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Showing posts from 2016
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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year's!!!!

Technology in the ELL / ESL Classroom

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I attended a workshop a couple weeks and the presenter started his workshop by saying  "If someone who died in 1900 was brought back to life in 2016, the only thing that he / she would recognize were our schools and classrooms." His comment was addressing the fact that the education sector in society is lagging well behind other sectors in it's adaptation of technology. While technology has radically changed every part of our lives in the last couple decades, there is still a lot of resistance to employing new technology in classrooms. There are many reasons for this resistance (lack of training, negative perceptions of technology, lack of motivation to change, etc.), however to teach future generations, technology must be further integrated in education; this of course includes English language education. 
In the following blog, I am briefly going to touch upon the benefits of using technology in the ELL / ESL classroom and mention a couple ways that teachers can use te…

My Top 5 ESL games

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It's been a little while since my last post, so I wanted to come back with something fun and practical for teachers to use in their English classrooms. Below are 5 of my favorite games that I use in my own classes that can be used with a variety of learners.

Two Truths and A Lie   

Two Truths and a lie is a great game which is perfect for the beginning of a new class as it is a 'getting to know you' kind of game. This game is also wonderful for practicing speaking and listening skills.
Why use it? Ice-breaker; Speaking / Listening skills
Who it's best for: Appropriate for all levels and ages
How to play:
Have students write 3 statements about themselves on a piece of paper, two of which should be lies and one which should be true.
Pair the students up and have them ask each other questions about each statement and then guess which one is the truth. If you want to really extend the game and give students even more time to practice their speaking/listening skills, rotate …

A Journey in TEFL | My adventure in teaching

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Hey Everyone,
There's a number of blogs that I read on a regular basis to keep up-to-date with the TEFL scene around the world, and I'd like to share "A Journey in TEFL with you. Written by Eva Simkesyan (an English teacher for over 20 years) she shares great teaching ideas, links and opinions related to Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Check it out when you get a chance.


A Journey in TEFL | My adventure in teaching




https://continuingstudies.uvic.ca/education-learning-and-development/courses/teaching-english-as-a-foreign-language-tefl

https://www.facebook.com/uvictefl/

Tips for Teaching Grammar

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For me, teaching grammar to English language learners was always a challenge. In fact, to teach English grammar I had to learn English grammar first. It's truly amazing how native-English speakers can produce a language so well, but not know the grammar rules of English. If someone had come up to me before I started teaching English and asked me to explain the Present Perfect to them, I would have been clueless. What additionally makes teaching grammar so difficult, is that even though your students might not be able to speak or write English well, they may know more about English grammar rules than you do. Combine that with the fact that grammar itself can come off as pretty dry and dull to many students, and you can see where some of the challenges lie.

In this blog, I'll give you some of my tips for making grammar exciting and understandable for your students. As mentioned earlier, teaching grammar has never been my strength, but I feel that my classes were mostly successf…

Choosing the Right English Teaching Job in Canada (or the US)

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Although most of my entries in the past have focused on teaching English in a foreign country, today's entry will look at teaching English in North America, with a specific focus on Canada.

Although many people enroll in TEFL/TESL programs to teach abroad, there are many people who choose to stay right here and begin their teaching careers. Likewise, a great deal of people after returning home from teaching English abroad, also choose to stay in this sector of education. You might not think it initially, but at home in Canada and the United States there is so much demand to learn English; thus there are so many opportunities to teach as well. Also like the job market abroad, not all schools are created equal. In fact, there may be a higher percentage of bad English school in North America, than there are abroad. As someone who is looking to teach English in their home country, how do you avoid working at one of these types of schools? This blog will take a look at some things to …

Great travel accessory to take with you no matter where you go

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Hey Everyone,
This post has really nothing to do with TEFL, but it's about great new product that my wife has developed that allows you to carefully pack all your jewelry when you travel...no more tangled necklaces!!! If you are interested, you can order one at chrisiljtw.com. My wife, an avid traveler is encouraging everyone who buys one to go to her website and share some of the favorite travel stories on the site.







The Sometimes Forgotten Beauty of Traveling Abroad

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It's been awhile since my last blog entry, and that's because I was away in China and Japan on a 3 week business trip. Although I wasn't teaching during this trip, I did have the chance to stop into a few universities where people were learning English, and visit the teacher training program my university is running in Deqing China. This trip really reminded me of some of the wonderful things you can experience when you go abroad to teach. In this blog entry I'll be sharing what I think are some possibly forgotten benefits to traveling and teaching abroad.

