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Showing posts from 2017

8 Tips Every New TEFL Teacher Needs To Know

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So you've just earned a TEFL certificate and now you're ready to put what you've learned into practice. Before you do, I thought I'd provide some tips that I wish someone had told me before I went abroad to teach English.

1. Take Your Time
Many people who complete their TEFL programs, want to get in the classroom as soon as possible to start teaching. I understand this completely, but I strongly encourage new teachers to take their time to find the right job for them in the right place. It's no secret that there are thousands of teaching opportunities all around the world. It's also not secret to people who have taught abroad, that a lot of those jobs are bad. Anyone who's considering going abroad needs to take their time and do some homework before accepting their first teaching position. Do some research about the country/city you're going to, look for reviews on potential employers, compare employee contracts with what's out there, and so on.You …

Tips for Teaching Korean Students

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It's no secret that Koreans are some of the most dedicated and prolific English Language Learners (ELLs) in the world. If you travel to South Korea to teach, you'll notice that it seems like the entire country is studying English. If you decide to teach English in an English speaking country you'll undoubtedly find yourself teaching Korean students at some point. As a result, I thought I'd write a blog entry with some tips on how to best meet the needs of Korean ELLs. This advice will be based on my own experience teaching Koreans (about 5 years) and some popular tips found from doing a bit of research.
1. Know your Role According to Confucian ideals, teachers are supposed to be supposed to be highly respected in society. This respect your receive from your students can be something that you can definitely use to your advantage (especially with classroom management), but it also comes with certain expectations. As a teacher in Korea, you are supposed to be professional…

Teaching English in Vietnam

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Vietnam is fascinating. No doubt about it. I was recently in Vietnam in October, and while I was there the thought crossed my mind a few times that this really would be an interesting place to teach English for a year or two. Vietnam has a certain charm about it that is hard to explain (although I will try in this blog entry). It's busy, but chill. It's a little bit run down, but beautiful. The people are so happy, although many of them have so little. The culture is definitely unique and the country has such a rich (and tragic) history. The landscape and cityscape is incredible and sometimes a bit overwhelming. And the food....the food is so good in Vietnam and worth travelling or teaching there by itself.

In this blog entry I want to write about teaching English in Vietnam. Although, I did not teach there, I have met many people who have and I've been doing a bit of research to help out with this entry. Below is so info you need to know before choosing to teach in Vietn…

Great Insight into Teaching English Abroad

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Hey Everyone,
I recently had the chance to speak with one of our TEFL grads about his experience teaching English in Mexico, Morocco, and Myanmar. Below is the interview and some of the amazing pictures Stephen has taken along his travels. His responses are great because they paint an accurate picture of what it's like to teach in a foreign country and how this can impact your life.


Interview with TEFL Graduate Stephen Frampton
Where do you work now? I am currently teaching English in Oaxaca Mexico, but in the last year and a half I've taught in Myanmar and Morocco as well.
What’s the best thing about living in ______? Each country I've taught in has unbelievably awesome things and for Mexico I gotta say that the people here really know how to enjoy themselves. At all ages, they love to dance and sing and work and drink and smile. They have a great attitude towards life so it makes it a great place to live.

Why did you want to become an English Teacher? I wouldn't ever say th…

Looking for guest bloggers!!!

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Hey Everyone,
I'm looking for people who would like to share their experience as a English teacher either in North American or abroad. I'd love to hear (and I'm sure my readers would too) about any part of your time teaching English ...good or bad. If you got a story to tell I'd love to hear it and share it with people considering a career in Teaching English. Email me at chrisfevens1981@gmail.com

How to Stay Motivated to Teach English

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Tell me if you've heard this or experienced this scenario before:

A person starts a new job. At first they are so excited and motivated to do the best they can at their new job. This person works hard, puts in the extra effort, doesn't mind working overtime, and is successful at what they do. This goes on for an undetermined amount of time (depending on the person)....And then something happens....routines begin to form, things that were a novelty before aren't so interesting or have even become annoying, motivation decreases and this same person who once loved their job, isn't looking forward to going to work everyday, Monday to Friday from 9 - 5.

