An Idiots Guide to TEFL


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An Idiots Guide to TEFL

  1. 1. w kno to eed youn g ry thinEve Peru ing in Teach Ha ppy Tea che rs a nd Stu den ts
  2. 2. 3 A Note from the Experts: What Linda Richardson has to say India n Cl assro om 6 Taking the Leap: Is it for you & getting qualified 8 Busting a Move: Letter of notice, finding a job, planning your move, boarding the flight12 You’ve Arrived! Arriving abroad, settling in, getting ready for the first day15 First Day Jitters: First day at school, planning lessons & exploring your new home18 It’s Hard to Say Goodbye: Saying goodbye to your students & friends… saying hello to your new home21 Extras to Help You Go: Packing list, vaccinations, a page from Craig’s diary ntina Arge ers inTeach
  3. 3. chool ry S rima ese P ChinIf only i-to-i had been around when I first started TEFLing thenI wouldn’t have...c Packed a bag full of TOTALLY unsuitable clothesc Arrived with my Spanish phrase book, when everyone spokeCatalan (it’s a COMPLETELY different language)c Swotted up on obscure grammar points when I should havebeen learning about ice breakers and milling and role plays.(But I still love grammar; ten points if you can name the grammarconstruction I used in the opening sentence, email me, go on!)I always wanted to travel; I took a year off from college andworked on farms in Israel, picked lemons in Crete, waitressed inGermany, chamber maided in France. All great fun thanks, buthard work! And very sweaty sometimes too. Chec king Stud ent’s Work 3
  4. 4. So the next time I headed off I made sure I had a TEFL certificate in my back pocket. TEFL opens doors. It gives you the chance to immerse yourself in another culture, to learn another language, to earn a living Mak eshif t Cha while seeing the world; it doesn’t get lkbo ard much better than that! Of course it can be hard work too, but you get out of it what you put into it. Plan your lessons well and you will have fun with your students. Don’t plan, and they might have fun going wild, but you won’t. Be open to your new environment. You are not a tourist looking for food from ‘home’… bacon butties, bacon and cabbage, haggis or even the traditional British dish, curry! Eat what your students eat, shop where they shop. You might be teaching your students English, but they can teach you so much more. Different cultures have different outlooks on life, different values, and different priorities. Be open and you will learn so much that will always stay with you. Leaving behind a TEFL job and the students you have come to know and love can be really difficult but you will always have these memories in your heart, and these experiences will shape your life. TEFL may be something you do for a couple of years, and then move on or back to your previous life. Or maybe, like me, the first rials Mate sroom4 Clas
  5. 5. TEFL certificate will be a step in a life long journey that can lead from teaching to tutoring to writing and publishing classroom materials and to working for a wonderful company like i-to-i! on ards a Rich Lind Whatever you do, before you take off, read this book! It is full of practical tips - what to pack, what vaccinations to take,even how to say goodbye. It’s got teaching tips too. What to doon your very first day, how to get the most out of your lessons.You are really going to enjoy this book. But more importantly thisbook will encourage you to take the plunge. Read this book,get your TEFL certificate, and off you go!LindaLinda Richardsoni-to-i Online TEFL Manager Rela xing B e tween Less ons 5
  6. 6. a n Keny ids i School K c Is TEFL Really for You? First of all, there is no single recipe for a perfect teacher – it suits so many different types of people… chefs, builders, bankers and call centre workers to name a few. You do need to like helping people, you do need to have patience and you do need to be prepared to look silly in front of other people! Occasionally, you might have to refer to the art of demonstrating to implement a lesson plan, so looking silly will be unavoidable… sorry! c Getting Qualified It’s so easy to get TEFL qualified that you’ll kick yourself for not having done it sooner! You have the choice of taking a flexible online course, face to face training in a classroom or a combination of both! Whatever you choose, you’ll have the full support of our TEFL tutors as they provide you with step-by-step feedback along the way. If you’re not confident about teaching, and if you feel that plenty of Chin ese J unk Boat6
