TESOL in South Korea: Using L1 and End-of-Lesson Projects with Beginner Students

teaching beginners in South Korea with EPIKAt the end of a lesson, not only is it important to review what’s been learned in the textbook, but it’s also important to check that students understand and can use the language that’s been taught. This year, with my Grade 6s, I looked for ways to encourage them to think on their own and use English in a creative and productive way. This was a difficult task, as my students are low-level and lack confidence when it comes to English. However, one effective method I found of getting them interacting more personally with English was through end-of-lesson projects that focused on translation. I wanted them to practice moving between the two languages independently, rather than relying on a teacher to hand the information to them, while maintaining their creativity. Translation activities can be great for this purpose, but the drawback is that it requires either your own knowledge of the students’ native language or a co-teacher who is willing to put in an equal amount of effort, so be sure to account for this before beginning this type of task.

About the Author: Kari Dirstein completed the 250-hour TESOL Diploma while teaching English in South Korea with EPIK. Kari has experience teaching grades 4 to 6. 

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Teaching with EPIK in South Korea: Supplementing Grade 4 and 5 Cheonjae Textbooks with Authentic Material

ESL lesson for EPIK teachers in South KoreaAs a teacher, it can be hard to get your students excited to learn at the beginning of a new lesson. EPIK, the public school program in South Korea, uses a series of textbooks called Cheonjae, which typically fails to get my students engaged at the initial stages of a lesson. Instead, I have found that using authentic material is an effective way of getting them motivated.

I find that my students are especially engaged when the material is tailored to my personal life. This article will outline some different ways you can use personalized authentic material as a motivator in your lessons, specifically for EPIK teachers using the Cheonjae textbooks.

About the author: Karina Dirstein completed the online 250-hour TESOL Diploma online while teaching English with EPIK in South Korea.

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How to Master Behavior Management in the Online Classroom

Managing classroom behaviour teaching onlineChildren can often be fire balls of energy that are seemingly impossible to contain. They can also be the exact opposite. Managing behavior is quite possibly the most difficult task that a teacher faces. Add the element of only interacting with the child through a screen, with virtually zero back-up and support, and the idea of managing any type of behavior becomes pretty daunting. It’s true that managing behavior in the online classroom can be extremely challenging. Disruptive students are a challenge in any teaching and learning environment, but it becomes particularly evident in an online classroom, especially when teaching one-on-one.

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A Recruiter’s Guide to Getting Your Dream Teaching Job

TESOL job recruitment advice on cover letter, resume, and interviewCongratulations! You got your TESOL certification and now you’re ready to apply for TESOL jobs. But what is the best way to organize your resume, cover letter and mock class preparation? As a job coach, recruiter and English teacher, I’ll tell you the best practices and examples you can follow to maximize your chances of getting an interview with an English teaching company and securing the job.

No matter what someone’s background is, the process of getting the TESOL job you want is the same:

  • Learn about the company, their mission and values
  • Tailor your resume and cover letter to the job requirements
  • Show your personality

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many applications I have seen that are generic and I can tell in a second that it is the same application they send to every other company. Do not make this mistake!

About the Author: Melissa Chungfat is a VIPKID teacher and recruiter. You can apply for online teaching jobs through Melissa through our VIPKID profile page

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How to Use Performance Based Activities and Projects with Young Learners

Teaching English to Young Learners Performance based activitiesMost traditional schools around the world base their curriculum largely on standardized forms of testing. In the ESL classroom, this culture encourages students to merely memorize sequences of words and synonyms for vocabulary- not to mention, it can get pretty boring and soul-crushing for the youngsters. Utilizing classroom performance activities is a great way to ‘test’ your students’ knowledge while igniting their creative flames. A performance-based classroom uses activities that require students to perform in front of their peers and teacher. While it may initially be daunting for some of the shy students, it has been shown in studies to build self-confidence. Plus, practicing and performing enhances students’ knowledge of the subject(s) and themes, developing their vocabulary and forcing them to really focus on pronunciation through repetition and rehearsal.

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Should I Teach English Online to Children in China? Pros and Cons

Teaching online to children in China pros and consI have been teaching English online to children in China for over a year now. While there have been many awesome benefits to this experience, there have also been a few bumps along the way. Some of these things were certainly to be expected and come naturally with any online or teaching experience in general. However, there are a few things that I wish I would have known about before signing my contract and undertaking this position, if not purely for my own contentedness. Teaching English online certainly has its positives, but, as with any job, the negatives, or shall I say, “challenges’, should be addressed.

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Testing ESL Students: Preparing Grammar and Vocabulary Tests

TEFL / TESOL testing grammar and covabulary tips for testing ESL studentsThis TESOL / TEFL article gives valuable advice for the different kinds of grammar and vocabulary tests that ESL teachers must administer to their students and provides practical tips on how to prepare students for the test in a Communicative Class.

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Testing Grammar

When evaluating students’ knowledge of grammar it is very important to determine whether each exercise is evaluating the mechanics part of the grammar or the meaning. In other words, it is important to determine whether the exercise is checking the students’ knowledge of the structure versus the knowledge of the function this structure fulfills in context.

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How to Teach Grammar to Advanced ESL Levels: The Importance of Grammar Review Lessons

Grammar review lessons are so important to help in the correction of fossilized errors and to clarify any misconceptions or confusions. At lower levels, students are often taught grammar topics in isolation without much of a sense of how the grammar is used in relation with other language points. One of the key lessons I learned as a new teacher was to take the grammar that students have previously learned and to teach them not only communicative but out of isolation.

One way to review grammar is to use sample sentences that the teacher hears them use regularly. This way the language is being taught in the most communicative way and the language begins to come alive to the students. They are also more likely to fix fossilized errors as they begin to notice the ones they commonly use as they are written down and analyzed.

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Teaching Verb Patterns and Vocabulary: Activities and Materials to Supplement the FCE Oxford Textbook

Verb Patterns and Vovabulary How to supplement the FCE Oxford Press TextbookIn this blog, our 120-hour TESOL certificate graduate explains how to use communicative activities and authentic materials to supplement Unit 2 of the FCE Oxford Textbook.

Verb Patterns

Verb Patterns are one of the more challenging grammar topics to teach to students as at this point in their learning, it’s just a matter of re-learning and memorization. One of the best ways to help students learn and remember Verb Patterns is to have students see them in context. I created a list of discussion questions to start this section off. Once they have finished the discussion, I have them underline the two verbs and note which verbs have -ing following them and which have the infinitive following them. I then move on to complete #1 and #2 from the textbook.

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6 Peer to Peer ESL Activities and Their Benefits

Peer to Peer ESL Activities Teaching EnglishThere is a great deal of evidence proving the effectiveness of peer to peer education. What does this mean exactly? Essentially it is the idea that the teacher facilitates the beginning of a lesson but encourages a great deal of peer-to-peer correction (with the guidance and supervision from the teacher), strategizing, communication and teamwork among students.

When I began teaching English, the one thing I struggled with the most was getting my students to engage with each other. I was so focused on learning the material from the textbook and how to effectively teach the grammar points that I didn’t realize how important bonding and relationship building was between myself and the students. Furthermore, I didn’t realize how it would not only take the stress off of my shoulders, but how it would yield even higher results than teacher-led instruction.

-Clare completed the 120-hour TESOL certificate course and she is currently teaching English in Toronto-

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