Category Archives: TESLblog

teaching English abroad

So Melanie asks what is needed to teach English over here in Yurp, which is a very good question, and the answer, as usual, is: it depends. I imagine Eastern Europe’s more like Asia, they need so many teachers they won’t look too hard for qualifications, but in the more Anglo-infested places like Munich and Amsterdam and Barcelona, competition’s a tad stiffer. People with TESL certs also tend to look askance at the “I speak it, therefore I can teach it” crowd, which is understandable, I suppose. Getting certified is a fair bit of work, and you do actually learn stuff in the process. Continue reading

language geek

I found this really interesting (although you probably will not), especially this bit:

What’s the predominant language in Europe?
That’s a good question. Here we have to distinguish between reality and political emphasis. In reality, it’s English — American English, not the British form.

I’m thinking of presenting little framed copies of that quote to every one of the English teachers at that dratted school.

Except most of them probably couldn’t read it.

Song du jour of the day: Outsmarted, by the Hives.

minus one, plus one

I inherited my ESL class from Mrs Next Door. When she had her second son, she decided she’d rather use her one free evening a week for something else, so she asked me if I wanted to take over her class. She had four students, but one of them was newly pregnant, and never did show up to my class. Understandable; the class started at 8:30 p.m. When I was pregnant, I was out cold long before then. Continue reading


Well, that’s done. I was, as always, worried that my material wouldn’t cover a whole hour and we’d be left staring at eachother for the last 20 minutes. (DrBob’s advice? “Do the staring for the first 20 minutes instead.” Gee thanks.) But in fact we bogged down in the reading and didn’t make it to the conversation part until the class was nearly over, which means I didn’t meet my teaching objective for this class. Oops. Continue reading

is it always going to be this hard?


Ugh. Lesson plans. Tomorrow’s lesson is done, I just hope it fills up the whole hour. I had it ready for last week, and then class was cancelled. Since I was so ahead of myself, I thought I’d use this week to plan a few more lessons, to get the jump on the process, have something ready instead of having to spend every Wednesday scrambling to come up with something. But I’m stuck. Continue reading