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Teaching English as a foreign language

 
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 01:42 pm
Have any A2Kers taught english as a foreign language by doing a TEFL or CELTA course? If so may I ask you some questions?
Thanks, pq
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 4,914 • Replies: 43
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talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 02:48 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
If you want to make good money get a certificate certifying you as an ESL teacher emphasis on knowing the English language which would probably be a few weeks' effort or merely a formality as you are an English Literature graduate with a minor in Musicology.

Go to Hong Kong there are a lot of English expatriates there as well as Canadians, Americans (Actor William Holden owned the English language Radio station and the part of the English language paper there) maybe Australians. You could learn Cantonese for fun and probably need it if you stay there for a year or more to see the various sites and to get around. You could also go to Japan or South Korea but there might be fewer expatriates there - probably be more Americans. They make $60,000 (Canadian) a year with no taxes (I think) and enjoy yourself.

You are close to Ozzieland so on holiday you could drop by Sydney, Melbourne whatever and meet those pesky Ozzie A2Kers and pick up the Ozzie accent. I used to watch 'Four Square' an Ozzie TV show which probably's no longer around and at first I couldn't understand them one bit.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 May, 2010 12:51 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Go to the Hong Kong Consulate and ask for information. They could help you and even guide regarding requirements and schools or associations. They want English speaking teachers badly.
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The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 01:01 pm
@talk72000,
Thank you, talk.

Yeah, I think it's a good option. I looked at the course online and it seems pretty full-on, but even if I only end up going away for a few months it seems such a good way to do it.

Do you think it's stupid for me to go on my own though?
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 May, 2010 01:40 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
If you are going to Hong Kong ask where a lot of English people hang out. Even the British Consulate could help you. Don't worry there are a lot of British people there as well as Americans. There are always a lot of American tourists walking around. Many American servicemen were in Hong Kong during the Vietnam war during the RnR and the Aircraft carrier would bring in a lot of the navy guys to the redlight district. Imagine walking in Chinatown in London. It is the same. Many Hong Kong residents left Hong Kong when China took over Hong Kong and set up shop in he London Soho district. Many Hong Kong people can speak English but they have a terrible accent as you know. There are many English (English person) teachers in many Hong Kong schools. You will probably meet some of them in your school. They could also help you.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
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Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 09:31 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
Have any A2Kers taught english as a foreign language by doing a TEFL or CELTA course? If so may I ask you some questions?


I started teaching English long before these were fashionable/required/desired, PQ. It certainly wouldn't hurt to take one as in helps you get your foot in the door. From what I've seen and heard, never taken one, they help you with lesson prep, focus, and most importantly, how to get students practicing the language.

If you do this, the single most important thing to remember is to make your lessons have as much real context as possible. This dawned on me, early in my career when I noticed the students having a great deal of difficulty with a lesson in a textbook where you had to prepare for a barbeque and then have the barbeque.

There were a lot of phrasal verbs; cut up, flip over, etc. These are the ones that are so much a part of everyday language but the students have a lot of trouble with them.

I made a barbeque out of a cardboard box, took in knives and copier pics of various vegetables. That degree of context made all the difference in the world. Students should have to struggle imagining all these actions. The only struggle should be practicing them in context.

You wouldn't ask a child to "get the ball" if you didn't have a ball, would you? Yet so many teachers make their students struggle with imagining and doing language at the same time. Bad, BAD idea.

It's a grand idea, teaching ESL. You can see the world and get paid to do so.

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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 11:50 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I never did, but Gail did. She taught vietnamese students at a cheesy language center in mid Los Angeles, at the same time she was in school and our lab helper. Her tales went from funny to woeful. Her own fortunes moved along (she became an anchor on various city's tvs). But that system, as she described it, seemed a crock. She then moved into journalism..

I also have a friend who stepped off the metro on first landing in Rome and actually went where one of the carcoated people at the metro suggested, which no dumbass does, except that she had very little money, and made friends with the people there. She taught in Rome for quite a while in some kind of English school, then was a governess for a papal family, and then was a production assistant at cinnicita (bad spelling), and then was the help writer for a major literary figure, for several books. She is no dummy, now a litigator in California.

So - PQ, it's a process. You know I wish you luck.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 12:07 am
(listening, Talk and JTT..)
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 12:13 am
@ossobuco,
I also have a friend/acquaintance with a doctorate in esl, but - how to say it, I didn't take her seriously. Not re the subject, but her behavior, which would be hard to explain.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 03:15 am
@ossobuco,
Quote:
So - PQ, it's a process. You know I wish you luck.


