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China: Why new draft legislation offers no relief for non-native teachers

11th August 2020

A new piece of proposed legislation submitted for public review by the Chinese Ministry of Education has recently been making the rounds among China’s sizeable community of foreign teachers. In addition to new provisions regulating part-time work by teachers outside of their main place of employment, the most discussed issue was the proposed introduction of a disciplinary credit system for assessing the professional conduct of teachers working in the country’s many language schools and training centres. This new system would punish teachers for violations of employment regulations and academic misconduct, with more extreme cases such as sexual assault or abuse of minors even resulting in a complete prohibition of employment. While the changes suggested in the draft are rather standard and were largely welcomed, one long-standing issue obviously remains unaddressed – namely, that of discriminatory requirements for legal employment and eligibility criteria for work visas.

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Teaching English after lockdown, exploring our options in a changing world

29th June 2020

A big hello to my fellow teachers across the world wherever you may be. The TEFL.com forum has certainly been a godsend to me while we have all been in lockdown and your inspiring comments and messages have kept me going in this strange and unprecedented period, as many of us were abroad and facing the strangest situation some of us may have ever encountered. I don't think any of us could have predicted the speed...

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Lemmings Online: The Great Leap Forward

9th June 2020

After months of uncertainty, cancellations, and a frantic reorientation to online classes, IPT (In person teacher) jobs are once again being advertised. We will soon see whether the crisis really has permanently let the online learning 'genie out of the bottle'...

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Online Teaching: Is the genie out of the bottle?

20th May 2020

Two months ago, when we made the transition to online teaching in response to the pandemic, I was skeptical about the emergence of online as a serious long-term threat to conventional ESL classrooms. Now I’m not so sure. What has happened since then?

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TEFLING UNDER LOCKDOWN - TEACHING IN ISOLATION

18th March 2020

My name is Sarah Taylor, and I am TEFL teacher currently working in Sicily, Italy. I have been here for six months and have absolutely loved my time here, coming to life under the endless warm Sicilian sun, and teaching the kind and spirited people.  I am on a sabbatical from my corporate job in the UK and have been enjoying it so much that I decided to stay another year because...

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Working as a Summer School Director of Studies

10th March 2020

I’d already been an English teacher in Poland and China for some time when I decided to try my luck teaching English in the UK at summer camps. I got the job and I spent my first summer in the UK teaching. Having enjoyed it, I applied for a teaching job the following year with a different company. But when I went to a summer English camp the second time I thought that it might actually be my last as an...

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Summer School: Teaching between the Lines

24th February 2020

Like so many TEFL teachers that ply their trade in Summer Academies, you tend to have many memorable and defining experiences, some good and some less favorable. The following article is based on the summers I spent at a UK based Summer School. It was based at a boarding school located in the south east of England for students aged 11-18 and was used by Summer Academies during...

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Uncertainty continues to overshadow China teaching

17th February 2020

It has been more than a month since the epidemic started and, unfortunately, we still cannot see the end of it. The latest news can feel very confusing but luckily between the over-alarmists and the extreme optimists, a few international media seem to be balanced and objective. What is certain is that the problem is far from being solved. Whether, as some Chinese media are claiming, we have basically reached the turning point or, as the WHO recently reported, this is still the...

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Midsummer Madness - The realities of working at Summer Camp

11th February 2020

If I had to choose one word to describe working in a summer camp, it would have to be INTENSE. Don’t get me wrong, my experiences at summer camp have always been overwhelmingly positive, but certainly not easy or relaxing compared to teaching year-round. I worked for 3 consecutive summers at a camp based in Edinburgh, Scotland and one year in Castellon, Spain. In both cases the camps were based at large residential schools, outside of the city and I found the day-to-day structure to be pretty similar. The only notable difference being that...

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Return from Wuhan: One teacher's experience of China's coronavirus outbreak

5th February 2020

It all started between the lines of a happy New Year message from our coordinator. Something similar to what a mother would say to her kids going out dressed too lightly: “Cover up and be careful because there is a new flu around”. Nobody really took the news too seriously and we all carried on with the New Year celebration. The same happened in one of my WeChat groups; a local girl informed us about this “new virus” and recommended not to go near a fish market that was destined to become very famous. Nevertheless, a few minutes later the conversation changed...

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