  7. 7. training would help then we’d recommendthe top 140 Hour Combined TEFL CourseIf you’re already confident about teachingand would just appreciate some trainingin the basics, take a look at our basic20 Hour Classroom TEFL Course. A Ge ogra phy Less onWhat’s more, you’ll have the support ofover 15,000 other TEFLers to help you! You canjoin our very own social networking site Chalkboard, which isbursting with stories, photos and discussions to help you! It’s totallyfree to join and you can use it throughout your TEFL journey toblog about your experience!c So Get Started Today!The sooner you complete your TEFL course, the sooner you canget yourself overseas and start your exciting adventure!P Before you know it, you’ll be TEFL qualified and ready to busta move overseas! nya n Ke ime i Play T 7
  8. 8. e? Hom Your New Japan - c Finding a Job There are thousands of teaching jobs all around the world, in different schools, kindergartens, private tuition, colleges, English institutions and universities to name a few. The hardest part can be narrowing down your dream TEFL destination! Each country has different entry regulations, so it’s good practice to familiarise yourself with the visa requirements of each country. You can check out more information in our ‘Teach Abroad: Top 10 TEFL Destinations’ e-Guide! Most language schools advertise on the internet and many like to arrange a contract in advance. There are hundreds of websites dedicated to TEFL jobs. It’s estimated that there are over 20,000 new TEFL jobs listed each month. Check out our section on finding work abroad for more advice and and don’t forget the wider internet is a great resource for job listings too!8
  9. 9. c Applying from Home or While Overseas?It’s your decision whether you apply for yourjob from home or while you’re overseas inyour destination of choice. There are prosand cons to each option:c Applying Before You Fly: Islan d Lif eThe benefits of sourcing a TEFL job inadvance are numerous, this includes avoiding the hassleof arranging a job on arrival and getting to know the local areathrough the magic of the internet. This is a great option for anyfirst-time TEFLers or for those who might be a little nervous aboutjust rocking up in a new country and finding a job.c Applying When You Land:Fresh off the plane with your CV and TEFL certificate in hand,many people opt to source a job while in-country. The benefitsof job hunting in person are that you get to see the school foryourself, not through the internet or reviews from others. You canalso ensure the local area suits your needs before you commit.This approach works if you’re patient and can afford to fundyour first few months overseas if necessary. Also be prepared tobe approached by strangers offering you a job because of yourappearance, but take great caution with any offers of this nature.c A Note…The demand for TEFL is so huge that many schools will employ cher d Tea The Prou 9
  10. 10. teachers with no teaching qualification or degree. This does depend on the country – you may need to be qualified to get a work visa in some countries. Also, you should ask yourself if you’d be happy to ica Sign, Af r teach a class of students if you haven’t School had any formal training. c Letter of Notice Uh-oh, it’s time to face the boss with that dreaded letter of notice… no one likes doing that. Even if you are tempted to throw the letter down on their desk and strut out of there singing Aretha Franklin songs, we’d advise that you don’t… for the following reasons: • There’s still that matter of getting a reference, and although it is against corporate policy to give you a bad reference, it’s not worth leaving on a bad note • You never know when you might need the company again (not that you’re thinking of coming home anytime soon, but you just never know) • The grapevine is a nasty thing sometimes! You’d be surprised how quickly word spreads. So you might not want to be known as ‘the one who broke the photocopier with their buttocks while singing the theme tune to Rocky!’ Teach ing in Shan ghai10
  11. 11. c Planning Your MoveAnd you’re off! Nearly. There are a fewthings to do before you head to theairport:4 Book your flights: Will you book a one Jettin g off way ticket or a return? We recommend a one way! You never know where your TEFL travels will take you.4 Plan the mother-of-all leaving dos!4 Photocopy important documents (if you haven’t broken the photocopier at work yet)4 Pack your bag! Use our handy article on ‘how to pack’ for inspiration!All you have to do now is ensure you have someone meeting youat the airport (or that you know where you’re going when youarrive)…P With everything sorted we’ll see you in the Duty Free! India starts in School 11
