Thursday, 18 September 2014

You can't beat an actual experience

There is an article I recall reading some time ago about iPads being given out to pupils at UK schools to be used as a teaching/learning aid in the classroom and beyond, and I was reminded of it by a website I recently found advertising all sorts of educational apps and whatnot aimed at school age children, and all designed to work on an iPad. I did a quick Google search and literally millions of results popped up, it seems that everyone has an opinion on the subject of iPads and their educational benefits.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Delivering a lesson in the rain

Earlier this year I wrote about why a lesson might work so well with one student and not the next. I still do not have a definitive answer to this question, but my little experiment to see if the weather can affect my moods, lesson planning and how I deliver a lesson has been insightful.

I know that there can be a multitude of reasons why a lesson doesn't go according to plan, everything from sleep deprivation, eating far too much and disagreements or problems can all have a negative impact on moods and effect how I work. However, there are also lots and lots of things that happen every day that can have a positive impact, and one of those things, I have found, is the weather.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Heading to England? Better learn Polish then!

There are, according to recent reports over one million children of school age in the UK who do not speak English as their first language. The number of pupils at both primary and secondary schools who have a first language other than English is steadily rising and has increased by over 250,000 since 2009 according to official figures released by the Department for Education.

Although the vast majority of people within the UK speak English as their mother tongue, the number of non-native English speaking families is rising fast, with languages from the Indian sub-continent being the most pervasive. Popular languages include Gujarati, Bengali, Urdu and Punjabi, but the most common language spoken in the UK after English is Polish. Surprisingly, non-native English speaking school children do not tend to suffer adverse affects at school due to their language skills, with 58.3% of non-native English speaking children in secondary schools scoring at least 5 ‘C’ grades at GCSE level (including English & Maths), compared to 60.9% of native speakers.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Kung Fu Skills Not Essential

So your students love English, love social media, are open to relocating, perhaps to China, specially if they also have a keen interest in Kung Fu, yes? Then we have seen the perfect job opportunity for them!

You know that English has truly become the global language of choice when you see a situations vacant advertisement posted online by an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple seeking a Brand Builder who is fluent in English!

Such is the fame of the 1,500 year old Shoalin temple, where the monks are known for their skills in martial arts such as Kung Fu, that the temple has become an shrine to martial arts lovers from across the globe.

Even though the temple is located in an isolated position, deep inside the mountains of Henan province, visitors are drawn to the site in order to experience for themselves the special form of Kung Fu practiced by the monks. Whilst most of the monks themselves do not speak English, in order to market and secure the temples brand globally, English has been chosen as the preferred language for the position advertised.

It just goes to show that the reach of English as an international language is still growing strong and is reaching even the most unexpected places.

The Guardian newspaper has more on this story. Have a read, it will certainly make you laugh yet they are totally serious. Do you know someone who could fit the bill?


The Teacher Abroad.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Life is just one thing after another

The start of another academic year is upon us once more, and I have a feeling that I am only going to get even busier over the next few months. Traditionally, the summer months for teachers and students are holidays, but being a freelance English language teacher, I am rarely able to take advantage of school holidays. The summer months are, for me at least, some of the busiest periods of the year, because when school is out and the final exam and test of the year is complete, that is when my phone starts to ring constantly and my inbox fills with requests from worrisome students and parents alike.