AuthorLarry Martin

How to teach learners with special needs

I am a physically disabled person. I have cerebral palsy and I am a wheelchair user. I graduated in English four years ago and when I entered college my idea was to work as a translator.

However, after some time I realized I did not fit in the profession. Therefore, I decided to become a teacher, in spite of all the difficulties I would have to overcome.

I have just started my career as an EFL teacher and in this article, I intend to share with you the challenges I faced in my first experience as a teacher. I additionally do some interesting work for students who follow an online course with to get their high school equivalency diploma, a job that suits me pretty well.

How I got the job

A friend of mine called and asked me if I would like to teach Basic English to a group of about 15 physically challenged learners at the Association for the disabled in Curitiba.

The aim of the course was to increase the students’ chances of getting better jobs. This project was sponsored by state government funds; the learners didn’t have to pay for the course and the course books were included. I liked the idea very much and accepted the job. Continue reading

Moving and A New Job – TEFL!

I want to give a quick update for those of you asking how things are going. In short, they are going near perfectly. We are moving into my husband’s grandma’s house that has been empty for four years.

We’ve been doing some major cleaning and organizing (while doing Vacation Bible School every night this week) and now it’s time to move all the stuff in. Tomorrow will be an all-out blitz of carpet cleaning and furniture moving. I expect me and the hubby will be dog tired tomorrow night, but at least we’ll be in our house.

I know our presence in the saint of a mother-in-law’s house has been stressful. She’s organized and likes a clean house. Enter 7 dispossessed slobs with all their donated clothes and stuff in boxes and bags and a few random suitcases. It’s not pretty. I know she’s not freaking out about it or anything, but I still feel a little guilty about it.

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Vocabulary and its retention

Recent articles in Issues  have dedicated much attention to vocabulary and its retention. In this article, I would like to propose an approach for specialized word/term retention in teaching ESP which has proved to be highly effective with my tertiary social sciences students.

A tendency for more narrowly tailored courses in adult English teaching has recently been observed and was forecast as a prominent new millennium ELT issue by Dave Allan : ‘There will be increased demand for specialist Englishes’, i.e. ESP.

Language teaching, on the whole, and ESP in particular, has always been characterized by the use of methods that enable learners to acquire a sufficient amount of vocabulary, called a ‘working’ vocabulary. ‘Words are the basis of language, and thus the basis of communication’

But probably all foreign language teachers are aware of frustration when in an impromptu speech our students use more primitive words than we have just taught them. What should we do, in making a word pass from receptive to productive level and, at the same time, in fostering all other communicative language skills? Continue reading

Get a TEFL certificate and start a brand new life!

If you want to gain overseas living experience, discover another culture, learn another language, improve your C.V., develop more confidence, make international friends, take a break from your regular routine or all of the above, getting the S.I.T. TESOL CERTIFICATE is the way to begin.

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. You will also hear the training and the profession referred to as TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) and TESL (teaching English as a second language). The TESOL / TEFL / TESL profession continues to grow, propelled by the fact that English is the lingua franca of the world. Ask anyone in a non-English speaking country what skills are needed to succeed in school and business and the ability to speak English will be one of the first things mentioned.

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How to get started in Teaching English as a Foreign Language

I’ve been talking to many people about how to best get started in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). For many, just thinking about travelling abroad, and working and living in a different country, is a bit intimidating.

It’s not only the idea of teaching in front of a foreign class of students that a bit scary, it’s also about saying goodbye to the familiar environment, working and living in an unfamiliar country, and getting used to a new culture and language.  But if you feel confident and have enough knowledge of English language, being the TEFL teacher is a great career.
When I think back some twenty years ago, I remember my own fears and that I nearly missed my plane when I traveled to my first job as a TEFL teacher in the hills of northern Greece.


Get your GED® and teach abroad (online GED instruction) – click here for details
TESO Certifications (American TESOL Institute) – For the full article click here
Qualifications to teach English (Trinity College London) – Read more here

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Being a Teacher with Visual Impairment

Following Roddy Kaye’s comprehensive coverage of organisations and survey of the current situation in ELT regarding Special Needs in Issue 158, we thought readers would be interested in the following interview with Müyesser Yenier, a blind-since-birth English teacher working in a state school in Turkey.

How did you become interested in learning English?

I started like any other student, but as time passed I realized I was interested in English. I did well at school, passed the university entrance exam, and won a place at the Aegean University, Department of English Language and Literature in Izmir. My tutors saw I was determined to learn and they helped me.

Did you enjoy studying at University? Continue reading

What are poster sessions and why they matters

Professional conferences often have a category of presentation called ‘poster sessions’. Poster presenters hang their posters on panels for passers-by to see; the role of the presenter is to discuss the content with interested people. Poster presenters are generally given a public area for their displays, in close proximity to one another, and designated an amount of time, whether it is for a day or only an hour or two.
If you have ever seen poster presentations, they may have contributed to your fond memories of past conferences. To people who have experienced successful conference poster sessions, or presented one themselves, the points I am about to make may be readily apparent. Continue reading

Searching for Learning materials for your students

Before leaving on my trip back to the States I was really looking forward to getting away from it all. I never expected that I would suddenly be obsessed with the search for authentic materials. However, in planning the trip I started to consider what I wanted to bring back to Japan. The list of things for the classroom started getting longer than the personal items. So, before leaving I listed all the materials I would try to look for. Nothing big, nothing heavy and nothing expensive became the rule.

Where to look

First, I had to categorize what I wanted based on what I knew I could probably find easily. The airport and plane of course are an excellent source of such material. Among others on my ‘shopping list’ were; airport information guides (San Francisco International Airport was a great resource, while my final destination, Boston was not), menus (small shops inside shopping malls were an excellent source of simple one page menus that you could take home and could be easily used in the classroom). Not only were the proprietors willing to have you take them, they also turned out be useful for in-class activities. Information desks around the city offered a wide variety of information that was free and could be used in classroom activities. Continue reading

What is the right TEFL course

By the time you have found a provider that you feel confident about, you need to choose the right TEFL course. How long do you want to learn? This is the next hurdle, so here we go:

Which course is the right one for you to choose is depending on many factors, for example, what is your previous experience, where do you want to be teaching, and what is your budget. There are lots of options available and there really is no one-rule-fits-all solution.

TEFL qualifications

TEFL qualifications vary, and may range from a simple and practical weekend course up to an extensive and long-lasting online TEFL course. Continue reading

How to best write a TEFL CV

TEFT (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is a popular option not only for graduates, but also for career changers. How you should write your CV best is depending on your specific background and the job specifications.
Guidelines, general
Qualifications and experience are two crucial factors, but it’s good to note that different countries have different and specific requirements.

In most countries, you need to have a degree to obtain a visa, while TEFL qualification often comes in only as secondary. Most European countries, though, as well as a lot of organizations, require both a degree, Trinity Cert Tesol or Celta certification, and relevant experience, also for entry-level positions. Further qualification, for example a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics or Delta qualification, may be required for a higher-level position.

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