January 11, 2009

Surveys - Paying for Online Teaching Resources

Hello Readers,

While there are many free online teaching resources available, some publishing houses and other online companies are starting to charge for higher quality teaching resources. Macmillan's onestop website, for example, ...

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July 26, 2008

Surveys - Have you ever used an electronic whiteboard?

Hi Readers,

One of the newer pieces of technology coming in to the ESL classroom is the electronic whiteboard. At many schools, this is becoming as common as the cassette recorders. Of course, there are plenty of other schools ...

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June 30, 2008

Surveys- How many hours a week do you teach?

Hello Readers,

I'm curious to know how many hours a week you teach on average. While many university contracts include a maximum of 10-12 hours of teaching per week, quite a few private language schools ...

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May 19, 2008

Surveys - Your number one EFL book

Hello Readers,

For this month's survey, I'm interested in finding out more about the materials you use. I'm curious to find out which book you rate highest; if you could only take one book with you, what would it be? Is there one book you just can't live without?

To take the poll, ...

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April 07, 2008

Surveys- Class material

Hello Readers,

There are plenty of books, magazines, and websites that offer lesson plans for ELT teachers, but do you use them or do you write your own?

This month's survey ...

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February 18, 2008

Surveys- Is your boss a bully?

Hello Readers,

I recently read an article about bullies in the workplace which reported that 1 in 6 people surveyed had been bullied by someone at work. While some countries have laws protecting employees against verbal or physical abuse, few people who get stuck in such a situation know what to do.

According to the following website http://www.bullyingbusiness.com/html/tell_tale_signs.html, these are the tell-tale signs of a bully:

Shouting and Swearing
Instantaneous rages over trivial matters
Punishments dispensed out of the blue
Ignoring other people's ...

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December 17, 2007

Surveys- Pension plans

Hello Readers,

While you may be earning a decent salary from your work in the ELT field, have you thought about saving for your future? Does your company offer a pension plan? Do you contribute to it? Have you started your own?

If you're interested ...

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November 04, 2007

Surveys- Which English do you teach?

Hello Readers,

In a recent talk given by David Crystal, it was estimated that there are currently approximately 1.5 -2 billion English speakers in the world, which is 1/4- 1/3 of the world's population. Perhaps not surprisingly, only 350-475 million English speakers use English as their first language. Of course, ...

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October 01, 2007

Surveys- When did you start teaching ESL?

Hello Readers,

There tends to be three types of ESL teachers- those who start teaching right after university, those who start after getting fed up with their jobs back home and those who do so after retiring. Which one are you? To place your vote...

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August 24, 2007

Surveys- Using Computers

Hello Readers,

While there are plenty of classrooms that are now equipped with computers, I wonder how often teachers actually take advantage of this technology. Examples of using computers in the classroom might be using power point to present your lesson, taking students to the computer lab to work through online exercises, or ...

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July 23, 2007

Surveys- Class Preparation Time

Hello Readers,

I recently received an email from a fairly new ESL teacher who felt like she was spending too much time preparing for her classes. She thought it would be interesting to find out how much time most teachers typically spend on preparing for a (one-hour) class...

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June 18, 2007

Surveys- Does Communicative Language Teaching Work with Chinese Students?

Hello Readers,

There's been a lot of debate about whether Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) can actually work in countries, like China, where students are used to a much more traditional grammar-translation method. On one hand, it has been said that "learners' beliefs about the kind of instruction that is best can influence their satisfaction and success," which seems to imply that CLT would not work. On the other hand, it has also been noted that many students who learn English with the grammar translation method (GTM) are too concerned about making mistakes and that few are able to speak freely, which seems to imply that the GTM does not work well either.

CLT is concerned with the "communication of meaning in interaction" and emphasizes the importance of the functions and purposes of a language rather than the "practice and manipulation of grammatical forms in isolation".

GTM is concerned with the explicit teaching of grammar rules and the use of translation exercises, and does not generally prepare students for spontaneous speech.

So, this month's survey question is...

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May 11, 2007

Surveys- Do your students want to be studying English?

Hello Readers,

In the ideal world, ESL students are highly motivated individuals who enjoy learning English, need it to function in life, and genuinely want to be in your classroom. Many textbooks assume this to be the case, as do many teachers when they create their lesson plans. It seems reasonable to think that students would only pay for English lessons if they really wanted them. Unfortunately...

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April 13, 2007

Surveys- Motivation

Hello Readers,

Have you ever taught a group of students who were only in your class because their parents made them take the course? Have you ever tried to motivate students, but failed? Have you successfully figured out a way to motivate the unmotivated ones in your class?

