February 08, 2009

Twigglethicket

If you are learning English American-style, you are likely to run into words like this.

This particular word just came to me but....

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January 28, 2009

Keeping inTouch

Being in a foreign place and far from friends and family can be stressful enough without a worldwide financial implosion impacting everything from job security, the price and availability of food and of course, personal safety and security. What to do?

I don't think I'm alone if ...

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December 30, 2008

Q and A - Multilingual Beginner Classes

Hi Readers,

This month's question is about what to teach in a multilingual beginner lesson. Thank, Emeka, for sending in the question!

Hi Carol, I am very much impressed at the way you bring solutions to issues. Please can you help me provide an answer to this question, "what would you teach in the first 45 minute lesson with ...

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December 06, 2008

Q and A - Teaching Classes via the Internet or the Phone

Hello Readers,

This month's question is about teaching classes through the Internet or the telephone and comes from Niki. Thanks, Niki for sending in this question!

Dear Carol,

I've just thought up of a service and it's teaching conversational English via phone and the net. I find that lots of people are getting tired of commuting to their lessons so a service like this is assisting.

I'm getting great feedback and although I'm a qualified teacher,...

Continue reading "Q and A - Teaching Classes via the Internet or the Phone"

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October 12, 2008

Q & A - Teaching in Chengdu, China

Hello Readers,

This month's question is from Denise, who is inquiring about finding a teaching position in Chengdu, China. Thanks, Denise, for sending in the question!

Dear Carol: I read your article about teaching ESL in Chengdu and would like to know more information about finding such a position. I'm interested in teaching in a university or public school in or near Chengdu.

Thanks,

Denise

************************

Dear Denise ...

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August 09, 2008

Q & A - Teaching small Business English classes

Hello Readers,

If you've ever taught small classes, Business English or otherwise, you might have encountered a similar problem as this one:

Dear ESL Lesson Plan,

I have a small Business English class that is particularly difficult to plan for (two young women & their older boss who is one of the CEO's of their company). There is one young woman who comes regularly but the other two students are inconsistent. There are activities that I want to do with the students, but...

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July 19, 2008

Q and A - Evaluating students

Hello Readers,

This month's question is coming from Heather, a teacher who is teaching Korean students over the Internet.

Dear Carol:

One of the things I am supposed to do is to evaluate the performance of the student at the end of the lesson. I have a difficult time with this and so I have been trying to find some key phrases and words which I can compile into a list. My goal is to be able to have words and phrases encompassing the different problems associated with pronunciation and intonation that I may see which I can draw from quickly as I attempt to give them a helpful evaluation.

Unfortunately, ...

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Posted by crueckert at 06:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2008

Q and A - Getting a job in China

Hello readers,

This month's question is from Dan and is about getting a job in China.

Ms Rueckert,

I read your articles on the Internet and was impressed with your experience in China. My wife and I are drawing near retirement (early next year) and are looking for meaningful ways to continue to make contributions to Education. I have a BSEd, a MA in Psychology, and a MS in Logistics. My wife has a BA in Psychology and a MSEd. We both have 10 years plus of College Faculty and Administration experience now.

I know you are a busy lady, but could you possibly refer us to sites, companies, or agencies that could give us information about teaching in China?

Dan

Answer: ...

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May 12, 2008

Q and A - Do I have to make them laugh all the time?

Hello Readers,

This month's question comes from Grant, who is teaching in Guangdong Province in China.

Hello Mrs Rueckert! I'am an ESL teacher in Guangdong, China. I have been teaching for a year and a half. I'm an American. It seems here in China, if you don't make them laugh all the time, they don't seem interested in learning English. I've studied two languages and when I did, I was taught what the teacher gave me, interesting or not. I'm also 59 years old. Please give me some advice. Thank you.

Continue reading for the answer to this month's question ...

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March 30, 2008

Q and A -Scrapbook Project

Hello Readers,

This month's question is from Walter.

Hi Carol,
I was surfing the internet for ideas for my ESL beginners class. This is the first time I teach a basic course for adults, and their first bimester will end in a few days. I want to put together a project so that they can be creative and apply all the vocabulary they learned over the last two months. At first I was thinking about a scrapbook, ...

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February 09, 2008

Q and A- Sample Needs Analysis

Dear Readers,

This month we have another question that might be of interest to you. This one is from Rashad ...

