Monday, 10 March 2014
Why not take EBC’s English teacher test?
We have recently added an English teacher test to our site. The reason we have added it is to do some automated candidate pre-screening.
It is not a teaching knowledge test because our job is to train you how to teach.
It is a way for us to check that you understand English to a degree that gives us confidence that you know enough about English to take the EBC TEFL course. This time we don’t think other TEFL schools will copy our idea (like they have so many times in the past) as most of them will accept anyone with a pulse.
“Oh it’s so easy.” Well you may think so, and if you are a native English speaker, you ought to score 100%.
However, not everyone scores 100%. The people who don’t score 100% are not limited to non-native English speakers either. We get both native and non-native English speakers who do or do not get the perfect score.
How the English teacher test works
There are three sections in the test:
The fluency test is a standard cloze (fill in the blanks) test. The fluency test uses the commonly accepted Selective or Rational Deletion Cloze Test.
You are shown text that has every seventh word missing. You are shown a list of words. Just put the right word in the right space to make the text make sense.
The grammar test comprises a spot the tense test.
You are shown nine sentences and asked what verb tense each one uses.
This covers your ability to spot pronunciation differences where word parts look identical, (for example: enough, rough, tough and cough), adjectives, American and British spelling, adverbs and synonyms.
The English teacher test is not complicated to do, it will require some thought and it will test your basic knowledge. The English teacher test does not go into specific teaching skills like, for example: explaining how to construct superlatives and comparatives, the difference between a gerund and a past participle (e.g. running) or the three forms of conditional sentences.
If you do well and want to tell your friends, you can always share your results of FaceBook or Twitter. That is up to you. We are more interested in your results.
English teaching is not rocket science but you do need to know the subject, be a classroom leader and have a good bedside manner.
We will teach you all these skills and prepare you for the world of teaching English abroad, but first we want to make sure that you understand English, hence the test.
If you have not taken our English teacher test yet and you would like to, click here. You will be asked for your name and email. Please use a legitimate email or you will not be able to take the test. We need to make sure that you are not a spam robot and the only way to do that is to make sure that a human responds to the email.
We wish you all the best, and we’d love to see you on one of our TEFL courses.
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English teacher test from EBC TEFL
Saturday, 22 February 2014
Is it true? Does learning a second language fight brain disease?
According to the Harvard Medical School and the American Academy of Neurology it does.
A recent study published towards the end of 2013 found that learning a second language fights brain disease. Bilingual people have a higher resistance to brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Speaking a second language is one important factor in keeping your brain in shape for later years.
One article published by the Harvard Medical School states;
A new study offers a novel preventive measure that could reduce the risk of developing dementia: learning a second language.
Another article based on findings from the American Academy of Neurology states:
There is no guarantee that bilingual individuals won’t develop Alzheimer’s; however, learning a second language can help strengthen the brain, assist with memory, and delay symptoms.
Is globe-trotting mentally healthy?
These findings and articles are very interesting, especially for people who have decided to move to a different country and will therefore learn a new language.
I am sure that our TEFL course graduates did not realise that coming to study with us and learning Spanish, Greek or Tagalog as a by-product was not only good for their ambitions but also good for their brains.
One of the statements in the Harvard Medical School study’s findings is that (referring to the onset of the condition):
It applied even to people who spoke two languages but could not read either of them.
The interpretation is that speaking is more important than reading. One conclusion drawn must be that speaking places more demand on the brain which keeps it in shape. The net effect is that you need to be in a non-English speaking country to thoroughly practice and improve your speaking abilities.
The study also mentions that speaking more than two languages does not increase your protection, but I suppose it will not do any harm either.
Consequences for English teachers abroad
These findings are a revelation. As an English teacher, I knew that teaching English helped people achieve short and medium term personal goals. I never knew that what I was doing may also help reduce long-term mental health issues.
I also never knew that moving to a non-English speaking country and learning to speak another language would also be beneficial to my own brain’s health.
The brain is a mysterious object and who would have thought that leaving home, travelling to a new country, teaching English and learning a new language was not only an exciting adventure but also mentally healthy as well!
Life is a mystery to be enjoyed. Be healthy and see you soon.
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Learning a second language fights brain disease
Friday, 21 February 2014
Teach English in Madrid – what’s it like?
Madrid and Spain need English teachers – it’s official!
If you want to teach English in Madrid, keep reading!
Let us start with some statistics about teaching English in Spain. EF, one of the world’s largest language schools, does a study each year about English language capabilities by country.
You will be happy to hear that Spain ranks 23rd in the world with a rating of “Moderate Proficiency”.