  12. 12. nts Stude Hello c Arriving Overseas “Welcome to XXXX where the local time is XXXX…” you’ve made it! Now what? First of all… take your time. Don’t overcomplicate any situation and just take it easy. Airports can be intimidating, but preparation is key to overcoming this, so have your documents ready in time and order… c Checklist: • Have you got local currency? Change a small amount at the airport if not • Do you have a contact telephone number just in case? • Are you suitably dressed for the weather/local culture with your valuables safely stored? • Do you have an address of where you are heading to? Art L esson s, Ke nya12
  13. 13. P Well then, what are you waiting for? Letthe adventure begin!c Settling InHow are your new digs looking then?A little bare? Hopefully you won’t be Lear ning Numspending much time at your ranch, bersas you’ll be out socialising and exploring,but it’s important you feel comfortable in your new place!Unpack, relax and plot routes to familiarise yourself with your localsurroundings. Key tip: keep track of landmarks in case you get lost,and always carry around your address with you.c Getting Ready for the First Day of ClassDo a dummy run of your commute to work so you can time it toperfection, Remember in other countries things won’t always runto time (as they might do at home) and getting lost might be a bitdifficult! Get your clothes ready and laid out to minimise things toworry about.Set your alarm clock the night before, then set another alarm!Don’t be late on your first day!Don’t worry about remembering everyone’s name! You’ll getthere in the end. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself for thefirst week, and just take it all in. It’s also a good idea to take eru on, P et Less Pupp 13
  14. 14. photos from back home or other real objects into your classroom to liven up your first class. Things to find out before you open that door to the classroom: sroom ese Clas A Chin • Is this a new group of students? • Do they know one another’s names? • Do I need an ice breaker that works on names? Or an ice breaker to get them talking to ascertain how good their English is? Or both? Your Day o ff, C hina14
  15. 15. s dent r Stu g You M eetinc First Day at SchoolThis is it… Judgement Day. Only kidding, lighten up! Yes, it’s nerve-wracking and your stomach might be dancing to a Run DMCbeat, but they’re just students and believe us, they want to learnfrom you! What are you afraid of? Half the battle is won becausethe students actually WANT to be in the classroom and they havea healthy respect for you.c Key TipRemember to give your students the opportunity to practice theirEnglish skills. It’s easy to slip into the habit of spending all of thelesson in the front of the class doing all of the talking, but they arenot going to learn if they are just listening to you all day.c Planning LessonsYou want your lessons to be fun, and you want them to work. Ice-b reak ers 15
  16. 16. You want your students to walk in the door looking forward to their classes. You want your students to walk out the door knowing some new English! The magic word is preparation! To make Gett ing to K now your lessons matter; ensure you can You answer these questions before you go into the classroom. 1 What’s the aim of your lesson? Is it a new topic – for example going shopping, colours, the weather? 2 What is the new language in the lesson? Are there any new structures needed. E.g. ‘I’d like’ or ‘how much…’ 3 What skills will be developed during the lesson? Speaking, reading, listening? 4 How are you going to break up the lesson into different stages/ different activities? What will the students be doing at each stage? What will you be doing at each stage? Don’t be nervous… be prepared! Use every resource available to keep your lessons fun and educational… try our neat little e-book full of 20 free tried and tested classroom activities!16
  17. 17. Exploring Your New Home Don’t let yourself get all cooped up like a chicken in your spare time, get out there and see your new ‘hood! Get off the beaten track, use your new local contacts to get l Loca e Like a some amazing deals and visit amazing Explor places you wouldn’t find as a tourist.You might be working from Monday to Friday or you might workover the weekends, whatever the case it’s important to get outthere and explore using your spare time. Don’t be scared totry something new… after all you’ve already moved to a newcountry so don’t try telling us you’re not afraid to try new things!You can’t fool us!Want to see how it’s done? Read TEFLer Sophie Wong’s recipeabout ‘How to Have the Perfect Weekend here; she’s currentlyTEFLing in Taiwan! Or how about TEFLer Bridget’s ‘There’s NothingWeak About the Weekends’… fresh from Thailand.Oh and keep the social networking with friends back home to aminimum… if you were really having such an amazing time, wouldyou be sat at your computer? No! You’d be out enjoying yourselffor real!If you’re ARE online though… help the TEFL world by sharing tipsand blogging on Chalkboard. Get o ut Ex plori ng 17
