george mike's blog
January 14, 2019 by george mike
Teaching English Abroad with no Degree
How to Teach English Abroad With no Degree
When it comes to career choices, you’d be hard pressed to find one more interesting than that of a TEFL teacher. TEFL teachers travel to all kinds of remote and exotic locations around the world to teach English to children of all shapes and sizes.
While the teaching itself is very rewarding, the main draw towards teaching English abroad lies in the adventure; it’s a practical and sustainable way to travel and see the world without going absolutely broke.
Two common requirements are a TEFL certificate and a bachelor’s degree. The TEFL certificate is no problem; it consists of completing a (usually) online course that takes from about a couple weeks to a couple months, depending on the individual’s drive and motivation. The degree on the other hand is not as simple; it takes 4 years to obtain, which is a lot of time and money to invest for a job that doesn’t pay all that much (compared to western standards, TEFL jobs provide very liveable wages for their respective countries).
Luckily there are still options for people interested in teaching English abroad with no degree!
Non-degree holders can go one of two routes; applying in person, or taking an internship. In this article, we will go over the pros and cons of each option so one can figure out the best way to begin a career in teaching English abroad with no degree.
Applying in Person
Degree restrictions are usually visa restrictions in place by foreign governments. It’s a requirement for issuing working visas to candidates not in the country as a means of controlling who they let in.
Luckily, once you’re already in the country, you can worry about your paperwork after landing employment.Applying for jobs in person is exactly what it sounds like, you would go to schools that are hiring with a resume and cover letter and conduct an in-person interview. If the schools like you, they will offer you the job before commencing with the paperwork to get you a work permit.
Now this can be a grey area legally, you would be coming into the country and applying for jobs on a tourist visa which may be illegal in some countries (do your research first!), but you will eventually get your legitimized work permit through the aid of your school.
Now this is a good option for people who have great interview skills. It’s not only a great way to bypass degree restrictions, but any visa related restrictions at all (native English speaker, age, etc.). A lot of schools will claim that they are only looking for degree holders, but the truth is that if the right candidate shows up interested in teaching English, and they have a position open, many schools will happily hire them.
There are, however, some cons to this route. The main one is the question of legality. Every country is different and has different laws on what foreigners on a tourist visa can and can’t do, so make sure to do your research before embarking on an adventure to teach English abroadwith no degree.
Another downside is the possibility of being scammed. With the TEFL industry booming as it is today, it was only a matter of time before the more unscrupulous people of the world saw an opportunity to make money/get free labor out of foreigners living in a new and unfamiliar environment. There are legitimate schools and academies who will straight up lie to prospective teachers about anything from salary to included perks (paid holidays, paid airfare etc.) to make or save a quick buck. The easiest way to avoid getting scammed is to use your common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Another downside to applying in person is the sheer hassle of it. One must go to a new country with a years worth of luggage and supplies and shunt it around from hostel to hostel while applying for jobs, looking for apartments, and adapting to their new environment. It can mean weeks (or potentially months!) of scouring employment boards, doing laundry in sinks and being kept up until 4 in the morning the night before an interview by backpackers bringing the party back into the dorm room.Still though, if you are determined to teach English abroad with no degree, it can be a good way to achieve your goal.
For the less adventurous, those who can’t see themselves landing in a new country without knowing anyone or anything, or unwilling to be potentially scammed by shady businesses, internships can be an option.
Internships can vary wildly. Some can simply be a one month volunteer position while others may be as much as a week of training followed by being placed in a full salaried teaching position. It’s a great way to both get a feel for teaching to see if you like it, and get your foot in the door by meeting and working with great potential future employers who will be very willing to overlook the fact that you have no degree.
Internships are usually offered by TEFL academies, so if you’re interested in teaching Englishabroad with no degree, makesure to thoroughly research your TEFL provider to make sure thatthey offer internship options that are right for you!
There are a few cons to internships as well though. For one, they can be pretty pricey, ranging from the high hundreds to the low thousands. On top of this, internships usually don’t pay as much as a regular teaching position, and some may not pay anything at all. That’s not to say all of them are low paid, some of them offer very livable wages in their respective destinations, so once again, make sure to do your research first!
Another con is that while internships may bypass the bachelor’s degree requirement (internship teachers will usually go to their destination of choice on a student visa), there are still other requirements like age or specific passport requirements that not everyone may be able to meet.
Internships are therefore a great option for those interested in teaching English abroad with nodegreewhoare a bit younger and have a bit of money to spare in the way of getting their footin the door to a great teaching career.
So, while one might be initially discouraged by TEFL academies who only promise job placement to degree holders, don’t be discouraged! As the old saying goes, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”!
January 11, 2019 by george mike
Teaching English in China
Teaching English in China – Five Cool Things to See
China; the name itself invokes visions of a far off land full of ancient wonders, rich culture and spiritual mysticism. It has an extensive written history with written records dating back about 4,000 years and is considered one of the four great ancient civilizations of the world.
