YouTube Channels

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The main purpose of this blog is actually to create a personal learning network for myself as part of a Master’s course I’m taking called the internet, adult education and community development (I’ve written a post earlier with more information about this). In order to keep my network growing, I am going to continue adding resources to the blog which will help me with my upcoming EFL teaching job this summer in Toronto!

I don’t use youtube for many purposes but I was always aware of their channels. Something useful to note is that if you search ‘English’ pages upon pages of free English lessons come up. These can be useful for teachers in terms of activity or homework ideas, or can be recommended to students who want extra practice. Here are some of the most promising ones, including a variety of accents:

Rachel’s English
Doing English with Julian
Voice of America
engVid (8 different teachers)
Cambridge English
BBC Learning English
Speak English with Steve Ford
Two Minute English
Speak English with Misterduncan
Dialogue Worldwide

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Marrakech Medina

 

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Finding Reliable Teaching Resources

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Marrakech, Morocco

So you’ve gone through the whole process, gotten a job, moved abroad and are settling into your new home. Now it’s time to start that new job and if you’re a new teacher you’ll probably be pretty nervous. Like most other things, it gets much easier with time.

As a new teacher, you’ll have a lot more work to do in terms of preparing lesson plans because all of the older teachers already have their resources in order. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself to your new coworkers and be friendly and see if they are willing to share some of their resources. Most teachers will be happy to do so!

If you completed a solid TEFL/CELTA course you should have some great ideas and things that you can use from that but even so, every teacher is looking for new creative ways to teach the same old lessons. So here are some websites with great activities:

http://www.eslcafe.com/teachers/
http://busyteacher.org/
http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/
http://www.esldiscussions.com/
http://iteslj.org/questions/
http://www.oxfordseminars.ca/esl-teaching-resources/
http://www.tefl.net/esl-lesson-plans/esl-activities.htm
http://www.eslsite.com/
http://a4esl.org/
http://www.manythings.org/
http://www.eslresources.ca/
http://esl-kids.com/

Another great website that helps with organization is feedly, a news aggregator that compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources that can be customized and shared with others. Here is a screen shot of my feely account where I’ve organized activities based on skill – listening, writing, etc.

Get inspired and creative and make the most of your new job!

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Keeping in Touch

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It’s pretty obvious but when you live abroad it’s important to keep in touch with your friends and family from home (or other parts of the world). Some connections will weaken with time, which is normal, but it’s a shame to lose touch altogether especially with all of this free technology around us that’s making the world smaller. So what are same of the best ways to do so?

Social media is probably the most popular choice, as most people are already on Facebook. Twitter is good for quick updates and sharing interesting finds. Skype is amazing because you get to talk for free and you can also add money to your account and call/text phones. From a very different perspective, instead of sending a long email, why not write it down on paper? It may seem archaic but snail mail is so personal and fun to receive.

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Snail Mail

Your friends and family will want to hear all about your worldly adventures and you’ll probably get tired of retelling the same stories over and over. So here’s an idea, why not start your own blog? They’re a great way of updating everyone at once and in a way, making your memories more permanent. If you’ve never blogged before, it’s pretty intuitive and can be self taught. If you’re still unsure, there are also tons of websites that teach you how to blog.

Getting to Know Your New City

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There is no single answer for the best way to get to know your new city, just many suggestions and online findings. If you do a basic Google search you will get some predictable results – the wiki page, the current news, trip advisor, and more travel related links. Wikipedia is a good place to start for basic information (as with most topics) and wikitravel is surprisingly comprehensive. You can buy a country or city guide, with Lonely Planet being the most popular, or you can just check out their website – they also feature a useful forum.

Another great forum, travel community (and much more) is couchsurfing. You can find other travellers, expats and locals who are looking for new friends to check out local happenings.

A great city guide for events is Time Out and a more adventure travel oriented one is National Geographic.

There have also been some shifts away from the giants of travel (like Lonely Planet) to ‘local’ guides, because nobody wants to fall into the tourist trap, right? Like a Local, Spotted by Locals, and With Locals (not free) are some examples.

Or, you can find personal blogs. Sure, blogs can be incredibly subjective but don’t discount them because they can offer some great insights into specific details that websites might not include. Reading a good blog can be a vicarious experience. You can just Google ‘city name + blogs’ or you can use Technorati, a blog database, to find what you’re looking for.

But most importantly, when you’re in your new city, get out there are EXPLORE!

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Los Angeles, USA

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Lisbon, Portugal

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Timisoara, Romania

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Melbourne, Australia

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Seoul, South Korea

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Shanghai, China

Preparing for the Interview

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Asilah, Morocco

Interviews can be pretty stressful and intimidating but the good thing about interviews for jobs abroad is that they are usually done over the phone or Skype. With those added layers of ‘comfort’ you should be able to feel more relaxed. Just remember that silence doesn’t mean you need to talk more, your interviewer is probably taking notes.

You might be asked any combination of these questions and others but it’s always better to be over-prepared and confident than underprepared and nervous. Also, you might be asked to prepare a short lesson plan, but you will be told this in advance. Here are some really useful links to get an idea of what you can expect during the interview:

http://adultesljobs.com/top-5-esl-teacher-interview-questions-sample-answer/
http://busyteacher.org/4822-esl-job-interview-be-prepared.html
http://farwestgreat.org/ADV/07-08/ADV0610IntQues.pdf
http://www.esldrive.com/findajob/jobinterview.html#.UwQrFkJdVpE
http://www.tefl.net/esl-jobs/interview-tips.htm 

It’s really important to have your own questions for your interviewer, and you will probably have many since your new job will be in a foreign country!  You should also ask to be put in touch with a current teacher at the school to get an inside idea of what life is like there for a foreigner.

This website (which I have linked a few times before) has great advice for these questions.

GOOD LUCK!

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Marrakech, Morocco

Do’s for Student Blogging

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Using blogging at school!

doug --- off the record

I read this blog post this morning and really enjoyed it.  “Top 20 Do’s and Don’t’s of Blogging”.  The focus was to the professional blogger and so some of the topics may not necessarily apply for student blogging.  The other thing is that it contains a lot of don’t’s which sound a lot like rules and you know students (and teachers) when it comes to rules – they want to push to see how far they bend before they break.  Inspired by this, I thought I would take a look at putting together a list of Do’s specifically for schools.  It’s all positive!

DO – Follow the school’s acceptable use policies for social media.  This might include just using student first names and last initial or a particular tool.  No problem.  The goal is the writing after all.

DO – Use a graphic organizer to brainstorm thoughts before…

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