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How to Balance a Writing Career with TEFL

4th June 2024
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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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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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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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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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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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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