While China is a popular tourist destination, there is an even better way to explore its historical architecture and vibrant culture; by teaching English in China.China has the highest demand for English teachers in the world right now, more than any other country and is hands down the easiest place in the world to land a job teaching English. China is also a huge country both in terms of population and physical size and as such, makes it a great place to travel on your weekends and holidays off from the 9 to 5. Without further ado, the 5 coolest things to see while teaching English in China.
5. West Lake
Located in beautiful Hangzhou in Eastern China, West lake is a sight to behold. Spread out over an area of about 6.5 square kilometers, West Lake is a serene and beautiful spot that is famous for its scenery and is a setting for many traditional Chinese romantic legends.
A great getaway for the expat teaching English in one of the (many) more populated and bustling cities in China, West Lake offers a chance to relax and recuperate from the rat race of city life.There are many great activities to participate in including viewing koi fish at the flower pond,visiting the Leifeng pagoda and the mysterious “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” section that produces an optical illusion making it seem as if one is surrounded by multiple moons.
4. Giant Pandas in Chengdu
Few animals are as closely related to China as that of the giant panda, and no experience teaching English there is complete without a visit to a panda reserve.Giant pandas are gentle and placid creatures that spend the majority of their lives eating and sleeping, a feat most of us can envy immensely. They live in bamboo forests (bamboo being their main food source) and even without the pandas, the forests themselves are a magnificent sight to behold.There are four main panda reserves in Chengdu and you would do well to visit any one of them.
They all do great work, and it’s thanks to their efforts that giant pandas were taken off the endangered species list in 2016 (they are now on the “vulnerable” list).So take a break from teaching your students English, and see what other wildlife China has to offer! There are many different kinds of tours and activities involving Pandas, some involving simply viewing the creatures and even more immersive ones that last days where you can track wild pandas in their natural habitats.
3. Li River
Flowing 83 kilometers from Guilin to Yangshuo in Southern China, the Li River has been named one of the “top ten watery wonders” by National Geographic.The scenery is picturesque and stunning with the view consisting mainly of wild Karst mountains.Like West Lake, it’s a perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of teaching English in a
One of the most popular ways to explore the scenery is by river cruise, an activity that attracts millions of tourists every year. These cruises are about 4 to 5 hours and are extremely relaxed affairs with buffets and minibars, and some of the fancier boats even boasting air conditioning and TV screens.The more adventurous can take a bamboo rafting tour that takes place much closer to the water offering a more authentic (albeit less luxurious) nature experience.
2. The Terracotta Army
The terracotta army is a collection of clay sculptures that were made with the purpose of protecting Emperor Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife.The figures date back to the 3rd century BCE and are located in Xi’an, the excavation site which has since been turned into a museum. It is estimated that the terracotta army contains over 8000 soldiers, 130 chariots and 670 horses, the majority which are still buried in the pits nearby to main excavation site. There are also other non military figures buried to accompany the Emperor into the afterlife including strongmen, acrobats and musicians.
The figures are life-sized and vary immensely from one another in many ways including uniforms, hairstyles, and even faces.The terracotta army is unlike anything in the world and makes a great (even a little spooky!) little break from teaching English in Chinaon a weekend or holiday.
1. The Great Wall of China
Unsurprisingly, the world famous great wall tops the list of coolest things to see while teaching English in China.Spanning approximately 20,900 kilometers, the great wall was begun in the third century BC as a means of protection from barbarian nomads in the North.
One of the factors that makes it so amazing is the fact that it was built before modern machinery and thusly, built entirely by hand out of brick, stone, sand, and soil. Millions of the workers building the wall died in the process and were buried under it lending it the nickname
“The Longest Cemetery on Earth.”
The most famous section of the wall is called Badaling and is also the busiest. For a less touristy experience, one can visit the wilder sections like Jiankou or Simatai. There are many activities one can do on the great wall like hiking, camping or even riding a roller coaster!
January 7, 2019 by george mike
Teaching English in Thailand
Teaching English in Thailand – The Four Best Things
Thailand has long been an extremely popular travel destination for a while now attracting millions of tourists every year to check out it’s various popular attractions like beautiful waterfalls in Chiang Mai, buzzing night markets in Bangkok and bumping party Islands in the south.
Thailand has also recently become a very popular expat destination, the majority of expats being young college graduates teaching English in Thailand. It’s quite an easy position to acquire, the Thais have recently realized the importance of a population fluent in English to advance on a global scale and as a result, have opened their doors and hearts to young English teachers eager for adventure and to make a difference in the world.
While there are many countries one can teach English in, here are some of the best things about teaching English in Thailand.
4. The beaches
Seeing as most TEFL teachers hail from western countries full of rain and snow and bitter winters, it’s no surprise that the beautiful beaches of Thailand hold an irresistible draw to most of them.
Picture pure white sand dotted with leafy green palm trees and littered with exotic shells. A little further up from the water, a few restaurants and bars with simple open air designs offer up mouthwatering local cuisine and strong cocktails for very reasonable prices.
