Mistakes New EFL Teachers Make

Talking too much

In an EFL class, what is the most common reason students are enrolled? They want to SPEAK English! And what happens when the teacher speaks most of the time? They don’t have enough chances to actually practice their speaking skills. Those who are new to EFL teaching often make this very crucial mistake: They take up too much of the talking time, either because they feel uncomfortable around silence or long pauses, or because they are over-enthusiastic to share their knowledge. So clearly, hogging most of the talking time is out of the question. But, how to find the right balance between student talking time and teacher talking time?

As a general rule of thumb, students should speak for 70% of the class time, while teachers speak for the remaining 30%. These percentages could be tweaked in cases where students are absolute beginners (50-50), or at the other end of the spectrum, very advanced learners in need of intensive speaking practice (90-10). This means that in most cases, your participation should be limited to giving instructions and explaining essential points, but above all to eliciting response from students and facilitating all types of speaking activities.

 

Inconsistent classroom management

This is one of the mistakes that is often made due to a lack of experience. Classroom management is not an exact science; it’s not like teaching grammar. Each group of student is different and rules must be set as a group. The problem stems from the fact that new teachers may not have a clearly defined teaching style. So, they either become too strict or too lax. There are plenty of articles you can read on effective classroom management; you may agree with some of the techniques, you may disagree with others and choose to implement your own. It’s not about being stricter, but rather being consistent. There’s nothing worse for a group of students than empty promises or weak threats. Once you define how you’ll manage your class, stick to it!

 

Forgetting cultural differences

Some teachers are so focused on teaching things about the English culture, they completely ignore their students’. Some gestures EFL teachers commonly use in the classroom, like the gesture for OK, may be very rude in other cultures. In some countries, students may be used to lecturing, and may not react positively when you propose a game. This is a mistake EFL teachers make above all in foreign countries where the culture is very different from Western culture, like Arabic or Oriental cultures. Learn about their customs, especially greetings, and use this information to create a positive learning environment.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Is Teaching EFL Right For Me?

So you have been seriously thinking about starting a new life abroad as an EFL teacher – one filled with exciting new experiences, new friends and weekends relaxing on the beach. Before you make the leap here is the type of person who is most successful at teaching EFL:

Willing to try new things

The people who have the best time when teaching abroad are those who never turn down an invitation. You’re there to experience a new culture, so embrace the unexpected and the unusual!

Patient & Calm

Teaching English abroad, especially if you’re teaching kids, can be pretty frustrating at times. Wherever in the world you are, kids are kids, and can lose interest and start playing very quickly. The good news is that a calm and orderly teacher usually makes for calm and orderly students. So as long as you can keep calm and carry on you’ll be fine!

Open-minded

When you start teaching English, you won’t just be starting a new job, you’ll probably have just arrived in a totally new, alien country too. It’s important to keep an open mind about any cultural differences you encounter, including crazy new foods, initially strange-seeming etiquette and nonsensical bureaucracy.

Willing to make mistakes

Good teaching is all about trial and error – no one gets it right the first time! So, even if you’ve done loads of TEFL study, when you first start teaching lots of your classes will feel like total disasters. Don’t be disheartened – you’ll soon find that for every couple of activities or lessons that flop, you’ll hit on one that’s a rip-roaring success. And once you’ve got a good idea of what flops and what flies, you’ll be set.

Enthusiastic

You do need to be enthusiastic about the idea of teaching and ready to get stuck in and start helping your students, otherwise you’ll soon find your time abroad feels very long indeed.

A good listener

Being a good listener separates a mediocre teacher from a fantastic one – a good teacher will keep an ear out for the mistakes his/her students make and work out how they can correct them in subsequent classes. A bad one will just ignore their students’ efforts to talk – which do you want to be?

Flexible

No matter where you’re teaching, things in the TEFL world have a pesky habit of changing at the last minute: working hours changing and timetables being overhauled are just some of the most common issues, while schools dropping contracts at the last minute are at the more irritating end of the spectrum. As a teacher there’s not much you can do to avoid these last-minute changes, so it’s important to be flexible and embrace the unpredictability of things!