If you want to teach English in Madrid, or the rest of Spain, “Moderate Proficiency” means that you will be in demand because there is still a lot of people who need to learn English. The net result is that the need for English teachers in Spain is still high.
OK, now we have established that there is a need for English teachers in Madrid and the rest of Spain, what is it like to teach English in Madrid or other regions in Spain?
Madrid is a vibrant city. It’s lively and its residents enjoy their lives. Madrid is possibly the wealthiest region in Spain. It is certainly getting more attractive than Barcelona for companies owing to the nationalistic movement in Catalonia. Companies are beginning to leave Barcelona and Catalonia in favour of Madrid.
From a teaching English perspective this is good news as the work force is growing meaning that there will be more people to train. Spanish businesses need their employees to speak English in order to compete internationally. They need you to come and teach English in Madrid.
The “Madrileños” (as the locals are known) are, to state the obvious, Spanish or immigrants of south American origin. They have a different outlook to the puritanical Northern Europeans and North Americans. As a northern European, I found that the Spanish accept work as part of their everyday life and that the line between work and personal time is a lot more blurred.
We tend to compartmentalise work and personal time. They are usually kept apart. The Spanish blur them together so work becomes as much of a social activity as it is a productive activity. They also inject as much social time into their day as they can.
This usually means that their working day is longer, but the day is interspersed with a longer than we are used to coffee break and lunch break. Work is done but it is punctuated with breaks that are frequently social events as well. It is a different way of working. Is it better or worse? That is a matter of opinion.
Madrileños work to live. They do not live to work. It is very much a cultural thing.
Teaching English classes
You will find that the range of English teaching jobs in Madrid cannot be summed up in one brief statement.
Here is a list of possibilities that can be mixed and matched.
- Students start learning from around three years old (kindergarten age and potty trained).
- There is no upper limit to age other than to state that it is as old as a person can get and still want to learn English.
- There is no set social or professional status either. Your students could be home-makers, school or university students, professionals, executives, politicians, blue-collar workers, self-employed or unemployed.
- The type of English taught ranges from general English through to highly specialised business English, for example legal English.
- The place where you will teach your English classes could be in a language school, a state school, a private school, company offices or in the student’s home.
- Pay starts at around 15 to 18 Euros an hour, which, at the time of publication, is between 21 and 25 USD an hour.
- You will work the hours you need which is usually between 20 to 30 hours a week. You do the arithmetic about potential monthly earnings.
This flexibility makes teaching English in Madrid very attractive. You can adapt English teaching to the areas you like the most. Once you have got started, you can also adapt your teaching hours to your lifestyle.
Madrid is a world on its own. Madrileños enjoy life and are a pleasure to teach so when you come to teach English in Madrid, you will have a memorable teaching experience.
Road2Spain – TEFL, Spanish immersion and work programme
If you want to teach English in Madrid we offer an all inclusive package (except for flight and meals) that will train you to teach and get you a job within a week or less of graduating.
Our Road2Spain programme includes:
- An examination board accredited four week residential TEFL and TESOL training course
- International TEFL certification
- Accredited International TESOL certification from an official examination board
- Our exclusive job placement programme that is lifetime, worldwide and proactive
- A Cervantes Institute Spanish course
- A one year student visa
- Four week’s accommodation for the duration of your TEFL training course
- Lifetime continuing teacher education
- Full support from EBC before, during and after your course
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Teach English in Madrid – what’s it like?
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Take our “What are the most important aspects of a TEFL course?” poll, We’re interested in your priorities
Friday, 14 February 2014
How I teach English – getting to know your students
Getting to know your students is an article about the most important step of all when you teach English. This is the first step when you need to get to know and understand your students. Getting to know your students is part of EBC’s teach English series.
This article was written by EBC graduate (2010) Isabel Ashton.
On the first day with your students you must make every effort to get to know them. Getting to know your students will make your life a lot easier when the time comes to delivering your subsequent lessons. This exploratory process is called a needs analysis.
Based on my experience, the first day you teach English to your class should be more of a covert interview than a teaching exercise. A lot of interaction and a lot of questions and answers. You are going to teach English to these people so it is very important that you a) understand where they are and b) understand where they want to get to. The knowledge gap between a) and b) is filled by you when you teach English to them.
The following examples were two totally different student groups with the same level of English.
1. A group of 4 girls who had just started at university
During the first class I found out what they all had in common: fashion and travel. They all loved fashion, the latest trends in the fashion world and travelling. They wanted to improve their speaking skills especially when relating past events but with the practical element focused on the two subjects they liked most.
