Teaching resources for a newbie TEFL teacher
January 6, 2013 1:59 AM   Subscribe

I need some online teaching resources for an inexperienced new TEFL teacher

I'm going to Korea soon to teach english and I have very little experience.

I'm looking for good places online to find ideas for lesson plans and activities. I plan to buy one or two books to take with me on this topic as well, so recommendations in that vein would be appreciated also.

I am doing an online teaching course at the moment which is giving me some idea about what I need to do but I still feel like I need some more guidance.

Any general tips from people who have done this before are also welcome!

Thanks in advance
posted by kwes to Education (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you're going to be working at a hagwon, you'll most likely get an assigned book for each class to be finished in a designated amount of time. So at least in my experience, there really isn't too much lesson planning involved.

I'll sometimes hand out some puzzles at the beginning of a class, like word search. At the end of class if I have time I might play a game like hangman.

I was completely inexperienced too before coming to teach in Korea. I can tell you it was extremely frustrating at first. I don't know what your school will be like, but I've worked at three different hagwons and at least those three were essentially the same. Nobody tells you what to do but you're expected to know what to do anyway. Parents and students will complain about you but you won't hear about it until much later. Everything gets pushed to the last minute. There is no planning.

Despite all that, you will kind of adjust to it. Most of the kids are nice. There are a lot of positives to living here. Makes some friends and you'll have a good time.
posted by Gorilla456 at 2:31 AM on January 6, 2013

waygook.org and dave's esl cafe are great resources to connect with other teachers as well as share lesson materials. It depends on where you are planning to teach. If you are working public elementary school they will have a book they will want you to teach from. Hagwons may run the gamut from having their own materials to being very free form in how you teach with whatever books they give you. Do your best but don't let anything get to you they're are used to replacing one fresh face with another and getting along with coworkers and students tends to make up for a lot of anything else that might be lacking.
posted by andendau at 2:52 AM on January 6, 2013

Second Dave's ESL Cafe. Also, Mr. Nussbaum, although that is not an ESL-specific site, it can be useful depending on the level of your students. Another good one is Bogglesworld for games, lesson plans, grammar/vocab exercises.
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 3:46 AM on January 6, 2013

I don't really know what's currently useful, but something that migh help you in the long run, if a long run is in the cards: make up an activity notebook. Write out your plan for any activity you find online, then, after you've done the activity, make notes about it. How did the students react? Was it interesting or enjoyable for them? How long did it take to set up, how long did it take to finish? Was it a good use of class time, or was it just fun and games? What could you try to do next time to make it better? If you try these out and keep track of them, you'll end up having a decent file of things that work well for you.

The other thing I'd recommend is, as much as you can, make your own materials as much as you can. From a personal standpoint, online free handouts are a good source of ideas, but there's only so much they can do to match your unique needs. That, and little says tacky as succinctly as the URL of the site you printed the worksheet from on the bottom corner of the hand out.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:50 AM on January 6, 2013

Boogglesworld is OK but I like http://en.islcollective.com/ more.

As mentinoned, ESL teaching in Korea is a mixed bag. In a hagwon or public school you might -- might -- have a comprehensive system or text-based course in place.

More than likely you won't have anything except for a textbook, and you'll need to supplement.

I teach at a college in South Korea and our office has a nice little slush pile of ESL books we've used in the past for pulling material out of when needed. You might have something like this, or you might not.

"and little says tacky as succinctly as the URL of the site you printed the worksheet from on the bottom corner of the hand out"

Land of the Morning Calm and correction tape!
posted by bardic at 12:41 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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