What is TEFL anyway? 3

What is TEFL anyway?
What is TEFL anyway? TEFL, TESOL, ESOL, ELT, CELTA, EAL, EAP, ESP etc. The list of acronyms (abbreviations consisting of the first letters of each word in the name of something, pronounced as a word, for example IKEA or UNICEF) initialisms (like acronyms but each letter is pronounced separately such as the BBC or the ...

10 Dictation Activites for EFL classes 23

10 Dictation Activites for EFL classes
Why write things on the board for the students to write in their notebooks when you can dictate them? Dictation gives your students a clear model of pronunciation and allows them to practise their listening and writing skills. Here’s an example: Imagine you have a few topic questions you want your students to discuss. You ...

10 ways to use course books and encourage learner autonomy

10 ways to use course books and encourage learner autonomy
Whatever you might think about using course books in class, most teachers in most teaching contexts are obliged – or strongly encouraged – to use them. In fact, I imagine most of you have succumbed to the temptation of starting a class by saying: Your learners may well be comfortable with this approach. However, after ...

The Only 3 Things Teachers Must Do

The Only 3 Things Teachers Must Do
Think of a teacher who had a positive effect on you. Maybe this teacher made you think that teaching might be something you would like to try. Maybe this teacher awakened a passion for learning in you that was previously dormant. Maybe this teacher opened a window to a subject that until then had held ...

Last-minute Love Lessons 19

Last-minute Love Lessons
Whoops! You’ve completely forgotten that Valentine’s Day is round the corner and you haven’t planned anything with a romantic theme for your classes. Don’t panic – Here are 3 last-minute love lessons / activities for you to try which require very little preparation. TIP: Not all learners feel comfortable talking about their private lives and relationships. ...

5 things to do before starting your TEFL course 1

5 things to do before starting your TEFL course
So, you’ve been accepted onto a TEFL course. How are you feeling? Relaxed because you are a fluent English speaker with a good educational background. Perhaps you feel a little trepidation as one of your friends took the course and said it was one of the toughest months of her life. Maybe you’re worried that ...

10 commandments of TEFL – An accidental manifesto 5

10 commandments of TEFL - An accidental manifesto
Somebody asked  me the other day if I had a philosophy about TEFL, a manifesto if you like, perhaps a mission statement, a set of general beliefs about teaching English to speakers of other languages. I laughed and said I didn’t really believe in grand statements. Besides, I was watching a football match and didn’t ...

Do you have to be from Mars to teach Astronomy?

Do you have to be from Mars to teach Astronomy?
The native versus non-native speaker debate rages on…… In a previous post, I discussed native speaker English teachers (NS teachers) and non-native English teachers (NNS). The title of the post ‘Can non-native speakers of English become good TEFL teachers?’ was, as some people pointed out, potentially insulting towards non-native speakers . My reason for choosing ...

10 Things you shouldn’t say in an interview for a TEFL job 26

10 Things you shouldn't say in an interview for a TEFL job
Over the years, I’ve interviewed about 50 TEFL teachers. Some people walked through the door and I automatically knew they weren’t appropriate for the job: stinking of alcohol, 3 hours late with no explanation, tattoos all over their face when they were applying for an in-company position…..little things like that. Other applicants seemed fairly normal ...

Can non-native speakers of English become good TEFL teachers? 64

Can non-native speakers of English become good TEFL teachers?
This is a source of constant debate in the TEFL world. Here in Spain, many Spaniards (employers and students) request native speaker teachers. They hold beliefs, or prejudices, such as: British speak proper English not like Americans My German / Dutch /Spanish teacher of English knows grammar but speaks with a terrible accent I want ...