27 July, 2009

Win Free TEFL Training in Italy

Cactus TEFL, which has schools in 34 countries, is offering a scholarship to receive four weeks of TEFL training in Italy, followed by two weeks of Italian language instruction. You can choose to study in Alghero, Florence, Milan or Rome, and must complete the course by June 2010. They will even pay for accommodation and return travel from/to Britain or the equivalent. Entrants must complete an application form, write an essay and show native proficiency in English. Details at the Cactus web site.

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21 July, 2009

Subscriptions vs. Gift Packs

Remember, you don't need to subscribe to English Toolbox to get our great EFL teaching exercises. You can also buy our Gift Packs, which give you twelve credits for just $9.48. Once you buy the Gift Pack your credit card is never billed again, and your credits won't expire until you use them up by downloading exercises. Of course, subscribing is still the most cost-effective option, but for those who just want to grab a few exercises on a particular subject, the Gift Pack may be the best solution. More details here.

17 July, 2009

Bias Against Non-Anglo Looking Teachers

A discussion on Andrew Sullivan's blog about Asian prejudices against EFL teachers who "don't look the part":
I have been working for the past four years in Thailand, and having blonde hair and blue eyes is a big advantage -- not because they think that I can do the job better, but because I more closely fit the image of what a "farang" (foreigner) is and the school can parade me in front of the parents to show off their English language teacher.

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13 July, 2009

Spelling Variations Split Indian Schools

It's astonishing how some teachers cling to the idea of a "proper" spelling of English words, elevating British over American. This is causing some debate in a former British colony:
While some feel American spellings need to be pointed out, if not marked wrong, others would rather not nitpick. Malini Bhagat, principal of Mahadevi Birla Girls Higher Secondary School, vehemently refuses to allow her students use American spellings. "I still follow proper UK English in my school. In case the students prefer American English, the words are circled and the original UK English words mentioned," she says.

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04 July, 2009

Why You Should Not Teach English Overseas

A sneak preview of a work-in-progress. Sample paragraph:
You have a very strong attachment to family and friends.  Let’s face it: working overseas means you are going to be away from the people you love the most for extended periods of time.  You can telephone, exchange e-mails, and even use webcams and microphones on your computer to keep in touch; still, you won’t be sharing meals, movies or hugs with the people who are most important to you for a long, long time.  You will be surrounded by strangers, only a few of whom you can even speak with in English.  You are going to be homesick after the initial euphoria of the move wears off, and that condition will only increase as the months go by.  You need to think long and hard before accepting a job overseas and decide whether or not you can cope with such a prolonged separation.  If you can’t, you’re only going to be miserable every single day you’re there; moreover, you’ll probably quit the job and return home, leaving your students and employer in the lurch.  Those with elderly or sick parents should also consider whether they might need suddenly to return home due to a medical emergency or death, and even whether they would arrive in time.

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