The more adventurous can participate in diving or snorkeling the numerous coral reefs off the coast of most Thai beaches, while the more relaxed can stretch out in a hammock or on the sand for some sun and sea breeze.
Whatever your preference for beach activities, it’s really hard to beat the beaches of the tropics and teaching English in Thailandis one way to get there.
3. The nightlife
While you’re expected to be on your best behavior as a teacher during the school week, it doesn’t mean you can’t get away for a wild night out every once in a while.
With both the amount of tourists on vacation looking to let loose and the local’s love of dancing, karaoke and Hong Thong (Thai whiskey), it’s no surprise that Thailand offers some of the most unique and exciting nightlife in the world.
Thailand is a huge country that varies wildly depending on what part you’re in and as a result, there’s something for everyone.
Bangkok has scores of fully modern dance clubs playing a mixture of both top 40’s hits and popular Thai music, as well as tons of western styled options like rock and Irish bars with usually very talented live musicians.
Chiang Mai up in the north has stricter liquor laws than the rest of Thailand and when the main bars close at midnight, the partiers who want to carry on funnel through quiet little side streets to hidden doors to underground “speakeasies” reminiscent of the secret operations during 1920’s prohibition.
If you’re really looking to let loose however, the south is the place to be. There are numerous party islands off either coast which boast everything from little reggae bars equipped with hammocks and hookahs for the truly chilled out to raging dance parties along the entire beach that go till dawn, including the infamous Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan that draws crowds of up to 30,000 people each month.
While it’s probably best not to mention it on your resume, teaching English in Thailandis a good way to escape the monotony of going to the same tired bar with your friends every weekend.
2. The food
While every culture has great cuisine, Thai food is absolutely legendary around the world. Think fresh ingredients, bold flavors and dirt cheap prices.
Thai culture is very much a “food culture,” a fact that is apparent to anyone who steps foot in the country pretty much right off the bat. Thai families don’t cook at home very much instead opting to eat out almost every night.
Most of the eating out is done in night markets, normally quiet streets or courtyards during the day that come alive with lights, music and food stalls during the early evening. You can get pretty much anything from the night markets, from knock off Nike’s to custom tailored suits but the main attraction is always the food court right in the middle.
The food court is full of vendors cooking fresh cuisine right in front of you to be had for unbeatable prices. You can get anything from gigantic seafood platters to be shared by an entire family, savory grilled meat skewers ranging from chicken to alligator, or local dishes like papaya salad, Tom Yum soup and Khao Soi. Some of the night markets in bigger cities will even have western food like burgers and pizza, perfect for those teaching English in Thailandwith squeamish appetites (although we really recommend fully embracing the delicious local food).
1. The People
Thailand is known as “the land of smiles” for a reason. Thai people are some of the kindest, most helpful and happiest people in the world.
One of the things that shocks first time visitors to Thailand the most is how honest the locals are. Unlike many other countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand has a super low crime rate and very rarely are tourists ever robbed or cheated and violent crimes are almost non existent.
When teaching English in Thailand, you will very quickly learn to love the local Thais from your landlord who might bring you medicine when you’re feeling sick, your favorite Pad Thai lady who throws in a bit extra every time with a wink and a smile, your co teachers who help you control your class and the smiling young men who will load you and your moped onto the back of their truck and drive you to the nearest repair shop when you inevitably get a flat tire on the side of the road.
And then there’s gonna be the locals that will undoubtedly become your absolute favorites, your students!
While you will undoubtedly feel like strangling them sometimes, you will probably form very close bonds with a lot of them. Thai children are even smilier than their adult counterparts and generally eager to learn about you and your culture. They will be very interested in everything about you, you might be the only foreigner they have seen in their entire lives!
Teachers are afforded a very high degree of respect in Thai culture and it’s not uncommon for students and their families to give gifts to teachers. On the last day of the semester, your desk will probably be completely covered in handmade cards, sweets and stuffed animals given to you by the students. It can make one very sad to leave.
January 5, 2019 by george mike
How to Teach English Abroad
How to Teach English Abroad (In six Easy Steps)
How to Teach English Abroad? Click here for more info
Have you ever thought about leaving your boring life behind for a new one full of exciting adventures, new people and unique experiences? Maybe in an exotic new country like Colombia or Japan?
Teaching English abroadmightbe for you! With tons of exciting countries opening up theirdoors to young recent college graduates looking to make a difference in the world while having a great time doing it, TEFL teaching is an incredibly easy field to get into.
Here’s how to teach English abroadin six easy steps.
1. Take a TEFL Course
This is perhaps the most important step in becoming an English teacher, becoming qualified. TEFL (along with CELTA/TESOL) is an internationally recognized course that is a requirement by pretty much all employers to work at their schools.
One can take the TEFL onsite or online and there are pros and cons to each, but online courses are generally a far better bang for your buck.
Not all TEFL courses are created equal though, so make sure to do some research before you sign up! Make sure your TEFL provider is fully accredited and has good reviews online before signing up.