Friendly and approachable

No one wants a grumpy teacher – while it’s important to maintain a degree of professional distance between yourself and your students, you’ll find them much more willing to cooperate in class if you’re fair, friendly and approachable.

So, you’re cut out for the world of teaching EFL – if you haven’t started one already, your next step is an accredited TEFL course.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Improve Your Life and See The World

Teaching English as a Foreign Language can improve your life and give you many transferable skills that are in demand in the domestic jobs market. So, even if you’re not thinking of teaching as a long-term career, spending time teaching abroad can be really beneficial to your future career.

Improve your communication skills

When you teach abroad you’ll spend much of your time standing in front of a class or preparing lessons. This will improve your communication skills and your confidence in presenting to a group, both of which are really useful in all forms of business. And because you’ll probably be teaching in a non-English speaking country, you’ll also learn to communicate effectively with people who don’t speak your language.

A challenge you want forget

From the second you step off your outbound flight until the moment you say a tearful goodbye to your students, you’ll be challenged almost constantly. You’ll need to learn how to function in a foreign country, how to navigate your way around a new city, how to build new working relationships and how to function outside of your comfort zone. If you write your resume properly, future employers can’t help but be impressed.

International networking

While you’re overseas you’ll cross paths with people from all walks of life: from foreign tourists and backpackers to local businessmen and university professors to government officials. If you make the effort to stay in touch, there’s every possibility that something may come of it. Life throws up all sorts of opportunities, it’s just a question of recognizing them and using them to your advantage.

Open new doors and broaden your horizons

Many people head off to teach for six months or a year and never come back: they find new opportunities and follow a new path in life. You never know where TEFL may take you until you take that all important first step!

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

How to Be an Effective EFL Teacher

Happy students make happy teachers!  Here are some tips that will help you be an effective EFL teacher.

  1. Speak clearly, slowly and distinctly.

 

  1. Manage your class effectively. It’s important to establish and enforce classroom rules, but remember that it’s also important to have fun with your students. If you’re having fun, they’re having fun. My students are much more responsive and willing to participate when they are having a little bit of fun in class. Try not to be too strict and remember to smile.

 

  1. Talk about yourself. Tell your students about your family and friends. Bring in photos from home. Share personal stories with them.

 

  1. Be funny. Students will really enjoy your class if you make them laugh. Don’t be afraid to play the fool or make fun of yourself.

 

  1. Use lots of energy when you’re teaching. Move around your classroom. Use gestures and noises to describe things. Make lots of faces and draw pictures. Why? Providing some light entertainment keeps their attention focused on you.

 

  1. Games are always successful, even with older students. Never underestimate what you can teach with a simple game.

 

  1. When you are giving instructions on how to play a game, repeat your instructions and demonstrate how to play.

 

  1. Positive reinforcement is important to new language learners of every age. Compliment your students, even if they make mistakes.

 

  1. Music makes learning interesting and fun. There are loads of activities you can use music with. I’ve captured and held the attention of all my classes with a little music. Music takes away feelings of self-consciousness and it encourages students to open their mouths and let loose.

 

  1. Repetition is a key tool in the ESL classroom. There are lots of games and activities that you can use in the classroom to encourage students to speak out. Make sure you teach the answer to the entire class and have them repeat it out loud before asking each students separately.

 

  1. Introduce and teach new vocabulary every lesson.

 

  1. Use some favorite slang terms and sayings in the classroom. People get sick of hearing the same standard responses taught throughout the public school system. “How are you? and “I’m fine, thank you. And you?” are typical examples. I find that students who have had these responses drilled into them often sound dull, monotonous and insincere. If a student asks me, “What’s up?” or answers with, “I’m OK!” or “Not much,” I’m usually pretty happy about it.

 

  1. Try to get every student in each class to speak. Remember that pronunciation is really important. Often, students get instruction from their public school English teachers, but these teachers generally lack the ability to teach pronunciation effectively because they aren’t native English speakers.

 

  1. Traditional school systems do not encourage students to ask questions. Encourage your students to ask you questions. Once they know it’s OK to ask or say they don’t understand, it makes for an easier learning environment.

