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ChatGPT and English Teaching: Should we be scared of Artificial Intelligence?

6th July 2023

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last six months or making a sustained effort to avoid news media altogether, you have probably heard about ChatGPT, the recently-released and Microsoft-backed Artificial Intelligence program. Produced by the non-profit OpenAI. ChatGPT and its rival Bard, produced by Google, have been making headlines this year due to their groundbreaking use of AI to perform a variety of functions in response to requests made by...

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Adults with Autism in EFL.

16th May 2023

Estimates for the number of people with autism range from 1 to 2 percent of the population worldwide. The rate of diagnosis has been rising, which doesn’t mean that it’s becoming more prevalent necessarily, but that more and more people are seeking a diagnosis for themselves or their children. Late diagnosis in adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond is also becoming more widespread as new research has lead to a better understanding of the condition. In recent years, high profile personalities in the UK such as TV presenter Chris Packham have gone public with their diagnosis in order to raise awareness...

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Power, Politics and Cultural Stereotypes in the EFL Classroom

20th January 2022

Keeping politics out of the EFL classroom is not as straightforward as it may seem. Even the most politically correct of EFL teachers can unwittingly reinforce or challenge stereotypes and power structures in subtle ways. This can be done through their choice of course materials, language exercises, role-play activities, seating arrangements or just in the way they communicate with their students. In some cases, these factors will be determined largely by their employer and will have different implications depending on the teaching context...

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Why every school should become paper-free and how to do it

24th November 2021

The big issue of the day is Climate Change. From rising sea levels to emission of fossil fuels, from desertification to water and air quality, there are many issues currently being discussed at the highest levels of government, nationally and internationally. The COP26 summit in Glasgow was one of the major political events of the year. What relation has all of this got to do with the humble TEFL school? What possible relation can Climate Change have to English teaching? I believe there is great waste in the TEFL sector, particularly concerning paper, and I have also discovered that when a teacher becomes more eco-friendly...

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How to Balance a Writing Career with TEFL

1st September 2021

The stereotype of the aspiring writer trying to survive by teaching English on the side is nothing new. James Joyce, JK Rowling and Nick Hornby are just a few of the novelists who taught EFL in order to fund their works in progress. All these writers had to pave their own way to literary success with jobs that barely earned them a basic living with limited opportunities to focus on their art. And it's not just novelists who juggle their creative endeavours with TEFL, but journalists, copywriters, travel writers, scriptwriters, playwrights and bloggers too. Yet we all know that neither teaching nor writing are the best paid jobs to begin with, so what exactly is the allure? And is there a way to ensure simultaneous success in both of these professions?

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Teaching the Smartphone Generation

8th June 2021

Who remembers the Nokia 3310? I got my first phone when I was 12 and it had the Snake game on it, which at the time seemed very cool. Today’s children get their first phone much younger of course, and have the entire internet and app stores at their fingertips, as well as the world of social media. Sadly, for every individual utilising free educational apps, tracking their daily footsteps or jogging route, or looking up vocabulary on translator apps, there are many more watching YouTube and TikTok videos, engaged in mind-numbing and attention-span-crippling...

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The Brexit Factor in ELT Job Search

24th February 2021

Since 1 January 2021 UK nationals are considered nationals from a 3rd country by EU member states. To assess the effect this has on ELT teacher recruitment within the EU, TEFL.com canvassed some of its EU recruitment partners for their views...

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Data Privacy and Security for Online Teachers: Who Cares?

10th February 2021

The shift to remote online working since the outbreak of Covid-19 has once again stirred debate about data privacy and security. For freelance English language teachers in particular the implications are manifold and the dangers real. It’s not just a question of protecting your own data to avoid hacking, fraud, trolling, cyberbullying or surveillance. Teaching online can involve exchanging personal data with students in ways which were not necessary in the physical classroom environment. Depending on the type of teaching you do, this not only carries with it certain obligations under data protection regulation but also places you in a position...

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The Mental Health of Language Teachers during and post Covid-19

19th January 2021

Between 26 September and 18 October, I carried out a piece of research on the Mental Health of Language Teachers, with a focus on their experience during the outbreak of Covid-19 and lockdowns in many parts of the world. It also looked at ‘post Covid-19’ working environments and what the future had in store for language teaching. It was completed by 170 different respondents, using...

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Academic Management and Teacher Satisfaction: What makes a school a rewarding place to work for?

7th December 2020

A lot of online articles in the TEFL sphere are focused on teacher tips, classroom technology, finding happiness as a teacher abroad and so on. I want to consider the question of teacher satisfaction from a different angle, that of management. In my 5 years of experience, it’s the quality and style of management that makes the biggest difference in terms of how well a school is run, and how rewarding the job is for teachers. I’ll draw from my own experiences, while outlining some of the core management challenges which apply to TEFL, and specifically how...

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