Most employers also require at least 100 hours of TEFL coursework, so don’t waste your time with anything less than that.
2. Decide Where you Want to Teach
Now the most fun part of the whole process is deciding where you want to teach! There are many fun and exciting destinations with a high demand for TEFL teachers.
Some destinations like China, Japan and the Middle East pay top dollar for English teachers and are ideal for anyone serious about making a life long career out of teaching English.
Other Places like Europe and Latin America pay a lot less and are great for someone looking to try teaching English abroadfor a year or two as a way to finance sustainable travelling in a destination they’ve always wanted to see.
Whatever place you choose, make sure to research everything thoroughly from climate, to cost of living and expected salary.
3. Go Through the Interview Process
Once you have decided where you want to live, it’s time to get in touch with your TEFL academy about placement to teach English abroad!
Any good TEFL academy will offer placement assistance (steer clear of any that don’t!) and they should be helping you every step of the way until you land your interview. They will help you tailor a resume and cover letter specific to the schools they work with before sending them out to employers.
The employers will then get in touch with you to schedule a Skype interview! As the employers will likely be in different time zones, there’s a good chance that your interview will be at a very odd hour, early morning or late at night.
Whatever the hour, make sure to look fresh, alert and presentable! Have a shower, drink some coffee and wear a nice shirt and tie (or blouse for the ladies). As long as you have done some research, (the TEFL academy should steer you in the right direction) the interview should go fine and you will receive an acceptance email within a couple weeks!
If deciding which destination to pick was the best part, filling out the paperwork is undoubtedly the worst.
Now is the time to look into flights, get criminal record checks, gather documents, fill out forms and wait in long lines at international embassies.
Every country is different and your school will send you precise instructions on how to apply for the necessary Visa, make sure to follow them to a T.
You will also want to begin the process as early as possible, the bureaucracy can take an incredibly long time and it is very likely that additional steps will be added along the way as thing inevitably go wrong but stand strong, you will get through it eventually with a crisp new visa in your passport to teach English abroad!
5. Wrap up your Current Life
Now that you have a job and visa, it’s time to start putting your affairs in order. You will have to quit your current job and leave your apartment. You will also have a ton of other things to wrap up like perhaps selling your car or putting your possessions in storage.
This is also a time of spending a lot of money. You will be buying your plane ticket for one, but there will be added expenses of travelling gear and appropriate clothes.
You will need a new teaching wardrobe consisting of business casual clothing as well as climate appropriate clothes for when you’re not teaching. Quality luggage is also a necessity, have at least one large suitcase that fits everything as well as a mid sized backpack for your inevitable weekend and holiday excursions. There’s a good chance you also won’t get your preferred brands of personal care/beauty products so make sure you stock up! Don’t overpack though, you can always buy more stuff when you get there.
Another thing to look into is vaccinations. Do your research and speak to a doctor before getting anything, every place has different illnesses and you will need different inoculations depending on where you are going.
6. Get on the Plane
It’s done. All your affairs are in order, your bags are packed and goodbyes said. Get a ride to the airport, check your bags and step on board, your adventure teaching English abroadbegins now!
January 2, 2019 by george mike
TEFL Jobs Abroad
The 5 Best destinations for TEFL Jobs Abroad
There are all kinds of unique and interesting careers to be found, but there’s none that can quite match the adventure and excitement of that of a TEFL teacher. TEFL teachers travel abroad to all kinds of wild and interesting countries teaching English to both children and adults.
The decision to become a TEFL teacher may be easy for some but even after deciding it’s the right career choice, one can be faced with an even bigger dilemma; what country do I teach in?
Many many countries offer TEFL jobs abroadand choosing between them all can be daunting. Beach or mountains? Hot or temperate? Asia or South America? The list goes on. Here is a list of some of the best countries one can choose to teach TEFL abroad that will (hopefully) make the choice a little easier.
Ah Spain, the home of fearless matadors, graceful flamenco dancers, red wine and the siesta. A place where the nights are long and the days go slow. For many TEFL teachers looking for jobs abroad, Spain has an immense appeal and it’s not hard to see why.
Known for it’s warm and forgiving climate year round, beautiful beaches and historic architecture, Spain is a great place to begin your TEFL adventures abroad. Attracting millions of tourists a year, it’s no surprise that people are aching to settle down and live there for a little longer than the average two weeks.
Luckily for aspiring TEFL teachers, Spain has the highest demand for TEFL teachers in all of Europe. While it is especially easy for TEFL teachers that already have a EU passport, there are a
few programs in place that will help North American teachers to get the correct visa to teach in Spain as well.
While the average salary is not as attractive as many Asian countries, it’s still very liveable and one can have a pretty good standard of living as a TEFL teacher there.
With the world’s largest population and an economy that’s booming out of control, there’s never a dull moment in China.
Whether you prefer the city or the country, the mountains or the sea, China has you covered. China is a vast country that varies wildly from region to region which gives a lot of options to TEFL teachers aspiring to land jobs abroad in China.