 

  1. Encourage your students to speak out as much as they can and never belittle their ability or correct their mistakes by saying, “You’re wrong.” Just correct the student by repeating the answer correctly. If the student is still struggling, teach it to the class again as a whole.

 

  1. Pointing is rude. Extend your hand out with the palm up when asking a student to answer.

 

  1. Make sure you know and understand your students learning ability.

 

  1. Be adaptable. If a lesson or activity isn’t working, there’s nothing wrong with scrapping it quickly and trying something else.

 

  1. Always have backup games and activities, especially if you’re introducing new material. Don’t be afraid to use your ‘tried and true golden oldies’ if you feel you’re bombing a lesson.

 

  1. Remember that a good teacher also learns from his/her students. The lessons always work both ways.

When you complete your TEFL course with TEFL Zorritos, you will learn these effective EFL teacher tips and gain the confidence to be an effective EFL teacher!  Also you will have a job placement program in Peru waiting for you when you have completed our course.

What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Finding a Good TEFL Job In Country

Finding teaching work in country, when you are already living abroad is becoming more and more popular, and with more than 1 billion English learners worldwide it’s certainly a viable option.

The Resume. Put together a professional resume before leaving and make lots of copies. You don’t want to be printing out your resume on low grade paper in a new country’s internet cafe if you can help it. In case you do run out, save a copy in your email folder for easy access. You’ll also want your degree certificate (if you have one) and a print-out of professional references with contact details. If you don’t have any teaching experience former employers and University professors make the best references.  Finally, don’t forget to make copies of your accredited TEFL Certificate.  Most employers require a minimum level of 120 hours, that includes some classroom practice too.  Also remember the more hours of training you have, the better chance you have of finding a quality job.  Consider a course that offer 120 hours and some advanced certifications as well as the basic TEFL certificate.

Dress to Impress! Just because your interview is in Peru, that doesn’t mean that you should turn up in your joggers and a t-shirt that says ‘Beer Chang’.  If you’re short on backpack space then a pair of black trousers and a smart long sleeved shirt should cover all bases.

Get Connected. Let’s say you come across a school that’s hiring. You make a great impression and leave your resume for them to get back in touch with you. The next thing you’re going to need is a contact number. Save yourself some effort by picking up a ‘cheap pay as you go’ model back home and buying a local SIM in country.

Keep Smiling.  Always be cheerful and show enthusiasm. Particularly in smaller cities it’s surprising how often TEFL teachers are offered a position on the spot, in someone’s Auntie’s friends’ English school.

Consider Private Tuition. In countries without an established TEFL scene you can often find opportunities teaching private students. This type of teaching can be really rewarding as you get to choose how much you work and what sort of students you want to teach. Generally the highest paying tuition gigs tend to be skills based; ‘Ski Lessons in English anyone?’ or Business English.

Job Offer Time. Just because you’re accepting a job in country, you should still review your contract carefully. Things to think about include:

  • How many hours you are willing to teach – make sure you factor in time for lesson planning.
  • Whether your employer will sponsor your working visa.
  • Your accommodation – can your school help out with this?

And….once you’ve got the job…Congratulations! Got any more questions? Give us a shout!

If you completed your TEFL course with TEFL Zorritos, you will be prepared to start your teaching career and will have a job placement program in Peru waiting for you when you have completed our course.

What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Love to Travel – Get a TEFL Certificate

Want to really experience another culture? Now’s the time to say goodbye to that backpack and hello to the amazing experiences offered by teaching EFL.

Here’s why:

Spending time with people like you isn’t experiencing a new culture

Is spending all your time with other travelers who are just like you really making the most of your time abroad? You could have just stayed home!

Instead teach abroad and your working life will be spent surrounded with locals – both students and other staff. Great for getting understanding a country’s culture.

Get paid to be there

Unless you’ve got a big bank balance, spending any length of time in a country is out of the reach of most travelers. That means quick hops here and there, only seeing the ‘don’t miss’ sights that guide books rave about. With TEFL, you’ll be getting paid to be in a country for anywhere from six to 12 months, which means you can experience everything a country has to offer and not feel like you have to cram it into too short a time.

