Friday, July 22, 2011

Ethics in Teaching

Although we have addressed this issue before, it might be a good idea to do it again in light of recent scandals involving education in the US and other countries, as well as the journalist scandal regarding ethics in the UK.

If anything, education is an industry where the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and being law abding should show the most strength. These standards should be strongly upheld by teachers, principals, and superintendents. We have children's lives in our hands. We are with them on a daily basis. they both depend on and look up to us, not only for learning, but for examples of how to lead their lives. What has happend to our standards? We have to remember that student's, especially young learners, not only acquire academic knowledge from teachers but life skills and behavior norms as well.

TEFL is not a teaching world apart, as soon as you step into that classroom you transform yourself into a role model to which the students will mimic every move, word, promnunciation, and body language.

When teaching in a foreign country, some people think that if they are overseas, then they do not have to follow any standards of ethics, thus they are "above the law" and any real standards of ethical behavior. Wrong!!! There have been people arrested and extradited to their home countries for unethical- and sometimes criminal- conduct. There have been teachers kicked out of countries they were working in for unethical behavior. Do not think that you will be the exception to the rule. You are not. You may make friends with people who do unethical things. That is your choice, but this choice can land you in a foreign jail, ousted from a country (which goes on your passport), and has potential for you to possibly endure great embarrassment to you and to whomever hired you. This definitely does not look good on your resume. Yes, we have internet now folks. This can add and will follow you for quite some time. Use common sense.

Remember all those rules that your parents told you about right and wrong. Remember them, use them, and act like a professional English teacher. Teaching is not just about pouring facts into empty minds but rather stimulating interest within those minds to spark the fires of true knowledge.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Young Learners: The Teachers' Challenge

Some of our ITTO graduates chose to teach young learners. If they have never taught younger students before, they find out rather rapidly that the techniques used in class for class management are totally different than when teaching adults. Depending on the age and size of the group, it can be a real challenge.

Here are some tips for handling a young learners' class. First of all, establish the rules for the class. Make sure that students understand the rules. Then, as the teacher, make sure the rules are enforced. Most importantly, be fair with the rules. Everyone should be treated the same. Make sure the students understand the boundaries.

Secondly, children like routines. They like established patters of activity. What seems like rebundant repetition for adults is simply familiar procedure for a child. Remember, when you first started kindergarten, you did not understand the concept of getting in line to do something. Once you did it everyday, such as get in line to go to lunch, then it became familiar and comfortable. The same is true for teaching English to young learners.

Third, and very important, make sure the students understand their responsibilities; for example, listening when another student speaks or helping give out materials. This is teaching the student responsibility, awareness, and actually learning to listen in English. Be explicit and clear in what you expect from the students as you establish the routines for class.

While you are doing all this, there are other aspects to remember. Treat the students as individuals. They need to know that you care, not just be a group of kids you need to control for an hour or so.

Make then feel valuable. Listen. Respond. Put some of their work on the walls to enhance their self-esteem. It works miracles.

Use praise. Try to catch them being good and say so. At the same time, keep your expectations high. Don't let them slack off with various excuses.

Use co-operative activities. These create win-win situations where the students come away feeling good about themselves. Always be fair.

Other points to keep in mind are social factors, emotional and cognitive development, and, most importantly, your attitude toward the children. Children have a sixth sense when it comes to relating to authority figures. They will know if you really care and act accordingly. Moreover, when they are studying English, try to link the vocabulary and grammar point they learn in class to reality, such as their family, home, or school. This helps the students internalize what they learn in class and apply it to their world.

Realizing these tips on handling young learners and implementing them in the classroom should make both the students' lives and yours much more pleasurable. Plus, you can concentrate on teaching, not just trying to discipline class.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Business English: What does business want?

Before you take a business English course, ask yourlsef this: What does business want? In other words, what kind of English terms, vocabulary, and expressions should you learn and concentrate on in order to teach business English? Good question. Different courses concentrate on different aspects of business. On the more basic level, for example, you will learn how to teach holding a formal business meeting, answer the phone, make reservations for flights, rooms, conference rooms, etc. You will also probably learn to write a basic business letter or memo. These are things that are used in business on every level, from Mom and Pop businesses to corporations. So, businesses want your students to be able to do this in fluent English. It is your job to make this happen.

Suppose, however, your classes are going to be on more advanced levels. What does business want? Well, on advanced levels the English terms will be more limited to certain specific aspects of business. Normally, this will be trade, fiancial terms, or English for negociations. With today's global economy, these types of business are vitally important. Perhaps even more important is giving a lucid, viable, convincing business presentation. For this, not only is business English involved, but so is public speaking. You may have PowerPoint, Internet sites, and who knows what else at your fingertips, but if you do not do well in the presentation, all is lost.

Thus, there are a multitude of things you need to cover as a business English teacher. Each type of business will want something different. Your students can be advanced, lower level, or mixed. Moreover, you need to research terms and usages for whatever type of business you are teaching: Banking, for example, would be totally different than new housing. And besides all this, you need to instill business ethics into the list so that your students know how to handle fiduciary responsibility and be trustworthy.

So what is the bottom line? What does business want? It wants fluency in English in a specific area to allow business communication on a common level so that business can be successfully conducted, hopefully in a win-win way that both parties can be happy with. As a business English teacher, you have your work cut out for you. If you have not had a how-to-teach-business-English course, I suggest you take one. If you are very good int this field, the world is yours. Many people will want your services, and they will pay well for them.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

ITTO's Job Placement Guarantee

Hello again from ITTO!

Can you believe 2010 is just about over? Phew, how time flies! On behalf of ITTO, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2011.