Question:
Hi Carol,

I've enjoyed reading your Blog - the information I have found there have been invaluable to me. I am a Masters student in TEFL and my current assignment is to develop a needs analysis. I have read the information you have available and it was, as usual, very helpful. But I am still a little confused. I think I really need to see an actual completed needs analysis to really cement the concept in my mind.

Do you happen to have ...

Continue reading "Q and A- Sample Needs Analysis"

Posted by crueckert at 08:26 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 04, 2008

Q and A - Textbook writing projects

Hello Readers,

This week, we have a question from Ray, about writing a textbook. He writes:

I want to write an ESL text book for elementary and junior high schools in rural Liberia, West Africa, but I have no idea how to begin writing the project. Can you ...

Continue reading "Q and A - Textbook writing projects"

Posted by crueckert at 04:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 02, 2008

Q and A- Books for the first few weeks of teaching

Hello Readers,

I hope that you enjoyed your holidays and that you are equally enjoying yourself back at work. As some of you will be soon starting a new contract this semester, this month's question deals with just that. Thanks, Paul, for writing in!

Question:
I have just been offered a contract with a small Chinese University/College for the next semester. I have three relevant qualifications (PGCE and MA in teaching English as another language plus the CELTA) but, perhaps oddly, very little experience of ELT.

I imagine myself being plonked in front of my first class of 50 students, still suffering from jetlag, in an institution that has little in the way of teaching materials. What survival tips ...

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November 07, 2007

Q and A: What if my school goes under?

Hello Readers,

If you haven't already read about the hundreds of EFL teachers who have been left jobless in Japan, then go to the following story about it now: http://education.guardian.co.uk/tefl/story/0,,2201190,00.html.

In relation to this story, this month's question is from Sarah. She asks:

Dear ESL Lesson Plan,

I've been working as an EFL teacher in Japan for over a year now. Up until this month, I had no problems with them whatsoever. However, last month's pay is now a couple of days late ...

Continue reading "Q and A: What if my school goes under?"

Posted by crueckert at 08:56 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 04, 2007

Q and A- Icebreakers

Hello Readers,

This week's question comes from Catherine in Australia:

Dear Carol,

After a few years in the writing field, I'm finally back teaching next Monday. I'm sure I'll find the whole classroom energy thing a bit tiring. I'm rusty as I always am when I go back into a classroom. Got some good ideas for icebreakers for me????

Dear Catherine,

It might take some time to get back into the swing of things, but in the meantime, here are a few suggestions...

Continue reading "Q and A- Icebreakers"

Posted by crueckert at 06:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 29, 2007

Q and A- Different Age Groups and Levels

Hello readers,

This month, we have a question about teaching different levels and age groups. Thanks, Alex, for sending in the question!

Question:

I don't have any teaching experience and was wondering what type of position you think is best for someone to start out with? I mean should I seek a position teaching beginner, intermediate, or advanced level? I do like children but...

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Posted by crueckert at 04:56 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 27, 2007

Q and A- Large and Small Classes

Hello Readers,

This month we have an interesting question from Mr. Lim about teaching both large and small classes. Here it is:

I would be very grateful for your kind assistance and direction as to where
I can obtain some materials on the management of large and small classes as
well as managing a class of new students on day one.
Your kind advice and help would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to
your advice.

Kind regards and thank you.

William Lim

Continue reading for an answer...

Continue reading "Q and A- Large and Small Classes"

Posted by crueckert at 07:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2007

Q and A- Teaching Certificates

Hello Readers,

This month's question comes from someone looking into which TEFL certificate to obtain for teaching abroad. Thanks, John, for sending in your question!

Dear Ms. Rueckert,

I have been looking into teaching ESL overseas for about a year now and it seems that there is a great deal of conflict in the information available. I am hoping that you can provide some insight.

I am a single, 50 year old with a B.A. in Psych and Soc, two years teaching in the inner city (not a certified teacher) and five years experience living overseas while in the Air Force.

Would you be so kind as to ...

Continue reading "Q and A- Teaching Certificates"

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May 13, 2007

Q and A- Teaching Conversational English

Dear Readers,

This month, we have an interesting question from Zaida about teaching conversation English classes.

Question:

Hi! I'm not a native English speaker. I'm working as a part time English conversation teacher. I would like to get some ideas and tips on how to teach conversation effectively. We are using a textbook, repeat and follow what's in the book, using the dialogs in the books for actual conversations. How can I ...

