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.


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