Teaching English Conversation classes in Japan can be challenging because discussions don’t spark very naturally. Japanese people are very social and friendly in their personal affairs, but in the classroom they do not speak until asked to speak by the teacher. This cultural behaviour can make an English Conversation class slow and boring. In this article, I will show you how the TESOL certification course I completed with OnTESOL helped my lessons become more engaging.
Many language schools in Turkey have a variety of students from all walks of life. This results in a school with many levels, abilities and needs, all in different classrooms with schedules changing daily. The TESOL certification course I completed with OnTESOL provided me with the skills to generate lesson plans fit for any class size and level.
The first thing I learned about teaching Business English in South Korea is how much grammar my students knew. The English language proficiency in Korea is very high because the government invests a lot of money in the EPIK public school program to teach English to their citizens from an early age. My Business English students were mostly in their late 30’s and many had spent a lot of time in the USA and Canada, where they took their IELTS test. My students’ grammar was very good, but they weren’t very confident with their speaking skills. The TESOL certification course I completed with OnTESOL prepared me to succeed in the Business English classroom because it taught me to prepare a syllabus that was specific for my students.
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I was surfing the internet for traveling a year around the world after university, when I stumbled upon teaching English as a way to pay for my adventures. I sent my resume via e-mail to a recruiter and a few months later I was teaching English at a public school in Thailand. All they asked from me was that I showed up with my US passport and university diploma in hand. I didn’t have any teaching experience and never even heard of TESOL certification.
Everything was great in the beginning! I got picked up at the airport, I had a chance to speak face-to-face with the recruiter and thank him for getting me the TESOL job, and I met with a Canadian girl in her early 20’s and a Aussie man in his 30’s, who would turned out to be great friends and travel buddies. Then came the first day on the job, which was a nightmare.
I have been teaching English in Chilean Patagonia for just over three months now and I am contracted to be here until the end of November. I’m teaching in a country and continent that is a completely different from anything I have ever experienced.
–Spencer completed the 120-hour TEFL certificate course with TEYL specialization–
I had the idea of teaching abroad towards the end of college and my original intention was to teach in a Spanish speaking country because my minor is in Spanish language. While going through the process of interviewing for jobs in south Korea I realized that wasn’t where my heart was and a former professor of mine suggested a volunteer program for teaching abroad in Chile. This was not a “pay to volunteer” program as it seems many of them are. The process was simple: I had to apply to the program with my resume, letter of recommendation and then eventually got an interview with the volunteer center in Chile over the phone. If I was accepted then they would help me obtain all my documents and my visa, so I wouldn’t have to then interview for an actual placement within the country. I decided to be proactive during the process and began my 120 hour TEFL certification which was extremely effective as they noted during my interview.
As a new ESL instructor in China, I quickly found that ESL games were great ice breakers. Prior to studying the communicative theory, two of the games I used repeatedly in class were hangman and Pictionary. The students had a lot of fun trying to guess the letters and the drawings on the board, desperately shouting one word guesses again and again. When class energy ebbed, they rekindled enthusiasm by shifting the student’s dependence on me, the teacher, to one another in a team effort. These games did little to improve their spoken English and didn’t tie into the lesson plans.
I will always remember the time my 4-year-old Thai student, Queen, shouted “one more time!” when she wanted to sing the “If You’re Happy and You Know It” song again. If I hadn’t been searching for an interesting way to teach vocabulary, I may never have stumbled on the American Sign Language method.
-Jenny completed the 120-hour TEFL certificate course with TEYL specialization-