Saturday, 31 December 2011

Cool Link: Using English

Using English has lots of resources for ESL and EFL teachers and students. Their reference section has items such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and irregular verbs.  They've also got a neat teacher resource section with things such as worksheets, lesson plans, and forums.

If you're looking for tests and quizzes, then you can find these here as well.  Lastly, if you want to learn more about TEFL or TESL, then try reading some of the many articles they have up.


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Friday, 30 December 2011

ESL Educators Blog Carnival: December 2011, Engaging Women in the Classroom


The topic of December's ESL Educators Blog Carnival is Engaging Women in the Classroom. You can read people's opinions on Go Teach Abroad.

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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Job Site: DoDEA

The DoDEA, Department of Defense Educational Activity, has schools in many countries around the world for children of US servicemen.  Since the US seem to open military bases in more and more countries if you're a US citizen and are a licensed teacher, then you could work in one of these schools.

As with many US government documents, you're going to have to wade through a lot of paperwork, but once you're in the system you just have to wait to get hired. Keep in mind that some people have had to wait years and if you don't update your information at least once a year it will get deleted.

However, despite these, working for the government can have good perks, such as free or heavily discounted education for your own kids. In addition, the DoDEA pays pretty well, they're one of the highest among the 50 states, and the added benefits, such as housing, COLA (cost of living allowance), hardship pay (Korea's considered a difficult place to live in, for example), and flights make the package even better.

Got an idea for a job site?
Email me with your job site, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cool Link: Sticky Ball

Sticky Ball has lots of resources for ESL and EFL teachers: free of course. Here's a list of what you can find:


Got an idea for a cool link?
Email me with your cool link, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Quick Tip: Expose Your Students to Different Accents

People usually consider Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK, and the US to be the 7 countries where English are spoken. While there are others that have English as an official language these 7 countries are what most immigration officers and employers would consider when they are looking for an English teacher.

Therefore you should try to expose your students to different accents as well. With the internet it's easy to find material, such as news or Youtube, that has information in these different accents. Once your students get good enough, you could expose them to different accents within these countries, i.e., a Manchunian accent vs a Glaswegian accent.

This will help your students when they work, study, or travel abroad and are faced with people who speak English differently.  Don't forget to allow them to listen to non-native English speakers. They should also get used to these accents, a German speaking English, for example.

Got an idea for a quick tip?
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Monday, 26 December 2011

Cool Link: Business English Online

Business English Online is part of MacMillan.While they have some items for sale, they also some free materials that you can use in your Business English and ESP classes. If you want the free material, click on "Resources" rather than "More Info".

Got an idea for a cool link?
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Sunday, 25 December 2011

Hot Topic: Two Weeks of Vacation

Teachers work hard year round and look forward to their vacations. ESL and EFL teachers are no exceptions, but things are starting to change.

As more and more teachers work for institutes, those long vacations which used to last at least a month or two are decreasing to as few as two weeks. Those who work in schools or Europe may get longer vacation, but it might not be paid vacation. Universities in Korea still offer good vacations. Some places offer up to 5 months of paid vacation.

While Americans are used to only getting two weeks; Europeans often get at least four weeks. Some people say that it's only fair that ESL and EFL teachers get shorter vacations, but others disagree. After all, teachers often spend time at home grading papers, exams, creating lesson plans, or preparing for class.

What do you think?
Are vacations too short for teachers nowadays?  How long do you get?  Is your vacation paid or unpaid?

Got an idea for a hot topic?
Email me with your hot topic, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Friday, 23 December 2011

Cool Link: Learn English

Learn English is a German website that has been helping ESL and EFL learners and teachers for over 10 years. It's a very simple site with no frills. They've got the normal topics such as conversation, grammar, games, lessons, vocabulary, and quizzes.  They also have some neat sections such as British culture, common mistakes, and dictations.

Got an idea for a cool link?
Email me with your cool link, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Thursday, 22 December 2011

Job Site: Round Square

Round Square is made up of over 80 schools around the world that pride themselves on thinking outside the box. They allow students and teachers to travel between the schools and exchange ideas.

This is a great way to boost your career if you're a teacher since you'll learn about new ideas and cultures. Many of the schools in the association are international schools, while others are local schools. The mix helps promote the differences that the Round Square association acknowledges. 


Got an idea for a job site?
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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Quick Tip: Fluency vs Accuracy

When correcting our EFL or ESL students in class or grading their speaking exams, there are two things to keep in mind: fluency and accuracy.  As native speakers we are fluent in English, though we might not always be accurate.

