Top Seven Things for EFL Teachers to Do During Summer Vacation

It is your right after a lot of effort you did as a teacher to relax during summer vacation but it is also a chance to reflect on the previous year, prepare yourself for the coming year and develop your teaching skills. Here are the best seven things you can do in order to get the most benefit from the summer months.

1. Do Something for Yourself:

Start your summer vacation by doing something to recharge yourself and raise your enthusiasm. Go to the beach or on a series of picnics. Take care of your body by doing gym. Practice your hobbies individually or with your close friends. Recall your happy memories with your friends and relatives. Write down your dreams, ambitions and what you’ve achieved up till that point of time.

2. Keep Informed With Your Profession and Specialization:

Keep reading the news, latest publications, periodical journals, and educational magazines to know what’s happening in the field of education in general and in teaching EFL in particular. This up-to-date information could mean a big change in your tomorrow’s classroom practices. Write down your vision, opinion or comment on what’s going.

3. Inspire Yourself:

Remember that you are a professional person and you like your profession. Raise your positive attitude toward your job by reading about great educators and their success to make a difference in their surrounding world. Check out some inspirational books and movies. Plan to read and watch what can make you proud of being a teacher.

4. Reflect on Your Last Year’s Teaching Experiences:

Think back of your teaching experiences in the classroom and of how you were dealing with your various students. Write down aspects of success, what you did poorly and the challenges you encountered. Assess your classroom work. Look back at how you were teaching inside the classroom to see where you can increase your effectiveness and decrease time off task. Examine the lows and critically think about what you could do to avoid these situations in the next year.

5. Continue Learning About Your Profession and Specialization:

Set the goal of mastering teaching EFL by doing the following:

  • Enroll in EFL classes.
  • Pursue a Master degree in teaching EFL.
  • Attend seminars and workshops.
  • Read about the topics you teach.
  • Read about the latest trends in teaching EFL.
  • Attend online classes in EFL teaching.
  • Read online materials that renew your EFL knowledge.
  • Download and read e-books.

6. Volunteer at a Summer Programme:

Just because the school year ends, doesn’t mean students stop learning or you have to stop teaching. You can dedicate certain time weekly to help students in your community who are having difficulty with EFL. You can teach summer classes at your school, a nearby community college or at a summer program. Voluntary teaching adds value to students as well as to your experiences and ability to communicate with various children.

7. Plan for the Next Year:

You should use your summer to plan for the coming school year. It will free up much time when classes start. Start planning from your previous reflection and from your knowledge about what worked and what didn’t work with your students.  Think about your learning objectives (what you want the students to achieve at the end of the course you teach), plan effective and fun learning activities (something that will really capture your students’ attention), and come up with an assessment plan to implement throughout the course of the lessons. Brainstorm creative ways and activities to make this next year successful for your students and you.

Five Things You Must Do Well If You Want to Be Effective Teacher of English

There are some important characteristics and skills which are a must for any teacher of English to do his job effectively. Without these things, it’s preferable for the person to try another job or for the teacher of English to teach any subject other than English language. These things are as follows:

1.Talk well:

As a teacher of a language, you will not be able to teach it if you prefer to be silent most of the time especially during the class. You should be a model for your students in talking well using the language. Talk and encourage your students to talk to learn the language.

2. React well:

Good reactions are the main element in the learning process. You should have the ability to react to your students’ talk, questions and responses. Your reactions should not only be in a verbal way. Non-verbal reactions are often more effective. In your reactions you should use all means you have to give the suitable and effective feedback.

3. Explain well:

The core of teaching is explanation. You need to learn how to clarify language items to your students. Explanation includes many skills; e.g. giving examples, presentation, clarification, wrapping up, … etc. it’s a joke if you are a teacher and not having the skills of explanation. But it is not too late. You still have the opportunity to learn to teach, I mean to explain.

4. Enjoy:

Learning a new language is and must be usually an enjoyable experience. Suppose that you don’t feel excited when you learn or teach the language, how come to make your students enjoy learning this language. Enjoyment and excitement make learning permanent and guarantee achieving all learning objectives.

5. Create:

Teaching a language does not only mean presenting some certain individual words or teaching grammatical rules directly using very controlled activities but it should include creating real-life situations to use the new language. If the teacher of a language is not creative, students will not have the opportunity to live with the language. Language will be something stable for them. Teacher of English should go beyond controlled and guided tasks to free production stage. This kind of transfer will not be possible unless the teacher has the sense of creativity and encourages the students to be creative, too in their use of the language.

Best MOOCs for EFL teachers

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There are so many MOOCs for EFL teachers. I selected the following courses as I think they’re the best ones for EFL teachers to get the basic professional development. If EFL teachers take these courses, they will acquire the theoretical background of language teaching approaches and they will develop their teaching practices in the classroom as well.

* Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching

https://www.futurelearn.com/programs/english-language-teaching

1. Lessons and Teaching.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-language-teaching

2. Learning and Learners

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-language-teaching-learning

3. The Classroom and the World.

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/english-language-teaching-classroom

* Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/understanding-language

* Teach English Now! Second Language Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation

https://www.coursera.org/learn/tesol-speaking

* Teach English Now! Second Language Reading, Writing, and Grammar

https://www.coursera.org/learn/tesol-writing

* Teach English Now! Lesson Design and Assessment

https://www.coursera.org/learn/lesson-design

* Introduction to Teaching English as a Second Language

https://alison.com/courses/Teaching-English-as-a-Second-Language

Assessment Literacy. Topic 3. Dynamic Assessment

Topic 3

What is Dynamic Assessment? Do you know the basis of it?

