Thursday, 28 June 2012

Job Site: ESL Base

You can find more than TEFL jobs at ESL Base. They're also got basic TEFL info, teacher training, resources, a forum, language schools, country info, and grammar. Their TEFL job section is great because it's well organised and easy to find what you're looking for.

At the top they have the total number of jobs and then they have a list where you can select the country. Next to each country is the number of jobs available. You can also get free job alerts, read their guide to finding a job, and find out about scams.

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cool Link: Child Fun

If you teach young learners or children, take a look at Child Fun. It's not aimed specifically at ESL or EFL, but they still have lots of material that you can use in your classroom.

They've got holidays, themes, recipes, games, crafts, colouring pages, tips for teaching children, and life in general as well as information for parents and providers.  They've got an active forum available too. Check out their site and see if you can use anything in your classes this week.

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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Quick Tip: Start Saving Money Now

As a TEFL teacher it's easy to forget about saving. Perhaps you get tons of job offers so never have to worry about a job. Maybe you make a decent amount of money compared to the cost of living. Perhaps you do ok, but can live like royalty. Money's become an issue all over the world, even in first world countries, just take a look at We Are the 99%.

No matter what your situation is you should start saving money now. Whether it's for retirement, a rainy day, or an emergency, it's always good to have some money to fall back on.  The best thing to do is create a budget and stick to it. You should start by reading creating a budget to find out more.

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Monday, 25 June 2012

Cool Link: Dave's ESL Cafe Idea Cookbook

You can find lots of ideas for your classes in the idea cookbook at Dave's ESL Cafe. If you go to the submit tab it says that new submissions will be accepted in 2008. Obviously that date is long past so you can safely assume that no more ideas will be added, but that can be good since you won't have to wade through tons of mediocre ideas. The ones in the Idea Cookbook are good.

They've got ideas such as how to teach Business English, discipline, games, grammar, ice breakers, the 4 skills, vocabulary, textbooks, and a whole lot more.  All the ideas are arranged alphabetically so it's easy to see where you left off.

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Hot Topic: Hardship Allowance

Some employers, like the US army offers both a hardship allowance and COLA (cost of living allowance). While most employers involved in education don't offer COLA, some of them offer a hardship allowance.

Hardship allowances are often given to teachers who have to live out in the countryside. Take a university with two campuses, one in the city and one out in the boonies. The one out in the boonies will often give teachers a hardship allowance for having to live so far from the city.

Applying for jobs like this one work to your advantage. First, there are often less applicants so you have a better chance of getting the job. Second, costs of living are often lower. Third, the extra money from the hardship allowance means that you make more. Lastly, since you're so far from the city, there's probably a lot less to do, meaning that you'll save more, unless you go into the city every weekend.

Not all employers offer hardship allowances, so don't just assume that they do. In Korea, many places such as universities and public schools will.

What do you think?
Do you think hardship allowances are fair? Are you getting a hardship allowance?

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Job Site: EduFind

This site has a variety of information such as language courses, English grammar, online tests, software, blogs, videos, and TEFL Jobs. EduFind has jobs arranged by most recent and most applied.

Besides teaching jobs, they also have material development, marketing, admin, manager, director, consultant, and other. On the right, you can see how many jobs there are for each type of position. At the time of writing, there were nearly 3000 jobs for TEFL teachers and handful for the rest. The only problem is that most of the jobs are for Asia, mainly China.

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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Quick Tip: Specialise Your Job Skills

Some people can do many things, but only do them fairly. Others can do one or two things, but they excel at them. It's like being able to say hello in 20 languages vs being fluent in 1. You should try to be the latter.

Pick a couple things, such as curriculum design, giving workshops, material creation and learn how to be the best at these. Then when you start your job search, you can show employers that you have honed your skills and greatly help out their institution in these areas.  Many people can do many things, but few people can do one or two things exceptionally.

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Cool Link: California State University Lesson Plans and Resources

One of the professors at CSU has put together a website for ESL, bilingual, and foreign language teachers.  It's a pretty simple site though it hasn't been updated in a while and if you go to the ESL Lesson Plans and Resources the font gets bigger as you scroll down.

Some of the links are broken as well. Still, you can find info for lesson plans, bilingual education, learning a foreign language, job opportunities, professional associations, and educational standards.

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Hot Topic: Making Friends with the Locals

One way of assimulating to another culture and country is to have friends who aren't just expats.  The problem with this is that friendship may mean different things to different people. In some countries, friendship may be very different than what you're used to as it can mean making connections and owing each other favours. In others it might be closer to what you normally think of when you think of friendship.