Fluency refers to speaking like a native speaker.  Accuracy refers to not making mistakes.  Try to integrate both of these into your grading rubrics so that your students can have a better idea of what they need to work on.


Got an idea for a quick tip?
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Sunday, 18 December 2011

Hot Topic: On-Campus Housing for TEFL Jobs

Living on campus near your teaching job can sounds nice since it makes for a super easy commute: walk out the door and you're there.  It saves on rent and transport costs as well.

However, there can be downsides to living so close to work.  Your boss knows your coming and goings and also who you're with and when.  Some people have been given curfews as well. 


What do you think?
Have you lived at work?  Did you enjoy living so close to your job?  Would you acccept a TEFL position if you had to live very close to the school?

Got an idea for a hot topic?
Email me with your hot topic, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Friday, 16 December 2011

Guest Posts

Guest posts allow website owners to expand their readership base and promote their site. For more information please contact Crystal Stemberger, Marketing Director at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (tefltipsblog@gmail.com) and put "Advertising on TEFL Tips" in the subject line. 


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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Job Site: CfBT

CfBT has 40 years experience helping people get the education they deserve.  They're a UK based organisation, but perhaps what's more interesting to teachers is that they place licensed teachers (those that are NQT or have QTS) in school in Abu Dhabi, Brunei and Oman.  You can find these jobs on their International Careers' section. It's not open to Americans, however. 

Since you'd be working at an international school, you'd get lots of perks and benefits that come from working as a licensed teacher abroad. If you're not a licensed teacher and enjoy teaching children aged K-12, then it might be something to look into since it can greatly boost your career. You'll probably have to specialise in primary school or a subject in secondary school, since there aren't too many TEFL teachers at international schools. Here's a list of alternative teaching license routes. Some can be done completely online.

Got an idea for a job site?
Email me with your job site, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Cool Link: E Grammar

Just when you thought you couldn't get enough English grammar, there's another website to help you out.  The great part about this website is that it's aimed towards ESL and EFL students, not teachers.

If your students ask you for extra help, you can point them to E Grammar.  They've got the basic grammar tenses as well as irregular verbs, passive voice, imperative, conditionals, infinitives vs gerunds, is clauses, time clauses, direct and indirect objects, indirect questions, reported speech, and ESL printable worksheets.


Got an idea for a cool link?
Email me with your cool link, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Quick Tip: Use Extensive Reading

Extensive reading seems to be one of the hottest topics in ESL and EFL.  No longer can students expect to read short summaries or easy books. Now they're expected to read longer passages.

Studies have shown that this helps students in a couple ways. Not only do they increase their knowledge of the English language, but it also helps their reading skills in their native language. Sadly, with the internet and technology available at our fingertips, reading has been put on the back burner.

Reading is far better than chatting or watching a movie because reading is an active skill that causes you to use your imagination as well as boosts your vocabulary. There is a lot of information available online about extensive reading, but I've chosen 3 links that I think will help you get started.

Got an idea for a quick tip?
Email me with your quick tip, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Monday, 12 December 2011

Cool Link: The Teachers Net

The Teachers' Net is a very simple site for those teaching young learners or children.  They have 6 sections on the main page: learning tools, educator sites, search tools, safety-copyright web evaluation teacher tools, graphic organisers, and email.  On page 2 they have links to more educator sites.


Got an idea for a cool link?
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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Hot Topic: Slave Wages in TEFL

Unfortunately since it's pretty easy to get a job teaching English these days, employers are at an advantage and can pay teacher very little. With promises of a low cost of living they often lure teachers into working for slave wages.

When you work out how much a TEFL teacher gets per hour and take into account that it's not only teaching, but also lesson planning, and going to meetings, it's often less than you'd get if you'd work at McDonald's. Though, at McDonald's at least you'd get benefits.

Employers complain that the teachers aren't working hard enough, don't show up on time, or don't dress appropriately.  I'm not sure what employers expect: after all, you get what you pay for.

TEFL teachers don't help the problem either by not taking their job seriously. One month intensive TEFL courses are good, but they just provide the basic foundation a teacher needs to teach ESL or EFL. Teachers need to do more. Researching on their own, further study towards a teaching diploma or masters degree, attending conferences, and talking with other teachers.

It's a two way street. If teachers want to get more recognition, higher pay and better benefits, then they need to put more effort into teaching. If employers want serious teachers, then they need to pay them more.

