5 reasons why Donald Trump would make a great TEFL teacher
Nov25

5 reasons why Donald Trump would make a great TEFL teacher

Could you imagine Mr Trump in your staffroom during your breaks? Cracking some downright wrong jokes about the world of TEFL? I doubt he’d be a caring, helpful work colleague, or one full of knowledge about the uses of English grammar, but at least he’d bring in some drama to your work place. I’m sure he’d get a reaction from the students as well. Don’t worry, the last I heard he got a new job in a big white house somewhere, so it’s...

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What makes a perfect English language learner? Part 2

Following on from part 1 of what makes a perfect English language learner, here are a few more points. If she can do it, anyone can.Photo by Kat Smile Perfect students are always happy, even when they can’t master the verb to be. I know speaking in another language can change people’s personalities, I certainly come across as quite serious when I speak in Spanish, or at least I did, but there’s no reason why you can’t smile now and...

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What makes a perfect English language learner?
Sep12

What makes a perfect English language learner?

This is for TEFL teachers, and also any English learners who might be browsing the web for inspiring articles on how to avoid ending up on the TEFL student blacklist. We’ve all come into contact with English language learners over the years, but which ones have really stood out, made you smile, motivated you to make a career out of English teaching, or merely kept quiet and done their work?   There are many types of English learners:...

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Questions that will drive you barmy as a TEFL teacher
Jan27

Questions that will drive you barmy as a TEFL teacher

In the real world, what do you get when you ask a silly question? That’s right, a silly answer, a funny look, or even a slap round the chops. What about in class though? Have you got any pet hate questions that students ask you repeatedly, over and over again, which are pushing you to consider becoming a lollypop lady? I don’t think I could ever be a lollypop lady: all that abuse from chavy English kids on a cold wet morning, the risk...

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Do we speak like chickens?
Sep09

Do we speak like chickens?

A couple of weeks ago, Lola Ayanbunmi, a focus writer for the Metro, sent me a message on twitter asking if she could interview me. “Why would anyone want to interview me?” was my first thought. “Maybe she wants to interview me about my book” was my second, no such luck. Anyway, Lola called me up on skype to ask me questions about how English learners perceive English. Can you believe I was served...

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How grateful are your students?
Aug02

How grateful are your students?

How often do you hear those magical ‘thank you’ words at the end of a lesson, a term, or even the end of the year? I’m not talking about adult students (well, some of them), I’m talking about your average teenager, and even some of the younger learners. It doesn’t take a second…Photo by Martin Wright When I lived in Bangkok the students were so appreciative. Thai kids were great. They had respect for their teachers....

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