Now put your hand up if this has ever happened to you. I'm sure almost everyone who is reading this is now putting their hand up (well at least in their heads their putting their hands up). Work, especially teaching, can be tough sometimes. I've wrote before about teacher burnout, but today I wanted to write about s…

Now is the time to go abroad!!

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Hey Everyone,
Sorry for the very long break between blog posts. I've been away for 5 weeks on a business trip to Asia and haven't had time to write anything. Speaking of being away, for anyone contemplating teaching abroad or just traveling in general....Now is the time to go!!!



Being away (as always) has once again shown me how awesome travel really is. For me, I never quite feel as ALIVE as I do when I'm visiting somewhere new. This year's business trip featured stops in Japan, China, Thailand, and Vietnam...all hot spots for Teaching English. I had the chance to visit a few places I hadn't been before, meet some amazing people and experience 4 distinct cultures along the way. It was a long trip, visiting 10 cities in 5 weeks, but also so rewarding personally and professionally.


If you're thinking about going abroad to teach, but are scared of the unknowns that exist in such a decision, I strongly encourage you to 'embrace the fear.' Travel and livin…

Teaching English without Teaching English

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Check out this great TED talk by Roberto Guzman. Very interesting approach to teaching English!


Let me know your thoughts on this video in the comment section below or on my Google+ page

Teaching English to Absolute Beginners

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Undoubtedly, one of the biggest challenges that English teachers will face in their careers is being asked to teach students who have zero English knowledge or ability. In an ideal world, these students would be placed into classes with teachers who are bilingual and can use the students 1st language to help in acquiring the 2nd language...the problem though, is this isn't an ideal world, and many teachers, who can only speak English, are regularly asked to teach students who cannot speak a word of English.

So where should you begin? What are the best approaches to teaching absolute beginners? What part of the language should you focus on first? How do you overcome the huge language barrier that separates your from your students? In this blog entry, I want to provide some popular strategies that English teachers will use in these situations, and also give you some of my own personal insight into teaching beginner English language learners.

Change your mindset
First and foremost, t…

Tips for saving money while teaching abroad

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Teaching English in a foreign country 'can' be a great way to save money or to pay off debts. A lot of the overseas teaching positions offer a decent salary, free airfare, free or subsidized accommodations, free medical insurance, and many other employment perks that can reduce your expenses while living abroad. So everyone who teaches English must save money or pay off debts while abroad, right?

Wrong...Saving money abroad, like saving money at home takes discipline and sacrifice. Although it seems like expenses are very low in many teaching positions, that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot of things that you can spend (or waste) your money on. Likewise, there are some expenses that come along with living abroad that have to be kept up with to prevent new debts.

In this blog entry, I just want to provide some simple, easy-to follow tips for saving money while teaching English in a foreign country. By following some of these tips I was able to pay off half of my stud…

Myths about Teaching English in China

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Recently, through my work, I have been in contact with many institutions in China that are desperately seeking English teachers to work in their schools. These opportunities range from teaching children all the way up to working in universities. At the same time, I know there are many teachers in Canada and the US out there who are looking for jobs abroad; so I couldn't figure out why there is this disconnect between these schools and the abundance of teachers looking for work. So, I decided I'd look deeper into why potential English teachers are not going to China, and these are the assumptions that I have found that are keeping people from going to China:

1. China is too polluted
2. China is not safe
3. Schools will rip you off
4. The pay is too low
5 . There are too many people in China

While there is definitely some validity to some of these assumptions, there is a lot of wrong with them as well. In this blog, I want to examine some of these myths, with the hopes of convincing…

Fantastic Professional Development Opportunity at the University of Victoria this summer

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Fantastic professional development opportunity this summer! There are still spaces available in this specialized certificate program for international English teachers. Contact tefl@uvic.ca for details :) Teaching English as a Foreign Language at UVic @Continuing Studies at UVic

https://continuingstudies.uvic.ca/education-learning-and-development/programs/professional-specialization-certificate-in-teaching-english-as-a-foreign-languag 


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