Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick Email Activity for intermediate Business English Class

Just found this link. It's for the Top 5 most useless Phrases in Emails.

I think it is pretty accurate.

I am going to use it in my English tutoring lessons this week.

Activity wise:

Introduction discussion about emails, what kind of emails does the learner write, do they write or read a lot of business or personal emails. How often?

Print it off, with the cartoon. Maybe do a quick discussion about how our perception of Email has changed over the years.

Then read through the article. Check vocabulary.

Discuss what the learner agrees with or disagrees with.

Then see if the learner has any tips or tricks for writing business emails.

Conclusion: maybe write a quick business email using the new phrases. Or, if possible, look at an email written by the learner and see if they commit any of the "sins" mentioned on this website.

Simple 10-15 minute activity depending on how interested the learner is and how much time you have.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Quick Update and a Question

So I have been a bit out of the loop this past year, bit of a personal explosion. However, moving onwards I am currently tutoring German and about to start some English. I do have a question for anyone who happens to read my blog: Do you know any good German Masters Programs either in Canada or Germany ? Thanks!

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's cold outside!

So why not teach some phrases that relate to the cold!

Wish I had a class to make a lesson out of these...someday maybe...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Liking Language (English)

I really like this video from Stephen Fry.

I agree with everything he says. He speaks very clearly, I feel I could maybe use this in an advanced English class...ohhhh :)

Anyways enjoy, also if you are a teacher, have you used this video? Or do you have an idea for how to use it? I'm thinking some kind of reading activity, and then watching it after....hmm hmmm

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Getting an ESL (EFL) job in Germany

Sorry for how long this post took!
Partially I am lazy, and I forgot, and today after deciding I wanted to write this post I couldn't find the new button that blogger had to make posts...anyways here we go.

How I got to Germany:
I took German at university and there is a lovely little program put on by the DAAD where Canadian students who have graduate with a German degree can go to Germany and assistant teach at different high schools in Germany. Other nationalities can also apply, but there are different restrictions (for example the English girls I met on this program did not have to have a finished degree to go to Germany. It all has something to do with the Visas). The program lasts for eight months, you get paid a stipend (read no taxes!), and you only HAVE to work 12 hrs a week. It's pretty sweet, and if you like it, and your school likes you, you can always stay a second year (as I did!). After the second year though, you are on your own!

Other places to look for jobs:

I also worked at a company called inlingua  which was good. They have schools all over Germany ( and Europe!), and it's a really easy job. All you really need is to be an English native speaker. Now depending on where you go the school will be more willing to help you get your visa. If you go to a bigger city where there are more English speakers, they could be less inclined to help you, but you never know! There is a German visa for people between 18 and 30 (work and travel), which is pretty easy to get as long as you have a job. A big help at many inlinguas is to have a basic knowledge of German or at least a willingness to learn, a drivers license (they have lessons outside of the school and you get paid more for those!), and some knowledge of business English. Some downsides of inlingua are that you will probably only get hired as a free lancer, and sometimes that can be tricky at the visa office. For some reason if you say you want to work as a free lancer many cities in Germany then want a company that you are working for....which seems strange...Also as a free lancer you won't be guaranteed hours (though this was never a problem I usually had to turn hours down!) and you won't get any health insurance. Health insurance in Germany is pretty pricey, but it depends on how often you feel you will need a doctor... inlingua will also help train you if you have no experience, they have all the books and tests and example lesson plans for every unit you have to teach. So it's definitely good if you have never taught, and no one comes and watches your lessons so if you are more experiences you get a chance to use your own stuff :) Just keep your students happy and no problems will be had!

There is also Berlitz and Wall Street English. Berlitz is supposed to be similar to inlingua.  Wall Street only hires full time contract, so for visas they are waay easier. But Wall Street likes it if you already have a visa...tricky!

If you want to work in a German high school as a teacher you have to have two subjects (I'm pretty sure speak German). But every state is different in Germany in NRW they have this program , which a friend of mine used to get into the system. She had History and German, but taught History and English, she also had to do 2 years of half teaching half university courses before she could become a full teacher. But once there she was a gov't employee and it's a pretty good job then!

So yes that's a bit to consider about living in Germany and teaching, pretty much I would recommend going for an inlingua job and then working through the system into a high school or even university level teaching position it's much easier from within Germany.

Hope that was helpful! And thanks for reading!

Here is another blog post about teaching in Germany, and it gives a clearer picture of what it is like to teach at inlingua.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More for the book club with gr 9s

We wrote a test today to see if the class actually read the book (Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac).

Here is a copy of the test, I just thought up a couple questions trying to see if they had read AND understood the story...ha!

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac Test

  1. Why was Naomi at school during summer (when she fell down the stairs)?
    a) She was attending summer school.
    b) She was doing work for the year book
    c) She was working on her photography project.
    d) She was just walking around with her best friend, Will.

  1. How many years did Naomi forget?
    a) 1
    b) 10
    c) 5
    d) 4

  1. Naomi was adopted by her parents Grant and Rosa Porter. TRUE/FALSE

  1. Who was James Larkin?

a) Naomi's tennis playing boyfriend who she forgets after falling down a flight of stairs.
b) Naomi's best friend and co-editor on the year book.
c) Some guy who rode in the ambulance with her after the accident.
d) Becomes Naomi's boyfriend; he is depressed about his brother dying; makes videos.

5. Naomi doesn't like Chloe at the end of the book. TRUE/FALSE

6. Which school subject(s) helps Naomi remember?

a) French
b) Math and Physics
c) Photography
d) Gym

7. Naomi becomes a bridesmaid for her dad and his new wife. TRUE/FALSE

8. Name one example of Naomi changing. Explain how she changes.

9. For a moment, I would not even realize who I was looking at, and, instinctively,
I would turn away.“ Who says this? Why? What are they talking about?

  1. How did Naomi lose her memory?