Monday, 7 April 2014

TEFL course Madrid - 1,000€ - Special Easter Offer

TEFL course Madrid

1,000€ – Special Easter Offer

easterspecialTrain with EBC and earn 1,600€ a month as an English teacher

April 21 course SPECIAL EASTER OFFER 1,000€

Save 275€ and train to teach English.

This course is open to anyone who has a C1/C2 English level or is a native English speaker.


  • Four weeks intensive training

  • A British Council accepted certificate

  • Worldwide, lifetime job placement

  • Guaranteed job interviews after the course

This course starts on April 21. All tuition, matriculation, certification and job help fees are included in the price.

Web: – Phone: 915 553 975

Area: Santiago Bernabeu, Nuevos Ministerios

Apply for the EBC International TEFL Certificate

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Teaching Present Simple, anything but simple! - Teaching tips from EBC

Tips for teaching present simple

Teaching present simple is anything but simple because of the ways in which the present simple tense can be used.

The impact of teaching present simple means that it is something that needs to be clearly defined and contextualised.

The present simple can be used for:

  • Stating facts

  • The expression of states

  • The expression of uncertainty using words related to: desires, wishes and expectations

  • Showing the frequency of actions with a time clause

  • Indicating measurements

  • Indicating future actions

The present simple has the following attributes:

  • factual,

  • temporal,

  • subjunctive.

Not bad for a “simple” tense!

Here are a few present simple constructions when teaching present simple

Expressing a fact (unchangeable)

  • “My name is David.”

  • “This car weighs 1,500 kilogrammes.”

  • “Fish live in water.”

Expressing a state (subject to change)

  • “I am happy.”

  • “Denise is hungry.”

  • “The baby is asleep.”

Expressing uncertainty (subjunctive)

  • “I hope I get the job.”

  • “He thinks he has the right answer.”

  • “John wishes he could go to Paris.”

Expressing action frequency with a time clause

  • “I play golf twice a week.”

  • “Elizabeth eats breakfast every day.”

  • “Flights to New York depart three times a week.”

Indicating measurements

  • “The room measures 5 metres by 3 metres.”

  • “The height of this tree is 10 metres.”

  • “The speedometer shows 60 miles per hour.”

Future actions (with a future reference)

  • “The flight leaves tomorrow at 10:30 pm.

  • “I travel to Buenos Aires next Thursday.”

  • “The first one who finishes will be the winner.”

As you can see, there is nothing simple about the present simple. It is a very flexible verb tense.

Tips for teaching present simple

The trick to teaching present simple it is to start from the basic form of expressing facts and then build from there. How you build from it is a decision you must take based on your student’s skill set. Our suggested progression is:

  1. Stating facts

  2. The expression of states

  3. Indicating measurements

  4. Showing the frequency of actions with a time clause

  5. The expression of uncertainty using words related to: desires, wishes and expectations

  6. Indicating future actions

When you present and teach each usage:

  • make sure that your examples are truly unambiguous,

  • make them simple,

  • include lots of exercises,

  • get your students to practice out loud,

  • do not let each distinct usage overlap and get fuzzy until the 6 usages have been understood,

  • do not get side-tracked into other usages while you are teaching one of them.

The present simple is probably the most used tense in English. Understanding how it can be used is crucial to progression towards the other tenses.

Teaching the present simple is no different to teaching other aspects of English. It is vital to isolate your material into distinct but related chunks. By doing this you help your students by showing them things in quantities that they can more easily absorb. Like all learning experiences, English must be taught bit by bit in manageable, related and coherent chunks that follow a logical structure and build upon previously learned skills.

If you aren’t a teacher and would like to learn more or would like your teaching staff to be properly trained, contact us about our accredited TEFL course.

Teaching present simple wall chart visual aid

Below is a wall chart we published to help your learners. Feel free to download it and use it in your school or classroom.

