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PostHeaderIcon Lessons Learned from Teaching English as a Second Language

When it comes to teaching, it isn’t just a matter of teaching the children, you also soon realize along the way that you can benefit just as much from those students as they will from you. This is probably something seen in almost all movies involving teachers. Eventually the teacher comes to realize that they should have been learning from the students too. As much as it has become a romantic cliché, it is still true that if you aren’t getting something out of teaching then you probably aren’t as open to learning new things as you thought.

So, here are just a few of the lessons I managed to pick up along the way when I taught English as a second language (which has a particular need of learning from your students and fast).

Have a Plan Z

There is a good quote in the military that fits this one: “A plan never survives first contact with the enemy”. And sure, while the students aren’t your enemy, they can mess up the plans you had set out rather easily, just by the simple aspect of asking questions. And when it comes to asking questions, you want to be answering those as often as you can. Because your plans are bound to get messed up, having a plan B and C or even Z can be crucial, the key is that you want to be flexible to the needs of your students. If you keep getting asked the same questions over again, then maybe you need to change up your plan for that day to the topic that apparently wasn’t quite clear to your students.

Know the Staff

I will admit I am not always the friendliest person to get to know, especially in the mornings when I’m usually just getting to work for teaching and seeing the other teachers before the day begins, but even for me, when overseas or in an area you don’t understand the language for, knowing people who can speak your language and the other one you are dealing with, can make such a difference. Even if it isn’t a language barrier, just cultural differences can have an impact and having faculty members that know those students and can provide feedback can be crucial. So remember not just to learn from your students, but the other staff, and maybe you might enjoy some of the time with them. You will need some social interaction other than your students if you want to survive after all!

Take Your Weekends

This one any teacher can attest to. No matter how much work you might have to do on the weekends, if you aren’t taking some of that time to just relax and enjoy yourself and what you will find in an entirely new place, then you probably won’t be as effective when the weekday rolls back around and you have to start teaching again. It can be exhausting if you spend all weekend grading papers then go right back into school to teach. You need to take that weekend for yourself and then save the grading for random bits of time, or even after school or at lunch times. Just remember you need that rest and relaxation, you’ll be a happier teacher in the end.

Learning a Language

English as a second language means innately you are going to be dealing with other languages, many of which you probably don’t understand, know or had even considered to learn. That doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly beneficial to both your students and you when it comes to learning their languages. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become fluent in a language unless you want to, but learning things like counting your basic numbers and things like hello and goodbye in the language they speak can have a significant impact, plus it can supply you with some comedy for your class. Nothing gets a class laughing better than the teacher trying to say ‘Take a five minute writing break’ and actually saying ‘take a brief wind break’.

These are just a few of my lessons and how they impacted me with learning and teaching. I’d love to hear about some other lessons people picked up from teaching in general and not just teaching abroad. And hopefully this will help you prepare to be open in learning your own lessons while traveling or teaching!

Christina Chandler is an enthusiastic poet and writer with a degree in English Education. She has spent a year in India and two years in Japan teaching English as a second language. She now continues towards her postgraduate degree in Higher Education.

PostHeaderIcon 6 Tips To Help Kids Learn To Read At Home

Teaching kids to read at home can be a fun family activity with life-long benefits. Learning to read is a valuable skill that serves many educational and everyday purposes. Here are six tips to help parents get started.

1. Set the right example

Young children often mimic their parents’ actions, from dressing up to yelling at the dog. When kids see their parents pick up a book to read, they will want to do the same. Keep a supply of reading material available so the kids will notice your interest in reading.

2. Create a comfortable reading environment

Make a corner of the family room or study a reading nook for everyone. Adjust lighting for reading visibility, and arrange sofas and chairs for seating comfort. Include an afghan or lap blanket for cosy evenings spent enjoying a good book. Set aside a reading time each evening instead of watching television. Discuss characters and plots, asking your kids questions to see how well they’ve understood the story.

3. Provide age-appropriate reading material

Check with the local librarian or a preschool teacher about the level of books your child should start to read. Picture books, pop-up books, and audio books or books with puppets are some favourite options. You may want to start by reading the book aloud to your child, and then as he or she becomes familiar with the story after several readings, you can read it together.

4. Choose a suitable reading program

For example, Montessori at Home recommends a three-step process to help kids learn to read: Phonics, sight words, and reading. As children begin to recognize sounds (phonics), they soon make sense of words by putting sounds together. The final step is putting words together to create short, relevant sentences.

There are plenty of reading programs to choose from, but most follow a similar approach.

5. Have realistic expectations

Some parents are so eager to help their children reach the exciting milestone of learning to read that they push a child to learn faster than he or she can manage. Some kids learn to read naturally on their own. Most become readers in gradual steps. Encourage your child to learn at his or her individual pace. Be patient when mistakes or delays occur.

