Ways to Keep Safe While Teaching English Abroad

By Helen Hargreave
Guest blogger from onlinetefl.com

Ways to Keep Safe While Teaching English Abroad

By Kevin Poh from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia (Bangkok’s Khaosan Road) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re about to head out to your new TEFL job you’re probably 1) very excited and 2) packing like a maniac. However, in all the excitement about new opportunities, amazing experiences, life-changing adventures etc etc. It’s easy to forget the most important thing – your safety.

I know it sounds a bit dull, but it really is very important whilst you’re in-country to remember your well-being is paramount! Here are a few gentle reminders about how to keep safe whilst you’re teaching English abroad!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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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