I remember one night in China when I went out to eat with my Chinese friends. They had invited me to dinner and throughout the dinner proceeded to quiz me on all things English. They even brought notebooks with questions. By the end of the meal, they had written down the names of all the ingredients, dishes, and useful phrases when going out to eat and I had promised myself never to get into this situation again. Though you could just as easily turn this to your advantage and ask them how to say everything say everything in their language. Use them to get free language lessons.

While many locals are sincere and want to be your friend for who you are, others see you as a walking English dictionary or a free English tutor. I've had people approach me at the store, bank, and on the street saying, "I want to be your friend because my English is poor." Even if you speak the language perfectly, they might still want to practice their English on your. Or will still view you as an outsider no matter how long you've lived in the country. My advice: choose your friends carefully, just like you would if you were back home.

What do you think?
Have you been used as a free English tutor? Do you have many friends that are locals?

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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Job Site: Council of British International Schools

COBIS or the Council of British International Schools is a great site for those who want to work with the British curriculum in an international school. They have information about COBIS and their schools, membership and accreditation, and recruitment for those who want to work in their schools. If you want to work at one of their schools, go to the recruiting tab and you can see current openings. 

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Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Cool Link: Yacapaca

Free for students and teachers, Yacapaca is part of the Chalkface Project. You can create quizzes, surveys, tests, eportfolios, and more for your classes. Yacapaca helps you share assessment, set homework from the comfort of your home, grade automatically, and use tools to analyse what you've done.

When you go to the teacher section you can select your country from a list of about 20 and the curriculum for that country will come up. This is great for those who teach at an international school as they have subjects such as economics, citizenship, design and technology, English, geography, history, math, foreign languages, science, religion and a whole lot more. It's in 7 different languages as well, so your students might be able to access it in their native language. What to know more? Check out their site.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Quick Tip: Advance Your Career

It can be all too easy to get stuck in the groove and never move up the ladder, especially as a TEFL teacher if you move to a different country every couple of years.

The thing to do is work on professional development, whether it be research, working towards a diploma or another degree, or writing articles for professional journals. You could also networking as well.

Even if you do all this, you'll have to have a professional CV. Spend a lot of time on it since it's often the first impression employers have of you.

Do your research as well. Think about what you can do besides TEFLing. For example, you could be a teacher trainer, a DOS, a curriculum writer, and many more. For more ideas see making a career out of TEFL and transitioning out of TEFL.


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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Hot Topic: Stereotypes

Updated 3 November 2014

Stereotypes can run rampant when you live in another country. Check out the Lewis Model, which defines culture according to three categories. Richard Lews is a British linguist and his book, When Cultures Collide, has sold more than a million copies. Definitely worth a read if you're moving overseas.

At first you might defend the locals, but then you might find yourself stereotyping them as well. Don't forget that stereotypes work both ways. People might stereotype TEFL teachers as people who can't get a job back home and just who get paid to speak English.

Remember that you're a guest in a foreign country and as such people will stereotype people from your country the same way they perceive you. If they see many drunk American TEFL teachers, they'll think all Americans behave that way. Likewise, if they see Americans learning their language and taking an interest in their culture and customs, they'll think highly of Americans.

What do you think?
How are TEFL teachers perceived where you live?  Have you had any issues with stereotypes while abroad?

Got an idea for a hot topic?
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Friday, 8 June 2012

Poll Results: May 2012

May's poll was "What TEFL certificate do you have?" Here are the results.
  • CELTA: 10% with 2 votes
  • Trinity: 20% with 4 votes
  • SIT: 0% with 0 votes
  • i-to-i: 20% with 4 votes
  • Oxford Seminars: 10% with 2 votes
  • TEFL International: 10% with 2 votes
  • Other online: 10% with 2 votes
  • Other on-site: 25% with 5 votes
It appears CELTA, Trinity, and SIT only make up 30% of the votes, meaning that people are getting their certs from a variety of sources. Be sure to vote in June's poll: "Do you think online TEFL certs are good?"

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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Job Site: The Chronicle of Higher Education

The Chronicle is a great place to look for a prestigious position.  They have university position, whether it's in administration, teaching, or executive.

They also have positions other than college positions, such as directors of projects, academic bloggers, CEOs, research fellows, and others. You can search by keyword, position, location, or only community colleges. If you're looking for an English teaching position at a university, they have those as well and the qualications required range from just having a BA to having a PhD.

My only compliants are that if you want to choose more than one country, the whole page refreshes; ditto if you want to remove a country from your search. Also, they list all the countries in the world, even if they don't have any job adverts up for that country.

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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Cool Link: My English Printables

It used to be a blog, but now it's a dot com, My English Printable Worksheets has free worksheets for those teaching ESL and EFL. They've got grammar, vocabulary, tests, games, power points, flashcards, other activities, and lessons.

