Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Resume and Application Cover Letter Writing

The Canadian government has prepared a toolkit for anyone interested in improving their resume and application cover letter writing skills It seems to be primarily aimed at native speakers and writers of English, yet there are some very obvious but important points to note for anyone of pre-intermediate writing level or above who is interested in writing a reasonable application. Some key language issues are raised, a list of common verbs are presented, structure and organization are referred to, and so on.  Teachers teaching application letter or resume writing may find some , if not all, of this a useful platform for development.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Indian International Schools and The English Language

In an article about Indian international schools, The Guardian newspaper explores the decision of many East Asain parents to send their kids to India to learn English.  The big question is why Korean and other East Asian parents send their children to India and not to countries where English is the majority language such as the UK, the US, Canada or Australia.  Apparently, 'teachers, students and administrators list three main reasons: Indian schools are cheaper than, say, in UK or Australia; many schools in English-speaking countries don't offer ESL; and even though India can be a difficult place to live in, it is seen as an emerging economic powerhouse. Yet almost all students also see India as just a stepping stone for higher education and jobs in English-speaking countries, especially in the US'.  Opportunities for speaking English outside of the classroom and indeed outside of the school are also reasons cited.  The general lack of English conversations in countries such as Korea and Japan is certainly a hindrance to anyone wishing to practice the English language skills outside of the classroom. Although not everyone in India is a native speaker of the English language, far more opportunities exist for its use, partly because English is a medium of communication between native speakers of different languages within India, and partly because of historical factors.  As Peri Bhaskararao summarizes in an article entitled English in Contemporary India, 'English language in its different variegations continues to thrive in India.  It is a major medium of communication in technical and scientific education, governance, personal interaction among the educated, public information, broadcasting, news media etc. Education in the medium of English language is still valued. It is the main language used in the field of computing and internet-related enterprise. It is an essential tool of interaction between a foreigner and an Indian. India has been hospitable to English and each benefits from the other.'  So, is it surprising that East Asian parents who wish a bright future for their children are sending them to India to be educated?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wanted - English Language Students in Asia

Are you an English language student?  Do you live in Asia and want to improve your written English?  Get feedback and corrections from an experienced, qualified English language lecturer.  Get your articles posted to our new website with your name as writer/contributor.  Write short articles in English about your hometown, the things to see there, things to do, places to stay, food, restaurants, festivals, arts, culture, sports...  Write to info@tubedubedu.com for details of your first writing assignment or leave a comment here.  We are looking for interesting articles, while you should be looking for opportunities to improve your English writing.
Teachers, if you think your students would be interested, please let them know about this opportunity to get comments on their writing from another source and their work posted on an English language site.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood

To view the video, click here.

This 2-minute long, animated version of the classic folk story is delivered via the British Council website. It tells the story of the girl who goes to visit her grandmother in her house in the woods and the danger she faces when she encounters the wolf. The story is told mostly using the past simple tense, except for the few snippets of direct speech during the girl's conversation with the wolf.  This shows an interesting contrast between the story told in the past and the spoken language of the present. For lower level students at beginner level, the focus on past simple forms would be sufficient, but for more advanced students at pre-intermediate level, direct speech could be the focus.  

For more advanced learners, and even teachers, the features of the fairy story genre could be investigated.  For example, language patterns and repetition of those patterns are common features of fairy / folk tales which stem from the spoken medium in which they originated. In this story Red Riding Hood repeats the phrase "What big eyes/ears/teeth you have." The wolf replies with the pattern "All the better to see/hear/eat you with."  Such patterns and repetition enabled memorization by listeners in a time when recording devices did not exist so that the story could be retold successfully to future audiences .   Other features of the genre include opposing pairs of adjectives as main themes of the story, for example, good vs evil, ugly vs beautiful, rich vs poor, etc.  

To view the video, click here.

Disclaimer: The owner of this website does not claim ownership or control of any of the content accessed via the links on this site.  Consequently the owner of this site is not responsible for any changes to or unexpected content found at these links.  The owner of this website has no control over the continued availability of such content and cannot be held responsible for discontinued availability. Users of this site are expected to have read and agreed to these conditions and are especially advised to check content via links before use in the classroom.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Advice About TEFL Courses

If you are thinking about whether or not to become qualifed as an EFL teacher, you might benefit from reading this TEFL careers advice or advice from the British government

As both articles suggest, the range of courses on offer can be bewildering.  However, in my opinion one major deciding factor for choosing a course should be how much extra value the course will add to your employability as a teacher.  Investing in your future is always a good thing, but like all investments some are far better than others.  Along with a willing-to-learn attitude, teaching practice or experience are probably the two most important attributes that employers look for when hiring new teachers.  If the course you are considering does not involve any real, practical, hands-on teaching with relevant and worthwhile feedback, you will not be as compettitive in the recruitment process as the other applicants who do have that.

On-line, distance learning can be a good thing, but it very much depends on the type and purpose of  learning.  If your goal in taking a TEFL course, such as the CELTA, is to show that you are a competent teacher, the course needs to have a practical teaching element.