Depending on your experiences, you might have a different idea ...

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March 12, 2007

Surveys- Does your school have regular teacher meetings?

Hello Readers,

When managers get together with their teachers for a regular meeting, it can simply be a time to go over new rules and regulations, or to remind staff about such things as their old dress code policies. But it can also be a time for teachers to voice their opinions about their teaching situations, for teachers to discuss issues with each other and for teachers to get some training in different areas. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen.

So, this month's survey question is...

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February 09, 2007

Surveys- Should we test Young Learenrs?

Hello Readers,

If you've ever taught young learners ESL, you may have come across this week's question already: should young learners be tested on their ability to speak English?

There are arguments both for and against testing young learners' ability to speak English.

Reasons for testing might include:
* some parents expect a score (based on a test)
* the school might require a score
* teachers can use the results to alter their syllabus and/or place students
* the students might be motivated by an appropriate test at their level
* tests can be part of the learning process

Reasons for not testing...

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January 08, 2007

Surveys- Choosing Your Own Approach

Hello Readers,

For those of you who have done training with the British Council or other TEFL organizations, it's likely that you were taught to utilize the PPP (Presentation, Practice and Production) model, which, along with Task-based Learning (TBL) is an example of the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach.

Another approach is the Humanistic approach, which include Suggestopedia, The Silent Way, Community Language Learning, and Total Physical Response (TPR).

In light of the fact that there are so many different approaches, methodologies and models out there,...

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December 04, 2006

Surveys- English Only Classrooms

Hello Readers,

There's a hot debate going on among many ESL teachers, and that is whether we should allow the students or ourselves to speak their mother tongue in the classroom. What's your experience? Do you allow other languages to be used in your classroom...

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November 03, 2006

Surveys- Years of ESL Teaching Experience

Hello Readers,

As you know, this website is made for both novice and experienced teachers, certified and non-certified. I am curious to see how many years of teaching experience you all have, so that I can suit your needs better. If you have a minute or two, please go to...

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September 30, 2006

Surveys- Where Would You Prefer To Teach?

Hello Readers,

Every month, I try to write at least one entry about a dream teaching location. In order to provide you with information about cities that would be useful for you, I've set up a survey over on www.eslemployment.com. In order to take part in this survey, please go to...

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August 20, 2006

Surveys- Which level do you prefer to teach?

Hello readers!

I've been talking with some of my ESL teaching friends recently about our prerferences for teaching and, surprisingly, our answers varied quite a bit. If you have the time, take this poll and let us know what your preferences are. If you have a little more time, it'd also be great to hear if you are experienced or not, qualified or not, and if you're experienced or not.

To take part in the poll, please go to...

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July 20, 2006

Surveys- TEFL Certification

Dear Readers,

Because of the many emails I've received about TEFL certification, I thought it'd be interesting to find out what kind of certificates you have, if any.

Please take a moment to answer the following question:

What kind of TEFL certificate do you hold?

In order to any this question...

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May 11, 2006

ESL Surveys - Problems With Bad Employers

"Bad Bosses."

Hi Readers,

In advance of a future blog entry, I wanted to cast the net out for comments and stories about problems with employers.

It’s a fact that ESL can be a precarious business and there are plenty unscrupulous employers out there. What are your personal experiences?

Please take a moment to answer one or all of these survey questions:

1) Have you ever had an ESL employer refuse to pay you?
2) What do (would) you do if an ESL employer refused to pay you?
3) Have you ever clashed with an ESL employer over conditions or timetables?
4) Do you know how to find out if an ESL school is reputable?

To answer these questions . . .

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March 17, 2006

ESL Surveys - How Often Do You Use Films in the Classroom?

Hi there!

Thanks for all of your great comments about film in the classroom! Many of you have shared some great activities and ideas - Keep'em coming!

If your students are anything like mine, they probably love cinema and all have their favorite movies and movie stars. I have found that using film in the ESL classroom can be an enjoyable and useful experience. Take our poll and tell us about how you use films in your classes . . .

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December 19, 2005

ESL Surveys - Teaching Prerequisites

"What office is there which involves more responsibility, which requires more qualifications, and which ought, therefore, to be more honorable, than that of teaching?" ~Harriet Martineau

Blog folk,

ESL qualification prerequisites anyone?

There's a lot of talk going on now on the ESL-School blog and in the various ESL-Job-Forums out there about what kind of academic degrees you might (or might not) need to qualify for employment at a respectable ESL school abroad (or, just get legal working papers) . . .

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