6. Have fun with books

Share a read-aloud time before bed. Dramatize dialogue from a story, or dress up like favourite characters. Take family excursions to the library. Reward good grades and house chores with the gift of a kid’s book. Enrol your child in a school or online reading club.

Reading is a hobby as well as a skill. The world of books opens a wide vista of experiences and ideas for readers of all ages. Kids who read often and widely typically earn higher grades in school, and it prepares them for advanced learning skills that require more sophisticated levels of reading comprehension. Teaching children to read at home is a special gift that can be nurtured the rest of their lives.

This article was written by Little Learning Planet owner Racheal Tighe, an Australian primary school teacher with a passion for teaching kids how to read.

PostHeaderIcon Preparing To Teach Overseas

Each year, more and more college graduates are choosing to pack their bags and head abroad.  While these excursions do give the individual a multitude of experiences, countless sights to explore and people to meet they are not all achieved in the name of vacation.  The number of college graduates who are opting to teach in an ESL environment overseas is increasing each year.  Teaching abroad is a great way of paying off that student loan, saving for your future and adding that extra umph to a resume to make it a standout.  But before that job can be set in stone and the boarding pass is handed over to the flight attendant a number of preliminary actions must be taken first. 

Prospective teachers will need to get their visa and passport in order, work out the logistics of keeping on top of their monthly bills while out of the country as well as brushing up on the local customs of their host country.  In addition to these, teachers will also need to pass an interview with their school.  Due to the discrepancies in time zones this usually be done in two or three ways.

The Types of Interviews

  • Physical Meeting

While this is pretty rare, there are circumstances where this will happen.  If the school holds a lot of authority overseas, they may have satellite locations throughout the United States where they can interview possible candidates for their overseas schools.  If this is the case for you, you will most likely be notified of a face to face interview pretty early on in the process.

  • Skype

Skype is becoming the preferred way for ESL schools to interview prospective candidates.  Once the school has received your resume and a few emails have been sent back and forth between yourself and the recruiter a request for a Skype interview will usually be made.  Keep in mind that     the person you will be speaking two is coming from a different time zone so these Skype phone calls can come in some pretty non-traditional times.  Make sure you are presentable (at least from the waist up) as most of these will be done over video.

  • Sample Lesson Plan

While not so much an independent interview process, submitting a sample lesson plan is usually  a standard supplement to an over the phone or in person interview.  If you don’t come from an educational background that’s okay, don’t panic.  There is a plethora of resources for you to take advantage of on the internet and in classrooms.  If you have the time, consider enrolling in a TEFL course, if not sites like Dave’s ESL Café have a number of forums from teachers who have gone before you that are just itching to share their advice with others.

Know the Lingo

Learning some of the terms and jargon of instruction can do wonders for your interview.  This can be as simple as replacing the word teaching with instruction to more advanced phrases like pedagogy, student retention rates and teaching styles such as kinesthetic, visual and auditory.  Knowing the rhetoric of the professions can impress the interviewer on the other end of the call and perhaps make you standout above the other people they talked to just before you.

Prepare Your Credentials

During the interview, the school will want to know what credentials you have that qualify for a position at their school.  While they will have a resume from you in front of them, they will want to hear you explain a little bit more about the circumstances that led you to achieving this degree or certification.  If you took a TEFL course, touch on some of the information you learned during the course and how what you learned during that time makes you a great candidate for their school.

Even if your degree wasn’t in a teaching related field you can still mold and mend some of the experiences you had in college to appeal to the interviewer.  Think of a time you gave presentation, a speech or had to assist a group of people in completing a specific task.  Don’t get discouraged about this either.  They’ve clearly seen that you don’t hold a degree in English yet there is something on your resume that makes you standout.  Let this empower your interview and come equipped with the proper tools to appeal to the interviewer.

Anticipate Questions

An essential part of delivering any great interview is preparing and anticipating questions that could come up during the conversation.  To do this, put yourself in the mind-frame of the school.  If you were an employer what sort of qualities would you look for in a prospective candidate?  What kind of questions would you ask someone in order to weed out the good from the bad?

Take out a piece of paper or even create a Word document.  Spend a little time to jot down some potential questions.  Once you have an ample list, start to formulate answers for these questions, that way when the time for the interview comes around you won’t be left with an unnecessary amount of “uhs” and, “uhms”.

Such questions could include:

  • How do you develop a good rapport with your students?
  • How would you choose to present material that could be tricky for an English as a second language student? ( Past participles, narrative structures, complicated vocabulary)
  • What strategies would you use to deal with troublesome classroom management issues?
  • How do you stay organized and on top of your work?
  • Give an example of when you thought outside of the box to accomplish a task.

