Sorry that it has been a while…

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Hey everyone, I am sorry that it has been a while since I last wrote. I have been a little down in the dumps (a quick idiom for you there!) about my TEFL career recently. As you all remember, I have been applying for jobs all over the world as well as thinking about the internships.

I have been feeling a little let down, that the jobs I have applied to in Europe have not come through or that the companies have not contacted me about the positions I applied for. If, I am to start my TEFL adventures properly in September I need to hand in my resignation by July 31st. That is not that far away…I will need to keep hurting!

I am going to look on other TEFL jobs sites; like Dave’s ESL Café for example.

Is there anywhere you think I should look? If so, add it to the comments below!

 

Applying For MORE Jobs…

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Did you know that I-to-I TEFL have joined forces with Love TEFL? Amazing news right?! Congrats to everyone on this amazing merger!

I am wondering if the Internships that were available at Love TEFL will be coming to I-to-I? I will need to ask about that next time I send an email over.

 

Anyway; back to the actual post! After the my last post about job hunting (Some Job News…) I had my interviews for “schools” in china. However; even though I had applied to schools I was actually going through Recruitment companies – which I have heard some bad things about the companies out in China. I felt under a little bit of pressure and I did not fully understand if I had been offered the jobs or not. This is due to them not actually saying “Congratulations Jemma; welcome to the team!” Confusing right?! I decided to decline all three of the jobs and keep my options open.

This is the reason why I have been doing some more applications. I have applied to Tree House, My English School and LearnEng in Italy and EIS in Spain. All four schools sound very good and seem to be legit.

I have been researching about flights to Italy and Spain and they are very reasonable compared to flight to Thailand and China. One-Way flights vary from £66 to £75; depending on where I fly from. I prefer Birmingham as I can use the train to get there and East Midlands as it is a direct route from my home.

I have emailed Fun Language Viseu and asked if there is any news, but there is nothing yet. I am getting nervous; a I need to let my current workplace know when I am finishing!

What will I pack? I need some tips!

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Image from Frugal Frolicker – many thanks!

Being a Guide (yes, I am still in the Girl Guides) I am always most of the time ready for anything; being a teacher abroad I will still be prepared for all that will happen abroad. I know that I will need to pack a lot of things; here is what I would pack in my suitcase (or cases):

 

 

I will definitely need some of this in my bag;

  • Aloe Vera Gel – I swear by it! Excellent for everything!
  • Factor 50+ Sun Screen – You can never know how strong the Sun wherever I go to teach; also I do burn even though I am a brunette.
  • My Jamberry Mini Heater, some wraps and Plug Adapter – I have got to have pretty nails wherever I am!
  • All my TEFL teaching resources – I have QUITE a lot of items; from lesson plans to Register Books and stationery.
  • Solar Chargers – I love my solar chargers; one of the best things I have ever bought as they work even in low light. However, I would to love to have more!

I found some posts called “Ways to save space, what not to take!” and “8 Essential items to pack when moving abroad” written by Amy of Teacher Traveller Money Saver. Both posts were very interesting and I have taken some tips from the lovely Amy – many thanks for sharing! I also read Claire and Anthony’s (of To Love, To Live) post – TEFL: packing for every eventuality and I watched their video TEFL: Travel Preparations.

I have been researching what other people have done when they have been moving abroad. I found Her Packing List; which is a travel blog/site that is aimed at women and gives us girls tips about traveling. Brooke and her team area amazing and I have saved it to my ‘TEFL Bookmarks’. I will spend some more time and work my way through the site. Of what I have found it is very interesting and informative. Another site I found was Frugal Frolicker; another female traveller, called Lindsey, who blogs about her adventures. The image at the top of this post is what she packed for one of her trips in Asia. I have also been using Jackie’s website – The Budget Minded Traveller and all of tips and itinerary lists for some ideas. Not forgetting her amazing Podcast that have hints and tips!