There are four main methods of dynamic assessment. They are :
1.Testing the Limits.
2.Clinical Interview.
3.Graduating Prompting.
4.Test – Teach – Retest.

How to apply them when you design your test?

You can know the answers of these questions when you attend “Topic 3 Dynamic Assessment” which is the third topic of my FREE online course “Assessment Literacy” on Edmodo.com

To Follow the Course, you should:
1. Create a free account on Edmodo.com
2. Login to your account.
3. Join my group “Assessment Literacy”
* Join Group URL is https://edmo.do/j/ud25fi

A Quiz on “Types of Assessment”

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How much knowledge do you have about assessment? Do you know how many types of assessment there are? Can you differentiate between formative & summative assessment? Do you know the importance of diagnostic assessment? What is integrative assessment?

To assess to what extent your knowledge about assessment is good, you can do that quiz on https://edmo.do/j/ud25fi on “Types of Assessment” which is a topic of six-topic course on “Assessment Literacy”.

To Follow the Course, you should:
1. Create a free account on edmodo.com
2. Login to your account.
3. Join my group “Assessment Literacy”
* Join Group URL is https://edmo.do/j/ud25fi

Three Recommendations for EFL Teachers to Consider From the First Day Back to School

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Teachers of English as a Foriegn Language are asked to take into account the following recommendations from the beginning of the new school year to make great success in their career:

1. Control your teaching and make it as effective as possible by:
* Getting to know the course materials very well by reading them through in advance.
* Getting to know the outcomes of each unit sticking them at the front of your preparation notes to adjust your teaching accordingly.
* Preparing your individual lessons well.
– Preparation notes of each lesson should include mainly the following:
Objectives – Warm-Up Steps – Presentation Steps – Practice Steps – Assessment Procedures or Homework – Self-Evaluation Note.
* Making sure that you have any important information about your students; their names, level of learning, weakness & strength points, ….etc.

2. Improve your teaching and facilitate your students’ learning by:
* Learning & applying new teaching methods, techniques and activities.
* Adjusting your teaching according to your students’ level and needs.
* Reflecting on your successes and difficulties in the classroom.
* Discussing teaching experiences with your colleagues.
* Assessing your students’ progress giving them grades, marking their written work regularly and giving them effective feedback.
* Designing and using simple teaching aids in the classroom to attract your students’ attention and facilitate their learning.
* Organizing your class in different and various ways; whole-class, individual students, pair work and group work, depending on the activity being taught at different times of the lesson.

3. Give your students the opportunity for language learning and practice by:
* Creating a natural context and real-life situations to use the language.
* Giving students the chance to hear and use as much authentic English as possible.
* Using more and more teaching aids to untie your students’ tongues & encourage them to talk in English naturally.
* Contextualizing the new language asking students to put new words in sentences of their own and utilize new structures in real-life situations.

8 Tips for ELT Teachers’ Professional Development

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1. Join a professional organization:
Connect yourself with a network of people who do what you do and who share your concerns. You’ll receive newsletters and periodical journals of ELT. I suggest you to join niletesol.org
NileTESOL is a professional association for all those individuals who are actively involved in the development of the teaching of English and in teaching content in English in Egypt and globally.

2. Attend workshops, conferences, online presentations and webinars:
They’re good opportunities to meet your fellow teachers, get some inspiring ideas and know about EFL books and materials.

3. Meet up with your own support group:
Find some fellow teachers who are willing to meet occasionally or have lunch together for the purpose of exchanging thoughts and ideas. A long-term relationship with other teachers can be very beneficial.

4. Go online:
Have a daily access to the internet and do many things that relate to ELT. First of all visit our eltguide network to learn, share and leave your feedback:
* Facebook.com/eltguide (page on facebook)
* eltguide.wordpress.com (blog on wordpress)
* slideshare.net/eltguide (ELT presentations on slideshare)
Also you can create your own page or group on facebook and invite your colleagues to join and interact. You can sign up for ELT lists too. That provide you an opportunity to talk with thousands of EFL professionals internationally.

5. Get examination copies:
Get a look at them, answer the questions and be aware of the specifications of the exam paper. Learn how to put a good exam on the courses students in your country study. Know well how to evaluate and test students’ English.

6. Get a business card and a CV.:
This will make it easier for you to network when you go to conferences and meetings or even when you go online. This is a great way to introduce yourself as well as to spread your qualifications and achievements to the audience you care for. This gives you a self-esteem boost.

7. Enroll in a foreign language class:
Put yourself in the position of a student and know what it feels like to struggle with a new language. This experience will improve your level in English language and your level in teaching English as well. This exercise is so useful that it is worth repeating every few years to refresh your mind and increase your self-confidence.

8. Expand your ELT knowledge and English vocabulary:
Read, read and read all what you have or can get of ELT materials. Focus on practical ideas that you can make use of and practical steps that you can follow in your EFL classroom. Write down the gist you’ve got from the topics you’ve read about to be helpful resources for you in the future.
Again, read, read and read but this time real English in stories, news, everyday conversations …etc. with the purpose of getting fun and as well for expanding your stock of vocabulary. When you come up to a new word, know not only its immediate meaning but expand on its uses as well and know the prepositions it can take and the different meanings this results in. Also, know more real-life examples of how to use new words.

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