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The TEFL Insider

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

Double Doors
Tuesday January 10, 2012

TMA – Too Many Acronyms! Clearing up the TEFL confusion

When you first begin looking into teaching English, you come across a lot of acronyms that can be very confusing until you become familiar with them. Here are some common acronyms and their meanings. TEFL – Teaching English as a Foreign Language. This refers to teaching English in a country where it is not the […]

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Computer lab
Monday January 9, 2012

TEFL Outside the Box: Interview with an Online TEFL Tutor

The field of teaching English as a foreign language is always changing. These days there are not only more and more ways to get TEFL-certified (onsite, online, or a combination of the two), but there are also a growing number of non-traditional ways to use that certification to teach English worldwide. For example, as a Program Advisor here at BridgeTEFL, I get a lot of inquiries from those wanting to teach English online. When you think about it, it makes sense.Who wouldn’t want a job that could be done from anywhere in the world, in the comfort of one’s living room?Sounds good, doesn’t it? But you’re probably wondering how to get started, and how online tutoring works. To help us figure it all out, I spoke to Matt Inghram (currently traveling in China!), a D.C. college student and graduate of Bridge’s IDELT certification course, who works as an online English teacher. Here’s what Matt had to say about this emerging TEFL field.

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Friday January 6, 2012

Curiosity Never Killed This Cat: Tales from a Career Teaching English Abroad

We first met Stephanie during the development of our Teach in Spain Internship, as she was a participant on the program and kind enough to share her TEFL experiences in Madrid.  We quickly learned that Stephanie has held several other interesting positions, making her an easy choice to be our “Featured Teacher” for this month’s newsletter about unique English teaching opportunities.

My story as a TEFL teacher

I am a curious girl. Curious about people, places, things… my curiosity has no borders and extends across the world. To satisfy this curiosity I have become a fierce traveler. My desire to travel most likely started at the age of seven, when my father took a job in Tokyo.

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Taking notes
Thursday January 5, 2012

What Every EFL Teacher Should Know: Teaching English for Exams, Part 2

As mentioned in our December newsletter, we are finishing up our two part series on teaching test preparation. We decided to consult Kimberly Stone, a current teacher in our Academic English Program in Denver.  Kim has a B.A. in English Writing from the University of Colorado at Denver and previously spent two years living in Florence, Italy, as a TEFL instructor.  To date, she has five years of experience teaching test preparation, and here are four things she says you must keep in mind:

Test preparation is different than a typical English class. That may sound obvious, but it’s important for English teachers and students alike to understand that test preparation is different than teaching basic grammar, reading comprehension, or vocabulary.  Test preparation is not a class to learn basic concepts.  I truly feel that students need to be at an intermediate level of English before jumping into any test preparation course, because if they’re not, most of the class is spent on teaching new grammar or vocabulary.  I’m not saying students have to be at a native speaker level, but if they don’t have a firm grasp of the basics they won’t get what they signed up for.

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Teacher engaging students
Tuesday January 3, 2012

Part II – Reading Techniques for Learner-Centered Teaching: “That’s just like my cousin…”

This post was written by Susan Weymouth Part I of this article “Reading Techniques for Learning-Centered Teaching” established how designing student-centered activities after reading motivates English language learners to speak and write. Part II offers a few suggestions for the classroom. These activities do not replace work on reading subskills, but build bridges to meaningful […]

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Wednesday December 28, 2011

Love to Scuba as Much as You Love to Teach English? Do Both!

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is scuba dive. I’ve been certified for several years and my next trip (in December) will be to Bonaire, a Dutch island in the Caribbean known for its diving. If I was deciding where to teach English abroad, I would be sure to choose a place […]

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Student Reading
Tuesday December 20, 2011

Reading Techniques for Learner-Centered Teaching Part I: “That’s just like my cousin…”

This post was written by Susan Weymouth A recent article in TESOL Journal discussed how to create a more student-centered ESL classroom by providing follow-up projects on reading, in which students personalized the concepts. For example, after reading a story which involved naming, students wrote and spoke about the significance of their own names. The […]

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Thursday December 15, 2011

Notes from the Field: Interview with IDELT Grad, Jason Mercer

This post was written by Denise Kray We’re always happy to take advantage of an opportunity to check in with the graduates of our TEFL certification courses, to hear about their experiences teaching abroad and their thoughts on the TEFL industry in general. Jason Mercer recently took the IDELT in Buenos Aires and has taught […]

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Concept Check
Friday December 9, 2011

Do You CCQ? Using Concept Checking Questions in the ESL Classroom

This post was written by Laura Greenwood “Right?” “Does that make sense?” “Do you have it?” “OK?” It does not matter how a teacher phrases: “Do you understand?” All of these questions are ineffective attempts at checking meaning with ESL/EFL students. Again, what is a CCQ? What can it check for? A concept checking question […]

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Housing in Argentina
Monday December 5, 2011

Five Great Reasons for Teaching English in South America

We all know the appeal South America has for many people who are thinking of teaching English abroad—the landscape, weather, food, language (I could go on and on!). Even so, here are a few more reasons why teaching English as a second language in South America may be the best option for you! 1. Little visa […]

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