How The Location Influences Your Teaching Resources
One of the many challenges I will face as a new teacher will be the uncertainty of the location where I will be teaching. The location and educational environment will impact the resources which will be available. Regardless of the location, however, in light of the rapid expansion of the internet, and vast array of websites, I think it is likely that students will be anticipating and expecting some use of the internet. As a member of the baby-boomer generation, I grew up and was educated prior to the development of the internet and when computer use was in its infancy. I am very accustomed to the traditional classroom with large class size, the teacher in the front of the room lecturing and students I am working on is identifying websites that will be useful for teaching English as a foreign and/or second language.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Ruth G. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
What Does a Teacher Need?
With regard to some of the information I am seeking, there is a variety of different content I will be needing, including, but limited to some of the following areas: games, worksheets, ideas for discussion topics, approaches to teaching grammar points, ideas for lesson plans, cultural information and differences between English grammar and other languages. In addition, I think students will expect me to be able to provide recommendations for websites for them to use. It is important to me that the websites I recommend be ones that I have personally reviewed and vetted to be sure that the information on the site is accurate, that the site is easy to navigate and that it be free to use or at a very minimal cost.
When I do eventually obtain my first teaching position, I would like it to be in a location where I can make the greatest contribution to advancing and/or improving the lives of the greatest number of students. At this point in time, I am thinking that teaching immigrants in Spain or children in Bolivia would be appealing to me. One of the consequences of the turmoil in the Middle East has been a rise of immigrants and refugees in Spain and other European countries. In addition to learning the native language of their adoptive country, I think learning English also would expand job opportunities for the immigrants and help them integrate and become productive members of society.
Bolivia holds a special place in my heart because I have an adoptive son who was born in a small village in the outskirts of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I would like to give back to the country that gave me one of the greatest joys in my life and I think one of the best ways to help others is through education. As one of the poorest countries in the world, I expect resources to be limited in Bolivia. Therefore, it will be helpful for me to be able to use as much free information on the internet as possible. Depending on the location, access to the internet may be limited. However, with proper advanced preparation, many of the websites offer free teaching activities which can be downloaded to my laptop. Then, if all I have is a room with a wall, I could at least bring a projector and project images on a wall to try & create interesting lessons.
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If I secure a position teaching an immigrant population, especially in Europe, I may encounter students whose native language is Arabic, which has unique grammar issues in contrast to English. One of the websites listed below provided me with a fair amount of helpful information regarding some of the unique challenges facing native speakers of Arabic such as the different alphabet, writing and reading from right to left and the lack of verb “to be” and “to do” in the Arabic language in addition to less formal use of commas and punctuation. This is just one example of where the internet will be helpful, and I anticipate an on-going exploration of sites to assist in the future as I encounter students of various ethnic backgrounds. In addition to teaching English, I am looking forward to my own continuous education in the field of teaching English and cultural exchange arena. Below are websites that I have visited and found interesting and helpful which I hope the reader may also enjoy.
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