Continue reading "Q and A- Teaching Conversational English"

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April 16, 2007

Q and A- Business English Textbook Recommendations

Hello Readers,

This month's question is from Magdelena:

Dear ESL Lesson Plan,

I was very interested in your answer to Samantha about teaching Business English a while ago. However, I would like to know if you could ...

Continue reading "Q and A- Business English Textbook Recommendations"

Posted by crueckert at 04:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 16, 2007

Q and A- Grammar Insecurities

Hello Readers,

This month's question is from the ESL Employment's forum over on www.eslemployment.com. The question is:

...I have been teaching for 4 months and loving it, but I find that I am having some trouble with a few students as I sometimes do not have all the answers or cannot clarify all grammar questions on the spot. I actually have a student who seems to have made it his mission to point out all my mistakes by ...

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Posted by crueckert at 06:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 11, 2007

Q and A- Do I need to have a Business Background?

Hello Readers,

This month, we have a question about teaching Business English from Samantha.

"I've recently been asked by my school to teach Business English to a group of students who work for a well-known company. At this point, I don't know what their specifics job titles are or what their level of English is like. I like to try new things and would like to gain some experience in teaching Business English...

Continue reading "Q and A- Do I need to have a Business Background?"

Posted by crueckert at 09:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 12, 2007

Q and A- Starting an MA course

Dear readers,

This month's question comes from Mwanyimi, a reader of ESL Lesson Plan. Thanks for sending it in! Hopefully the answer will help others who are thinking about embarking on a similar adventure. The question is:

"I would like to enroll in an MA course in ESL ...

Continue reading "Q and A- Starting an MA course"

Posted by crueckert at 05:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 08, 2006

Q and A: Can I take my pet abroad?

Hello Readers,

For many ESL teachers, moving from country to country is a part of life. While there is plenty of information out there about culture shock, learning a new language, and figuring out how to stay in touch with friends and families, there isn't much about what to do with your beloved pets. This week's question comes from an up and coming ESL teacher named Katie. To read the full question and answer, continue reading...

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November 06, 2006

Q & A- Will I have to face discrimination issues?

Hello Readers,

As we are becoming more and more of a global community, cities are increasingly becoming more international, with people from different countries, speaking different languages, and honoring different traditions. Along with this trend, it would seem to make sense that people are becoming less discriminatory and more tolerant of differences. But is that the case?

This week, we'll take a look at a question from Ty, an Apache and Comanche American who grew up in Asia and would like to go back there to teach. What kind of discrimination will he face? For the full question and answer, continue reading...

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Posted by crueckert at 06:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 04, 2006

Q and A- Working in Europe

Hello Readers!

As ESL teachers, we've all probably romanticized about working in beautiful cities like Barcelona, Venice, or Paris. But have you ever done any research on work visas? I know that when I looked into working in Spain, I was in for a shock.

To read more about this month's question relating work visas and working abroad in Europe, please continue reading the following question...

Continue reading "Q and A- Working in Europe"

Posted by crueckert at 03:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 24, 2006

Q and A- Is China is a safe place to work?

Hello Readers,

I've noticed that there have been some posts about the safety of working in foreign countries on a few of the websites that I frequent. Though the question below is related to China directly, I think it's a good example of how no matter what country you decide to move to, you are responsible for doing research about the place where you will be living.

Here's a question from Jason.

Hello Everyone,

My friend sent me this link a to a news article on the Associated Press's website. It scares me to think I am
going to take a TEFL course and teach in China when so many English teachers are complaining about...

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Posted by crueckert at 07:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 03, 2006

Q & A- Are online TEFL certificates legit?

Hello Readers!

There's a lot of talk about TEFL certificates on the eslemployment forum (www.eslemployment.com). Here's one question that I'm sure is on some of your minds, sent in by "ljs9":

I've been looking into online TEFL/TESL certificates and accreditation...

Continue reading "Q & A- Are online TEFL certificates legit?"

Posted by crueckert at 06:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

May 14, 2006

Q & A - Which Accreditation Scheme is Best for ESL?

Dear Readers,

I'd like you to know that ESL-Jobs-Forum.com is a great place to ask any ESL question you might have (within the realms of decency) and receive an answer from one of our expert moderators. Seeing as how the subject of accreditation is always a hot one, I chose this Q and A to demonstrate exactly how helpful we can be. For instance:

Continue reading "Q & A - Which Accreditation Scheme is Best for ESL?"