Follow-Up Questions

After the interviewer as asked all the questions that they have prepared, they will usually turn the tables and ask if you have any questions for them.  This can be a great time to clear up any confusion you had on arrival logistics, airfare and any other questions related to your intended time in their country.  Be careful not to focus too much on the finance side of things as this could put a bad taste in their mouth.  Even if you don’t have any questions, it’s usually a good thing to have two or three inquiries to show the employer that you are interested in the position.  Jot a few of these down when you are formulating the previous questions.

After obtaining degrees in English Literature and English Secondary Education, Sean Lords packed up his bags and left to Seoul, South Korea where he lived for three years teaching English abroad. Sean has since returned to the States and is currently at work on his Master's degree.

PostHeaderIcon The evolution of education

The Evolution Of EducationFor the active education system it is necessary to have a check. This check is usually made by the department of education in all the states and countries. It is common everywhere because all the governments want to maintain the level of education in the society. How to evaluate the education? In fact, you can’t evaluate the education without seeing the levels. First of all, it is required to see why evaluation of education is required. On the bases of this information you can decide what should be evaluated. It has become very common for the people to information and details from the online sources. However, this method is only useful for the reading and information gaining. This will not help you to conduct an evaluation course. Focus on the given information.

What is the role of scientific works for this evaluation?

The role of scientific works is very obvious in this field. There are numerous ways to read and express the data of evaluation for the readers and viewers. For example, the education evaluation is mostly shown in essays and dissertations. The students who are looking forward to make the education evaluation as a topic for essay or dissertation writing should check options to get dissertation help. This will become very easy to determine the required elements and facts. Try to stay in neutral side. This is the most important part you have to play during education evaluation.

Materials you need for evaluation:

In most of the cases the education departments conduct such activities with the help of their employees. They use the government machinery for the collection of facts and figures. The government data collectors are given a special data sheet. This data sheet contains all required questions. The data collectors visit different schools, colleges and universities. These types of activities are usually conducted in public and private education centers. However, the evaluation of both the education sectors is done separately.

The private education evaluation:

No doubt, most of the private education institutes and centers have their own teaching systems but government has rights to check their efforts and activities. On the other hand the education facilities and features are also checked by the education department. This is done for the control over these private bodies. The basic purposes always remain for the benefits of public (students).

Evaluation of public education system:

It is a routine matter for the public departments. Government checks the available facilities and standards of public schools, colleges and universities. In case of any problem the concerning agencies and authorities take required actions in order to stabilize the systems. This is also done for the improvement and betterment of education systems in the country.

John Kravz is a representative of http://www.proessaywriting.com/ . We provide professional help on your writing assignments, like essays, research papers or dissertations. 

PostHeaderIcon How to find a girlfriend in college?

Finding a good friend in college is a common need for all the students. Most of the students try to get the friends as soon as possible in order to make a routine time in college. This happens when students get admission in the college. The old students can make friends faster than usual because they know all about the seniors and juniors. If you are searching for the good students then a girlfriend should be your first preference. Why a girlfriend? In fact, the girls can take care of others in a better way. It is a natural fact present in the girls. If you are looking for a good girlfriend then college is the best place.

Usually, the essays are written for the academic completion. There are several steps in the colleges that students start first time in the life. New girls and boys find it very difficult. There are possibilities for the new students to get success in the colleges. For the boys it is a good chance to make the girlfriends. Female students always seek help in order to complete the academic assignments and tasks. Mostly, girls become confused when they are given assignments. In this way you can get the chance to make good girlfriends. How you can help the girls? In order to help the girls you can offer them assistance in essay writing.

As a matter of fact, there are ways to make the help. By using online essay writing services the students can get sympathy of girls. Don’t you know how to make the essays? Don’t be worried about it because in presence of online writing services there is no need to be worried about anything. Just contact with the girls and ask them to depend on you for the essay writing. On the other hand, you can deal with the online essay writing services in order to buy essay online at the same time. This suggestion will work for all the students who are trying to find a good girlfriend in the colleges.

Don’t wait for anyone and try your luck. In presence of professional writers you can use the given suggestion for your purposes. Remember, it will be a great pleasure for the girls to get something readymade. You are suggested to keep in touch with the girls in order to update them about the completion of essays. The essay writing services don’t charge higher prices. Because of this reason this method is the most economical way to make girlfriends. Nowadays, most of the students are using this service for the personal reasons. You are also recommended to check these useful and helpful services to find the best girlfriends in your colleges.

John Kravz is a representative of Proessaywriting.com that provides professional help on your writing assignments, like essays, research papers or dissertations.