24 September, 2008

France Says "Oui" to More EFL

A rather stunning reversal of past policy. Excerpts:

Lessons will concentrate on oral English, a fundamental change as most of France's official examinations are written tests. Classes will be taught by teachers who volunteer to work during the holidays in return for tax-free overtime or by English students from abroad... "The world has changed and France has realized it has to change with it. More and more students are spending a year studying in an anglophone country. They realize it looks good on their CV that they can speak English," [an education expert] said.

Mon Dieu!

Labels: , ,

20 September, 2008

Teacher Guilt Forum

One of the best ways to get ideas, complain about your boss or students in a safe place, or just answer the question, "Am I crazy, or... ?" is on the various TEFL forums that dot the internet. One of the better ones is ELT World, and we found this topic particularly interesting. Its title is, "As a teacher, what do you feel guilty about?" The answers are thoughtful and, probably, familiar to most of you.


Labels: , ,

16 September, 2008

This Week's Contest: Good EFL Advice

We asked you to relate your horror stories about problem students, and did you ever! This was one of the most popular topics ever on this blog, based on the number of you who wrote in. Most complained about cheaters, talkers and pint-sized divas. However, the story we liked best was about a discipline problem in a Korean private school ("hakwon"). The teacher was Roxanne C., and we'll let her pick up the story: "This boy would never behave in class, was always disruptive, and wasn't learning a thing. I really hated him and dreaded the days when I knew I would see him (unfortunately, his attendance was the only sterling thing about him!). One day, lunching at a local restaurant, I saw the boy and his mother eating on the other side of the room. He was talking to her, trying to get her attention, but she never even glanced at him; she just ate and then smoked a cigarette, and pretended he wasn't even in the room. Mind you, he wasn't misbehaving, he was just trying to connect with a mother that clearly had written him off. I realized that this was at the root of his classroom antics, and I resolved to be a bit nicer to him. Didn't help much, but eventually the school year ended and I moved on to another school." Wow, Roxanne, that's a great reminder to all of us (of something... ) and has won you five English Toolbox credits!

Next time, tell us the best piece of teaching-related advice you ever received from a colleague, training course, the internet, etc. The most interesting tip will get the sender five free English Toolbox credits, even if s/he does not currently subscribe. Send your thoughts to info@englishtoolbox.com by 30 September.

Labels: , ,

10 September, 2008

Korean English Villages Failing

From an editorial in a Korean newspaper:


Labels: , ,

03 September, 2008

This Week's Contest: Problem Students

We wondered last time about the differences between what you were taught in your EFL preparatory course, and what you experienced with real students once you actually started teaching. Darren J. in Mykonos, Greece, says that the teachers in his TEFL course tended to be very "Asian-centric" in their ideas: "They were always warning us to be careful that our students didn't lose face, so they told us to be very careful with in-class correction and feedback. I was so intimidated by this that I gave very little correction once I became a teacher, until my students in Switzerland began complaining about it to my boss! It turns out that they considered a 'good' teacher to be one who gave lots of instant correction when they made mistakes!" Interesting, Darren: for reminding us that the Swiss are very different from the Japanese, you’ve won five free English Toolbox credits!

For the next contest, tell us about a problem student that you had trouble with and how you dealt with him/her. Did you have to resort to drastic measures, or were you able to work things out in a way that allowed the student to remain in the class? Our favorite response will win the sender five free English Toolbox credits, even if s/he does not currently subscribe. Send your contributions to info@englishtoolbox.com by 15 September.

Labels: , ,

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

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]