You’ll get to know the locals

While it’s easy to pass through a country and have nothing more than a few brief exchanges with waiters and taxi drivers, teaching abroad forces you to get to know the people you’re teaching, working with, and living with. Sometimes cultural differences can be a bit of a challenge, but you didn’t fly half way around the world to have everything run like it does back home!

You’re already qualified!

If you’re a native English speaker, you’re already qualified to teach English abroad. Yes, you need to do a TEFL course in order to get your hands on the best jobs and not make a total mess of your time in the classroom, but you don’t need any previous teaching experience or the ability to speak another language.

Be in the picture yourself

Go to any major tourist attraction and you’ll see tourist snapping away, trying to peer into a totally alien culture. Want to know the best way to get to know the place you’re visiting? Stop hiding behind your camera and dive in feet first – get to know people and you’ll soon find that you’re not on the outside looking in, you’re in the picture yourself.

You’ll get to really know the town

You’ll make friends with so many locals and long-term expats, you’ll know exactly where’s good to go at the weekend and how to find the really cool stuff.

So, what do you say? If you’re ready to ditch your backpack and grab your TEFL certificate, make sure to contact TEFL Zorritos today and get started on your travel adventures.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Do I Really Need A TEFL Certification?

If you have been considering teaching English abroad and done a little research, especially on some of the online forums, you may be wondering if you really need a TEFL certificate?  Probably a better question to ask yourself would be:  Why would I not want a TEFL certificate?

You can always just start teaching without any preparation and see how well you do. But that’s a pretty scary thought isn’t it? Without a TEFL course how will you know if what you’re doing is right? And just imagine walking into a classroom full of students and having nothing to say – it’d be like that nightmare where you turn up at school naked!

Some hopeful teachers just dismiss it as a really steep learning curve. But remember, it’s difficult to learn from the other teachers if you can’t watch them in action. You’ll certainly learn from your mistakes, but how many will you have to make to equal 120 hours of focused TEFL training?

Perhaps more importantly, starting to teach without TEFL training really isn’t fair on your class. They deserve the best teaching possible and if you aren’t prepared, if you don’t know what to expect, they simply won’t get it. Even if you’re planning to travel to a country that doesn’t demand a TEFL qualification, you should seriously consider getting one.

Many reputable language schools simply won’t employ you without a TEFL qualification. This may mean that you have to accept a job from a less reliable institution – something not really recommended. In more developed countries, finding TEFL jobs without a qualification can be extremely difficult and you’ll probably spend weeks searching for work once you’ve arrived, with no chance of organizing your position before you travel.

TEFL course ticks important boxes. You’ll get more opportunities to convince schools to hire you and you’ll know exactly what to do during telephone interviews. So even though a TEFL course may not be essential, it is important.

What’s more, a TEFL course will make you stand out from the crowd. Language schools might not ask for them, but you can bet that applicants with a TEFL qualification go in one pile, while those without go in another.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Don’t Live A Boring Life

Life doesn’t have to be boring! If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut with everything in your life: work, home life and anything else, there is a way out! Due to the massive worldwide demand for native English speakers, it’s really easy to find paid work as an English teacher with just a TEFL certificate. You can get a TEFL certificate  in just a four weeks, after which you can start your exciting new life wherever you want.  Want to know why it’ll be more exciting than life back home? Simply read on:

1) New surroundings

A change is as good as a rest, right? Well if that’s the case, a change to the other side of the globe will do you a world of good. Wake up wherever in the world you choose, you can be sure that it’ll be different and so much more exciting!

2) New challenges

Teaching English abroad isn’t a stroll in the park: even if you do loads of TEFL training, you’ll find you can spend months planning your first lesson but it may or may not actually go to plan. But if everything was easy, getting the hang of it wouldn’t be half as satisfying, right? Once you start understanding life in the classroom, teaching is incredibly rewarding and, because you’ll probably be a conversation teacher tasked with games rather than grammar, pretty fun too.
3) New people

When you head overseas to teach English, one of the mains worries will be whether you’ll meet any friends. Relax. Unless you’re heading to a remote village in outer Mongolia, you’ll most likely end up in a town/city with lots of other foreigners, who usually end up as a close-knit community. Plus, with your new-found English skills will come new-found popularity with local teachers at the school, who will certainly be eager to make you feel welcome so they can improve their English.