  18. 18. ye oodb ing G Say c Saying Goodbye to Your Students & Friends Whether you’ve been teaching English for a few weeks or a few years, saying goodbye is difficult for everyone involved. Foreign teachers are a huge novelty to other teachers and especially to your students, so leave on a high note and allot time for a decent goodbye… there’s no creeping out the back door here! Have a picture taken with your class and if you can, leave one behind for them to have as a memory of you. Swap contact details with EVERYONE! You never know when you might need to contact them again (but maybe give certain people contact details that won’t invade your privacy if you’re unsure) and it’s great to get an update of how your students are doing every now and then. c Moving On Have you got a return ticket back home or are the adventures continuing elsewhere? You’d be surprised at18
  19. 19. the amount of people who go on to TEFLin more than one location and forgetabout heading home. What’s to hurryhome for anyway?If you’re heading on to a different Your stud ents willcountry, don’t forget to research visa miss youregulations and check baggage limitson airlines. You don’t want to be hit withan unexpected bill. Leave a forwarding address at your lastaddress if necessary too.c Returning HomeTry and anticipate the reverse culture shock. When you setoff for your TEFL adventure overseas, you expect things to betotally different. But when you return back home, you think thateverything will be exactly the same as when you left – which isactually rarely the case. You’ll probably be really excited to getback home and see your friends and family… but what happenswhen the novelty of being home has faded?You might feel distanced from your friends and family becauseyou’ve experienced a totally new culture and way of life, butit’s important not to forget your experience. Try and find a wayof to fit your TEFL experience into your life back home. Taking upcooking/language classes can be a good idea. em! lmiss th you wil And 19
  20. 20. It might seem as though nothing has changed in the time you’ve been away, even after a few years. You will begin to notice about how much living overseas has changed you. Be prepared to be bored and/ exotic or drift apart from some friends, but the be as on’ t Ho me w best relationships never seem to die. Home will always be home, and eventually you’ll settle back in to home, or head off on even more TEFL travels! ...or a s col ourfu l!20
  21. 21. 1 3 How am Must remember to join choose w I going to this forum to chat to here .. go and I want to other TEFLers out there. TEFL?? ! 2 Oh yeah! Job application jackpot! Do NOT lose this link to the most helpfu l TEFL jobs info I’ve ever se en! TEFL Chalkboard I must checkTop 10 o TEFL De ut this e-Guid stinatio ns 6 e... ember Oooh! Must rem 5 to take so me lesson oom4 Packing L ist! plan and classr I’ve got to es with me!Vaccinations! activiti tment…book an appoin Packing Must rem Found th List! ember to is blog a se 20 freecheck th what to p bout I found the e most u this medical p to date ack! activities in ook! advice o this hand n helpful e-b y link… 21
  22. 22. ing Teach Craig 7:30am – Wake up and shower. Choose between a traditional breakfast of miso soup & rice or stick with the classic of toast & orange juice. 8:00am – Leave house and cycle along the coastal path to a junior high school. 9:00am - Lessons start. Teach the joys of the English language. 12:30pm – Eat school lunch with the students. Talk in a mixture informal English and Japanese. Deflect rumours about my love life every single day. 1:00pm – Clean the school with the students and other teachers. 1:15pm – Plan the following day’s lessons with teachers before cycling to elementary school. 1:30pm – Quickly prepare fun lessons before the onslaught of energetic children. Japan ese C ount rysid22 e
  23. 23. 1:45pm – Lessons start. Hand out stickers formy reward scheme (hint: they love them)3:30pm – Return to the Board of Education.Grab a ‘Pocari Sweat’ energy drink along Somthe way. e of m y St uden ts3:45pm – Plan lessons for the following day.Talk to my boss about sport/fish/politics/English jokes.Head home6:00pm – Try cooking Japanese food for dinner7:00pm – Go to football training with students/Go to taiko(Japanese drums) practice/Teach my adult language class/Meetfriends for dinner and drinks.10:00pm – Reply to emails or Skype home with friends andfamily. Read books/study Japanese/try to understand Japanesetelevision.11:00pm – Go to bed at a sensible hour like a good boy (with theair conditioning on maximum in the summer)11:05pm – Look forward to tomorrow. c You can chat with Craig Hunter on Chalkboard here! ht oat NIg Toky 23
  24. 24.