Friday 28 February 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Cambodia

Here's the information for Cambodia for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers.  

I only know of one good employer. If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at

  1. ACE / IDP: It's the owner of IELTS and has branches all over the world. Good management, salary, and opportunities to do IETLS exams. 


Monday 24 February 2014

Dogme in TEFL

English Language Teaching has seen a variety of methods over the years, from quirky, to normal, and even downright odd. There's been translation, the Silent Method, PPP (Present, Practice, Produce) Communicative Language Teaching, and more; TEFL is constantly evolving. What was once new and in-fashion quickly becomes passe.

Dogme is a branch of Communicate Language Teacher and has become a word that's being thrown around more and more these days. It was started by Scott Thornbury and has ten principals.
  • Interactivity
  • Engagement
  • Dialogic processes
  • Scaffolded conversations
  • Emergence
  • Affordance
  • Voice
  • Empowerment
  • Relevance
  • Critical use
Dogme focuses on having the students speak and use the language. It wants students to be able to function in the language. Secondly, dogme teachers tend to shun books and materials created by teachers and try to use materials created by the students. This can be great, but it can also easily backfire. Lastly, they believe that the language should come about naturally through the activites and with the teacher's help. Dogme also tries to use some technology in the classroom, in particular web 2.0.

Of course, not every method is perfect. Many people criticise dogme due to the fact that teachers don't use books that much or at all. While I understand that teachers know their students better than the textbook writers, I still believe textbooks have their place in the classroom. They are a good foundation that teachers can build upon and adapt to their students' needs. In addition, textbooks are useful markers when showing other teachers where their students are and what they've learned. Especially if another teacher needs to take over your class. lastly, the majority of us are teachers, not textbook writers.

If you want to find out more information about dogme, check out the links below.


Thursday 20 February 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Brunei

Updated 15 May 2014

Here's the information for Brunei for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. There are restrictions as far as nationalities go. I've been told that it's practically impossible to get teaching jobs there. You might also want to look at The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers. If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at

Brunei's Changing
Brunei has just passed Sharia law as of April 2014. Here's a post discussing it.The NY Times also recently wrote about the hypocritical, sex obsessed sultan family. While it's not Saudi, freedom is starting to become limited for people living there.

Teaching Jobs
There are opportunities to teach in public schools in Brunei. You have to be from one of six countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, or the UK. You will also need to have a valid license and drive.

Salaries are tax free from B$42,000-B$77,000. Contracts are 18-24 months with the opportunities to renew for up to 2 years. There is free or heavily subsidized housing provided. If you have children there is heavily subsidized private education for up to 2 children (3 if you're a teaching couple). There are also allowances for your spouse and 2 children until primary school. You will get Malay language lessons, an interest-free car loan, and a settlement allowance of B$500-B$1,500.

You will have to have some type of teaching background for example a PGCE, B.Ed, DipT, etc. as well as 3 years teaching experience. You will also have to be under the age of 55.

Schools are closed on Fridays and Sundays, so you will have to work on Saturdays. There are four quarters per year and each lasts about 10-11 weeks. You will have about 10 days off between quarters. The school year has 200 days. CfBT and Teach Away Inc place teachers in public schools in Brunei. Teach Away also has an online TEFL cert from the University of Toronto.


Monday 17 February 2014

Teaching Adult Students Who Can't Read Latin Script

Many students learning English have to first learn how to read Latin script before they can even begin. For children, this is easier than adults. Students who come from countries, such as China, Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Russia all have different alphabets. On Dave's ESL Cafe, posters had a couple of suggestions for teachers teaching these types of students. You might also try learning their language so you know what they're going through.

Fluffyhamster says that you should try to use pictures in Powerpoint presentations or use realia when possible.  Although nowadays teachers don't like drilling, in cases where students are unable to read, drilling does work. That doesn't mean that your whole class has to be composed of drilling, games work as well. TPR may work depending on your students. Many students usually are able to read, listen, write, and speak English in that order when they're student ESL or EFL. However, students who can't read often listen and speak first. Since you're dealing with students who can't read, you should try teaching them phonics as well as penmanship. Again, although not looked upon positively nowadays, having a teacher centred classroom might work better than pair or group work. It depends on your students though. Lastly, remember to smile. Smiling works wonders.

Fluffyhamster goes on to say that you're going to have issues finding English-English materials for adult students who can't read, so you might have to create your own. Mnemonic are useful as well. English speakers learning Japanese often use mnemonics, so you should be able to use them for students learning English as well. Here are some examples at this post

Fluffyhamster suggests Joanne Kenworthy's Teaching English Pronunciation (Longman 1995) chapter 5 has a good guide about English sounds and spellings that might be able to help your students out.  COBUILD English Guides 8: Spelling has lots frequent words containing particular phonemes in initial, medial or final position. The Oxford Learner's Pocket Dictionary also has good information in the "Help with spelling and pronunciation" section. If you're looking to do a bit of research, try reading Diane McGuinness' Why Children Can't Read or Early Reading Instruction. The ERIC website might also have other resources. (Make sure you check the box for Full-Text Availability - Show only results with free full text directly from ERIC' that is immediately below the Search for fields on the Advanced Search page.)