1. Trying new DELICIOUS food
I hadn't really been to China before this trip and I wasn't sure about the food there. Sure I'd had lots of Western Chinese food in Canada, but I knew the food would be different there. After being in China I have a new found love for Chinese food. The food that I had was amazing! Whether it was from a street vendor or at a nice restaurant the food was great. Chinese food get…

Using Music in the Classroom

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I've always believed that music is not only a fun way to teach your students English, but also a very effective and natural way for your students to learn English quickly. People love music no matter where you teach in this great big world, and you don't have to be a musician yourself to find ways to implement music in your lessons. Music can be used to warm up your class, set a mood or tone for a class, and to teach grammar, listening, vocabulary and communication classes.  I was planning to write my own entry about using English in the classroom, when I stumbled upon these two great articles that explain how to use music to teach English and the benefits your students will get from using this medium of instruction. Please read them and let me know what you think.

How to Use Songs in the English Language Classroom 
by Adam J. Simpson

https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/how-use-songs-english-language-classroom










Teaching with Music: 4 Effective Ways to Use Music in the E…

Teaching English in the Czech Republic

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Situated in the middle of Europe, the Czech Republic  is home to beautiful art and music, grand architecture, picturesque red roofs, and a never-ending supply of beer. While most tourists only visit the capital of Prague, there are so many other facets to this landlocked country that are fairly unexplored by most travelers. Rural areas are surrounded by rolling hills, hidden lakes, and old growth forests in which residents can enjoy the traditional country lifestyle of times forgotten in other parts of Europe. As the country’s economy continues to strengthen, so, too, has residents’ need for speaking English. Although the Czech Republic is constantly full of English speaking tourists, public schools, universities, and private language academies are still in need of native speakers to give their students the boost they need in order to compete in the global workplace. In this blog entry I will provide an overview of what its like to live and teach English in the Czech Republic and off…

Dealing with Teacher Burnout

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One concern that even the most dedicated of English teachers will face in their careers, is the dreaded Teacher Burnout stage. Perhaps this stage is especially difficult for TEFL teachers living in a foreign countries where you simply can't turn to the resources or family/friends you have at home when you are going through a rough patch at work. In this blog entry, I'll try to explain what Teacher Burnout is and more importantly how to avoid it and how to get out of it if you are burned out from teaching.

Teacher Burnout is pretty much what it sounds like; simply being tired or exhausted (emotionally and physically) by the many problems and issues that plague teachers on an everyday basis. These problems can include student behavior issues, over-sized classes, inadequate salaries, too much marking, conflicts with co-workers or administrators, etc. For all the rewards and satisfaction that you can get from teaching, there seems to be a equal amount of problems one faces from t…

Common Misconceptions and Myths about Teaching English as a Foreign Language

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Its been a little while since my last blog entry. In this edition I am going to be looking at some common myths about teaching English. The goal of this entry is to help new TEFL teachers prepare for what it is really like to teach English as a Foreign Language.

Myth #1: I am a native English speaker, so teaching English will be easy!
I have to admit I thought this before I headed to Korea to teach English. Even though I had taught in high schools for a couple years before going to Korea, I was definitely not prepared to teach English. Just because you can speak, listen, read and write in English, does not mean that you will be able to teach these skills effectively. Firstly, native English speakers do not learn the language like second language learners. English comes naturally to us, without every having to study complex grammatical structures like adverbial clauses or reported speech. Teaching any facet of the English language takes in-depth study of the language and a special skil…

Teaching English in Korea

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I've been waiting to publish an entry on teaching English in Korea, because I didn't want everyone to know how biased I am about teaching there, as opposed to other countries...but I can wait no longer. As you will know if you read previous entries, I taught English in Korea for 3 years. During those years I taught children, adults at a private academy and university students. In the following entry I'll talk about some things you should know about before choosing to go to Korea to teach English.

South Korea South Korea is a highly-developed nation which takes pride in it's well-educated people, vibrant pop culture and art scene, and of course exporting cutting-edge technology like the latest smartphones to the rest of the world. Its beautifully  landscapes, long history, and small size make the country a great place for ESL teachers to be immersed a new culture and see the country easily. It’s a great place to live, meet other TEFL teachers, and get to know a brand new …

Preparing for a English Teacher Interview

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Whether you want to go abroad to teach English or you wish to stay in your home country and teach English, chances are you will need to have an interview. In this week's blog, I'm going to talk about how you can prepare yourself for the interview to greater your chances of landing the job. As someone, who has had several teacher interviews and had given countless interviews to hopeful teachers, I will give you my personal opinions and advice on the interview process.

First and most important: Plan to prepare. I have met so many people who don't do anything to get ready for an interview, and have interviewed many people who clearly didn't prepare for their interview, and I will tell you this could be the single greatest mistake interviewees make. In order to get jobs anywhere in any field, you must be willing to put in the extra effort before you go to your interview, because everyone else who has applied for that job already has.

Step Two: Do Some Research
-The School- M…