Wednesday, 30 January 2008

How to Write a TEFL CV

Updated 23 June 2016

You'll usually see CV and Resume used interchangeably in TEFL job adverts. In reality a CV is much longer and has just about everything you've ever done. CVs also contain personal information. A resume is usually more concise and has 1 or 2 pages. Here are some guides on how to write an amazing CV. You can also find some examples at CV Rite and Open Colleges.

Watch out for too much jargon and too many buzz words. Here's a list of the best and worst resume phrases according to INC. The Muse has 41 of the best resume templates ever. Employers often want a cross between a CV and a resume because they want personal information and a maximum of 2 pages. Keep in mind that requirements vary country to country.

You might also want to try searching online: I found Timothy Day's CV that way.I'd be happy to send you my CV if you'd like just email me at naturegirl321@yahoo.com

Nowadays, there are plenty of online resume builders, such as Canva, My Perfect Resume, Super Resume, and Resumizer

Fonts
Although it will vary according to your career field, there are some basic dos and don'ts. Bloomberg has the best and worst fonts to use on your resume. Some people advocate having two different types of fonts on your CV, one for headings and one for everything else. I like to use a sanserif font for headings, such as Arial, Helvetic, Gills Sans, Futura, or Franklin Gothic. Everything else gets a serif font, such as Times New Roman, Palatino, Garamond, or Calson.

New to Teaching?
If you're getting into teaching from another career try reading this article about transferable skills. If you have little teaching experience you might want to consider a Functional Format like those in example 1 and example 2.

At the Top of a Teaching CV
  • Photo (For many countries this is the norm)
  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Sex, nationality
  • Contact information: address, email, phone number with country code, Skype, etc.
In the Middle of a Teaching CV
In general, if you've just graduated then your education goes first. Otherwise your work experience should go first.
  • Work: dates, company, city and country, your responsibilities, and awards received.
  • Education: dates, title of your degree, GPA, honours received, name of the university, city and country, and any outstanding things such as a thesis, internship or study abroad.
At the End of a Teaching CV
The last sections can be separated if you have enough items or put together "Highlights and Achievements" or "Continuing Development"
  • Workshops given
  • Conferences / Workshops attended
  • Publications
  • Professional Affiliations
  • Other Skills (languages / computer). The Times wrote about why this is the most important section of your CV.
Dos: Things to Remember When Writing Your Teaching CV
  • Update your CV often
  • Proof-read
  • Look at adverts to see what they require and using similar wording
  • Have a consistent layout
  • Use your DOB rather than your age
  • Include an updated professional picture
  • State that you’re a native speaker
  • Use reverse chronological order
  • No teaching experience? Think about how training employees, creating schedules, or chairing meetings could help you
  • Mention experience living in another country or working with people from other culture
  • Use specific words, like those mentioned in why your TEFL resume sucks
  • Talk about your own language learning experiences
  • Get experience working or volunteering with people from the country you want to teach in
Don’ts: Things to Avoid When Writing Your Teaching CV
  • Include things they don't ask for such as your driver's license number
  • List too many jobs
  • Use informal language, bad punctuation and spelling, or contractions
  • Crowd the page

Don't Forget Your Cover Letter!
Once you have a great CV it's time to write your cover letter. Cover letters are what an employer sees first so if it gets rejected they will never look at your CV.


This article has also been featured in the ELT Times and mentioned in The Guardian.


TEFL Tips recommends:

Thursday, 24 January 2008

How to Teach English Abroad

Updated 3 October 2012

Dos
  • Do your research. Check out books by Raymond Murphy, Jeremy Harmer, Jim Scrivener, Penny Ur, and Scott Thornbury.
  • Brush up on grammar. Visit your local library and check out books for students. In the back there's usually a grammar section. There are also online English Grammar tutorials such as English Grammar 101, Guide to Grammar and Writing and Conversa.
  • Observe teachers. Your local school, university, or language school might be able to help. Take notes on the different teaching methods that you observe and then try to use them in your own classes.
  • Take free courses. The Peace Corps has written a guide to teaching English. Some other sites are TEFL Boot Camp and TESOL EVO.
  • Pay for a class. If you're looking for online courses, check out Advanced Methodology offered by Oxford TEFL.
  • Talk to teachers. Share your tips on discipline, activities, or things to do in class.
  • Join forums. Dave's ESL Cafe is a good place to start. Waygook is good if you're in Korea; Ajarn is for those in Thailand.
  • Attend workshops and conferences. You can learn new methods and meet new people.
  • Volunteer. Try your local school, college or university.You'll get valuable experience teaching English and get good references.
  • Go online. You can find workshops, activites, and lesson plans online.
  • <Resources. Ask your institute to create a resource centre for teachers. You can leave material that you’ve made and borrow material from others.
  • Keep learning. Lots of language institutes offer classes for TEFL teachers. It’s a great way to learn about new ideas and methods.
  • Go for a higher diploma or degree. The Delta, Distance Delta, the Online Delta, and the Trinity Dip are well-known TEFL diplomas. ACTDEC and OnTESOL are other options. Getting a masters degree has more info if you're looking to get a masters degree in TEFL or similar subject.
  • Listen to your students. Students are the best form of feedback. Take the last five minutes of class and ask your students what part of your lesson they liked the best and what part they didn't like.
  • Ask other teachers. Have other teachers observe you and tell you what you think.

