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10 Tips Every First Time TEFL Teacher Should Know
Admin - Jun 30 2015
TEFL, TESOL, ESL however you’ve explained your trip of a lifetime to others, it’s important you feel ready and raring to go when it comes to teaching English overseas. Maybe you’ll be sharing your knowledge with Chinese infants, Japanese businessmen or Thai teenagers- whatever you’re plans, here are a few tips help get you primed and prepped. Ok so you may still experience those butterflies whacking you in the stomach on the first day of class but these snippets of info are sure to offer a helping hand and make a confident TEFL teacher out of you in no time at all- grab that TEFL certificate and let’s get going….
Research, research, research
If you’ve decided to do a TEFL course as part of an internship or placement then you’re sure to be able to find others to chat to about their experiences. Scour the internet, Facebook and social networking sites to chat to people who have been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. Chalkboard is a brilliant way to get in touch with other TEFL teachers working all around the world. It’s an online community dedicated to teaching overseas.
• If you’re finding work independently there are a few key questions you may want to ask:
• Can the school put you in touch with previous English teachers?
• Does the salary seem too high? (If it seems too good to be true it probably is.)
• Is there an English speaking guide at the school? This isn’t essential but is often very useful
Take a magic bag
Don’t think wands and pulling rabbits out of hats, think pictures, cards and photographs.
Whether you’re in a fully equipped classroom or one that leaves a lot to be desired. It’s a good idea to plan ahead a little. It really takes the pressure off having some props to assist you and knowing you have them to hand makes life a lot easier.
These don’t have to weigh down your suitcase however, many photos can be used for numerous lessons. For example:
The picture below can be used to teach subjects such as hair length, colours, family members, ages, gender, and items of clothing.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
None of us are born knowing how to deal with every classroom situation. It’s amazing what life can throw at us and some lessons just won’t work as you planned. It’s important to keep a cool head. Try not to panic and simply move on to another activity.
Why not take a look at these tried and tested activities and teaching resources to have as a fallback plan?
Keep an open mind
When living and working in a different country there can often be occurrences, norms and customs you haven’t previously experienced. TEFL teacher Briona found this out first hand when hosting a parents evening in Poland:
“Possibly the worst thing though is the sulking. Yes, Poles are unbelievably sulky, something that is evident in all of my students, from Kindys through to adults. Seriously. The minute they don’t get their own way, they sulk. I have five-year olds who will put themselves in the corner facing the wall (!) because I’ve asked another child a question instead of asking them! You sort of expect little kids to sulk, but the adults? OMG! They don’t like the topic of the lesson so they sit there in sulky silence refusing to be drawn. And the worst offenders are in my Pre-CAE class. They don’t like something so they sulk! It’s utterly ridiculous!”
The most important thing to remember is keep
Seize every opportunity
As a TEFL teacher you’ll usually be contracted into a certain amount of hours teaching but it’s often a brilliant idea to throw yourself into extracurricular activities, festivals and events. This will provide an opportunity to experience a different culture, help you get to know your students better as well as keep you in your employer’s good books.
TEFL teacher Sophie Wong enjoyed her time at her schools Halloween festival in Taiwan:
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