Within the international staff of an ESL school, the overwhelming majority are typically young - early to mid-twenties, fresh out of college, unwilling to sentence themselves to the corporate world just yet. During my time abroad, I was a part of that group. Never before having worked full-time, aside from short summertime gigs, my peers and I in the post-collegiate category … [Read more...] about ESL Teaching: Look on the Bright Side
Remember ice-breakers? For me, they bring back two associations: one, awkward moments at teenage summer camp, and two, awkward moments at college freshman orientation. There were the games where you had to throw a ball from person to person, I have no hand-eye coordination, so those were always uncomfortable. Or, there were the wordy ones where you needed an adjective to … [Read more...] about ESL Lesson Planning: Breaking the Ice
I never took a business class in college, and I've never held a traditional office position. However, I'm relatively sure that one of the first lessons of either experience would have been: keep your personal life separate from your work life. Some people call it work/life balance. Some simply warn against co-worker happy hours. Some point their finger at office romances. … [Read more...] about ESL Teaching: Getting Personal
During the holiday season, my memory often returns to one specific class I taught in December of my ESL year. The students were five lovely women in their thirties, and they spoke excellent English. Their advanced level had resulted in many lengthy conversations, both lighthearted and intelligent, and they were one of the few courses that I truly enjoyed every single time I … [Read more...] about ESL Teaching: How Do You Say “Jewish” in Your Language?
There are moments as an ESL instructor where circumstances teach you to bite your tongue. Yes, you want to correct your students' every mistake. But, if that were the case, said student would likely manage a total of five statements in sixty minutes. The goal is to speak, not to be crowned Ms. Perfect. Letting mistakes slide is a bit of a subjective art for each teacher. … [Read more...] about ESL Students Say the Darnedest Things