30 March, 2009

Newest Exercises Added

We've been busy adding new exercises to our database, which already has more than 1,000 exercises, worksheets, lesson plans and audio files. The most recent half-dozen uploads are:

* Office Equipment Crossword Puzzle
* Modals of Belief and Ability
* Family Vocabulary
* According to In Accordance with Accordingly
* Phrasal Verbs in Sentences
* Logistics Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous

You can search for these using the "Exercise Name" field on our Search page.

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25 March, 2009

Competition Getting Fiercer for TEFL Jobs

In a press release, er, article about companies recruiting teachers for overseas teaching jobs, CNN reports that the number of applicants is way up due to the poor economy and employment prospects at home. Example:

Japan's JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program also has recorded a jump in applicants. For 2009 positions, the Japanese government-sponsored program has received 15 percent more U.S. applications than last year... .

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19 March, 2009

Trying Not to Speak English Abroad

Here's an article that discusses a scenario that will be familiar to any EFL teacher who is attempting to speak the native language in countries where the natives want to practice their English, making it difficult for the foreigner to learn a new tongue. Sample paragraph:

On the street, it comes down to this: An Egyptian man who knows 10 words of English will often, literally, use them over and over in conversation, even if you both are speaking in Arabic and it's clear you understand. For example, while speaking Arabic, when he comes to a place where the word "good" could be used, and he knows that word in English, he'll insert it.

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12 March, 2009

Failed at Everything Else? Become an English Teacher!

With the world economy in a major downturn, there seems to be this impression that those who have lost their jobs or cannot find a job can simply "become an English teacher" overseas. Sites such as this and this blithely suggest that any native speaker can teach English without any teacher training whatsoever. Now, of course, some schools in Thailand, Korea and other countries apparently believe that a child can learn English simply by standing next to a native speaker for a few hours per day, and so the unqualified and inept will never lack for work in these locales. But you never see sites saying, "Fix people's plumbing--no experience necessary!" Yet every day, people are encouraged to subject a foreigner to their ignorance and inexperience, and make them pay for the privilege! It's no wonder the profession is held in such low esteem in many countries, and that training and professionalism are considered luxuries.

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01 March, 2009

Tough EFL Market in Hungary

English teachers in Budapest report that the job market is contracting quite severely:

A Hungarian owner of an established English-language teaching school, speaking on condition of anonymity, was more dramatic in her assessment of the state of play for teachers in Budapest: "This is the worst time for new students since our first year in business over ten years ago. January is generally the best time for getting new students, but people seem to be less interested than ever before."

How are things in your country of residence? Are you noticing the same kind of contraction? Send us your reports, and any that are particularly interesting will be printed in this space in the weeks to come.

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