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Tools for your online classroom

11th November 2019

Keeping students engaged is always important, whether we are working online or working in a traditional classroom. I believe that managing an online classroom requires several tools. In this article I will discuss some of the key points in designing your very own online classroom. Like any other classroom, you need to think about who you will be teaching. If it is children, then you will need to think about bright colours, characters, topics that will interest them. Teenagers, don’t want to be treated like children, you will need to bring a certain level of sophistication to your style, and of course adults who appreciate some serious and some more fun material as well. I am not going to specifically address IT or platforms in this article, for those of you wanting to know more about...

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TEFL vs TESL vs TESOL - The pros and cons

28th October 2019

If you are a qualified English teacher looking to start a career you might be facing a dilemma: whether to look for work abroad and kill two birds with one stone (see the world and make some money on the way) or to stay in your English-speaking country and teach foreigners coming to study, work or live there. Let’s have a look at your options in detail and by the end of this article you will have a fair idea of which...

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Rethinking ELT's Environmental Impact

22nd October 2019

Globalisation has resulted in many good things. To list just a few examples, it has eradicated diseases that used to be endemic, with most of the world’s human population enjoying rising standards of living and longer life expectancy than any generation before. Globalisation has also resulted in wonderful technological developments, giving us instant access to vast amounts of information. We can communicate in real time with people on the other side of the world, and can travel around it faster and more comfortably than our ancestors could ever have imagined. The spread of English and English language teaching (ELT) has gone hand in hand with these processes, and like globalisation...

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The LGBTQIA+ teacher abroad: Back to School, open your closet?

14th October 2019

The faint sound of Christmas songs are around the corner, pumpkin spice lattes are in the shops, and the sound of children laughing in the streets is fading away. It can only mean one thing. The new academic year is here, in the northern hemisphere at least. This prompts teachers all around to ask themselves certain questions: where did the summer go? What reward system should I try this year? Which computer game DO I prefer fortnite or minecraft? How strict is too strict to start the year off? All equally important and valuable questions, but for the LGBTQIA+ teacher there are other questions you may be asking yourself. Questions such as, should I tell my colleagues straight away? Should I wait for them to ask me? Should I bring the topic up...

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Marketing yourself as an Online Teacher

7th October 2019

Once you’ve made the leap from the physical to the online classroom, you will play a greater role in attracting new students for yourself. The competition online is stiff, so you will have to put lots of effort upfront to ensure that you are a credible, and a serious teacher. Many people are still skeptical of the quality of the online classroom, so be sure to bring legitimacy to what you are...

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Language Teaching - the soft skills bonus

30th September 2019

Teaching English as a foreign language can often be an ingenious win-win activity for you as a teacher as well as for your learners. Sometimes underestimated and reduced to a year ‘off’ during which you speak your native language to impressionable locals whose culture you can discover in exchange which is far from the reality of professional language teaching, this job is in fact an excellent avenue for acquiring and honing a multitude of...

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Not over the hill at 70 - The benefits the older teacher can bring to the language class

23rd September 2019

Are teachers over the hill once they pass the dreaded three score and ten mark?  Should they pack up and head for the academic equivalent of elephants' graveyard to muse on past endeavours and lament the evaporation of those energies and passions that he or she once possessed when attempting to indelibly install the complexities of phrasal verbs and third conditionals, not to mention the unspeakable paradoxes and contradictions of Anglo-Saxon pronunciation, into students' cerebral zones? By no means, says this writer who recently reached 79. He, for one, is still going strong and there's little...

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The Interview. Techniques for the ESL Teacher

16th September 2019

It is finally over. You have escaped the teacher training program unscathed. Or, perhaps you are a seasoned vet seeking to land a job in a new country or city. Either way, you need to get ready for the next step: the interview process. While this process is more daunting for some than others, there are always techniques to be applied that can significantly boost the chances of you landing the job you...

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20 Things New TEFL Teachers Should Know

10th September 2019

Let’s begin by saying this is a wonderful career that will take you into new cultures, open your mind to new ways of doing things and new world views that even the adventurous traveler will not experience. You will become part of the school’s and the wider community’s social network if you wish to.  You will affect lives.  

I will tell you some hard learnt lessons which I consider to be ‘must dos’ in order to make life great in and out of the classroom in a foreign country.  I have broken down the advice into four sections: before you leave; upon arrival;workplace basics; and a tip for new ESL journeymen...

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CELTA, DELTA, MA? When is the best career moment for extra qualifications?

2nd September 2019

CELTA, DELTA, Trinity Dip, M.A. in Applied Linguistics… there is an increasing number of courses on offer for the aspiring English language teacher.  Navigating the opportunities and understanding the realities of what each brings is key if you are to make it all worth your while.  Many will start off their career attempting the CELTA or Trinity TESOL (also known as TEFL-I qualifications), the two most popular entry-level courses on offer in TEFL.  Ironically, what most teachers end up doing for their first jobs is nothing like the small groups of adult learners neatly grouped into levels, and so why the expectation and desire to put ourselves through it?  Well, obviously, in order to get a job.  Not to say that it is essential for your first teaching position.  In fact, most countries require a 120-hour teaching qualification, with only the UK, USA and Saudi Arabia actually stipulating that a CELTA/TESOL is required (Deady, 2019).  These shorter courses can be done...

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