The full-size version of our present simple wall chart is available here

Teaching English grammar - the uses of the present simple

Friday, 28 March 2014

TEFL journal articles - become an author

If you would like to contribute to our TEFL journal articles blog, fill out the form shown below and we’ll get back to you.

Contact EBC about becoming a contributor

Sunday, 23 March 2014

EBC any good, exists? Well yes to both. We were on the tele! RTVE La 2

EBC must exist and be pretty good because EBC was used as part of an RTVE La 2 programme “Aquí Hay Trabajo” that helps people get jobs.

Radio Televisión Española (RTVE) La 2 runs a daily program to help people find work. Ironically, there are usually several hundred jobs placed by advertisers each day, but they are usually jobs requiring technical skills.

We will not flog the dead horse any more, but we have be saying for a very long time that the unemployment problem in Spain mainly affects the unskilled. Skilled people have no trouble finding work.

The modern world

The saying goes “fifteen minutes of fame”. In today’s world, it has come down to 60 seconds of fame. The thirty minute TV show (aired last week) shows EBC Owner and Managing Director Tita Ashton giving a coaching class to a small group of locals who want to improve their English and pass interviews in English with English speaking companies.

She also comments as well that English interviews concentrate as much on the job skills shown on a candidate’s CV as they do on the candidate’s personality regarding working habits, problem solving, innovation, etc. The latter are not common during a Spanish interview. A Spanish interview will include the usual “what are your strengths and weakness” and “what do/did you like most and dislike most about your current/previous job” questions but they don’t really delve into what makes the candidate tick. Spanish and English interviews are different. Is one interview style better than the other? No, they are just different. The Spanish must be taught the differences and prepared to answer questions that they may never have been asked during previous job interviews.

What this means for you

The Spanish need English. Here is a job site showing clearly that jobs require English (inglés).

Many Spaniards have gone to work in the UK. They needed to tune-up their English to pass interviews. Here is an article in El País. One of the people mentioned in the article, Inés Manso, states “El nivel de inglés de un español en general está a la cola del resto de Europa.” (“The level of English of a Spaniard, in general, is at the tail end of the rest of Europe.”)

They need English, there are not enough English teachers so they need you.

I mentioned earlier that the skilled sector has been largely unaffected by the crisis. Well here is some good news. An English teacher (properly trained and officially certified) is view as being a member of the skilled sector. The average pay for an English teacher in Spain is three times the minimum inter-professional wage and about 20% higher than the national average wage.

Your future

EBC is playing its part to help the Spanish improve. At last, EBC has the recognition it deserves for its efforts. EBC needs teachers. EBC needs you.

Let us train you and get you working in Madrid. Get in touch!

EBC graduates

Hi to everyone that has taken our course and is now teaching. If you watch the video, you will see Tita’s interview. There are a few of your group photos in the shot. Are you in them?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Will hybrid TEFL courses make traditional four-week and online courses obsolete?

 The future of hybrid TEFL courses

hybrid TEFL coursesThis is a discussion paper about hybrid TEFL courses and their potential impact on traditional four week courses and online courses. We welcome comments and feedback.

First, what are hybrid TEFL courses (AKA, a “Blended” or “Mixed Mode” course)?

A hybrid course is a combination of self-study and classroom training. There is a very good definition here.

In days long ago, hybrid courses were known as “Distance-Learning” courses. A student was sent a package of books to read and occasionally had to attend a lecture, seminar or workshop.

My first encounter with this was the UK’s Open University (OU), a distance learning university that started life in Milton Keynes in England.

Studying with the OU raised societal issues regarding quality and credibility. When I told people that I was studying for a second degree with the OU, the usual comment was, “it is not a proper university.”

The reason was that it was a self-study programme with occasional tutor contact. Because of this, the opinion was that the education was inferior. I have to say that the assignments and exams were not inferior. They were more difficult than my full-time undergraduate study days.

So distance-learning is relatively new, right?

No, it is not. Sir Isaac Pitman started the first distance-learning course in 1840. The course taught shorthand. The University of London started the first distance-learning degrees in 1858. This means that distance learning will be 175 years old in 2015.