China is also known by TEFL teachers living abroad to be a bit of a “wildcard” country. With
Chinese culture and infrastructure changing at an alarming rate, anything can happen at any minute and excitement is always just around the corner. Add their ancient and vibrant history, architecture (almost) as old as time itself and some very interesting government policies and you have the perfect cocktail for an adventure filled year teaching English abroad.
One of the biggest draws China holds for TEFL teachers looking for jobs abroad is their average salary. With high pay scales to a relatively low cost of living (depending on your region of course) and often very attractive perks like bonuses, paid vacations an even reimbursement of airfare, China is the number one destination for any teacher looking for a TEFL job that will pay out some serious coin.
3) Costa Rica
Costa Rica or “the Rich Coast” is a lush paradise full of exotic flora and fauna that is sure to tickle the fancies of any nature lover. Think greenery as far as the eye can see (25% of land in Costa Rica consists of protected parks and reserves) dotted with coastal beaches, lakes, mountains and even volcanoes. It is also home to 10% of the worlds butterfly population. Costa Ricans are known to be incredibly friendly and open minded, ready to welcome a new TEFL teacher into their community with a big smile and open arms.
The cost of living in Costa Rica is also relatively low and the salaries are very easy to live comfortably off of making it the perfect place for the nature loving TEFL teachers to start a new job abroad.
From the famously cramped city of Tokyo to the grand old capital of Kyoto, Japan is alive with both cutting edge modern innovation and a deeply ingrained culture of honour and humility and is a great place to secure a TEFL job abroad.
With a rich history stretching from the feudal days of the fearsome Samurai to the modern mania of hello kitty and personal robots, Japanese culture is sure to have something for everyone!
Japan offers competitive salaries and good perks but there is one catch; you will be expected to work very hard for them. The Japanese value hard work above almost all else and nothing less
than your very best will be acceptable. Hardly surprising for a culture that has a word for “death by overwork.”
Thailand or the “land of smiles” is very deserving of its name. Thai people are some of the friendliest and kindest people in the world and will always try their absolute best to help you in anyway you can.
Add this to white sand tropical islands in the south, lush green jungles and mountains in the north and some of the most delicious food on earth and you have a recipe for literal paradise on earth (or as close as it gets anyway)!
While Thailand doesn’t have the highest pay on a world class scale, the cost of living is so ridiculously cheap that it is a very easy place to live a lavish lifestyle while also saving money which comes in handy for all the weekend island excursions one will definitely take during their time as a TEFL teacher there.
Due to all these amazing factors, there are also extensive expat communities in Thailand which makes it very easy to make new friends, something that can be very important in a new place where no one speaks your language!
Out of all these great places for TEFL jobs abroad, Thailand is definitely the easiest one to start out your adventure in!
December 31, 2018 by george mike
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December 31, 2018 by george mike
English Teaching Jobs
English Teaching Jobs – 4 Things you Learn Teaching English Abroad
English teaching jobsabroadare exciting. One minute you’re newly graduated from college inthe midst of completing your TEFL course, and the next you’re in a new and exotic country jumping off waterfalls, riding scooters, and eating scorpions.
Most people who spend time at an English teaching jobin a foreign country consider it a time of intense learning and personal growth. Being a TEFL teacher requires a tremendous amount of courage, resourcefulness, and stepping out of one’s comfort zone in sometimes incredible amounts.
You will undoubtedly learn a lot of practical skills during an English teaching jobabroad, like perhaps a bit of a new language, how to dive, ride a motorbike, or cook a strange vegetable. But even more importantly, you will learn deep life lessons that you will carry with you for the rest of your life; something far more valuable than any practical skills you might acquire.
4) Your Teachers Were Watching the Clock Just as Hard as you Were
When you are a child in school, you undoubtedly glanced over at the clock every five agonizing minutes just waiting and willing them to go faster. Math was a drag, and all you could do was count down the minutes until you were free for that glorious lunch hour.
Meanwhile, the teacher stood at the front of the class rambling on and on about integers and fractions. It was clearly the only enjoyment he got out of life, and there was nothing he loved more than handing out worksheets and quizzes and drilling you with multiplication tables.
Little did you know how wrong you were! As exciting as an English teaching jobis, it’s still a job. You might like it a lot, but for the most part, it mainly pays the bills. Sure you will have a few
lesson plans with exciting activities that are an absolute joy to execute, but for the most part, you’ll be watching the clock just as hard (if not harder) than your students.
You’ll notice that some classes go by a lot faster than others, intensive classes where you have a lot of material to cover are always a little nerve wracking but for the most part, you’ll be thinking up a lot of games to fill that last 10 minutes! The last class on Friday is always a write off, you’ll just be itching to get out of there to hop on the road for your weekend travels.
3) You’re Tougher than You Think
An English teaching jobabroad is an adventure. And while adventures are (almost) always fun, they’re not always comfortable. During your TEFL adventures, you will be forced to step out of your comfort zone and do things you previously never would have thought yourself capable of doing.
