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
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
When glancing through the makeshift syllabus on the first day of my TEFL certification course, I distinctly remember one title catching my attention. "1-2-1: Teaching Individuals." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or grimace at the nineties-era number speak. The abundance of flannel and male ponytails often made Prague feel firmly rooted in 1995, perhaps proudly hanging onto … [Read more...] about One to One: Teaching (and Gossiping with) Individual Students
The morning after sending my resume to four prospective Czech language schools, I awoke to an equal number of enthusiastic interview requests. If anyone has experienced the far harsher task of job searching in our current economy, let this be the first indication that teaching ESL places you in a very faux reality. Still, ego boosted with three on the spot job offers, I … [Read more...] about Crafting an ESL Schedule, or the Art of Saying No