The underlying concept of distance, hybrid, blended, mixed mode (or whatever else you want to call it) learning is the same. There are always two foundation components:

  1. self-study

  2. classroom sessions with a teacher

These two components are essential for TEFL courses because you can learn the theory online and do the practical side in the classroom. Quality language schools with good pay and conditions will not hire people unless they attended a course that had teaching practice. You can only practice teaching in a classroom, hence the primordial importance of component 2 in hybrid TEFL courses.

So can hybrid TEFL courses replace online and four-week courses?

EBC thinks they can so we started offering one in 2007. A few other companies have similar offerings.

Hybrid TEFL courses can certainly replace online TEFL courses as the latter are the equivalent of learning from a book with the answers in a section at the back.

Quote from a discussion about physical (four-week) versus online only TEFL courses.

Well, with a physical one you actually get experience. With an online one you don’t, and there are many different providers so they won’t all be the same quality. And no, the original price doesn’t mean it will be good – it just means some gullible people have more money than sense. It doesn’t even mean they sell any at that price; how often do they have these amazing sales?

What are the drawbacks of hybrid TEFL courses?

The first is British Council (BC) requirements. Most language schools in all countries have a great deal of respect for the BC. It is the only organisation in the world that has standard, published requirements for teaching English.

Their requirements for acceptable and credible TEFL certificates state that:

  1. The course must have a minimum of 100 contact hours (hours with a teacher/trainer).

  2. The course must have at least six hours of observed teaching practice.

  3. An official, public domain examination board or university must accredit the training school running the course.

By their nature, hybrid TEFL courses are likely to fail on two counts. Less than 100 contact hours and the training organisation’s accrediting body. The latter for reasons of either not being accredited or having a fake/pretend accrediting organisation.

The second is a question of perception. Hybrid TEFL courses are still, rightly or wrongly, viewed as inferior. Language schools still ask for a TEFL certificate that includes teaching practice. Good schools will not hire online only TEFL certified people.

Hybrid TEFL courses

EBC started its hybrid TEFL course in 2007. About 18 months later UCLES launched theirs. Since then a few more have started as well.

The challenge is to get language schools to accept the quality of hybrid course training. Hybrid TEFL courses include theory and practice so they ought to be be acceptable.

The BC requirement regarding 100 contact hours becomes blurry for hybrid TEFL courses when the school meets their accreditation and teaching practice requirements. EBC’s accrediting examination board, the College of Teachers, means that we meet these requirements and so do the others mentioned here.

Once the stigma of being inferior is washed away by credible and reputable courses, English schools should be more receptive of hybrid TEFL course certificates. They will still look down on online only courses. Teaching is a practical and academic skill so who can blame them for not wanting to hire people with zero practical experience.


Hybrid TEFL courses are the way of the future and we believe that they will become more acceptable as long as the award is from a legitimate examination board or university.

The problem will be the same as exists with today’s four-week courses, cost. People love cheap TEFL courses, they are useless, but they are cheap, have pretty web sites with lots of travel brochure pictures and make vacuous statements designed to lure in the innocents.

Accredited courses, unfortunately, cannot be cheap. As a rough guide 200 USD of your accredited course fee is paid to the examination board or university.

Hybrid TEFL courses offering a truly internationally recognised and accepted certificate from an examination board will be cheaper than equivalent four-week courses but do not expect huge savings.

We estimate that a hybrid TEFL course that awards an authentic accredited TEFL certificate will be 20% to 30% cheaper than its four-week equivalent.

“I am grateful for the start I got on this path by following the EBC online course, which proved to be invaluable in my further training.” Fiona Barber, UK

Monday, 10 March 2014

English teacher test from EBC TEFL

English teacher test from EBC TEFL

English teacher test from EBC TEFL

 Why not take EBC’s English teacher test?

English teacher testWe 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:

  1. Fluency

  2. Grammar

  3. General


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.