5 traits of a bad Language School

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We’ve all been there, underappreciated, overworked, badly managed, lions being lead by sheep. It can be dreadful on the mind but here are some of the truly worst traits that a Language School can possess, If you see any of them… RUN!

Continue reading “5 traits of a bad Language School”

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World Teachers’ day and fond farewells

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Happy world teachers’ day to all who read this post!

It was a sad start to my world teachers’ day as my two favourite students were leaving. I didn’t think I could connect so much with elementary students: I didn’t know what we’d talk about and how we could even build a relationship, but we did, and I will miss them. They reminded me how rewarding it can be to teach elementary students and the interesting challenges that you face everyday. They’d been with me for only six weeks but it felt like just a few days. I wish they’d stayed longer but it is a very sad part of our jobs that the best and closest students all have to leave at some point. It was a sad morning and made me almost forget about world teachers’ day.

Continue reading “World Teachers’ day and fond farewells”

5 tips for DELTA Module One

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After a long time away from the blogging world, so I could focus on my DELTA Module One, I am proud to say that I passed with a distinction. In this blog, I want to share some of my tips for anyone else who is thinking of, or in the process of, doing their Module One.

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Help your students write with ‘write and improve’

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We moved back from Spain last year to England, and when we landed we were fresh out of ideas, but we settled down to a new job in Oxford, and have come across a fantastic website, that we have found very useful for students.

https://writeandimprove.com/ is a really useful tool for helping students with their writing both in and out of the classroom:

Continue reading “Help your students write with ‘write and improve’”

Conversation classes 101

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Before I came to Spain I only had a vague knowledge of conversation classes and it was not a point that was really focussed on during my CELTA. However after arriving in Spain i soon realised how popular they were and all the problems that can come with this interesting concept of solely speaking for an entire lesson.

I’m not entirely sure where this idea of everyone must have a conversation class comes from , as improvement in all areas of language is valuable and as the skills are interlinked it seems in my opinion quite strange to focus and be obsessed only with one. I can’t see a conversation class being effective for anyone under B2 level (free to disagree). Below this level, speaking can be incorporated into any lesson and specific focus on pronunciation and fluency can also be done here. For higher levels a conversation has the benefit of focussing purely on speaking for the whole class time and within that you can focus on very specific student speaking problem1s or the more wider overall fluency and it gives students enough time to switch their minds into English mode and really test what they know and how they can express themselves.

Either way, in Spain (and most of Europe) you will be asked to do them so here are some pointers that might help you. Some are common sense and some might just make the difference between a successful class and unsuccessful one. Continue reading “Conversation classes 101”

What are your teaching qualifications worth in Spain?

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“We want a native teacher with a CELTA with 3 years experience to work for pennies in our industrial park academy.”

“We want a native or non native teacher,no experience necessary to work in the centre of a great city with full sponsorship for CELTA.”

An exaggeration perhaps but there is no doubt that the adverts for teaching jobs in Spain are at times baffling. Continue reading “What are your teaching qualifications worth in Spain?”

Teacher Burnout

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Unfortunately this term is not as common as it should be. It can affect anyone at any time and is no different to work related stress or simply being pushed too hard day after day until you break. It is in fact all too common in the EFL world as bosses push employees to their limits day in day out until they either quit or are replaced.

Everybody’s different and some are affected more than others but the toll it can take on people’s lives, no matter how small, are quite frankly unacceptable. Most bosses turn around and say if you can’t handle it then quit, others may say it’s a product of the self entitled millennials who don’t know real hard work but in a world where stress related illnesses are on the rise and where it is being spoken about more openly than ever before perhaps it is time to speak out and address the issue in our field and let employers and employees alike know that teacher burnout is very real and very damaging.

We reached out across the Facebook group sphere, these private groups where every kind of EFL teacher dwells from here to kiribati (shout out to our reader over there), to find out what some teachers thought and if they could take some spare time to answer a few questions about teacher burnout. We asked them to answer four questions and here are some of their answers we received…. Continue reading “Teacher Burnout”