They also have tags and categories on the right so you can easily find what you're looking for. The only issues I have is that the website takes a while to load and you might have to proof-read some of the material since it's written by a non-native speaker.

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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Quick Tip: Use Technology and Multimedia in the Classroom

The days when computers took up a whole room and cost tens of thousands are long gone. Technology is here to stay and since the younger generation can't remember not having computers, ipads, smart phones, laptops, and the like, teachers have to incorporate multimedia and technology in the classroom.

Students have become addicted to technology and can barely get through a class without sneaking a peek at their smart phones. If you want to keep their attention, you have to use technology. There are many ways you can use technology, even cell phones in class.

Try a typical pair activity where each person has different information. Instead of having them next to each other and be tempted to look at the other person's paper, send one of them outside. Have them talk to each other on the phone in order to get the information. It'll ensure they don't cheat (just make sure they don't text) and help them develop their phone skills. Most people will tell you it's a lot easy to speak a foreign language face to face than on the phone, so make them practice speaking on the phone.

Using blogs, wikis, webquests, as well as simply things like power point, are becoming the norm. If you're not up-to-date, try attending a workshop on technology or doing research. The Consulants-E has a variety of courses such as the ICT (validated by Trinity College), mlearning, VLE, E-moderation, web quests, wikis, blogs, podcasts, and eNetworks.

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Monday, 4 June 2012

Cool Link: Purdue OWL

If you haven't heard of the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) then you don't know what you're missing. It's a great resource when teaching writing.

While it's aimed for people with a higher level of English or those in high school and up, there's heaps of info that you could use in your classes if you simply it. They even have a special section for ESL and EFL students. OWL is especially useful when teaching students about citing sources and not plagiarising. It's not only a good resource for students, but fantastic for teachers wanting to get published or doing research.They have general writing tips, research and citation, teacher and tutor resources, subject specific writing, job search writing, English as a Second Language, and exercises.


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Sunday, 3 June 2012

Hot Topic: What People Really Think About TEFL Teachers

Many people think TEFL teachers have a fantastic exotic life. After all, they get to live in a foreign country, where the cost of living is low, and all they have to do is speak English and they get paid for it.

The truth of the matter is that many people, especially employers back home may look down on TEFL teachers precisely because of this. In addition, locals might look down on TEFL teachers since local teachers are often more qualified and have more experience than foreign teachers. Expats with "real jobs" probably don't think too highly of TEFL teachers and some may simply consider them to be little more than dancing white monkeys.

So if you're a TEFL teacher, what can you do? Get qualified, learn a bit of the local language, behave well, stay sober, be responsible and show up on time and plan your lessons. Don't forget about making your skills work for you if you want to get a job back home. Try reading making a career out of TEFL and furthering your education for more info.

What do you think?
How are TEFL teachers perceived where you work?  What do you do to change the negative stereotype of TEFL teachers?

Got an idea for a hot topic?
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Friday, 1 June 2012

Last Minute Jobs

Why you might need a job right away
  • Your job fell through
  • Your visa was rejected
  • You were forced to resign
  • Your school fired you without reason, warning, or notice
  • There's political issues in that country
Advantages to getting a last minute job
  • The good news is that there are jobs available and one of them just might be the fantastic job you've always dreamed of.
  • You can often negotiate. You're not the only one who's desperate Schools are pressured to find a teacher and if you aren't desperate to get the job, you could ask for a higher salary and benefits. If money is an issue, there are grants out there for people who work abroad, such as the Christianson Grant, which offers between $2,500 to $10,000.
How to get a last minute job

  • Network: Any and all jobs use networking. Use your friends, co-workers, and even online sources to help you out. For more information read, using connections to get a great job.
  • Go to conferences: Conferences are a great way to smooze and meet people. Some conference even have a room for interviews.
  • Use recruiters: they often have local contacts with schools that don't hire online. In addition, recruiters usually have a couple of last minute jobs that other teachers have backed out of due to things such as family issues, money, or visa problems.
  • Apply: If you're in need of a job now, then you really can't be picky. Look at adverts and start sending your CV. Beggars can't be choosers and you're no exception. If worse comes to worse, look for a job with a short contract, such as one with six months. This will allow you to have a job and income while looking for another position.
  • Be ready: Many countries require you to have your original degree as well as sealed transcripts. Recommendation letters might be required as well. If you don't have these, start gathering them.
  • Don't be picky: Maybe you wanted a job in a big city, but were offered one in the country. Or you wanted one in China, but were offered one in Japan. Even if it's not exactly what you wanted, you still might want to consider signing a contract. Things don't also goes as planned, but they often turn out better than you thought they would.

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