Fluffyhamster says that you might want to also try these resources (most of them are free): Phonics Activites for Reading Success, Adult Literacy, Tips for Teaching Phonics, Literacy by Pearson Longman, HCT's Reading and Phonics, Teaching English Spelling, and Ideas for learning spelling.

Rp suggests reading the book Best Practices in Literacy Instruction, by Gambrell, Morrow and Pressley. 

Eric18 says that personalised tutoring, often with picture dictionaries and workbooks, can be effective. He also says that the American Library Association on adult literacy has lots of good info.

Neilpollick adapted a set of books designed for English speaking toddlers. He added some pages about grammar and then had some of the teachers record the books to MP3s. By doing this, the students could practice outside of class, similar to books on tap. He also said that Headway is good since it uses lots of pictures. 

ESL About has some good links as well. 


Saturday 15 February 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Libya

Updated 14 November 2014

Here's the information for Libya for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers.  

Most TEFL jobs in Libya are on rotation, meaning that you work for a month and you get a month off. They'll also usually for single status, so you can't take your family. Salary and benefits are good and employers usually pay for flights. Libya has had a number of problems lately. Here's an update on what's going on. Here's some more information about living and working in Libya.

If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at
  1. Sirte Oil: £3100 a month, housing, food, 6 flights a year. One month on and one off. 
  2. SRS Bureau / Smart Specialists Recruitment 
  3. United Training Group / Afaq UTG
  4. Wood Group North Sea: € 240 a day. One month on and one off. Employer pays for flights and lots of benefits.


Friday 14 February 2014

Bloom's Taxonomy

From wikipedia
Bloom's Taxonomy talks about learning objectives. While not a learning style, it shows steps necessary to have complete understanding of a topic, with rote memory at the top. Colorado State has examples of questions for each of these levels. You might also enjoy reading Dale's Cone, and the Learning Pyramid.

Most people think of Bloom's Taxonomy as a pyramid, but the original one used something similar to a rose. 

Like most things in education, there are criticisms of his taxonomy. You will have to read more about it and judge for yourself. NW Link and Wikipedia are good places to start. Regardless it is interesting to see how you might be able to use it in your classes.


Wednesday 12 February 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Equatorial Guinea

Here's the information for Equatorial Guinea for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers.  

Most TEFL jobs here are on rotation, meaning that you work for a month and you get a month off. They'll also usually for single status, so you can't take your family. Salary and benefits are good and employers usually pay for flights. 

If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at
  1. Fluor Industrial Services: You'll be on rotation. Employer pays for flights and lots of benefits.
  2. Wood Group: €240 a day. One month on and one off. Employer pays for flights and lots of benefits.


Tuesday 11 February 2014

Hot Topic: Socialising With Teachers Outside of Work

When teaching in a foreign country many times the first foreigners you meet will be those you work with. It seems natural to hang out together. After all, you're all foreigners in a  country where you might not know the local language, culture, or customs.

Mixing business with pleasure has its pros and cons. I'm not talking about dating co-workers, that's a whole different topic, I'm simply talking about hanging out, shopping, going to pubs, etc. Not dating.

Now that I got that out of the way, you have to realise that TEFL is a small world. What you say outside of work can easily come and bite you in the butt. TEFL teachers often ask what some people would be considered not politically correct questions, such as how much rent you're paying or what you charge for private classes. That's all fine and good, and most people don't have a problem with these questions.

However, you can run into problems if you're complaining about a work situation, such as a boss, student, other teachers, or admin. You also might want to be careful if you're teaching somewhere else or teaching private classes, since that might be illegal.

Hands down, I've met some great people at work and have kept in touch with them over the years. At the beginning you always have to be wary though and be careful about what you say. You may think there's no harm complaining a bit, but if you find out the person you're complaining to is best friends with the person you're complaining about, you could easily land yourself in hot water. Likewise you don't want to end up drunk and acting like a fool in front of co-workers. Or worse, hitting on them.

Have fun, but just keep in mind that word gets around fast in the TEFL community.


Monday 10 February 2014

The Best TEFL Jobs in Chad

Here's the information for Chad for The Best TEFL Jobs in the World. You might also want to look at The Best TEFL Jobs With Worldwide Employers.  

Chad doesn't have a lot of TEFL jobs. I only know of one good employer. If you know of any other good ones, please let me know by emailing me at
  1. TPL: They offer $75,000 and up as well as great benefits.


Friday 7 February 2014

Poll Results January 2014: Which is most important?

