22 August, 2008

Appeal against Poland's U-turn on English for All

An interesting debate in Poland:

Polish intellectuals, politicians, artists and celebrities have put their names to an open letter appealing to their prime minister, Donald Tusk, to reinstate a policy to teach English from the first year of primary school.

The letter was prompted by the government's surprise decision to go back on its plan to introduce English language teaching in all schools from September.

One of the signatories, Polish MEP Konrad Szymanski, told Polskie Radio: "Compulsory English education in elementary schools is the best way to popularize this language. If Poland wants to be involved in the mainstream, common knowledge of English is a basic factor."

The radio station quoted former president Lech Walesa as saying: "I had no chance to learn English and I still feel hampered by it."

Instead of making English compulsory, the education ministry now wants schools to choose which modern languages to teach.

The ministry argues that in some regions of the country Russian or German would be more useful than English.

Labels: , ,

16 August, 2008

This Week's Contest: Training Myths

We inquired last time about any extra teaching you may be doing outside of your regular class schedule. A couple of you wrote that you had outside, "private" students you saw one-on-one; one respondent also teaches a university class in addition to his work teaching Business English as an in-company trainer. The answer we liked the most, however, came from April J. in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia, who teaches a full load of classes for children Monday through Friday, but still manages to do some video training a few times a week. "For one thing, I need to speak to adults occasionally so I can keep my Business English skills fresh," April wrote. "For another, I can always cancel or re-schedule a video class more easily than a face-to-face class if I'm feeling too tired: there's always another teacher who can pick up the slack." Very nice, April: you've won five free English Toolbox credits!

Our next contest will focus on the differences between what you were taught in your EFL preparatory course, and what you experienced with real students once you actually started teaching. What was your biggest surprise as a new teacher? Was there anything that was the opposite of what you'd been told while you were getting certified? The most interesting response will win the responder five free English Toolbox credits, even if s/he does not currently subscribe. Send your contributions to info@englishtoolbox.com by 31 August.

Labels: , ,

11 August, 2008

Stress Reliever

Students driving you crazy? Grammar rules getting more confusing for you than for the students? Tired of doing the same thing over and over and over again? Well, watch this, and feel the stress melt away:

Labels: , ,

09 August, 2008

Cali Qualifications

If you think you needed a lot of training to teach in China or France, be thankful you didn't need to get the training to teach English in California. Click this link to read the full article; here's an excerpt:

To enroll in the intern program, I had to fill out more applications and then complete 40 hours of pre-service training in teaching English language learners, a course that in theory would have been very useful but in fact only entailed reading a stack of paperwork and writing essays I suspected would be stuck in my file unread. I also had to summarize what I'd learned in a page of sentences that began with "I used to think," and ended with "but now I know ... ."

Whatever the actual purpose of this exercise, writing about my former state of ignorance felt like some kind of forced confession by a totalitarian state.

Labels: , ,

02 August, 2008

This Week's Contest: Supplementary Teaching

We wanted to know if you had any specific deadline or target for giving up TEFL. Or did you all plan to stay in the profession for your entire working lives? A few of you wrote along the lines of, "It's always been my dream to spend some time living in Country X, and once I do that I'll go back home and get a real job." But the reply we liked best came from Iris Y. in Cameroon, who said, "I'll stop teaching on the day I stop learning from my students." Lovely, Iris: we may even have that stitched onto a pillow for our office sofa! You get five free English Toolbox credits.

Next time, tell us about any supplementary teaching you may be doing, i.e., outside of your regular class schedule. Do you have any private students, or do you do any internet training? Or is your regular schedule more than enough work for you? The most interesting response will win the responder five free English Toolbox credits, even if s/he does not currently subscribe. Send your contributions to info@englishtoolbox.com by 15 August.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]