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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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Teaching English: Is it really a long-term career?

14th January 2020

If you are still trying to weigh the pros and cons of becoming a teacher of English, doubt no more. When choosing a career we are usually guided either by what we love doing or by the financial benefits of a job. In my opinion teaching English can be the perfect combination of both - it is a fun job (you are guaranteed to never be bored) and there are plenty of opportunities to make good money. Another point in favour of choosing teaching English as a long-term career is that there are a lot of options to transition to from teaching per se to other areas within the TEFL industry: you can become a DOS, open your own language school, move into materials creation and...

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