Learning the Lingo…

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learn-the-lingo

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.

Making me think…

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politics

I have been thinking…yes I know, a dangerous idea! Why there are so many students within my current workplace that are classed as “English as a Additional Language”? I understand that since the borders open for Romania and Bulgaria to join the EU; the number of people arriving into the UK has not really changed that much. I read during my Teaching in Poland module that English is taught from a young age (around five years old). Is this the same with other countries within the EU? When it comes to European Politics, I don’t fully understand (to be honest, I don’t actually understand any politics?!). I have found that these children are intelligent beings and are treated differently because English is not their first language. As you all know, I am currently working with Deaf children and most teachers keep placing my self (and my student) upon a table full of EAL students. I am shocked of the amount of them. They do have intensive classes of English and some are improving – however; there are a few who are not.

I have found myself, helping the EAL students more than my own student – which currently the school do not pay me for. A few years ago, the school “removed” all the EAL Teaching Assistant (they were multilingual!) and since then, the number of EAL students has doubled.

Has anyone else noticed this?

If an ‘native’ English student; who is taught abroad; for example are they placed in a school where they are taught in a second language? An interesting thought right?

Trying to keep calm…

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PS_0666W_COOKING_FAMILY I have almost finished my Advanced Grammar course with I-to-I TEFL and I am trying to complete the “Checkpoint” – however, I am struggling with it and now too late to do anything about it! I failed the first attempt! Oh dear! However; I now need to extend my course so I can complete the second attempt – I will have to wait until the end of January for that; so I can pay £50 for a 30 day extension.

Currently (at time of posting) I have not heard from I-to-I about the October intake for the Internships. I have been checking the site daily for the new dates/prices; but nothing has arrived as of yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

The image at the start of this post made me smile when I saw it – one of the English teachers has it as a poster at my current school. I had to read it twice to make sure I was not going crazy! I thought that I would share it with you all.

I am still listening to Jackie; The Budget Minded Traveler and I am still enjoying it. I am a member of her group on Facebook – hints and tips galore!

I am all sorted for my trip to the USA this summer; well I am at this end! I have a form that I need to send over to the USA; I am helping at a Girl Scout camp there before heading to Buffalo, NY to my “American Family”. Super excited!!

Planning for 2016…

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Well, happy new year to you all and I cannot believe that it is now 2016. 2015 was a year full of excitement and despair for me; being in offered jobs in China, Poland and Thailand and being unable to take them as I could not afford to get there. My current jobs are trying their best to keep me happy and pay my TEFL adventures. I have almost finished the Advanced Grammar module (to be honest I need to be pretty quick to finish it…) – I wonder if i-to-i will have any more modules for me to complete. 😂

This year I have decided that I WILL be teaching the English abroad. I am waiting for a call from the lovely people at i-to-i to discuss the internships. I want to do a payment plan with them. Hopefully this will show them how committed I am to taking abroad and representing them. To save money, I will be doing more of the Rewards For Thoughts scheme from Avios to gain something towards my flights. I will be having a massive selling session of all the items I have not used in 2015 – this includes books, clothes and DVDs. I will be releasing most of the second hand books that I own via BookCrossing. I will post where and when I will do my releasing, for everyone to see. My beloved Starbucks card collection will also be up for grabs! I am looking forward to seeing there the cards will go to.

I will be teaching more at SkimaTalk; I now have a tablet with I have connected to Skype so I can teach anywhere. I am very excited about this year…what about yourself? 😁

Getting to the airport…

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I am going to visit my “American Family” in July 2016 and I am looking forward to it. It will get me all prepared for the travelling I am aiming to do in October 2016. I have been thinking about I am going to get to the Airport. I know that my family; well definitely my Mum will want to see me off. However; I have been wondering if I got there on my own and it would save my family money – as they would have to drive to whichever airport I will leave from. I know that mum will be fine while we are driving down but she has admitted to me that she will probably get lost on the way home. My brother will be working and possibly be unable to take me.

The example journey is from home; the nearest town is Northampton to Heathrow T5 – this will be for more expensive trips. I have also only priced for the single fare; as you don’t know if I will come back or not. I may enjoy life abroad too much.

Firstly, I thought that the train would be a more direct route; however, I would have to change at least twice – depending on the train company I would use – and the price would be around £60/£70.national_express_7102_caetano_levante_fj08_knw_metrocentre_2009_pic_1

panthermegabuswebThen, I thought about using National Express – it would be a long drive and could cost between £12 and £20. I thought of Megabus; and currently that is the cheapest and quickest option. However, I would need to buy an Underground ticket to get from Victoria Station to Euston Station – this would be around £6. The Megabus itself would only be around the £5 mark; if I booked it early enough. At the moment, that is my best option.

Sadly, I would have to leave on the Megabus from Milton Keyne, which I am not a far of getting to. The National Express goes straight to the Terminal of Heathrow; also I can get discount as “I know some people”.

How would you get there?

When I get to America, I will be using the US Megabus from NJ to my friends in New York  state. However; I am volunteering with the Girl Scouts in New Jersey for a week at their International camp. So, I will be working out how to get from the airport – which will be Philadelphia. commuter3

I am nervous about this part; should I? If you have any experience of using any of the modes of transport, please let me know!

Teaching in Vietnam: Module Review

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flag_map_of_greater_vietnamBeing a fan of Asia; when I saw this module being advertised on the I-to-I TEFL website – I was excited! The Teaching in Vietnam module was amazing! I found the Culture section of the module the most interesting. This section inspired me to buy the Lonely Planet Travel Guide; which I have read and marked some pages I want to research more. I have also looked into the Vietnam Internship.

I did not realise that Vietnamese food is one of the most varied and delicious cuisines anywhere. It’s a melting pot (sorry, for the pun!) of influences from the country’s foreign rulers. I also did not realise that eating is a social ritual in Vietnam. Meals comprise a number of dishes, served in no particular order, placed in the centre of the table to be shared by diners. I will have to be careful with my Nut Allergy when I am out there.

If you are thinking about teaching in Asia; adding this module to your resume will be a good idea!

 

Teaching in Italy: Module Review

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2000px-italy_looking_like_the_flag-svg The Teaching in Italy; the specialist teaching module from I-to-I TEFL was very enjoyable. It states that it is only a five hour long module; however, just to my current work commitments it took me a little longer than I expected! I am glad about this. I passed the module in August 2015. I found that the module was packed full of information about teaching in Italy. I found that the questions were similar to the ones I had answered before in my other Specialist TEFL Modules with I-to-I.

There were some surprises throughout the module; which I liked. I love the structure of the module as you can jump back and front through module!

I would recommend this module if you want to teach in Europe; even if you think that you already know about Italy!