FROM JAMES STAKENBURG
Welcome to the June-July
TESOL Update. Summer is finally here, and with it comes the busy
ESL season, with student numbers swelling as students come to study
English on their summer breaks. Lots of people I know have headed overseas
for teaching gigs in Latin America and Europe. I’m a little jealous,
but I have to say I am enjoying the warm weather here and all that summer
in New York has to offer. If you have thought about getting a TESOL
Certificate to head overseas, an interesting country to work in is Russia
– our featured country this month. We have the insider scoop from
Liz, who taught there for a year. The Teaching Tip is on using Role
Plays – we all use them in communicative classrooms, but they
can be tricky. Other useful things teachers can do with their class
are to use drama and audio-visual materials.
Me, Moscow Station,
Trans-Siberian Railway, 1993
have professional development for our Certificate graduates on
these topics, along with other free in-house professional development
workshops. There is also a standing invitation for you to observe
ESL classes at Rennert so you can get a taste of what working
in the industry is like.
Head of Teacher Training - Rennert
World Learning SIT TESOL Teacher Trainer
DISCOUNTED POST-CERTIFICATE TEACHING SEMINARS
AVAILABLE AT RENNERT
Rennert offers a range of one-day teaching seminars
that are open to all TESOL teachers in the New York area. Alumni of
the WL-SIT-TESOL Certificate
course and Rennert teachers get a discounted of rate of $60 (regular
price $75) for all of these professional seminars.
All one-day seminars are 6 hours plus a one-hour lunch break.
SEMINARS FOR ESL PROFESSIONALS
20 June, 2009
Using Drama and Audio-visuals
25 July, 2009
22 Aug, 2009
Reading & Writing
19 Sep, 2009
24 Oct, 2009
21 Nov, 2009
Vocabulary & Speaking
Using Drama/Theater & Audio-Visuals in the Classroom
20 June, 2009
To use drama or not to use drama in your
ESL class? That is the question.
Why it’s important
Lots of activities you can use
We’re surrounded by media. So let’s
bring the "real world" into our classroom.
how to use different AV materials, e.g. documentaries, movies, commercials
Grammar for ESL Teachers 1
25 July, 2009
How often have you felt anxious about
Review Adverbs of Frequency
Lots of activities you can use
Is your present perfect? Do you wonder about your
past, present and future?
overview of the verb tense system
“Good teachers don’t teach.
Good teachers organize learning.”
how to teach grammar inductively
Want to bet you know your grammar?
SIT TESOL Alumni who did the course at Rennert receive a monthly newsletter.
Along with details of upcoming professional development seminars and
workshops and teaching tips, they receive information about jobs. All
alumni also receive access to a comprehensive database of ESL schools
in the New York City area.
We head to RUSSIA
this issue. Moscow is an exciting city and the country is still in a very
interesting transition period. It’s a wonderful opportunity to live
somewhere completely different and truly immerse yourself in a new culture.
The scoop (word-of-mouth
advice from someone who’s been there):
lived in Moscow for a year.
"Moscow is a lively city
with excellent night life and is culturally active. The local people may
appear hostile and unfriendly at first, but after a while they are friendly
and helpful. There are a few Soviet hangovers with customer services.
It is better to find work before you go. Language Link and BKC recruit
remotely with a ‘package’ – apartment, visa and travel.
It is possible to find work on arrival, but the teacher needs to have
good Russian and contacts along with experience. If you are recruited
by LL or BKC they will arrange the visa beforehand. It’s difficult
to arrange a visa independently for legal work. You usually have a 30-hour
contract. You get national holidays and some paid leave (but not much).
Usually your salary includes some medical insurance and apartment. Language
schools start at 07:30 and finish at 21:30, so split shifts are inevitable.
"You don’t need to speak
Russian in the classroom, but it is useful outside work. There is some
English in some bars, some cafes, hotels/hostels but little elsewhere.
There is a great website
http://expat.ru that I recommend looking at.
"Teachers are paid the local
salary. Teachers often complained it was on the low side but this could
be supplemented with private work. Moscow’s not as expensive as
people from the outside think. The survey which claims that Moscow is
the most expensive city in the world was based on the costs for a business
person, not a Russian. The best way at first of getting an apartment if
part of a salary package - this is common. They are usually of a reasonable
standard as well. Getting an apartment independently is possible but the
tenant has to pay a large deposit. Most expats go to
http://expat.ru for apartment shares.
vary greatly – you will likely teach all ages (Young Learners to
adult) and all levels (A0 to C2), as well as a wide range of needs –
general, professional, ESP, EAP, exams (Cambridge ESOL and IELTS). Many
learners are quite demanding and can figure out whether a teacher has
prepared or not very quickly. For that reason, it was a great place for
that reason to begin a teaching career."
Happy to be in Moscow
Schools in RUSSIA
that are known to employ American teachers:
This information is made available to graduates
of the WL-SIT TESOL Certificate course.
Please note: While every endeavor is made to ensure
this information is accurate, Rennert is not responsible for incorrect
Unlike skits, role plays shouldn't be scripted out in detail;
instead you should give the student a general scenario with different
elements and suggested ideas for complications to occur. Role play cards
can be a very useful tool here. For example:
You are booking into a hotel.
Book in to the hotel - you have a reservation.
You are on your own. You want a shower.
You want breakfast in the morning.
You have an early meeting and must not be late.
You are a hotel receptionist.
Welcome the guest. Find them a room.
You can't find their reservation.
You only have a double room with bath available.
Before asking students to perform
a role play you should prepare them by asking questions. The questions
should incorporate the major parts of the role play and the vocabulary/idioms
involved. After the question answer session the students should be comfortable
with what they need to do.
Allow them a few minutes to study the role cards and work out some key
Give help where needed.
Each role play should be performed at least twice with the students changing
You as the teacher can take one of the roles if you need to.
Avoid making corrections until the role play is finished.
In group situations have the stronger students act out the role play to
the whole class.
Recording or videoing role plays can be a very useful tool for giving
but only if the students are comfortable with this.