Posted by ESL Lesson Plan at 01:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (4)

November 12, 2005

Q & A - How Do You Impress a Potential ESL Employer?

"Only strong personalities can endure history, the weak ones are extinguished by it" ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I recently came across an enlightening message in a post (here) about what ESL employers are looking for when hiring a teacher. I thought that there might be something there worth of discussion for us, the ESL "employees."

Continue reading "Q & A - How Do You Impress a Potential ESL Employer?"

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August 09, 2005

Q & A - August 2005 ESL Instruct

Thanks for visiting the Question and Answer section of ESL Instruct.

Please feel free to leave your questions on teaching, professional development, job hunting or any other subjects here.

Continue reading "Q & A - August 2005 ESL Instruct"

Posted by msimmons at 05:30 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 02, 2005

Q & A - What Are The Differences In Teaching Certifications?

Good morning everyone!

Are you thinking about becoming certified? (Smart move!) If so, you may be confused by all the acronyms out there!

Have you ever wondered "What Are The Differences In Teaching Certifications?"

Here’s a list that will help you out with your certification plans.

Continue reading "Q & A - What Are The Differences In Teaching Certifications?"

Posted by msimmons at 03:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

July 12, 2005

Q & A - July 2005 ESL Instruct

Thanks for visiting the Question and Answer section of ESL Instruct.

Please feel free to leave your questions on teaching, professional development, job hunting or any other subjects here.

Continue reading "Q & A - July 2005 ESL Instruct"

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June 09, 2005

Q & A - June 2005 ESL Instruct

Thanks for visiting the Question and Answer section of ESL Instruct.

Please feel free to leave your questions on teaching, professional development, job hunting or any other subjects here.

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Posted by msimmons at 05:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2005

Q & A - Are There Age Limits for Teaching ESL?

Hello Readers,

There have been many questions asked on my blog about teaching ESL at an older age, and I’d like to take this opportunity to address them. Many came from experienced teachers looking for an experience teaching outside of the U.S, while others came from non-experienced “seniors” who were looking for a second career.

While I couldn’t find any concrete statistics on the number of older people teaching ESL, I can tell you from my experience that they are around. I can also tell you that it might be more difficult to get a good job—but definitely not impossible.

Continue reading "Q & A - Are There Age Limits for Teaching ESL?"

Posted by msimmons at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

May 24, 2005

Q & A - Do You Need A Degree?

Good morning all,

There is one question that comes up time and time again: do I need a degree to teach ESL?

Here's a question that I recently received:

"I am desperate for some help and advice! I am due to start an intensive TESOL course on June 13. I have been reading advertisements for teaching posts. They all seem to have one thing in common - one of the prerequisites for a teaching position is a 'degree'. I have an HND and several other certs, but no degree (didn't finish my dissertation). Is there anyway around this? I don't want to begin the course if I can't secure a position at the end of it. I have given up everything to persue my dream and now it looks as though I have hit the proverbial 'brick wall'! Any advice or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time."

I hate to give this answer, but it's really the only one that I can: it depends.

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May 11, 2005

Q & A - May 2005 ESL Instruct

Thanks for visiting the Question and Answer section of ESL Instruct.

Please feel free to leave your questions on teaching, professional development, job hunting or any other subjects here.

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Posted by msimmons at 06:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 22, 2005

Q & A - Are You Ever Too Old To Teach ESL?

Hello all,

One of the most common questions I've received in the question and answer section of this blog are those about age. People want to know if it's possible to teach at an...um, advanced age.

My response? Well, I guess it depends.

It's true that if an older lady or gentleman showed up for an interview in a beach town, they may be passed over for a teacher who would fit into the atmosphere a little better. On the other hand, if a school was dedicated to teaching its students the best that they could, and had a choice between a freshly certified twenty-year-old, and an experienced fifty-year-old who had dozens of raving recommendations, my vote would be for the older candidate.

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April 18, 2005

Q & A - April 2005 ESL Instruct

Thanks for visiting the Question and Answer section of ESL Instruct.

Please feel free to leave your questions on teaching, professional development, job hunting or any other subjects here.

Continue reading "Q & A - April 2005 ESL Instruct"

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