Monika Salita

I adored teaching English in beautiful Montpellier, France during the 2008-09 academic year. I am an avid learner and have finished two professional certificates in public relations and social media technologies.

Posts by Monika Salita

by Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Top 5 Tools for TEFL Teachers

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

Before I headed off to the south of France to teach high school English, I read and read as much as I could to know what to pack and bring with me. Not just tee-shirts and sandals, but teaching materials too.

You may not be completely certain of what your teaching environment may look like, but hopefully this list of teaching tools will help you to prepare or think about a few key items to bring, in advance.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Do You Have What it Takes to be a TEFL Teacher?

Teaching your native language in a foreign country, sometimes located halfway around the world, to very eager and not so eager students can be an arduous task. My time teaching high school English in France was a very rewarding and key life experience for me. I loved where I lived, the new adventures I was able to experience and the work I got to do, with (mostly) eager younger learners.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Social Gaming

Classic word games are given a digital renaissance. What’s old is new again, essentially. For many smartphone and tablet users, digital word games have become all the rage lately. Players of younger and older generations alike are whipping out their gleaming phones to play games such as Words with Friends or Wordfeud, the new spin on Scrabble; Draw Something, the digital version of Pictionary, and Hangman, a pocket-sized favorite game of our youth. These digital reincarnations of the classic board and pen-and-paper games prove to be quite useful in education and learning. All of the games described below are available to download for free via the Apple App Store, Google Play store for Android and of course can be played with physical game pieces and pen and paper.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Conquer the TEFL job search with social media

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

With the aid of technology and innovation, teaching styles and language lessons are becoming more and more intriguing, involved and exciting.

New technology is giving us ever-evolving, creative ways to teach what we love. But, in order to be able to teach and inspire others, we’ve got to land a solid job first.

So, how do you find that hopefully-not-too-elusive teaching job? Use new technology to your advantage; specifically social media. Social media is a revolution and it is no longer a question of if one uses it, but rather, how well one uses it.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Teaching in a metropolis? Relax and regroup by getting back to nature.

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

Some teachers thrive in large urban metropolises, enveloped by a city that is constantly alive and buzzing. Other teachers relish living and teaching in the peace and serenity of a smaller, calmer town.

I personally, enjoy big-city living, energized by the lights and sounds and the hustle and bustle of society, partaking in everyday living. Sometimes though, even the most enthusiastic of city dwellers needs an urban escape to get away from the constant buzz of cars, trains and the dramatics of the city in order to experience the calm of nature in the form of birds chirping, insects buzzing and waters rushing by.

Even in a sprawling metropolis, there must be a slice of nature that a harried teacher can visit in order to relax, clear one’s head, straightened out thoughts, and return to city living refreshed.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

British English versus American English: It’s all the same, right?

By M0tty (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

When you’re thinking that the inclusion (or lack thereof) of the letter U in words such as colour, flavour, neighbour is totally normal, depending on which side of The Pond (aka the Atlantic Ocean) you’re on, you know you’re debating over a British English spelling versus American English spelling. English is English, after all. Is it not? Even the quickest of online searches will yield thorough results detailing the history of French-derived versus Latin-derived spellings of British English and American English words and their ties to world history. Who would have guessed? Upon reading this history, it’s easy to see why so many European populations, such as the French, favor UK English over US English. Geographic proximity, business ties and history win out.

We know the differences will always be there, so now let’s get down to business and learn how to not make a grave faux pas.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Reverse culture shock

You’ve been living in a new, exciting, stimulating land for months or years. The sights, sounds, smells, people and adventures have all been new and invigorating. Then, it’s all over. Your contract is up, your visa has expired, and it’s time to head back home.

Arriving home and only seeing mono-lingual signage, hearing announcements in only one language at the baggage carousel while being subjected to having to listen to some garish regional accent at the neighboring baggage carousel; it’s all a part of reverse culture shock. Or at least it was for me. Sure it’s nice to be home in the town that I’m most familiar with, yet, it’s so unexciting. So uneventful. So not stimulating to the mind.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Clothing Crossing Cultural Divides

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

Simply put on some clothes, any clothes, and you’ve already spoken volumes about yourself without uttering a single word. Teaching around the globe obviously gives TEFL teachers new opportunities to experience and learn about new cultures; clothing is one avenue with which to do so. An article in The Guardian discusses a recent crackdown on the importation and selling of Barbies in Iran, or rather, a crackdown on the importation of Western culture to Iran, which is not in line with traditional Iranian values. One point of discussion here includes the style of clothing the Barbie doll is wearing and how the clothing promotes a certain culture.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

For many around the globe, young and old alike, social media is proving to be a new gateway to information discovery and sharing. Today, Facebook isn’t just for catching up with former classmates and Twitter isn’t just for reading the latest breaking news or celebrity gossip. These social media outlets (along with many others) are serving as resources from which to gain small doses of concrete and useful information, as well as forums in which to ask questions, interact with others, find answers, and learn fresh and hip, but at the same time very useful, pieces of language.

Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter may not be the best teaching and learning tools for those located in more remote parts of the world, or in areas with limited or restricted Internet access. But, for teachers and students living in more developed countries, working at schools with libraries and internet access, exploring social media language learning tools can be a worthwhile experience.

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By Monika Salita
@monikasalita or About Monika

Teaching a multitude of English lessons every week can be anything from invigorating to exhausting. But if you see that students are hungry to learn, and you are eager to be creative and teach students in yet another exciting way, starting an English Club at your school or in your town may be a great idea.

Even though the new year has recently begun and some academic years may be nearly halfway complete, starting an English Club now can serve as a great way to create a structure, test ideas, and take care of problems before fully launching a club the following school year.

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