a TEFL teacher in South Korea

Bar in Seoul

by Jonathan Last @JonathanLast1
Author of Teaching English with Chopsticks: TEFL from the Frontline

Seoul has a population of 10,500,000 and is one of the largest cities in the world. Anyone visiting or living there can see how it manages this huge number: by building upwards.  Single-storey buildings are virtually unheard of; residences, business and public buildings are all stacked up and arranged as skyscrapers, often reaching twenty-plus floors.

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Teaching English in South Korea – Part Two

Part two: South Korea’s culture and character

Part one: Being a TEFL teacher in South Korea
Part three: Seoul by day and night
Part four: South Korean celebrations and festivals.

Korean temple

by Jonathan Last @JonathanLast1
Author of Teaching English with Chopsticks: TEFL from the Frontline

SeoulKorean geography

Because South Korea is a small country (around the same size as the British Isles), it is possible to see much of it during even only a year-long stay, and nowhere takes too long to reach (buses run, as do trains for longer journeys).  The main cities are Busan in the south and Seoul in the north.

Seoul is the capital, and is located in the middle of the Korean peninsula, near the border with North Korea (separated by the DMZ, demilitarised zone).  Well served by nearby Incheon airport, Seoul is positively teeming with opportunities for the TEFL teacher, but more than that it offers a rich, distinctive culture to explore.  The countryside offers many mountains to hike (a popular Korean pastime), Buddhist temples to visit and, being a peninsular, there is a long coastline.  You can also visit North Korea, but access is rather restricted and you will need a different VISA.

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Teaching English in South Korea – Part One

Part one: Being a TEFL teacher in South Korea

Part two: South Korea’s culture and character
Part three: Seoul by day and night
Part four: South Korean celebrations and festivals

Teaching English in Korea, class rules

by Jonathan Last @JonathanLast1
Author of Teaching English with Chopsticks: TEFL from the Frontline

South Korea is one of the most popular Asian destinations for teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL).  Working in one of the major cities, you’ll find westerners including Americans, Canadians, South Africans, Australians, New Zealanders, British and Irish.

Korea itself, however, is almost entirely indigenous and has millions of children who are seeking (or, to be more accurate, whose parents wish them to have) improved English.  The native English-speaking teacher is usually required to help with speaking and listening skills (your official job title is likely to be ‘English Conversation Instructor’), as the children receive lessons in grammar, reading and writing in their schools.

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