From sleeping in places infested with cockroaches, standing on a jam packed bus for six hours, or having to eat something completely alien to your diet, you will have a lot of trials during your English teaching job.
At first, the idea of doing all the unsavoury things might shock you, you’ll be nervous and reluctant and perhaps even wishing that you had stayed back and skipped this adventure. But necessity will force you to grit your teeth and bare it, and then something amazing will happen; you’ll realize that it’s not that bad!
Sure, some of the more unpleasant things might be a bit uncomfortable at first, but you’ll soon get used to them and realize that this is just daily life in your new home. From nonchalantly picking ants out of your food in Thailand to sleeping on the floor of a stranger’s homestay during a motorcycle trip in Vietnam, your English teaching jobwill give you many small trials of endurance that will make you realize just how strong you really are.
2) People are Pretty Much the Same all Over the world
One of the common occurrences that happen to people who go abroad for English teaching jobs is that of culture shock. You’re suddenly in a completely new and foreign environment where everything is different and nothing works the way that you’re used to. People might seem incredibly rude at first, you might get ripped off constantly and feel like a total outsider (which you are!).
This is completely natural and will wear off after a few weeks, however. You’ll start to realize that the people aren’t being rude, but that there’s simply a communication barrier and a lot of the locals are simply a bit nervous at having to interact with a foreigner. You’ll definitely be getting ripped off at first, but eventually you’ll both start to learn the average prices of things in the area and be recognized by the local vendors as an expat and not a tourist.
Once the locals realize that you’re a valued member of the community (teachers are highly respected almost everywhere in the world with English teaching jobs), they will do their best to make you feel comfortable and welcome. From extra “gifts” at your favourite restaurants, vendors too excited, “Hello teachers!” from your students that spy you out and about, you’ll be feeling right at home in no time at all.
And once you’re a comfortable member of local society, you’ll notice something amazing;
people are the same all over the world. You’ll bump into all the same archetypes and personalities you’re used to encountering at home; the grumpy old man, the large bubbly woman, the ragged musician and the “too hot for you” girl.
It’ll really make you find the idea of prejudice and hate hilarious considering how alike everyone in the world really is.
1) Always Say Yes
This one is more a principle one starts to live by after working an English teaching jobabroad than a sage philosophy.
Going back to the “being thrust into new and uncomfortable situations” part of being a TEFL teacher, you’re definitely going to be put in some situations that are a little bit out of your comfort zone.
Maybe you’ll get invited for a weekend getaway with a huge crowd of people you’ve never met, or to a local family dinner with one of your co-teachers, or on a scuba diving trip. You may be a bit nervous to accept these invitations, but you shouldn’t be.
One of the things that is going to make or break your English teaching adventure is your willingness to embrace the unfamiliar, or in short, always say yes.
No matter what it is (within basic reason of course), or how uncomfortable the thought of it makes you, you should jump at the chance for the new and unfamiliar.
Because in the end, that’s what you’re foreign English teaching jobis really all about, embracing adventure.
December 25, 2018 by george mike
Teaching English Overseas
Teaching English Overseas – The Five Stages
Teaching English overseas is an exciting career full of adventure and new experiences. It is however not for the faint of heart. A career in teaching overseas is a bigger commitment than most jobs. To embark on this adventure, one must leave their entire life behind to begin a new one in a strange new land full of cultures and customs often completely different from the ones left behind.
It’s not a career for the faint of heart and no matter how brave and determined one is to pursue this career, there will inevitably be ups and downs.
While everyone is different, here are the five stages most individuals will go through while teaching English overseas.
During the application process of teaching English overseas, you will inevitably be quite nervous. It’s an adventure unlike any you have ever gone on and here’s where all the what ifs come in.
“What if the visa doesn’t come in time?” “What if I can’t teach?”
“What if I miss my family?”
It’s completely natural and nothing to worry about. As time goes on and stuff starts to fall into place, this nervousness will be quelled. You’ll probably get in touch with future coworkers in your school, your visa paperwork will go through just fine and your friends will start planning their vacations to come visit you. Looks like teaching English overseas is gonna be a blast!
Now that everything is set up for the transition to run smoothly, excitement starts to kick in. Your life is wrapped up, plane ticket bought and goodbyes said.
Sure you’re gonna miss everyone back home, but the road ahead is fraught with adventure and
This excitement will begin a couple weeks before you leave and carry into the first couple weeks of arriving at your new home.
Everything is new and exciting. You will see things you have never seen before in your entire life, probably meet a few cool like minded expats also teaching English abroad and maybe even get yourself into an adventure or two that you’re already excited to tell your friends back home about.
You will be enchanted by everything; the food, the people, the architecture, and especially your smiley new students; who would have thought they’d be this cute.
This is definitely your honeymoon phase of teaching English abroad so enjoy it while it lasts, which unfortunately might not be for very long.
