english as a second language

English Class with Korean 4th Graders (English As a Second Language)

English As a Second Language, or “teaching English”, is many things to many people. It exists on many levels ranging from a travel ticket to a serious career choice. Most people look at it as a way to have an extended stay in a place they’ve always wanted to visit. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, I think it’s a valid reason, and many recruiters and schools know this. Some of them will market their positions to cater to this angle.

Others, however, have approached it much differently. They are highly qualified teachers whose plan is to be part of a bigger picture in international schools or specialized private schools. They teach in subject-specific roles. If they do teach English, they need to be English majors with experience often times. Some become department heads, others, principals. These types of roles are not for the majority of “teach English” people out there.


ESL Teachers: Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think

I recently came across an awesome blog post from Thought Catalog by Brianna Wiest called 20 Signs You’re Doing Better Than You Think You Are. In my opinion, this post was about fulfillment as much as it was about reflecting on signs that we’re doing better than we think. I believe it applies to ESL teachers who are doing life away from home because normal challenges in life become amplified without our home base of support to fall back on. Over time the smallest things can get you down and make you question how much longer you can stay on the vagabond path. Even more so, maybe it causes some of us to ask ourselves if the decision was even the right one in the first place.

Teaching ESL abroad is a magical experience though, isn’t it?


Korean Students Write the Darndest Things

Part of my job as a high school English teacher in South Korea involved giving out, and then correcting, weekly creative writing assignments. It quickly became one of my favorite parts of the experience, as it allowed my students to apply the language with more freedom and personality. It also helped me to get to know them in a more private way. From unintentionally funny remarks, to profound realizations, their writing was a joy to read.

Below is a small collection of some of my favorite excerpts. I’ve also taken the liberty of underscoring their messages with related images. Perhaps this could have been made into some sort of class project… Enjoy!


Teach ESL Abroad to Travel Like a Pro

ITA - Photo Logo 300 x 250Among the many reasons why teaching ESL abroad rocks is travel. Being in the country you teach in is travel in and of itself. Take for example South Korea, which is where I am.


10 EPIK Haikus

As my year with EPIK comes to a close, I find myself thinking a lot about the experience. Below are 10 haikus that reflect what I’ve learned while living, teaching and traveling in South Korea (though really they’re applicable to anyone teaching or living abroad anywhere!).

 


Blackout Poetry (Part 1)

This week I did a lesson on blackout poetry with my intermediate level high school students! Normally the project is done with texts from newspapers, magazines or novels, but I was worried about the vocabulary being too broad/out of reach. I wanted my students to focus on having fun, being creative, and playing with the language, rather than looking up/learning new words. So instead, I typed up a batch of their weekly English essays, omitted the names, and returned them for use with this assignment! Not only did this assure that the vocabulary was appropriate, it also made the assignment more personal and interesting!


RTBC Day Thirteen: What’s in your edtech toolbox?

So, I totally fell off the wagon with this 30-day reflective teaching blog challenge…which I started back in September or October of last year. But I’m BACK on board!

Name the top edtech tools that you use on a consistent basis in the classroom, and rate them on their perceived (by you) effectiveness.


Student Writing Sample: Goals for the New School Year

What are your goals for the new school year? Think of two large, general goals and three small, specific goals. Tell me what those goals are improtant to you and what you will do to achieve them.

“Fighting!” is a common expression of encouragement in Korea.


The 30-Day Reflective Blogging Challenge for Teachers

Today I stumbled across this fantastic website: teachthought.com. While it only offers a few articles specific to ESL teachers, the rest of the content is still very applicable in some way or another!


Teaching: 8 games to play with your English-language-learning students

This blog focuses on travel and life in Korea – but for many wonderful readers, teaching English takes up a pretty significant amount of time. Hope these help you in your classes!

 


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