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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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Work-Life Balance in TEFL

26th August 2019

It's hard to disagree that everything works best in equilibrium. The growing popularity of ideas such as slow living, mindfulness and hygge suggests that the world has finally woken up to the fact that one needs more in life than work. According to Alex Clark, a researcher from Edmond University in Canada “We need to stop seeing hobbies and work as zero-sum games”, a view that is supported by the findings of  the Corporate Executive Board in the USA, which show that “Employees who believe that they have a good work life balance are 21% more productive”. Clearly, achieving equilibrium between work and private life ought to be win-win for everyone. For a teacher this means having the energy and motivation to work, getting new ideas and being full of enthusiasm in class. This in turn gives students...

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Are native teachers better? Non-native teachers and self-esteem

20th August 2019

Teaching is not always a walk in the park. In fact, it is not only stressful but also draining as teachers give so much of themselves. I would argue that non-native teachers have an added stress: low self-esteem. “Are they good enough? Are they doing their jobs properly? Are the students happy? Are the students judging them based on their accent?” These are common questions that most non-native teachers ask themselves. It is true that native teachers ask themselves these questions too. However, non-native teachers might ask themselves these questions once too often, and they will probably give a negative answer...

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Couples teaching abroad - is it possible?

12th August 2019

Are you and your significant other both qualified teachers? Are you looking for a job abroad? Are you wondering whether it is a good idea to apply for jobs together? Read on and you will find the answers to your questions. When it comes to teaching abroad there are actually more advantages than disadvantages to working together. Let’s have a closer look at some of them...

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Transitioning from the in-person to the online classroom

6th August 2019

Working from home, flexible hours, customize your own classroom – becoming an online English teacher is so appealing, and there are lots of opportunities to get started. In this article, I will go through some of the most important changes and considerations I had to make when moving from the in-person to the online classroom. I believe that the rapport with students and sharing in students’ success is very similar, teaching online can be a very rewarding experience.

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The LGBTQIA+ Teacher Abroad: Doing your research

29th July 2019

‘You are so lucky!’ ‘I wish I could go on permanent holiday!’.  Probably the two most common responses on finding out I am an ESL teacher, and in one sense I understand it, we do seem to have a dream job. With a teaching certificate and your degree, the world is your oyster. Who among us can say we hate the fact that we can take our skills and find work in almost any country of the world? But for all of us there is a flipside to this luck. You miss things, the big and the small, you miss moments and gradually it can seem like people begin to forget you. What’s more it can feel... 

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