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The TEFL Insider

Trustworthy tips, tales, and advice from Bridge's experienced staff

Wednesday February 29, 2012

Technology in TESOL: News You Can Use

I’m sure plenty of you in the TEFL field have spent hours combing the Internet looking for exercises, only to find yourself amazed at how many TESOL websites there are with lesson plans, worksheets, quizzes, and games for the EFL/ESL classroom. My problem with a lot of what I find online is that many of […]

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Thursday February 23, 2012

A Witness in Japan – Guest Blog from TEFL Teacher, Ryan Hartsfield

This post was written by Denise Kray Ryan Hartsfield, a recent BridgeTEFL graduate and experienced TEFL teacher, also found himself a witness to the tragedy in Japan in March 2011. He received his IDELT™ certificate after completing the October, 2011 IDELT™ course in Denver, Colorado. In university, my initial plan was to double major in […]

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Technology in the office
Thursday February 16, 2012

Technology in TESOL: Smart Phones

I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy Star Trek. If you are like me, you may have noticed that our world today is beginning to resemble life on the Enterprise, Voyager or Deep Space 9. We are already able to search the Internet with pictures taken with our smart phones. It is only […]

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Monday February 6, 2012

Teach in Japan: English Teacher Chelsea Dunlap Craves Seaweed-free Pizza in Osaka

I woke up at 5:45am and started my day by hitting the snooze button twice, but when I really woke up, I ate mochi (sticky rice cake) toasted in my toaster oven and a kiwi (not toasted in my toaster oven).

I will teach my first class of the day, 3rd period, on time expressions: “minutes after,” “minutes to,” “quarter to,” etc.

When it’s time to head to school, I’ll walk down the alley and watch the sun rise.

The weather this time of year is cold and dry, so I’ll wear a winter jacket and fleece hoodie.

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Monday February 6, 2012

TEFL in Chile: English Teacher Colleen Hall is Enchanted by Everyday Life

I woke up at 7:30 A.M. and fought with the shower: freezing cold, warm, scalding hot, and back to freezing cold. This event mirrors my fabulous day.

I will teach my first class of the day at the university. I am currently teaching English Conversational classes at UACH (Unviversidad Austral de Chile) to students in the Agriculture Department. My class typically begins at 10 a.m; however, today I had to change it to 9 because I need to be at my other job, the English Summer Camp at Escuela España, by 10:15.

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Monday February 6, 2012

TEFL in Thailand: Ellen Maling Fires up her Motorbike

I woke up at 6am and started my day by plugging in the hot water kettle for coffee. In Thailand, I drink a sachet of “3 in one” instant coffee/creamer/sugar mix. It’s a far cry from the organic fresh ground coffee in the French press of home, but I’ve come to appreciate the ginseng extract in the powdered version, and it’s very convenient.

I will teach my first English class of the day at 9:30 am, the second period after the morning assembly (assembly for the primary and secondary students starts at 8:15 and includes the Thai flag raising, a prayer to the Buddha, and a recited thank you to the teachers). Since sport day was on Friday last week, the Phys Ed teacher has had the student body doing a series of body movement/exercise to a marching tune. I find this pretty hilarious and try to follow along with whatever others are doing.

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Student using a computer
Monday January 30, 2012

Technology in TESOL: The Wiki

It’s widely accepted that student collaboration is an effective tool in the TESOL classroom. Outside of the class, more and more collaboration is done online through the use of wikis. Why not bring wikis into the classroom to create an authentic collaborative environment for your EFL students? Why a wiki: Students collaborate more. Students think […]

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EFL Students
Friday January 27, 2012

Satisfy your “TEFL Gene”: Teach English Abroad

This post was written by Matthew Clark For the past four years my life has, to some extent, revolved around TEFL, first as a teacher in Ukraine and now as a program advisor for BridgeTEFL.  When you believe in what you are doing, and enjoy what you are doing, “work” doesn’t feel like such a […]

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Monday January 23, 2012

Where Were You on March 11, 2011? One TEFL Teacher’s Experience in Japan

This post was written by Denise Kray The images are unforgettable. On March 11, 2011, an earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan. The vast devastation that resulted may only be matched by the destroyed lives left in its wake. Most of us watched the destruction from the safety of our homes—a great distance away from […]

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Teacher and Student
Tuesday January 17, 2012

Testing in TESOL Part 5: Positive Washback

Have you ever gone into a testing feeling like you knew nothing, only to leave feeling like you knew it all? It’s common for learners to benefit from tests. This effect is called positive washback, and it has a few possible implications.

Tests help us to learn because they are typically challenging and often stressful events. Motivated learners pour lots of cognitive energy into retrieving information from their brains. The more energy we put into retrieving memories, the stronger those memories become. This is why it is easier to remember something that we struggled to learn than something that seemed easy to grasp. Those concepts that at the time were clear from the onset will not be as salient to us over time as those that we broke a sweat trying to figure out.

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