Don’ts
  • Be close minded. Don't reject new ideas before trying them.You can learn from all types of people from the backpacker teachers to the lifers.
  • Be superior. Don't think that you know all there is to know; you can always learn more. Methods are constantly changing as well.
  • Get stuck in a rut. If you find yourself running on auto it might be time to change jobs.
This article has also been published in the ELT Times.


TEFL Tips recommends:

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Making a Career out of TEFLing

Updated 2 February 2015

The Holy Trinity
If you're interested in advancing your career you should concentrate on three things:
  1. Scholarship, degrees, publications, conference presentations, teacher license, grants, etc.
  2. Teaching experience
  3. Service to the institution, profession, and community
Scholarship
Employers place a high value on furthering your education. They might be willing to subsidise part of the costs of training sessions. Many master degree programmes will offer credit for completion of certificate, diploma, or license courses. Some companies like Macmillan offer webinairs. You can see their list of past and present webinars on their website. You can find a comprehensive list of certs, dips, MAs, and PhDs at furthering your education. More ideas can be found in how to improve your TEFL career.

You should also look into publishing and presenting at local and international workshops and conferences.

Teaching Experience
There are really no shortcuts to take when it comes to experience. Try to teach a wide range or ages and levels. Academic writing, teaching exams pre, ESP, EAP, Medical English, Business English, English for Special Purposes, and English for Tourism are all some examples.

You can also work on focus groups or committees, do curriculum design, curriculum review, materials development, language test construction, professional development, workshops, and mentoring. Staying with the same employer means that you'll be more likely to be chosen for promotion.

Another thing to do is get published. You can start with articles, book reviews, lesson plans, worksheets, games, or try writing a book. You could also try sending material to various websites. Doing workshops are another way to advance your career.

Service
Helping the institution goes without saying. Whether you're creating curriculum, doing placement tests, or workshops, you need to do something.

You should also help the TEFL community. One way to do this is to become a member of a professional association. Not only will you find out about the latest training courses but you may also get discounts on courses or material. In addition, you'll be put in contact with other teachers and be able to share ideas. IATEFL is one of the main TEFL organisations.

Don't forget about reaching out to the community. Volunteering and helping people goes a long way.

Types of Jobs
Being a TEFL teacher isn't the only option. Take a look at the list below to get some ideas.
This article has been featured in the ELT Times.


TEFL Tips recommends:

Saturday, 19 January 2008

10 Reasons to Attend Teaching Conferences

Updated 19 February 2012
  1. Going to conferences is a great way to network.
  2. Fine-tune your skills by talking to other teachers.
  3. Training sessions can be put on your CV and make you more marketable to employers.
  4. Learn new teaching methods and tips to help you become a better teacher.
  5. Employers often attend conferences so you can learn who's hiring and even get a job.
  6. There are often book fairs where they offer great discounts.
  7. Raffles are often held so you can get free stuff.
  8. Keynote speakers are often world famous and have insight about key issues in teaching.
  9. Learn about other teaching events, TEFL courses, masters degree, and PhD programmes.
  10. Talk to other teachers and find out which schools are fantastic and which are not.
Need more convincing? Conferences are a great way to network and networking gets people jobs. 
Also published in . . .
This article has also been published in the ELT Times

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Friday, 18 January 2008

Teaching on the most desirable continent in the TEFL industry

Updated 28 January 2012

Latin America is a distant destination that many will visit but only a few will actually get the chance to live in this exotic paradise. With the LA job list you'll have access to coveted teaching jobs at your fingertips.  Best of all: it's free!


Disclaimer
The LA job list does not endorse any of the schools listed and will not be held accountable for the outcome of any applications. It is your responsibility to research every opportunity carefully! 




