Blog Category: Technology & TEFL

TEFL Jokes (TEFAL)‏‎

Although there are jokes we can use in the class to drive home a language point and make the lesson more engaging, these are jokes about teachers and students in general and especially about the English language and the way we use it. Some of them are terrible and...

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Vowels to Bosnia (TEFAL)‏‎

During the war in the Balkans (1992-1995), much was made of the spelling and pronunciation of placenames in Serbia and so on. This satirical news item was popular at the time. {AF}Before an emergency joint session of Congress yesterday, President Clinton announced US...

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English Teachers – the series‏‎ (TEFAL)

English Teachers - the series, is a fictional webseries about the lives of English teachers in a language school in Japan. The first episode aired in September 2010. It is directed and produced by Anthony Gilmore who teaches English part-time at the Nagoya University...

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Facebook for TEFL Teachers

The chances are that you have a Facebook account and there is more than a fair chance that some of your students do too. But this raises a number of questions and if you get the answer wrong, it can sometimes have dire consequences. Do I become "friends" with my...

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What Students Say (TEFAL)‏‎

The following gems were picked up over the years by English teachers around the world. The interesting thing is that if you look at them, often they make profound sense in a strange way. Comments like When I grow up I'd like to be a kindergardener do somehow ring...

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Price Comparison‏‎ (CALL Activity)

Price Comparison is a simple activity designed for all levels‏‎ of class from beginners‏‎ to advanced and from General English‏‎ to Business English‏‎, teenagers to adults. It can be used to practice skimming‏‎ as well as reading for specifics. Best done as a CALL‏‎...

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Anglo-EU Translation Guide (TEFAL)‏‎

The table below illustrates just some of the difficulties in understanding the subtleties of the English language. In this case it's British English which, along with British manners, make the meanings of words said often nothing like the meaning of the words spoken!...

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WordWeb (CALL Software)

WordWeb is an extremely useful piece of freeware dictionary and thesaurus software. It installs on your Windows PC or as an Android App (however, it's not available for Macs) and runs in the background. Then, each time you want the definition or the spelling of a...

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OHPs or Overhead Projectors

OHP stands for Overhead Projector. This is a device for displaying a page from a book or a transparency enlarged on a wall for all the class to see. These days it has largely been replaced by interactive whiteboard‏‎s although many schools still employ their use,...

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Quick Edit‏‎

Quick Edit is a simple CALL‏‎ activity which lets students work together in writing texts. It helps with critical reading and also allows peer checking which means grammar, spelling and vocabulary checks. Essentially it is a form of Peer Correction. Note that although...

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You know you’re a TEFL teacher when… (TEFAL)‏‎

You know you're a TEFL teacher when... ...you watch Eastenders and want to correct their pronunciation and grammar. ...you think it's perfectly fine to say close the light. ...you meet the parents and understand immediately why the child is the way it is. ...you want...

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TEFL Teaching English Online

Teaching English Online or Virtual English Teaching is a growing business. Essentially it means teaching students - usually 1-to-1‏‎ - from your own home and thus bypassing a school. With the advent of new technology and the prevalence of broadband internet (allowing...

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A Word A Day

A Word A Day is a simple daily email which anyone can sign up to which sends out a word and definition each day which is useful to help enrich and enlarge vocabulary. For TEFL teachers it is ideal; with students it is perhaps better suited to advanced learners. The...

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Podcasts‏‎ in Teaching English

A Podcast is a series of audio or video files distributed over the internet (in the same way as a broadcast in traditional media). Podcasts can be accessed either live or transferred onto a local PC or iPod to access later. Podcasts in Education Podcasts can be...

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IPA Transcription

There are a number of programs and websites now which allow you to transcribe normal text into the IPA - International Phonetic Alphabet. These usually have options for for both British English and American English‏‎. Transcribing Text Essentially you type a text into...

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Email in the TEFL/TESOL Classroom‏‎

I'm an online English teacher here's an idea I'm experimenting with. I've got 3 online students I teach. One is in China, the second in Poland‏‎ and the third in Italy. Until last week they'd never even heard about each other, they'd just dealt with me online (sending...

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IPA Decode!‏‎

IPA Decode is a great game to play with the class which helps them understand and use the IPA or International Phonetic Alphabet. It can be used with a reasonably proficient class who are familiar with the IPA already and who would benefit from a little more practice....

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Corpus (pl Corpora) and TEFL

A Corpus (plural Corpora) is a large collection of written texts which are used in computational linguistics for analysis of the way language is used. They are most often analyzed using a concordancer‏‎. Types of Corpora A corpus can be one or more of the following:...

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Concordancers‏‎

A concordancer is a computer program which examines a large collection of texts and then retrieves examples matching a particular search string. This is known as KWIC or keyword in context. They are particularly useful for working out patterns and examples of language...

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Hot Potatoes‏‎ (CALL Software)

Hot Potatoes is a suite of 6 applications which allow a user to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the internet. The software has recently been made freeware. The suite consists...

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Internet Trivia‏‎ Activty for TEFL

Internet Trivia is an interesting and useful CALL‏‎ (Computer Assisted Language Learning) teaching activity which gives your students different kinds of practice in the different reading‏‎ skills found in TEFL‏‎: scanning skimming (reading for gist) reading for detail...

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CALL‏‎ – Computer Assisted Language Learning

CALL or Computer Assisted Language Learning is using computers in the classroom to facilitate learning. In general, CALL is used as an adjunct to traditional teaching rather than a replacement (much like video has been used in the past). While in the past CALL was...

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Action Mazes in TEFL

In an Action Maze students are put in a difficult situation and they need to decide what to do next. Often they'll be given a few options to choose from. As a result of their choice, the students are then faced with the next situation in the story and with other sets...

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Tips on Using Blackboards & Whiteboards

Here are a few quick tips for TEFL teachers on using your blackboard or whiteboard or interactive whiteboard in class. Face the Class‏‎ Don’t stand with your back to the class! Doing this is an opportunity for them to tune out and start talking. While you are writing...

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