Wednesday, December 17, 2008

An Education

I have no formal education in ESL, which is pretty standard for those teaching in Asia. But, I do a few things to figure out how to do it well.

First of all, I read. I borrow books from friends who are doing their masters degrees in ESL and go through them, with an eye out for practical things. I find the more academic things not so helpful as opposed to the basic, how to teach English textbooks.

Secondly, I cruise the internet site about teaching English. This seems to be the best source for games and activities for in-class. I have some links in the sidebar.

Thirdly, I listen to podcasts. You can do a search for them on Itunes to find them. The ones I like are Edgycation and ESL Teacher Talk. Both are entertaining, informative and filled with inspiration and good ideas for the classroom. I also listen to grammar girls quick and dirty tips and the public speakers quick and dirty tips.

And finally, I use my teacher's books. A lot of teachers don't use them, thinking they can just "wing it." And with some textbooks, it's easy enough to do and some of the teacher's books are crap anyway. But there are some series' out there with some helpful ones.

And something which I don't do, but which could potentially be quite helpful is participating in things like Kotesol or some other professional organization that hosts conferences and workshops.

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