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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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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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