Tools of the Trade: Top 5 Tools for TEFL Teachers

by Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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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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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TEFL Teaching – Do you have what it takes?

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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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Social gaming, new or old, doubles as an excellent learning experience

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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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Conquer the TEFL job search with social media

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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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10 essential suitcase items for TEFL teachers

By Erin Critchley
Guest blogger from i-to-i.com

10 essential suitcase items for TEFL teachers

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

So you’re going to teach English as a foreign language are you? Heard about the wonders of getting paid to teach and travel and want to be prepared? Maybe you’re about to board a plane to TEFL town and are squeezing and squashing the last of your prized possessions into your case…

Whatever stage of the journey you’re at it’s useful to bundle together a few items that are sure to come in handy when you’re in the classroom for real.

Hold the 20th pair of socks! Here are the top ten TEFL items every teacher should pack:

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5 Tips for Dealing with Reverse Culture Shock

By Monika Salita
@monikasalita

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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