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Homework and Its Importance

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When I was a student I hated homework, and then when I first became a teacher I hated giving homework to my students. To be honest, I guess never really thought of all the benefits that students get from regularly completing homework. Instead, I was like a lot of rookie teachers; just trying to be liked by my students, instead of thinking about what is actually best for them. Whether you are teaching English or any subject, homework is a key part of the learning process. On top of this, homework also teaches students additional lessons that contribute to their success later in life. Below is a list of some of the reasons that I think giving students homework is so important:

1. First of all, homework helps review and reinforce the new material that students are currently learning in class. There is a reason that the expression "practice makes perfect" has been around so long, and that is because it's true. Especially if you are trying to learn a new language, practice i…

Will you face discrimination as an ethnic minority while teaching abroad?

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For a while now, I've been considering writing a blog entry on the topic of discrimination that English teachers sometimes face when teaching abroad (specifically in Asia). I guess I haven't written this entry yet because of the fact that I didn't really experience any harsh discrimination while teaching abroad. Don't get me wrong, I definitely stood out like a sore thumb in many situations, and I have often been treated as a novelty, but the level of discrimination that I faced certainly was traumatic. In fact, at times being an ethnic minority had it's benefits as people would go out of their way to help me, offer free food, put me at the front of a line, etc. What you should know about me though (if you hadn't seen my blog picture) is that I am a white male, with blue eyes and brown hair...pretty much the stereotypical ESL teacher in many Asian people's minds. Unfortunately during my time in Korea, I had friends who represented different ethnicities (ev…

Another great new travel product by ChrisiL

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Sorry about the shameless self-promotion entry, but I gotta help out my wife anyway I can.  Based on the success of the Jewelry Travel Wallet, by my wife's company ChrisiL, she is developing a fold-able sunglasses case that will protect your sunglasses and not take up too much space in your bag...what do you think so far??? She hopes to have them for sale this summer, but in the meanwhile if you haven't checked out ChrisiL's Jewelry Wallet you can check out the pictures below or visit the website: www.chrisiljtw.com



Teaching English in South America

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A couple years ago I had the opportunity to visit Argentina and Chile, and while I was there I couldn't help but think "wow...it would be amazing to teach English in South America." Countries in South America have so much to offer visitors: rich histories, beautiful and diverse landscapes, unique cultures, delicious cuisine, friendly people, vibrant languages and so much more. Although I have not taught in South America, I wanted to highlight a few popular spots for teaching English and also provide some advice on what you should expect if you choose to teach there. To do this, I'll rely on my experience traveling there, my friend Diego's(from Peru) guidance, and some research that I have done on teaching in this area of the world. If you have taught in this area of the world, please please please leave your own advice in the comment section below or on my google+ page


Chile
Probably one of the most popular spots to teach English in South America is Chile. As a re…

Dealing with Reverse Culture Shock

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I few months back I wrote a blog entry that looked at ways that people can deal with culture shock in a positive manner when they travel to a foreign country. What a lot of people don't realize though, is when you return from an extended visit abroad people are often faced with something called Reverse Culture Shock. The idea may seem strange a first, as many people think "how can I experience culture shock in my home country, when I have lived there my whole life?" but take it from me or anyone who lived abroad for a significant amount of time, it really exists. In fact, reverse culture shock can be so powerful that I've seen people who are incapable of handling life backhome, who quickly return to their life abroad.

In this entry, I first want to try to explain what reverse culture shock is and then I'll offer some suggestions on how to deal with this unnerving feeling that many experience upon their return home.

People who experience reverse culture shock, li…

Looking for some great teaching opportunities in China?

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Hey Everyone
I recently started working with Maple Leaf Education through my work at the University of Victoria, and they have a lot of exciting opportunities for TEFL teachers in China right now. If you're interested in finding out more about teaching in China, you can check out their website at www.mapleleafschools.com or email them with your questions at  esl@mapleleafschools.com



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These Acronyms are Making Me CRAZY: ESL, EFL, EAL, ELL, TEFL, TESL, TESOL, CELTA....

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As someone who promotes English teaching-training programs at a university for a career, I'm constantly being asked by potential students, institutions, and even experienced teachers what all these acronyms stand for and what's the difference between them. I get questions like "Should I take a TEFL class or a TESL class?" or "What's the difference between ESL and ELL?" all the time, so I wanted to write a quick blog entry to address the confusion.

Before I start to break down some of these acronyms, it's important to note that so many acronyms exist simply because the field of English language education is constantly evolving and becoming more specialized; especially over the last couple decades. Some of these terms may sound similar and may lead you to wonder, why do they all exist, however these slight differences can impact significant decisions like: Which type of course is best suited to my career goals? What are my students greatest needs? Wh…