January's poll was "Which is most important?" Here are the results.
  • Money: 30% with 3 votes
  • Prestige: 10% with 1 vote
  • Lifestyle: 60% with 6 votes
I was a bit surprised that more people didn't choose money, but I guess money can't buy happiness. I know in Korea the salaries have stayed pretty much the same for years and years and cost of living has gone up, yet people stay! There are a lot of nice perks to living abroad, such as longer vacations, the ability to save, and being able to learn a foreign language.

Be sure to vote in this month's poll: "What's the average number of students you have per class?"


How to Use Songs in Your EFL Classes

More likely than not your students will like songs, so why not use them to teach English? Here are a couple ways to use songs in your ESL and EFL classes. You can find more idea here.

Gap Fill
A common activity is to take out words and have students listen and fill in the gap.

I know, I know. Many teachers are against translation. However, it can be a useful tool and it will allow your students to understand the lyrics.

Invent Lyrics
Find songs without words or ones that have words in a foreign language that they don't know. Then have them invent the lyrics. As an added bonus, see if your students will sing them.

Idioms and Slang
Students always want to learn real English, the English they hear on tv, at the movies, or in songs. So here's your chance to explain it to them. Just be sure to look over the lyrics very carefully beforehand and see if they're appropriate. A good activity to use with idioms and slang is matching.

Rhyming Words / Pronunciation
Many songs use words that rhyme. This is especially useful if the spelling is different, but they still rhyme. It's easy to see that words like "cat" and "hat" rhyme. However, it's more difficult to see that "mac" and "coming back" rhyme. You can tie in lessons with spelling and pronunciation.

There are two ways I like to use synonyms in class. The first is pretty straight forward; students have to think of another word to explain a word I choose (usually in bold). The second is a bit more challenging. You can take out words, similar to a gap fill, and have students guess what could go in the blank. You'll have to find a song that students don't know in order for this to work. It's fun to compare what students have chosen to put in the blanks.

You can order the stanzas, sentences within the stanzas, or words within the sentence. Again, it works best with songs that students don't know. When I have students order stanzas, I cut the song into strips. For ordering sentences or words within sentences, I put the mixed up sentences / words on one paper.

Ok, songs might not have the best grammar out there, but there are some good ones for teaching tenses.  Take a look at these to get some ideas: ESL HQ and TEFL dot net and TEFL tunes. Looking for more tips on teaching grammar? Check out this article I wrote about grammar.

Discussion topics
There are many things that you could use songs to talk about. Things like money, customs, culture, education, fashion, history, relationships, politics, and science are just a couple of ideas.  TEFL tunes has a good list.


Saturday 1 February 2014

Self Employment Visas

Updated 12 November 2014

If you'd like to be your own boss then getting a self-employment visa might be the best option for you. There are a number of good guides out there about how to become self-employed. Below you can find some countries that have easy self-employment visas. 30 Days to Move Abroad has some good tips that will help make your move go smoothly.

You might also be interested in retirement visas. Many of them don't have age limits either, but rather ask for proof of funds.

Denmark has a green card programme available for those who fulfill the requirements. If you're current self-employed and make enough money you can apply.

Germany also allows non-EU passport holders to get freelance visas. However, they require that you have German-approved health insurance (you can find info on Toy Town Germany as well as How to Germany, and there's more info at the bottom of this page) as well as at least two offers of freelance employment. and enough money in the bank to support yourself. It also helps if you speak German a little bit to help you deal with the people at the immigration and tax offices. The book Painlessly Relocate to Germany also has some good tips.

Japan has self sponsored visas. Here's more information about self sponsorship and  the requirements. You will have to be in Japan in order to apply for this visa.

Mexico has FM3s. Rules have changed though. Now you can't get this visa unless you already have another visa, such as a work or marriage one. Here's what Guy Courchesne has to say. Basically, you need your passport, about 2000 pesos, a degree, the application, and a letter written in Spanish outlining what you plan to do and why you are qualified to do it. If you have a TEFL cert that will probably help your application. Speaking Spanish will make the application process a lot easier. After you get the independent FM3 visa you'll need to get a tax number to be able to write up receipts for students or companies if you plan to go that route.

Paraguay allows you to become a permanent resident quite easily. You'll need a criminal background check and your birth certificate apostillised. Then you submit them to the nearest Paraguayan embassy or consulate. Finally you go to Paraguay and start the process. You have to deposit $5000 into a Paraguayan bank and wait a few months. The total time start to finish is about 1 year. 3 years after you get permanent residency you can apply for citizenship. You don't lose the $5000. You can withdraw it once you prove solvency to the government. International Man has more info.

Singapore has been voted one of the best places to start your own business. Find out more in this article

Switzerland allows those from EU countries to get a self-employment visa or an independent visa. If you're not from the EU, then you can get an investor visa.

In the United Kingdom you used to be able to go the HSMW visa.
Edit: the HSMW programme has been stopped. I've kept the info up for reference. The Highly Skilled Migrant Worker Programme (Tier 1)gives points based on age, experience, education, etc. Here's how to apply. This is the main UK immigration website.

More Information
You might try taking a look at the following articles for more information about becoming self-employed.


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