TEFL Tips recommends:

Thursday, 17 January 2008

A Country Guide to TEFLing in Peru

Updated 24 January 2012

From the author of The Ultimate Peru List comes A Country Guide to Teaching in Peru: FREE!

Welcome to Peru
Come teach in Peru and you'll get the chance to teach in a far off exotic location that has it all: sunny coasts, steamy jungles and breath-taking mountains. World famous food, a rich culture, and exotic cities untouched by tourists. Included in this guide are top Peruvian schools from all over the country so you can find a teaching position in Peru.







This has . . .   


  • An overview of the TEFL market
  • The basics about teaching in Peru
  • How to move up the career ladder
  • Visa info
  • What to know before you arrive
  • Settling in to life in Peru,
  • Practicalities of living in Peru
  • Tourism
  • Common problems and solutions
  • Cost of living
  • PLUS tons of links

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Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Teaching English Online

Updated 27 October 2016

Teaching English Online

Current online teaching jobs can be found at ESL jobs world. There's a great list of companies as well as information about them on Good Air Language. I highly suggest you check out there list. You can also find a list of online teaching employers below. Having fast internet is a must. The 4 countries with the fastest internet are Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Romania. You could also cut out the middle man and venture out on your own. Finding your own students and working for yourself has lots of benefits. Oxford TEFL also offers a course to teach you how to teach online.

You might also want learn a bit of the local language since it can really help if you have to explain vocabulary or grammar to students. Besides teaching English online, there are other things that you can do online to earn some extra money. Read make money online for more info. Below you can find an extensive list of companies that employ people to teach English online. I've also put together a list of the best paying companies to work for if you want to teach English online.  

Popular Employers

Teaching Subject Courses Online
Special thanks go to rotemmay at Dave's ESL Cafe. Much of the opportunity that is out there is entry-level courses - mostly English Composition and such. Some good places to start out with are Axia College (the community college component to the famous University of Phoenix, Ashford University, Strayer University Online, and AIU Online (American Intercontinental University).

Finding a Job: The best way to get a job teaching online is is to check out the university's website. Some people have also put together a database of online schools. Other good resources are Adjunt World, Online Teaching Jobs, and Online Adjuncts.

Your Responsibilities:For the most part you'll be given course materials, lessons, and assignments ready for you. You will have to manage the classroom, participate in discussions, grade and give feedback.

The Students: Your students will probably be adults who have been out of school for many years. The students tend to try their best and have high expectations, but they may be unrealistic. Some students may feel that since they are paying for a course, they deserve to pass and get a good grade. Another issue is that because it's online it's more anonymous so students may be less respectful.

Money: There are degree mills out there. Due to this, many universities have seen a huge drop in student enrollment. Most universities don't guarantee course load steadiness. This means that you may teach two classes one semestre and then not have any classes until next year.It's best to use online teaching as additional source of income rather than your main source of income. Many online instructors work for several schools. There are no benefits offered and the pay may range from $1300 to $1650 a course.

3. Where to live
Here are some countries where it's easy to get a visa for. You might also be interested in retirement visa since many of them don't have age limits.
  • Cambodia (easily renewable business visas)
  • China (some tourist agents can get business visas for up to 1 year)
  • EU (If you're from the EU, you can live just about anywhere in the EU)
  • India (6 month tourist visas)
  • Indonesia (6 month tourist visas)
  • Mexico (6 month tourist visas)
  • Latin America (border hop or pay cheap fines for overstaying your visa)
  • the Philippines (you can extend a tourist visa for up to 2 years)
  • Thailand (extend your tourist visa or border hop)
  • Vietnam (easily renewable tourist visas)



TEFL Tips recommends:

Saturday, 12 January 2008

The Peru Guide Book

Updated 19 January 2012

In late 2006, I was approached by the assistant editor of Viva Travel Guides and asked to help them with a book, The Peru Guide Book, which came out in 2007. Check it out and let me know what you think.

TEFL Tips recommends:

Sunday, 6 January 2008

How to Network Your Way to a Great Job

Updated 30 June 2014

Connections are gold! If you're looking for a job, tell everyone you know. You never know who'll tell you about a job. It could be your sister's boyfriend's mom's cousin. One thing you could do is make a list of everyone you know and contact them. You can see some sample emails below. Another thing to do is to make a list of 25 target employers and ask everyone you know if they know anyone who works for them.

If you’re looking to teach in other city or country it can be hard to make connections. However, the internet has made things a lot easier. You need to develop your PLN (Personal Learning Network) and start networking online.

When networking online you still need to remember your manners. Be polite and thank people for helping you out. When writing online don't forget your grammar, spelling, and puctuation as well. Don't forget that what goes around comes around. The next time someone’s looking for a job try to help them out.

