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What Every Teacher Should Know About St. Patrick (by Patrick Jackson)

Note from Barb: Patrick first wrote this for Teaching Village in 2011, but it’s such a great post for St. Patrick’s Day that I decided it was worth sharing again :)

The real St. Patrick is shrouded in a deep mist (like many of his followers). Legend has it that he brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle while simultaneously banishing snakes.  Both these are clearly true. We still have some Christians and no snakes in Ireland. But what can language teachers learn from this Fifth Century Zero to Hero?

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Because We All Love a Good Story (by Kevin Stein)

Some ideas on why and how to use short stories in the language classroom

This morning, while I was greeting students at the front door of my high school, Miki-Chan, a second year student in the International Course, came up to me with a book in hand. She slapped her palm against the cover and said, “This is a horrible story to read in the morning. It says, ‘people were cut up like meat.’” I’m not sure exactly how she wanted me to respond. She was reading a Sherlock Holmes story from a collection in a lower-intermediate level graded reader. We had read the first half in class and students had to finish the story as homework. While I was thinking of an appropriate reply, she huffed off. (more…)

Teaching Songs and Chants in the Classroom (by Marsha Goren)

I am an American who has been teaching English in Israel for 32 years. I have found my work very challenging and rewarding as most children in Israel really strive to know English. I recently retired from the formal school system and am still working in an afternoon school program called “America English School.”

Normally, according to the ministry of education, regular classes start to acquire English as a second language in the fourth grade. However, many schools in Israel allow teachers to begin English in the second and third grade. Teachers usually teach the oral skills through games, drama, songs and visual aids. The written skills are usually taught at a later stage after the reading stages. (more…)

“Excuse me. Could you tell me the way to the post office?” (by Kate Cory-Wright)

Last night, as I browsed through the latest “status updates” from my Facebook friends, I was struck by the fact that over 60% of my friends are non-native speakers of English (NNS). Their mother tongues range from Arabic to Zulu, yet almost all of them regularly communicate with me in English. Additionally, many write blogs in English, attend webinars, use Twitter, run PLNs, and carry out other activities in English.

This set me thinking… How are NNS using English these days? Who are they communicating with? For what purposes? (more…)

Female Pirates Weren’t Sexy (by Lesley Ito)

Wacky facts I’ve Learned from teaching cross-curricular lessons.
Female pirate Anne Bonny

(The information contained in this article was originally presented as a Pecha Kucha at the JALT National Conference in Tokyo, Japan in November 2011.) (more…)

Learning Lessons in Thailand (by Rob Newberry)

I teach in an International School in Bangkok. The “internationality” of the school is an interesting term, as there really are two languages spoken here — English and Thai — and not necessarily in that order.

There used to be signs posted around the school saying, “Proud to be an English-speaking only school,” but when I went to find one today, hoping to include a photo of it in this blog post — I couldn’t find any around anymore. Curious. (more…)

A 1.5 Million Yen Secret (by Steven Herder)

If you read Stories from the Front Lines of EFL, and thought, “I’d really like to be part of this project, but I’m not sure anyone would be interested in my story” then this post is for you.

Answering just a few important questions can give you the confidence to share your thoughts and ideas about teaching. It may take a bit of time, some reading and some effort, but anyone can do it. You can benefit yourself and all of us by taking this step in your own development as a teacher. Everyone has some great successes from the classroom to share, and all of us really do want to learn from you. (more…)

Teaching English at a Japanese Academic High School (by Tomo Wakui)

 My teaching History

Hello. My name is Tomoe Wakui. Please call me Tomo. I am a high school English teacher in Niigata, Japan. I am very happy to have this opportunity to introduce myself here in Teaching Village.

Tomo Wakui 1Let me explain my teaching history briefly. I became an English teacher in 1989. I worked at a Girls High School. Except for only having female students, it was just a normal high school. (more…)

Teaching in a Small Village in Poland (by Anita Kwiatkowska)

anita 4

In September 2003 I got a phone call from my former primary school teacher offering me a part time job in the old primary school I started my education in. I felt extremely excited!

It was my first real job offer and I was supposed to work with teachers who had taught me the alphabet as colleagues! At that time, I was still a student at a university but as I had already completed my pedagogy and methodology courses, I was more than welcome in Szkola Podstawowa in Tuchom, Poland. (more…)

When Did I Become a Teacher? (by Conchi Martínez de Tejada)

It’s difficult to pinpoint the precise moment when you become a professional in your area. Some will say it’s when you start your degree, others when you finish it still others will say it’s when you start working. Even more people feel that they need years of experience in order to consider themselves a so-called professional.

In my case, I don’t know when I became a teacher. Maybe it was when my parents hung a blackboard behind my bedroom door. Maybe when I first arranged all my teddy bears and my little cousins as my first students. It might have started many years later when I wanted to drop out from my dreary Economics degree and I bought books about teaching, but I didn’t have the courage to actually follow through on my instinct (fate, desire, willingness) at that time. Maybe it happened when I left my bank job, went to Yemen and by chance ended up in front of 20 Yemeni men teaching them English. It might also have been when I came back to Spain from living in Laos and I studied Education. Or maybe it started a month and a half ago when I got my position to work in a primary school in a village in my home region of Extremadura, Spain. (more…)