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It has been more than a month since the epidemic started and, unfortunately, we still cannot see the end of it. The latest news can feel very confusing but luckily between the over-alarmists and the extreme optimists, a few international media seem to be balanced and objective. What is certain is that the problem is far from being solved. Whether, as some Chinese media are claiming, we have basically reached the turning point or, as the WHO recently reported, this is still the...
It all started between the lines of a happy New Year message from our coordinator. Something similar to what a mother would say to her kids going out dressed too lightly: “Cover up and be careful because there is a new flu around”. Nobody really took the news too seriously and we all carried on with the New Year celebration. The same happened in one of my WeChat groups; a local girl informed us about this “new virus” and recommended not to go near a fish market that was destined to become very famous. Nevertheless, a few minutes later the conversation changed...
Adventure, new cultures, and our students, these are my favorite parts about being an EFL teacher. The opportunity to meet students from all cultures and engage with them in a way that most people don’t get to is by far what keeps me working in this exciting field. For me, becoming a foreign language teacher was to do just that, move to a foreign country learn about the culture and meet people. I had been a teacher in my own country, but the opportunity for some adventure was the greatest allure. Now, as I have started doing the majority of my teaching online, I often get asked – so can you teach from anywhere? And the short answer is yes. I can teach from anywhere, but there are some things...
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...
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...
Globalisation has resulted in many good things. To list just a few examples, it has eradicated diseases that used to be endemic, with most of the world’s human population enjoying rising standards of living and longer life expectancy than any generation before. Globalisation has also resulted in wonderful technological developments, giving us instant access to vast amounts of information. We can communicate in real time with people on the other side of the world, and can travel around it faster and more comfortably than our ancestors could ever have imagined. The spread of English and English language teaching (ELT) has gone hand in hand with these processes, and like globalisation...
Once you’ve made the leap from the physical to the online classroom, you will play a greater role in attracting new students for yourself. The competition online is stiff, so you will have to put lots of effort upfront to ensure that you are a credible, and a serious teacher. Many people are still skeptical of the quality of the online classroom, so be sure to bring legitimacy to what you are...
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...
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.
There is a mini-crisis looming in the world of English Language teaching.
Most companies which play in this area are still operating on the traditional business model. They have very expensive training centres filled with very expensive teaching staff, delivering very expensively designed and created training courses – always run on a very expensive computer network and displayed on different sizes and shapes of displays, some small and basic, some large and interactive, but...
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