  • Here are some sample networking emails you might be interested in. 
  • Dave's ESL Cafe is a good place to start.
  • LinkedIn is a site specifically for networking
  • Twitter is another option.
  • Blogging allows you to comment on other people's blogs and they can comment on yours.
  • Basic questions about countries and cities can be answered on Q and A sites like Yahoo Answers.
  • Country specific forums (such as waygook.org for Korea).
  • Country specific websites (for example, www.MiddleKingdom.com for China).
Also published in . . .
This article has been published in the Turkish University Press.

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Saturday, 5 January 2008

TEFL Interviews and Demo Lessons

Updated 23 January 2015

Want the Job? Ask for It.
A while back I came across a newspaper article that said one of the best interview tips was to actually ask for the job. They said that people who asked, "Are you able to offer me this job?" were more likely to get the job than those who don't. US News has 10 ways to ask for the job at the interview. Some other people have asked how they measure up against the competition. If the interviewers say that they're lacking certain skills, they give examples of how they have those skills.

Things to Remember While Interviewing
From janeteresa.com

  • Look over your CV
  • Know about TEFLing
  • Think back to your TEFL course
  • Do research
  • Practice
  • Ask questions: check out Things to Ask Before Accepting a Job.
  • Dress appropriately and make sure your shoes are shined as well.
  • Open body language
  • Be honest and be yourself
  • Don't be negative
  • Smile
  • No bad habits: don't chew gum, bite your nails, or crack your knuckles.
  • Teaching portfolio
  • Expect the unexpected: interviewers are asking non-typical questions
More Tips
Questions You Should Ask
An interview is a two way street. You also get to ask questions to see if you'd like to work for them. Do your research and be prepared. Go to the interview with a few questions written down that you'd like to ask. Ask about a typical work schedule (both daily and weekly). You'll also want to find out about meetings, professional development, extracurricular duties, overall work environment, and communication style. It's also good to know how long the typical teacher stays with that school. You could also ask what teachers say is the best thing about working for them. Here are some more questions you may want to ask.

Typical Interview Questions
  • 50 common interview questions
  • Describe your teaching experience.
  • What levels have you taught?
  • What course books are you familiar with?
  • What are your long term plans?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What are your three best qualities?
  • What are your three worst qualities?
  • What was your best teaching moment?
  • What is the most difficult problem you've had to overcome?
  • How do you discipline students?
  • How are you a team player?
  • What's your favourite age group / level to teach?
  • Do you use the students' native language in class?
  • How do you keep up to date with teaching methodology?
  • What professional journals are you familiar with?
  • How would you go about teaching (passive voice, the difference between X and Y)?
  • How would you deal with a supervisor if you knew they were wrong?
  • How can you contribute to the school?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you bring to this organization that no one else can?
  • Describe a situation in which you had to (disregard your lesson plan, deal with an unruly student, confront a supervisor, etc)
  • Why do you want to live in X country?
  • What do you want to work for this school?
  • How are you going to deal with culture shock?
  • What do you do in your free time?
  • How are you going to adapt to a new culture / language?
Delicate Questions and Suggested Answers (Also published in ELT World)

  • What religion are you?/ Are you X religion? This could be a legit question if you're applying to a religious school. If you don't practise the same religion, say that while you are not X religion and you will respect their practises during class time. If the school isn't religious simply say that you believe in keeping your personal beliefs personal and out of the classroom.
  • Do you have a boyfriend / girlfriend? This could also be legit if the school is religious or if you are being placed by a recruiter, since they try to place partners in the same school or city. Realise that you might have to live apart while working for the school. Some places are very strict. If the school isn't religious or you're not dealing with a recruiter then say that you believe in keeping your personal life separate from your work life.
  • How much are you earning now? Bad question. Even worse if you answer it. Money isn't the only thing you need to take into account. Let's say that your current school is only paying you $500 but you get free housing, lunch, medical insurance, and pension which is worth about $600. They also paid for your flight and will give you an end of contract bonus which is worth about $2000. However, this school just gives you $900 usd. This means your current job is probably better. When asked this it's probably best to say your employer doesn't let you discuss your salary.
  • How much is your expected salary? They're really asking you what you think you're worth. Say that you would expect to be paid what their going rate is. If you have lots of experience say that you would expect to be paid in the upper salary range.
  • Why did you leave X job after only 3 / 6 months? If you pulled a runner or were fired, take that job off your CV. If you quit, and remain on decent terms with your employer, you might want to leave it on your CV.
  • Why do you want to leave your current job? Say that you're looking for new opportunities. Period. Don't speak badly about your employers.