What do you think?
Are salaries way to low in the TEFL industry even when you take cost of living into account?  Or do you think TEFL teachers are getting what they deserve?

Got an idea for a hot topic?
Email me with your hot topic, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Saturday, 10 December 2011

Advertise on TEFL Tips

Years of writing free blogs for English teachers has helped me to develop an solid readership base. TEFL Tips is a PR3 and gets visitors from all over the world. If you have products, services or courses geared towards TEFL and TESL teachers, then please read on and find out how we could work together.

For more information, please contact Crystal Stemberger, Marketing Director at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (tefltipsblog@gmail.com) and put "Advertising on TEFL Tips" in the subject line. 

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Friday, 9 December 2011

Cool Link: Super Teacher Worksheets

Super Teacher Worksheets is dedicated to providing teachers with great worksheets for a variety of subjects. They have ELA - Language Arts, which is useful if you teach ESL or EFL.

They also have core subjects, such as math, reading and writing, phonics (for teaching English to young learners), grammar (which also might be of interest to ESL and EFL teachers), spelling, science and social studies as well as holiday worksheets. Their puzzles and brain teasers are worth checking out no matter what subject you teach.

There's also a teacher helpers section which has teaching tools, award certificates, and sticker charts. Super Teacher Worksheets is incredibly well organised and everything is easy to find, so take a look and see if there's anything you can use in your classroom.


Got an idea for a cool link?
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Thursday, 8 December 2011

Job Site: Search Associates

Search Associates is a great site if you're looking for an international school job. They have information for teachers as well as for schools and recruiters.

They hold international school job fairs that are definitely worth attending if you want to work, teach, or intern at an international school. 

They also have information about graduate programmes in education.  Search Associates has a simple site that's easy to navigate, so there's no excuse for not going there and checking out what they have to offer.

Got an idea for a job site?
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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Poll Results November 2011: What's your favorite part of TEFL Tips?

Question: What's your favourite part of TEFL Tips?
  • Articles: 50% with 3 votes
  • Polls 16% with 1 vote
  • Top 10: 16% with 1 vote
  • Job Site: 16% with 1 vote
  • ESL Educators Blog Carnival: 0%
  • ESL EFL Roadshow: 0%
  • Hot Topic: 0%
  • Cool Link: 0%
  • Quick Tip: 0%

December's poll: Where do you teach? Be sure to vote now!

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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Quick Tip: Encourage Students with Positive Reinforcement

It's very easy to focus on the bad and ignore the good.  However, people are more likely to make progress if you encourage them. 

Learning a language is hard work and the more you encourage your students, the more likely they're going to want to study and that in turn will allow them to make more progress.

Students will want to work on their own and study on their own if you give them encouragement in the classroom. So the next time you're tempted to criticize a student, take a deep breath and say something positive.

Got an idea for a quick tip?
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Monday, 5 December 2011

Cool Link: TEFL dot net

TEFL.net is one of the oldest TEFL websites out there.  Since they're been around for so long, they have lots of materials for teaching ESL and EFL.

They have the usual lesson plans, articles, teaching jobs, links, and activities, but they also offer a TEFL forum, worksheet generator, teacher training information, TEFL blogs, and a whole lot more.  They have so much information on their site, you're bound to spend more time there than you planned.


Got an idea for a cool link?
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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Cool Link: Lesson Planet

Lesson Planet is a search engine for teachers that provides teacher-reviewed online resources, including more than 400,000 online lesson plans and worksheets. You can find teacher-reviewed lessons and worksheets.

It's not free though. However, you can try it free for 10 days before you decide if it's worth it or not. In order to access the free trial, you have to give them your credit card info. You can cancel within the 10 days, but if you don't, you will be charged about $40 per year.


Got an idea for a cool link?
Email me with your cool link, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Friday, 2 December 2011

Job Site: International School Services

If you're looking for a job at an international school, then you should look at International School Services, or ISS.

While there aren't many opportunities for TEFL teachers to work at international schools, you may luck out if you're a qualified teacher back home. If you're not, you might want to look at becoming a one in order to boost your career.

If you are a licensed teacher looking for a job, then you can find lots of information at ISS.  They help teachers find jobs and also offer services to administrators, corporations, and developers.  They also have a section just for students. If international schools are something that you're interested in, then check out International School Services.

Got an idea for a job site?
Email me with your job site, name, and website (if you have one) and I'll post it ASAP.

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Thursday, 1 December 2011

How to Give Workshops for TEFL Teachers

This article has been published on TEFL.net in November 2009. You can read the article here.

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