How to start your own teaching blog

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We’ve been writing our teaching blog for nearly a year now, and it has been a roller coaster experience. We’ve had positive feedback, negative feedback and met and spoken to some really interesting people. We wouldn’t change our experience as we found it quite cathartic, whilst living and working in Northern Spain, and we love hearing different teachers opinions. We are not the only ones: there is a huge world of EFL out there and hundreds of posts are written and shared everyday. People want to hear what you have to say, and being teachers we all seem to be fond of, and good at, writing.

Continue reading “How to start your own teaching blog”

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Tips for the new academic year!

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The summer is ending (unfortunately) and it is time for many new teachers to go abroad and experience their first proper post CELTA job and a time for many returning teachers to get back into the teaching zone. Here are some tips, collected from several teachers, about how to start the new academic year, some are obvious, and maybe some will be very helpful indeed.

Continue reading “Tips for the new academic year!”

A day at a Summer School in England

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Working in a Summer School happened to me through a random job application, whilst unhappy with my job in Spain. I applied; I left it and I didn’t think anything of it, but what I didn’t realise was that the 8 weeks I do every year would serve as the best teaching environment and experience I would have as a teacher, despite being in Spain for 3 years.

Not only was I being paid over the summer, which for many teachers is a dream, I got to do so in the city I went to University and where most of my formative years occurred. I could choose either 15 hr weeks or 30 hr weeks and I had a say in what levels I was interested in teaching, so as to help with my career development, something the school takes seriously, and although only an 8 week contract, I honestly felt a better teacher for it and that my skills had actually developed. I learnt a lot of new activities to use in the classroom and I actually got to use my CELTA knowledge.

To give a better idea of my experience and hopefully many others, here is what I did on a typical day in a typical 30hr week: Continue reading “A day at a Summer School in England”

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”