I know that packing “my life” into my 70ltr backpack and my “daysac” is going to be hard. I have already decided that my “daysac”; which will be my carry on, will have my Laptop (as it is designed for laptops), passport and all my paperwork (tickets, visas, cash etc.). I cannot go anywhere without them; in theory. Talking about paperwork; I know that I will be including the following:

  • copies of my passport – at least two copies.
  • medical prescription (as am an EpiPen carrier – Nut allergy) – at least two copies
  • a letter from doctor – I am thinking of doing a medical check; but as usual with the NHS here in the UK, there will be a charge.
  • copies of any visas I have – some will be in the passport but I will photocopy them just in case.

However; what about my things that are staying back here in the UK. Currently, I am still living with my mum and as time goes on my things are reducing. I know that what things I do have left will be okay; as hopefully my family will look after them. The house is fully insured as is the contents of it. I know that it will be mostly Guiding items (my camp blankets etc.). There are other options to be; for example putting all my things into self storage. However; I am a little nervous about that as you don’t know who has the Master Key and have access to your belongings. I have already started to reduce my clothes; I have been losing weight for the last year and a half – lost two dress sizes – and therefore most of my clothes do not fit me anymore. There are products in the market that can help myself and others protect their homes – for example like a Wireless Alarm System from Simplisafe; an American award winning company. With the Simplisafe Free Apps for iPhone, Android, & Windows smartphones we can take control of your security with a more sophisticated personal Command Centre. A fab idea right?

While I am abroad, I know that I will have to keep myself healthy and safe. I do some self defence moves and I am willing to learn the language so I am able to communicate with the locals.

Some job news…

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Every now and again I apply for some jobs on the i-to-i TEFL Jobs Board; sometimes I get an interview and sometimes (well, actually most of the time) I do not get a response.

However, recently I applied to three schools in China and one in Portugal. I thought that I would keep my options open just in case, I cannot save enough money for the Thailand Internship.

I have had emails from all four schools. How exciting? I have replied to all and two days ago I had an interview with Fun Language Viseu in Portugal. Sadly, I had been called into my current workplace, luckily the girls were fine for half and hour when I had my interview over Skype. I am now starting to find the Skype interviews easier and I am not as nervous when I am carrying them out. I try to be myself and answer the questions truthfully. I did not have to carry out a mock lesson like the last time I had a Skype interview. All that I was asked were the standard teaching experience questions. I have also replied to the three Chinese schools with some questions. Hopefully I will hear back from all four of them soon.

I am now an official Jamberry Nails Consultant. You may have seen the image appear upon the sidebar of the blog. It is very exciting. I am one of the first people to have this opportunity here in the UK; I hope that you all have a look at my website; just click the image and it will send you to my site. I may not be a ‘girly girl’ but the Jamberry nail wraps are amazing. I have never seen anything like them ever. I was introduced to them by my long-time friend, Amy, who I have known since 1999. She was in the Girl Scouts (the same area that I am going to camp with this summer) and she was my Host for the camp. She is a ‘sister from another mumma’! I am going to see her too this summer, can’t wait! Jamicures will be taking place when I am there for sure! Here are some examples of the wraps; they are cute right?

Planning my trip to Thailand…

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Yes everyone; I have made a decision! I’m going to Thailand in October. I have found out hoe much the Thailand Internship with i-to-i TEFL will be for me and how much I will need to pay for my flights – I’m aiming to go for the beginning of October (as the dates have still NOT been released on the site!) and do some volunteering. I just need to save LOADS of cash now! Car boots and my eBay store here I come! I have too many LP Travel Guides; so I have put all of them (expect the Thailand one) into my store. I have also advertised them on the LP Thorn Tree forums.


As you know, I joined Workaway in the post “Common Practices in Thailand and a bit more…” and I have been looking at what I can do before starting the Internship. There are many placements in Thailand; but I have decided to stay in Bangkok and the surrounding areas. It will be cheaper for me to get to the hotel etc. for the Internship. I have saved only a few Hosts (100+); that is what the people looking for Volunteers (or Workawayers) are called. I cannot believe that I could just contact the hosts and tell them when I am in Thailand and I could work (and play) with most of the time, Bed and Board free. How cool is that?  I cannot believe if I had not found The Budget Minded Traveller, Jackie I would have never found Workaway!

Workaway says that:

Workawayers typically are interested in cultural exchange and learning and will help out for a few hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation, with visits lasting anywhere from a few days to a few months.

