Saturday, 31 October 2009

Esl classroom activities & short games

What do you do when you only have lets say 10 or 15 minutes left in your lesson? How do you plug that gap?

A. Let the kids relax?

b.Scratch your head and wondering what you should do next?

c.A quick entertaining team esl game or activity?

If you answered (a) Then you'll have a mini noise riot on your hands after 30 seconds and a lot of kids mucking about out of control.

If you said (b) Pick up the nearest pencil, sharpen it and then poke yourself in the Eye very forcefully!

The answer is (c) and if you got it, then the beers on me so drink up and enjoy!

Seriously though, the best way to plug those time gaps in your lessons is with a quick esl game / activity, the kids love it!

The lucky dip bag

1. Get a bag, make sure th students can't see into it.

2.Create two teams, team A and team B if you like.

3.Fill the bag with lots of objects, coins, pens, battery, watch, cd, fork etc

4. Call out a student from one team and have him or her place their hands in the bag and pull out an object. Make sure you have constructed some kind of barrier so the other students can't see what the object is.

5.Have the student describe the object. Eg.. it's round, it's made of metal, it's small. What is it?

6. The first team to call out the correct answer gets a point.


Be careful they don't shout out the name in Thai. If they do then deduct one point from their team score!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Student gap year employment and jobs in Thailand & China

Are you a student who wants a gap year adventure or are you someone looking for a job in the esl teaching business? Whoever you are then we've got some great news for you. At this time of the year there are literally thousands of esl and gap year jobs available teaching English as a foreign language.

So why not take advantage? How about teaching English in that great cultural capital of Beijing? Not only would you have a life changing experience, you could also use it to learn the Chinese language!

Don't fancy China? How about teaching only a few yards away from the beach in Phuket? Does that grab you? Thailand is a great country to teach English and the people have a world wide reputation for their friendliness and warmth!

How many hours will I teach per day?

Normally you'll teach about 4 hours per day. That's 20 hours per week Monday to Friday. Which all adds up to 80 contact teaching hours per month! Not bad hey? How many do you work back home, 37? 40? 45? or more???

How much will I earn teaching esl?

Depending on where you work, anything from $1,200 us up to $3,000 us. Plus you would also have the chance to work more hours if you really needed to or just wanted extra cash!

I earn more back home

Of course you do. Though countries like Thailand and China are developing countries and your money will go a hell of a lot further.

What's the cost of living like there?

A lot cheaper than your home country. For example you could rent a small cheap condo in Bangkok for around about 4,000 to 5,000 baht per month. If you want cheaper then you could move out to the suburbs.

Will I need some kind of training?

Yes, like anything else you'll need to know what you're doing. You could enroll on a tefl course. There are a few to choose from and if you're pushed for time you could always do an online course.

I've done my tefl course now I need a job

No, problem! We have lots of esl teaching jobs in Thailand and China.

How long will it take for me to get qualified and land a teaching job?

After finishing this article, to start your new life and new career teaching English all you have to do is...

1.Sign up for an online tefl course!

2.After you've graduated with your tefl certificate, then go here and get that job!

3. Start to finish just four weeks!!!

Good luck with your new job!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Having the right teaching attitude in the esl classroom

Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference, so they keep telling me. Though I must admit when it comes to teaching English and especially with the younger students your attitude does count for a lot.

The wrong attitude to have

Depending upon you and your personality type your lessopns could be a great joy in the lives of others or be quite the opposite, complete drudgery! We all know of teachers who have trouble keeping control of their classes or not being popular with their students.

Of course this can also boil down to teaching techniques and the way materials are presented. However, at the end of the day a good attitude is needed. If you come into a classroom hung over and really not wanting to be there at all, your students will be able to pick up on your low mood. You'll then have trouble motivating them, which in turn will lead to a rather slow and tedious lesson.

The right attitude to have

When you walk into the classroom your attitude should be one of positivity. This will then be picked up by your students, in other words good vibes!

But how do I get good vibes I'm bored to tears with this teaching lark?