It's a real shame you were unable to acquire your TEFL certifacet this year. Nevertheless, 2011 is showing excellent promise for all aspiring EFL teachers. This can be the year you acquire your TEFL certificate and start touring the world as an English teacher.

Surely you have read on our website about our Job Guarantee, right? We would like to take advantage of this opportunity to provide you with more details on what this is all about.

What is ITTO's Job Guarantee?

Simple, we find you a teaching position in Mexico at least 2 weeks after your guaduation! Meeting the challenge of securing paid teaching positions for their graduates is not a task that every TEFL provider can meet. We happen to be one of the few schools around the world that can find you a paid teaching position after successfully completing our course. In fact, we guarantee it.

Watch out!!!

There are many negative connotations about the few schools around the world that do offer guaranteed job placement. We understands that those claims may be true for some of those schools. Obviously, the schools that do not have the infrastructure, professional contacts, ethical recognition, or overall capability to guarantee their graduates paid job placement make most of these negative comments. ITTO's networking compatibility with other schools and our more than 4 decades of experience in language teaching, allow us to perform professional and successful paid job placements for you.

Facts, facts, and more facts!

So maybe you're thinking to yourself, well that's what ITTO has to say about it, right? You don't have to take our word for it. We would like to invite you to view some reviews from our graduates on an independent source by clicking HERE. You can also view some videos of our trainees talking about their ITTO experince HERE.

As you can see, ITTO goes over and beyond all other TEFL options out there. We train you, we certify you, and we find the job for you. It doesn't get any easier than that. Step into the world of TEFL...our world.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Advantages of TEFL training and EFL Teaching in Mexico

Hello again from ITTO!

How have you been? Still contemplating your TEFL course initiation and destination? Great! There are a couple of things you should contemplate before making up your mind.

TEFL training is not just about the course, the school, the time of the year, or the cost of the investment. There are several other characteristics that should be taken into consideration such as: the culture, the language, the customs, the distance and many other. Ok, so now that you have chosen your TEFL destination, pause and think about it. Ask yourself the following questions:

Are the people friendly?
How familiar am I with the culture?
How far is it from home?
Is it easy to apply for a visa?
Will I be able to live off my income as an EFL teacher there?

I bet you had not thought about that right? If you did, then great! You are a smart traveler and will do just fine abroad! But let's look at some of the facts that make Guadalajara the perfect TEFL destination and Mexico an ideal EFL teaching location.

Yes, the people are friendly! For starters, Guadalajara is one of the few cities in the world that can pride itself for the warmth of its poeple. Unlike many cities around the world that have lost their small town charm, Guadalajara has not only managed to retain it but even gone to extent of overshadowing some of the small towns themselves when it comes to the warmth of its people. In Guadalajara you will always find a friendly pedestrian who will be more than happy to give you directions, talk to you about the significance of a landmark, or amuse both by trying to have a conversation with you in Spanish. Taking this into consideration, you can rest assured that your days in Guadalajara will be very easy-going and entertaining. Now, can you say that about all locations around the world? Probably not, right? Especially nowadays with so much cultural friction and intolerance going on in certain parts of the world.

You will experience genuine culture... Guadalajara is the cultural cradle of western Mexico and the second most important cultural center in the country. It is nicknamed the "Pearl of the West." Guadalajara is the birthplace of two of the most iconic symbols of Mexican culture: Tequila and Mariachi music. Nevertheless, the city's population is also up to beat with the newest trends in fashion, glamour, and music. The great cultural advantage of taking you TEFL course in Guadalajara is that you will experience deep routed Mexican tradition and color without the hazardous side effects of entering a country with radically different philosophies. Imagine being in a place where you are enchanted by the culture but are afraid to offend somebody because you showed him the palm of your hand in a harmless gesture of friendship... quite the culture shock, right?

Distance is an important factor... Your first transition into the TEFL world should be one that does not place you half way around the world in a situation that at some point may just cause you to run back home. Also, think about how expensive airfare is nowadays... yikes! That's another great advantage of making Guadalajara, Mexico your TEFL destination. Guadalajara has an international airport where flights from all over the USA and Canda arrive constantly. Airfare to Guadalajara is very accessible; you can expect to pay anywhere between $400.00 to $600.00 USD for a round trip ticket from the USA and Canada or as little as $250.00 USD for a one way ticket. What's the point of spending ridiculous amounts of airfare traveling to a location you may end up disliking, right?

Immigration Conditions Some countries around the world have very stringent migratory regulations for visitors. There are certain countries where obtaining a tourist visa can be rather time consuming and even impossible when it comes to acquiring your working visa. Mexico presents a great advantage for travelers because you need only your valid passport to enter the country. Upon entering the country at any border crossing or airport you only require informing the immigration officer to stamp your passport for the number of days that you plan on staying in the country. Your tourist visa can be for up to 180 days. A working visa can be easily requested once you have an employer and your official ITTO TEFL Certification from the Mexican Department of Education.

Living off an English teacher salary... The big question on everybody's mind when it comes to teaching English in a foreign country always revolves around income. There are many countries around the world like Korea, Japan, Qatar, and Brunei that will provide fabulous salaries for EFL teachers. But, you should always bear in mind that a high salary is always accompanied by a very high cost of living which in the end will always turn out balancing out your net income. A great advantage of working in Mexico is that the cost of living is very low especially in cities like Guadalajara. Your income as a EFL in Mexico will provide you with enough money to not only cover your living expenses and housing but will also allow you to have a bit of extra money to go out and have fun at night or on an occasional tour on the weekends.

As you can see, there are many advantages to making Guadalajara, Mexico your TEFL destination. Why wait any longer? Step into the world of TEFL... our world.