“Let’s go shopping” - Clothing using the past simple and present perfect continuous. We start with some basic conversation exercises to get them to relate what they’ve done.
- “Hi Ana, what did you buy”.
- “Hi Rocio, I bought a leather jacket and a pair of slim fit pants”.
- “Hi Yolanda, what have you been doing?”
- “Hi Carmen, I have been shopping for the last hour”
Dry as the grammar themes may be, the content is of interest to the students so they don’t mind talking about it. This is a key concept in teaching. People do things they like. Getting to know your students is the only way to find this out.
2. A 4th year university veterinary student
During our first class we got to know each other. She told me what she was studying and why she needed to learn English. Her objective was to find a job abroad as a veterinary surgeon. I focused her lessons on her objectives. A brief example is a skill that most people need, dealing with difficult people.
“How to approach an angry pet owner” – The use of polite yet assertive language.
We focused the lesson on how to be polite and assertive.
The client says, “I want to complain about the vet who saw my dog yesterday.”
We practised how she could resolve this negative situation, defend her co-worker and make the client as happy as possible.
When you teach English it is vital to understand your students’ needs and requirements. The only way you can do this is to make a serious effort at the very beginning. The same techniques can be applied to large classes. The only thing is that it will take a bit longer. The article shows two simple examples of how I adapted my lessons to my students’ requirements and skill levels. From what I have experienced, the lessons that you adapt to your students are much more motivating for them than teaching them the same basics but from a book or using topics that you may think are great but are of no interest to them.
Thursday, 13 February 2014
You want to teach English in Spain but you are not sure how?
It has never been simpler to come and teach English in Spain. Is it difficult? No, not if you do things properly.
EBC has launched its Road2Spain program specifically for anyone interested in coming to teach English in Spain.
Whatever your reason may be:
- a gap year,
- career change,
- stuck for a decent paying job back home or,
- like many of our students, you want some adventure in your life,
EBC’s Road2Spain programme may well be what you are looking for.
EBC’s Road2Spain program includes everything except flights and meals. You get all of the following:
- A 4 week, officially accredited TEFL and TESOL training course
- A TEFL certificate
- An accredited TESOL certificate
- Worldwide, lifetime and pro-active job placement
- Ongoing, lifetime continuing professional teaching education
- A Cervantes Institute Spanish course
- A 1 year student visa
So why come and teach English in Spain?
If there is one city in the world that can be considered as having a lively spirit or “mucha marcha”, that is none other than Madrid in Spain. Madrid is the capital of Spain and is its largest city. It is famous for having a vibrant nightlife and a multitude of tourist attractions to offer its visitors.
If you read some tour guides, one comment that you will probably find is “when do the Madrileños go to sleep?” Did you know that Spanish has a verb for “to go out partying all night”? – “Madrugar” – learn it! Taking the TEFL course Madrid Spain program should be at the top of your list. Apart from the most obvious tourist destinations that you can visit, there are plenty of off-the-beaten track places to discover. There are hidden parks known only to the locals, small shops and colourful neighbourhoods like La Latina, Malasaña and Lavapies. The Madrilenian culture is also a delight. Madrid has many cultural attractions as well. Add to this Real Madrid and a nightlife that has to be seen to be believed. Madrid is a truly unique city.
Getting a job to teach English in Spain
There are many reviews and comments about this, “It’s hard”, etc. All we can say is that anything worth doing may appear to be hard, unless you know how to do it or know someone that does. Most “It’s hard” comments come from people who wing it without research.
Our Road2Spain program includes everything you will need to get started and it works. It has been working since we started in 2002. No headaches, no hassles, no problems as long as you follow established procedures.
Three good reasons to teach English in Spain
- An ongoing need for English teachers: Spain is a non-English speaking country, it is growing again and it has finally realized the important of English. Its citizens need to learn English to survive in today’s international markets.
- Easy access to jobs if you are properly qualified: No matter what your nationality is: American, Australian, Canadian or New Zealander, you can get an English teaching job in Madrid as long as you are an accredited TEFL teacher.
- A great place to be: OK, so you are in Madrid, you have finished teaching for the day so, do you go home to eat, shower, watch TV and go to bed? NO WAY! Nothing beats the nightlife. Madrid is full of great places and local culture. Bars, cinemas, restaurants, museums, art galleries, disco’s, cultural and sporting events abound.
The Road2Spain program will make sure that you get work in Madrid paying full market rates within a week or less of finishing your course.
Madrid is still a TEFL hotspot and our Road2Spain teach English in Spain program gives you world-class, professional TEFL training that will absolutely establish you as an English as a foreign language teacher in both TEFL and TESOL classroom environments.