Eventually once the honeymoon phase of teaching English overseaswears off, it will inevitably hit you; doubt.
It can sneak up on you suddenly when you least expect it, after a bad day, a huge communication mishap or a fall off your scooter. Suddenly new and exciting can become alien and barbaric.
You may realize you suddenly hate spicy food, the locals are constantly trying to rip you off, you miss your friends and family back home and your students are actually absolute terrors behind the mask of cuteness.
Don’t worry, you’re simply a victim of culture shock which happens to the best of us. This is temporary and will go away with time as you get more used to your new environment, make a few friends and start getting good at putting the fear of God into your students.
As tempting as it may be to quit and hop on the first plane back home, it’s important to hang in there and give yourself enough time to get used to your new life teaching English overseas.
Luckily culture shock doesn’t last long. Within a couple doubt filled weeks, things will start to get better.
Sure you still miss the people and places back home, but you’re also starting to really like the new people and places you’re finding. You’re more used to the teaching overseas routine and are starting to like that too.
Sure your weekdays are hard work, no one ever said teaching English overseaswas easy, but you’re getting the hang of it and starting to really connect with your students and fellow teachers.
And the weekends are glorious, you spend the days doing things you never would have back home; exploring waterfalls, caves, beautiful beaches and quaint villages with your new crew of fellow teachers while the nights will consist of quirky bars and cheap beer.
You’ll find all your favourite restaurants and hangouts, and start to make friends with the locals there who will be fascinated by your culture and do their best to make you feel welcome.
It’s a really good thing you hung in and didn’t get on that plane home!
Everything in your new home is amazing. You start to understand and appreciate the new culture you are now immersed in, and maybe even start to adopt parts of it as your own. Life is so much better and more fulfilling than it was back home, and you are incredibly glad that you made the decision to embark on a career teaching English overseas.
Along with the joy brought to you by your new experiences and by now countless adventures, you might feel something else too; pride. You did it, you made the decision and stuck with it all the way to the end. You were brave enough to leave your entire life behind and begin a new one in a place a lot of the people back home wouldn’t be able to survive a day in. So enjoy all that pride and joy, you earned it!
December 16, 2018 by george mike
Teaching English Online
Teaching English Online – 4 Signs that it Might be for You
When we think of the word “teacher” the image that probably comes to mind is one of a traditional classroom with rows of students in desks, and a prim and proper instructor at the blackboard with ruler in hand and apple on desk.
But times are changing. With technology improving every day, new channels of communication and learning that were one unperceivable are being opened up to us that change the way we teach and learn completely.
One such channel is Skype. Once a vision of the future in cheesy sci-fi movies of the 80’s, video calling is now a completely integrated part of our daily life. While most of us use it as a means of keeping in touch with loved ones, enterprising English academies in Asia are capitalizing on the technology to pair young pupils with native English speakers halfway across the globe for after school English lessons.
This benefits both the students who get a teacher that grew up speaking English correctly and understands the finer nuances of the language, and also the teacher who gets to earn money from the comfort of their own home teaching something that comes naturally to them.
Think teaching English onlinemight be for you? Read on.
1. You enjoy working from the comfort of your own home
Some people love the 9 to 5 rat race. They love going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up early morning, jumping in the shower and heading out into the peak bustle of rush hour traffic while wearing their most uncomfortable suit. Teaching English onlineis probably not for those kinds of people.
If the thought of continuing to sleep while your partner rushes about the house trying to leave on time, watching the pouring rain from your living room window or never needing to drive during rush hour appeals to you, teaching English onlinemight be for you.
There’s no need to dress up nicely (although you will have to be somewhat presentable during
the actual lessons), pack a lunch, put mileage on your vehicle or make banal small talk with your boring co workers.
By teaching English online, you can be surrounded by all your favorite foods, entertainment and family members at all times. Just be careful not to get sick of them!
2. You enjoy keeping odd hours
While the societal ideal is being early to bed and early to rise, the truth is that many of us don’t feel healthy, wealthy or wise at 6 am.
Everyone is different and while some people do great on a 9 to 5 schedule, a lot of us have internal clocks that just don’t work like that.
With teaching English online, you will most likely be tutoring a child in a time zone on the opposite end of the world so you will most likely not be keeping within the 9 to 5 confines of most jobs meaning you will work some pretty odd hours. Yes a lot of these odd hours will be early mornings but you have a lot more flexibility to choose the hours you want to work.
You will also probably never do 8 hours straight. You might do 2-3 hours in the morning, take all afternoon off for a siesta or running errands and come back to it for a couple hours in the evening.
You might prefer to be a total night owl and work during the wee hours of the night tutoring the children on their weekends and holidays (poor kids).
Either way whatever your preference, you will have much more flexibility in choosing your working hours with teaching English onlinethan in most other conventional jobs.
3. You enjoy meeting new people
New people are great, especially people from a culture completely different from your own. It’s always refreshing and stimulating to personal growth to meet someone with a uniquely different way of viewing the world from your own.
