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English Teacher X Guide To Teaching English Abroad: Practical Advice for Surviving the Perils and Pitfalls of a TEFL Job Paperback – September 30, 2011
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About the Author
English Teacher X is a 15-year veteran of some of the worst English language schools around the world, and has worked in eight different cities in five different countries. Visit the author at www.englishteacherx.com.
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However, English Teacher X does give a realistic picture so that one who does decide to go aboard to teach after reading his book will hopefully not have their expectations too high. It sounds like teaching English aboard still has its politics like any other job. For instance, he mentions that if a student complains about you as the teacher, the school will undoubtedly take the paying student’s story as the right one, and you, as the teacher will have no say in the matter, for they will disregard it. He mentions how some students do not want to participate for and do not want to be in the class, as they have been sent there by their employer if they are an adult student, or a child student was sent by his parents, and not because he or she really wants to be there.
The author mentions that some schools are really good, while others are horrible about the way they treat their teachers and the amount they pay. He advises potential teachers to review contracts before signing anything. He gives some teaching skill tips. He mentions how it is best not to get romantically involved with a student while teaching the student in his/her class.
This was a good guide and finally I discovered some of the answers to the many questions that have puzzled me before reading this book.
Would I recommend this book, Absolutely YES. Those TEFL web sites paint a rosey picture regarding teaching overseas. Can't be that great, else everyone would be doing it..........right?
Want to chuck it all for a life of adventure, teaching english in far away places?
So did I.
Read this book, learn how basically everybody has the same problem you do, even the english teachers living faraway.
Oh, also, if you are a recent college Grad, go teach English for a year or something, get it out of your system.
And I think it's a good warning for would-be TEFLers. There are certainly upsides to teaching, but it's probably a good idea to get a glimpse of some of the grim realities before you sign a one year contract and spend a bunch of money getting visas/plane tickets/work permits/medical tests/background checks and sign a one year contract to work in an occupation where you wont be able to hack it.
Finally, I think I got more useful teaching ideas in this book and "Speaking Activities That Don't Suck," than in my TEFL certification course.
In short, he's the best ESL guide you could hope for.
ETX's books are brief and quite readable. Assuming, of course, that you don't have a hangover, which you probably do. Each page is dripping with the sagacity of a fifteen-year veteran in the most abominable profession imaginable (you know, except for all of the other professions). ETX tells story after story about his failures as a teacher and informs you of exactly what you should not do either as an ESL teacher or as a person.
Joking aside, what you will find is humor mixed in with a variety of practical teaching strategies. ETX's strategies are more for keeping students busy and parents happy than for promoting the most efficient way to learn a new language. ETX is not aware of the latest pedagogical developments and probably couldn't spell "developmental psychology" if you duct taped it to his 24-use-a-day reinforced vodka bottle.
To summarize, I don't know where I would be without English Teacher X's advice about the honorable profession of English Language Teaching. Except, you know, probably having a real job somewhere and making enough money to earn a "living," and have some modern amenities like "heat," "food," and "clothing."