Travel cheaply and stay for free, whilst making a difference to the communities you visit. Put your existing skills to good use, or try something new you‘d never normally get to do and pick up new skills along the way.

There is an ever growing list of 1000s of active hosts in over 155 countries offering all kinds of places to stay.

Have a look at their YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrQ0zZ23BEk

I am super excited about this now that I have finally made the decision; so please feel free to head over to my eBay store and see if there is anything that takes your fancy!

 

Supportive Family?!

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Today I have been talking to my family; it is my sister in law’s birthday and we were spending some time together, about about doing the internship with i-to-i TEFL to Thailand. Firstly, they were all happy for me that I had *finally* (in their eyes) a decision. Then they asked about how I would get into the internship…I explained the process and the price. This was when they thought that i-to-i was not a legitimate company because I was paying to go on an internship. I directed my brother to the website; as I do with any inquiry about the company or any of the programmes that they have created. He saw the price for the current intake for Thailand and was shocked. I explained that I would get a reduced rate as I was already qualified (I am hoping that is still the case?!). I would need to pay the price given time and then I would need to organise my flights.

This was when he began to fully understand what was happening. However, my mum not so much. All she had to say was that I needed to pay off all my debts before I went! What does she think I have been doing for the last four/five years while I have been studying?!

On a brighter note; I have given up on Vinted as nothing was selling. I am going to donate all the items I had on there to a local charity. My Starbucks card collection is slowly going; which is a relief as it was taking up too much space (there are still some cards there if you are a collector?!). I am now reading more as it is now the Easter holidays here in the UK. I want to read as many books as possible and then I can sell them on (or BookCross them on, I haven’t decided on that yet!).

Also on April 1st, the first Camp NaNoWriMo of the year starting. I have currently decided to write more of my novel that I started in 2011; but recently I have been thinking about creating a book or resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Has anyone else done this? I have looked around on Teachers Pay Teachers and seen what people have created and what they charge – it could be a possibility in the future. I will need to do some more research.

I just want to know that dates for the October intake now for Thailand. So, I know how much I need to get sorted as I don’t want to be rushing at the last moment!

Learning the Lingo…

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I have been thinking about what I can do while I am on my TEFLing adventures. I have come to the conclusion that learning the lingo would help me the most in whatever Country I go to work in. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am a user of Sign Language – currently fluent in British Sign Language and I am brushing up on my American Sign Language ready for my upcoming trip to the States.

I have been doing some research on the languages that are used in the three counties that i-to-i TEFL offer – Thailand, Vietnam and China. Sadly the Vietnamese and Chinese internships both start on the same day (20th August 2016) and I am unable to go, as I will have only just returned from America. The Thai internship does not start until October (I still don’t know the actual date; as it is not on the website yet!) and the May internship is still being advertised. I wonder if there has not been enough interest in the internship. I want to get all my finances in order; if it means I have to do some extra work either online or with my “real life” jobs, I will do it!

logoI have been looking at learning Thai when I am on the internship; we are going to be given some Thai Language lessons that GES will provide me with some basic and fun Thai Language training to help you with your day-to-day life in Thailand. However, I want to learn Thai Sign Language (TSL). I know that I would have to have the basic understanding of the “spoken” language before I could fully understand the Signed Language. I wonder if GES could point me in the direction of being able to learn TSL when I am out there. mtsl2balphabet2bthai2bsign2blanguage

I have a very basic knowledge of Nepalese Sign Language (NSL) and I would if I will be able to pick up TSL as quickly as I did NSL. It has been a few years since I did any NSL; as I was at University.

Has anyone else learnt the lingo of the country that they are working in? Would you recommend that I do learn the language?

Struggling once again…

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Now I remember why I found the first Grammar course hard; as what I see as “errors” in the text given to me to not “errors” seen by the Tutor. This saddens me a little.

Has anyone else who has completed the Advanced Grammar Course had problems with the course? I am on the final part of the course; the checkpoint and I have already done one attempt (we are given only three attempts!)

Overview

You will complete an error analysis of a student’s piece of writing.

Assessment criteria

  • All task requirements are met
  • Twelve errors are identified.
  • All twelve corrected forms are accurate.
  • Rules are described with sufficient accuracy.