The Demo Lesson
If you're told about the demo lesson beforehand make sure you have a good lesson plan and bring it with you to the interview. Below are some tips to make sure you have a good demo lesson. I use a light yellow colour. It helps makes my worksheets stand out.

Use Power Point: If they say it's optional, do it. Always prepare a PPT. It just looks better.

Use a clicker: You can download apps for your phone that will work with PPTs. Or you can buy a PPT clicker. It looks more professional, plus they usually come with a laser so you can easily point things out on the slides. Treat the interviewers like students: This seems to be controversial. Some people walk the interviewers through their lesson plan. Other people pick one part and teach it to the interviewers as if they were students. The best advice I have for you is to talk to other people and ask what's expected.

If you're asked to do a demo lesson on the spot, see if they'll give you ten minutes or so to prep. It's nerve racking, but remember to relax and speak slowly enough for students to understand, move around the room, look at each student, and check for understanding, etc. Remember to smile!

If you live far from the school you might be asked to do a video demo lesson.If you're going to videotape your current class, get permission from your supervisor. Let students know that you will be videotaping during class. You'll find that they'll be on their best behaviour. Watch the video before you send it.

This article has also been featured in the ELT Times.


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Wednesday, 2 January 2008

How to Choose a TEFL course

Updated 13 January 2015

What's the Best TEFL Course?
There are hundreds of TEFL courses to choose from so how do you know which one is the right one for you? Wall Street Institute has some tips on choosing a TEFL course. Cactus TEFL allows you to compare programmes. Other good sites for choosing TEFL courses are TEFL Review, ATCC, TESL Canada, and TESOL.

The big three TEFL courses for teaching adults are: SIT, CELTA, and Trinity. CELTA and Trinity are the only TEFL certs out there that are externally and internally moderated. You can also study online. CCELT is a 100-hour online TEFL certificate. The University of Toronto online TEFL certs with 100, 120, or 150 hours.

Short Courses

TEFL Diplomas

Management Diplomas

Teacher Training Certificates
  • IH London also might offer one if there is enough interest.
  • International House offers one in Barcelona and it's only a week.
  • SIT offers an intensive course that takes a couple of months.

Qualified Teaching Status (QTS) / Teaching Licenses

Free Online TEFL Certs and Courses

Discounted TEFL Courses for UK graduates
The British Council has a graduate scheme for unemployed UK graduates to take the Cambridge CELTA or the Trinity CertTESOL that cover 50% of the tuition. See the British Council for more info.


TEFL Course Basics
The following information has been taken from Wall Street Institute.
  • At least 120 hours over at least 4 weeks
  • At least 6 hours teaching practice with real students
  • Exams should be oral, written, and teaching
  • The curriculum should cover: grammar, methods, phonetics, classroom management, activities, use at least 3 different textbooks, practice with audio and visual aids, introduce international exams or Business English.
Before You Take a Course
I wrote an article called learning about TEFL and training which is a good place to start finding out about how to teach English abroad. Another thing you could do is observe some classes. You could also look at sample lesson plans to help you get an idea of what you're going to have to do. Know that that it will be stressful and difficult at times, but remember that it's only a month.

Some teachers bring supplies with them like MP3 players, voice recorders, speakers, and a USB to the TEFL training programme. Others start to learn the local language. Take a look at Fluent in 3 Months for language learning tips. If you want to learn Spanish, Synergy Spanish is a great programme. Brushing up on your grammar will help since many courses focus heavily on grammar tenses. Books by Raymond Murphy or Michael Swan are good. Knowing the International Phonetic Alphabet is also good especially since many students use it.

Look into what you'll need to move overseas. Packing your whole life into one or two suitcases can be very difficult, but if you plan ahead, it makes it that much easier. Look at 30 days to move abroad to see what you should do.  

On-site vs. Online
On-site courses usually take about four weeks. Read should I do a tefl course at home or abroad? to find the pros and cons of each one. Online courses can be they have a practical teaching section. They should also offer lots of support and tutor feedback if you need it. Cambridge has recently come out with the online CELTA.This article has also been featured in the ELT Times.


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Tuesday, 1 January 2008

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If you have any questions about this disclosure policy then please contact me via this Contact Form.


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Welcome to TEFL Tips

Updated 28 April 2014

TEFL Tips is designed to help newbies and olbies alike. I've written about many topics, such as:

I've been featured in 

I regular update old posts and write new ones. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them in the comments or send me an email at naturegirl321@yahoo.com .

Thanks for visiting TEFL Tips!
Sharon

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