Well if you feel the above you could just get another job, that's the knee jerk reaction answer you'd get from other so called teachers on other forums. This attitude is not the one to have, and helps nobody, it's not a fix!

If this is you then there could be a number of reasons why you feel this way. Let's try to address this problem with a few things you could try to improve your attitude towards esl teaching...

1. Teach using a different style, if you're a grammar man, try more games / activities.

2. Change your lessons, materials and way you approach students.

3. Put the emphasis on the students. You could do a survey and see what they would like to do.

4. Try teaching a different level. If you teach youngsters then change to older students or adults.

5.Try to smile more be more friendly in your approach to students. Eg: cut out the shouting and any whacking etc

Believe me esl teaching isn't a bad job to have. You're living in paradise and being paid for it, in most cases money for old rope. So appreciate it while you've got it!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Teaching corporate English in Bangkok

What's a corporate English teaching gig then?

Teaching corporate English or business English as it's also known is simply when a company or organization needs you to train it's staff. So instead of the students coming to you to learn English in a language center, you go and teach them at their company or place of work.

Do you earn more teaching corporate English?

The big answer to this one is yes! You do earn more, in fact rates vary from language school to language school. Mostly you could expect to receive anything from 400 baht per hour(low end) up to 1000 baht per hour upper end. Though most people who are employed by private language schools usually get on average 500 baht - 700 baht per hour.

When will I teach corporates?

Normally corporate teaching jobs will be held from 4pm onwards. However some companies will have you come in during the day and train a few staff at a time.

One thing I should mention here is that if you land the after work shift then most of the staff will have to stay behind late. A lot of them really don't want to be staying over another 2 hours after work and can be quite a challenge to engage especially after a hard days work. So yu'll have to be creative, by that I mean plenty of games & activities as opposed to grammar and chalk and talk activities.

Can I just do corporate English teaching full time and make loads of money?

Yes, and no. There are a few companies in Bangkok that deal in just corporate work. A working day for you would consist of getting in a cab and traveling from company to company. Initially you can earn a good wedge working this way. However I'd just like to point out that corporate jobs don't last forever!

Your company will get a contract to teach at a company for maybe 8 weeks and after that time you're off somewhere else. So your language school will have to constantly be getting you a stream of new contracts to keep you in work. Just remember that you're not the only one doing it. In other words work can run short and when it does your earnings go down!

Where can I get a corporate teaching job?

A few private language schools in Bangkok deal with corporate work. One that springs to mind is Inlingua.

More information here... INLINGUA CORPORATE
or here esljobs

For me corporate English teaching was just a way to earn a little extra money each month. I'd do a job every so often when they came up, though I was never really tempted to go out and give it a try full time. For me I'd rather have a dead certain monthly income by working the government schools. However nothing to stop you giving it a shot!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Pin the tail on the buffalo esl classroom game

This game is a slight variation on pin the tail on the donkey, this you might say is the Thailand version!

Now before we go on with this, I'd just like to give you a little culture tip here. In Thailand the buffalo is seen as a stupid animal. So one of the biggest insults you can give to your Thai brethren is to call them a buffalo! So please don't because it could potentially get you into a whole world of poo poo if you do!

However the word buffalo when not used directly at anyone is a great source of amusement for the kids hence the word buffalo in the title.

I normally used this game to teach directions...

Go forward, go back, go back a little, to your left, to your right, straight ahead, stop, turn around etc

1. Pre teach the vocabulary your going to use.

2.Have one of the kids draw a massive buffalo on the board without it's tail. Kids are great artists and they'll do a better job than you in most cases. Put a X on where the buffalo's tail should be.

3.Split the class up into two teams.

4.Use your tie as a make shift blindfold.

5.Blindfold one of the kids and put a marker pen in his/her hand.

6.Have the kids team give it's team member directions.. go forward a little, to the right a bit, up a little, just there

7. Give each team points for being accurate. The team that draws the tail closest to the X gets an extra point etc. You can make up your own points system this is just a quick guide.

My kids loved this game and I'm sure yours will too!