Task instructions

Read the following text written by an advanced student of English. It contains fifteen grammatical errors. All the errors reflect rules you’ve studied in the Advanced Grammar course.

This is the start of the Checkpoint; simple enough right?

Mobile Devices and Language Learning

Most young people use the mobile phones in their everyday lives, and now they want using them to learn English.

Do we can learn that way? I think we can learn that way.

There are many uses of mobile phones technology which can help us improving our English.

Some learners use them to look up and translate words, that they see. This is much more convenient than carrying dictionary around with you.

Some learners record English on the street so that they listen to the recording later. Because they can replay it to understand every word.

Other learners enjoy to use mobiles to practise reading and listening, or even to connect with other English users and practise communicating. They ask other students where can they find the best sites for this.

Some teachers think that mobile phones are a distraction, and so do not let students to bring them to class. I ask them to stop thinking: mobiles can be a great way of practising English. Students will love English because of love technology.

This is the text; there are TWELVE errors; the feedback from the Tutor says that out of the twelve I found two are incorrect. *sad face* Also two of the suggested corrections for two items are not accurate.

There are to parts to the question; finding the errors and correcting them is the first part of stating the rules of six of the twelve errors. The tutor stated that all six of the rules I stated were incorrect.

Anyone willing to help me out here?! I don’t want to waste £50 for extending and £35 on the module!

I’ve finally extended….

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I have finally got round to extending my TEFL course (once again!) I was halfway through the Advanced Grammar course and I had just received my Checkpoint feedback from the tutor. I cannot wait to get back into the swing of things.

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As for my Internship/Job hunting; I have been looking in Europe and focussing on Thailand as my Internship choice. Sadly, both the China and Vietnam Internships both start on the same day – 20th August 2016. This is the day after I return from my trip to America and I would have to leave on the 19th to arrive in China/Vietnam on the 20th. I do not think that I would be able to get all that I needed for six months (or thereabouts), leave the airport and return within three or fours hours. So, fate has given me only one choice – Thailand. I am excited about this and I am just waiting for the closing date to arrive for the May intake to come and then I will start applying! I need this in my life. At my current job; I do not know where I am going to be based in when September arrives. The worst case scenario will be one Signer and one Teaching Assistant (TAs). There are six TAs and about 15 Signers; where will our jobs be? I think that it is time that I stop thinking of others and get myself happy. I am never going to achieve anything unless I push myself.

Common Practices in Thailand and a bit more…

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I have been in contact with a Thai Language school about joining their ranks; I was very excited as I had been “staking” them on Facebook for a while and noticed that there were getting new teachers – welcome pictures etc on their feed. I asked if there were looking for staff this September; as this will be the only time I can get out to Thailand. He would only take people who were willing to go through his “programme” and be unqualified. I asked if I would take me as a fully qualified TEFL teacher with some teaching experience on; sadly he said no. I felt quite upset by this. I am wondering if it common practice for language schools in Thailand, to turn away willing and enthusiastic teachers? Has anyone else had any problems like this when applying abroad.

Today, I am at school “supporting” a student with her coursework – currently she not need me; so I felt that a post needed to be written. The joy of having internet access at your place of work. I have also downloaded the Talkman app onto my Android tablet. It is amazing! It is only the Starter Pack but I am enjoying what I have got. I am wondering if it worth getting the whole course; I’ll keep you posted with that.

I am still listening to Jackie’s The Budget Minded Traveller podcast; I am catching up slowly. Jackie is so inspiring. I am so happy that I have found her blog, podcast and Facebook group. I have found many ideas for my budget while I am in America, this summer. It is only 160 days to go! I am very excited! I have even signed up to Workaway; which I can do when I first arrive in Thailand (China or Vietnam) – it depends on where I go! Sadly I cannot go on the China or Vietnam Internships as they both start on 20th August; the day after I come back from America. I would have to land in the UK and fly straight out. It may be a little impossible, so Thailand it may be. I am waiting for the new intake dates for October to be released. The May Internship for Thailand is still in the processing/applying stage. I am working on the date of October 17th that I will need to be in Thailand. Becoming a Workawayer may be a good idea if I can get into Thailand earlier.