Traditionally, one had to take time off work, invest a bunch of money and time and risk being robbed and catching deadly diseases to gain unique insights into life and expand their minds. This is no longer the case, you can now meet new people without ever forgoing your coffee maker or taking off your favorite pair of slippers.
Through teaching English online, you will be paired up with 2 to 3 pupils for a long time and although it will start off with you teaching things to them, you will soon start to realize that they are also teaching things to you.
You may very well start to become quite close with your students as you speak to them one on one for hours at a time about their culture and daily life (in English of course!), and they will probably be just as interested in yours. It’s really the modern day equivalent of having a pen pal, except you get paid!
4. You enjoy seeing your efforts “pay off”
Many jobs are just a monotonous routine, you may spend hours filling spreadsheets, crunching numbers or waiting tables only to return the next morning to start all over again with no real visible difference made by your efforts. Sure you get the satisfaction of a job well done at the
end of the day but it usually ends there, there is no physical representation of a positive difference apart from your paycheck.
With teaching English online, things are different. You work with the same pupil for months, maybe even years, constantly helping him or her improve their language skills. They are a living and breathing representation of all your efforts and they will carry those efforts with them the rest of their lives.
It will always be with feelings of immense pride and fondness when you compare where a pupil is now to where they were when you first started together, and knowing that the difference is a result of all your hard work.
It works both ways too, as proud of you will be of them for coming so far, they will also attribute a lot of their success to you. Every time they use their English skills, to land a high paying job, read a new book or make a new friend, they will remember you, which is really the best kind of difference you can make in the world.
December 12, 2018 by george mike
5 top tips for teaching English to kids
The prospect of teaching English to kids can strike fear into the hearts of many a recent TEFL graduate. But it needn’t be so scary. There are ways you can dodge the dreaded rowdy classroom of nearly-10s and keep everyone entertained for the whole duration. It might take some getting used to, but you could find that you’re soon eliciting all-new vocab and spinning excellent grammar from the little ones, especially if you follow our top five tips…
Teaching English to kids | © MyTEFL
Games, games, and more games
Ask any veteran of teaching English to kids and they’ll tell you that half the battle is having enough games up your sleeve to keep sessions ticking over. And we’re not just talking 10 or 20 games that you can pull out whenever things start going south. We’re talking 100s of different activities that you can use in a strategic way to build a real learning arc for students of different levels. It’s important to keep planning new ways of playing for younger learners so that you
cover all learning types (more on those later) and ensure no one loses interest – it’s likely your class won’t respond so well to the same game two lessons in a row.
Get the energy flowing
Kids have too much energy. It’s a fact of life that means keeping the little ones still for up to an hour of English tuition can seem like performing keyhole brain surgery – it’s not easy! So, why not channel all that glucose and use it to your advantage? There are plenty of games and activities that can help you get students out of their seats and jumping or moving around the classroom, whether it’s just group word-linkage races or act it out sessions. And it’s even better if you have the facilities in your TEFL school to take the class al fresco. Go outside and get a football throwing or something. Just be sure to tie it in with grammar and vocabulary work and you’ll soon see how effective this method can be.
Teaching English to kids | © MyTEFL
Be stern but not too stern
The level of discipline that you should employ when teaching English to kids is a hotly debated topic in the world of TEFL. Some say stern is the way to go, with strict policies for undone homework and misehaviour in class. Others prefer to be loose and nurture a loud, free-flowing learning environment. And while it’s true that you’ll need to tailor your responses to particular classes, cultures, and individual students, it’s also a good idea to try and strike a balance between these two ways of looking at things. Too stern and you risk creating an atmosphere where students aren’t confident enough to speak up. Too loose and there’s no structure to the learning.
Don’t be afraid of varying the media
That school textbook can get boring even for adult learners. Page after page of prescribed activities and tasks that you simply have to get done by the end of the lesson is a sure-fire way to keep things mundane and dreary. So, while you will need to work through certain sections of your curriculum material, it’s also a good idea to vary the media and mode of your class as much as you can when teaching English to kids. That means bringing in videos, using audio recordings (not just the oral conversations offered by many textbook accompaniment CDs), and even visual art and painting. These are especially useful for warmups in younger classes, adding in an element of free-flow Student Talk Time that’s great for you to see what student is at what level before you get stuck into the more academic stuff
Teaching English to kids | © MyTEFL
Get to grips with learning types
Learning typesunderpinmany theories about how children learn. They outline a web of variousways of approaching tasks that kids – and adults for that matter – have naturally from birth. Some people are said to be visual learners, which means they will respond well to pictures in a classroom environment. Others might be kinaesthetic learners, in which case play and physical action is a good way to get them to understand those new vocabulary lists. Others are a mix of
learning types. There are several other categories of learner that it’s a good idea to read up on before starting teaching English to kids. Then, it’s just about catering to the various learning styles you can identify in your class, balancing your approach to teaching so it creates and effective atmosphere for all.
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