4) New experiences

When you think of having lots of money, it’s not the money that counts, it’s the experiences it buys – so what if you could start having those once-in-a-lifetime experiences without shelling out lots of money? That’s what living abroad enables you to do – teaching overseas gives you a shortcut to thousands of incredible experiences. And you’re getting paid to live there.

Want to find out more? To learn more about teaching abroad and whether it’s the escape route for you, please contact TEFL Zorritos and we will give you all the information you need to have a great career teaching EFL abroad.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Teaching EFL & Speaking The Local Language

Do I need to speak the language of the country where I will be an EFL teacher? The short answer is no. You really don’t need to have a full grasp of the local language to be an EFL teacher. In fact one of the guiding principles of TEFL is that English teachers never use the local language when they’re in the classroom. Since you’ll probably be working in a language school or institute, there will be lots of people around who speak English. However, your experience will be greatly enhanced by being able to order a meal or booking a train ticket in the local language and will make your time overseas a lot easier and a lot more rewarding.

So while you don’t need to know the language to be a teacher, you’ll get more out of the experience if you can master a few basics. There will be loads of language schools in the country you go to, so it might be an idea get there a few days early and book yourself in for a beginner’s course.

It’s at least a good idea to know a few basic words, so that you can communicate and of course request help in an emergency situation.  Basically the more of the local language you learn the better your experience will be while working abroad.

So pick up a small phrase book and learn a few basics before arriving.  You will be glad you did and have a much happier lifestyle in your home away from home.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru & guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!

Culture Shock When Teaching EFL

Teaching EFL abroad is a great opportunity to see the world and expand your horizons. But being away from home, family, living in a different culture and always being surrounded by the unfamiliar – well that can take its toll. You might be suffering from culture shock.

It starts with euphoria

The first thing you’ll feel when you get off the plane is euphoria. You’re in a new country, surrounded by new things and it’s simply amazing. But this natural high has its drawbacks – after all, what goes up, must come down.


The full force of culture shock

Everyone’s different and some lucky people don’t even suffer from culture shock. But those who do have reported feelings of unease, negativity and a strong desire to shy away from anything new.

How to deal with it

Dealing with culture shock isn’t as difficult as you’d think. There are just a few simple steps you can take, which can make a big difference:

  • Be prepared
    Knowing what to expect goes a long way to helping you deal with new cultures and experiences. So research the countryyou’re going to be heading to before you go.
  • Be yourself
    It sounds obvious doesn’t it? But you’d be surprised how many people travel to a new countryand try to become a completely different person at the same time. There’s no denying the fact that taking on a totally new career in a totally new country will change you. Just let it happen naturally, because if you don’t, you’ll feel even more lost.
  • Take one day at a time
    If you’re teaching abroad, you’re probably going to be away for a long time. But imagining a whole yearin this new, scary place can be overwhelming. So stay focused on the now and take one day at a time.
  • Make friends
    One of the things you’ll miss the most when you’re working abroadis your friends, so make new ones. So if you’re feeling down, tell someone about it – they’ll probably be feeling the same way.
  • Explore
    Getting to know your destinationwill help make it more familiar. And that’s the ultimate cure for culture shock. Start by looking for similarities between this new culture and your own.
  • Stay in touch
    When you’re feeling homesick, there’s nothing better than talking to someone from home. So make sure you keep in close contact with everyone you’ve left behind to go on your travels.
  • Learn the language
    The language barrier can put a real strain on you while you’re abroad. So you might find it useful to take a course before you go or while you’re there. Alternatively, ask the schoolyou’re working for to set up some language lessons for you.

Just remember, your trip will be whole lot better if you embrace new cultures, instead of clashing with them. So if all else fails, just go with the flow.

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TEFL Zorritos: What could be better?  Study in a beautiful Peruvian beach town at our beach-front outdoor training centre with great accommodations available, including delicious local food.  Fully accredited 120 Hour TEFL course with a practical approach that provides you with 10 advanced certifications at absolutely no extra cost!  And a job placement program in Peru and guaranteed lifetime job assistance waiting for you when you complete the course.

Class sizes are limited, so don’t wait, make your reservation today!