Thank you! xx
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 09:43 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
There are forums for folks who do this. Sign up on one - get details about the contracts.

You need to understand exactly what you're getting into - in terms of time commitments and actual salary. I've worked with several people who did/are doing this following univesity and prior to "real life". I think it can be a great idea for someone who's very open-minded.
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ehBeth
 
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Reply Thu 3 Jun, 2010 09:47 am
http://www.eslteachersboard.com/cgi-bin/forum/index.pl

http://www.eslcafe.com/

http://www.englishforum.com/00/teachers/


tons more out there - probably a good idea to talk to someone locally about boards they've found most helpful

0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 02:10 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
This is the scenario. Hong Kong was a backwater fishing village until the Second World War. When the Communists overran China a lot of refugees came to Hong Kong. Many of the rich people from China came to Hong Kong. Many of those were from Shanghai with businesses. They relocated their businesses to Hong Kong. On top of that there was a continuous flow of illegal refugees across the border by swimming at night into Hong Kong. Therefore labor became very cheap.

The school situation is that there are elite schools there mostly govt. subsidized ones and the Christian Brothers run schools that dominate the schooling system Their teachers write the exams so their students do well after all they have been taught the same material all year round. These students usually go to Hong Kong Universities, to UK and US Ivy League Universities. Then there are the private schools run by Chinese foreign educated teachers with degrees from the UK and US Ivy League schools. Most of the students are those who could not get into the elite schools. Many were kids of the illegal Chinese refugees. These students have little English skills. They think in Chinese so when they try to speak English they translate in their minds and speak tranlated Chinese which can be amusing to English speaking people.
Many people came to Hong Kong from different parts of the world. When India took over Goa many Goan or Goanese went to Macau which is Portugese run. Then they came over to Hong Kong as there were better opportunities for work. They could speak English so the British authorities welcomed them. There is a huge mix of people in Hong Kong as well as Eurasians i.e. Portugese-Chinese as well British-Chinese.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Jun, 2010 11:21 pm
@talk72000,
Quote:
These students have little English skills. They think in Chinese so when they try to speak English they translate in their minds and speak tranlated Chinese which can be amusing to English speaking people.


The bane of second language learners since forever. Translation/grammar study is the worst way to learn a language. And the sad thing, though so many have been taught this way is there a much easier way that actually works.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 12:08 pm
@JTT,
My preferred way is for them to read comic books. That is the best way for it is entertaining and they learn the vernacular. Comics are pictorial and action oriented so they can understand the language as they follow the story. Movies and cartoons could follow so they learn the pronunciation. In short it is almost like kindergarten but that is the level they are at. Kindergardenooks could be offensive to older students sothey would resist as I once suggested a college grad. She didn't say anything utshe ever touched them.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Jun, 2010 12:12 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
During British Rule in Hong Kong there was a laissez faire system in which there were a lot of scams being foisted on the locals and they absconded with the money to Taiwan. The British never followed thru. Now with Communist Rule it may be better. But be careful for scams like high interest bonds. They will run off with the money.

Whatever company you are working with check their credentials and references. Make sure they are legit and have a track record covering a long period. If they are fraudsters they will vanish overnight and youwill be left stranded in a foreign land without money. But in Hong Kong with so many British people there you could probablyget help but still be careful.
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 05:29 pm
Howdy there folks, PQ (if I may), some good pointers, some funny bone ticklers, and interesting links . . . few questions ask? however? Anyway, I'll keep my eye here on this one; in the event PQ comes back 'round to ask some further questions--as had been insinuated by the OP.
The Pentacle Queen
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 05:41 pm
@KaseiJin,
Well I've booked myself onto a month long course in August. Very excited!
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 05:44 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
That is terrific.

I don't think you can go wrong with taking one of these courses. You might use it right away or later on, but I think it's a great idea.
0 Replies
 
KaseiJin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2010 07:21 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
Good job there, PQ ! Yes, I do agree with ...uh oh...can't see the poster's name now (oh how I wish we had that function here, as well), but you'll know...the poster above this post, and the one I've quoted of yours.

Now do make a point of it to keep in mind, that you'll be able to get much more out of the course, if you put more than what might be called for, or normally expected, into the course. How you might be able to use what you have learned, we'd have to wait and see, it must be admitted, but I think there's a sliver-lined cloud out there, yeah . . .so keep it up !!
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