ESL Lesson Plans for Adults Free

Teaching Adults English.

Designing an ESL lesson plan for adults can be challenging, but also rewarding. Adult learners have different needs, motivations, and goals than younger students, so you need to tailor your lessons accordingly. Here are some tips on how to create an effective and engaging ESL lesson plan for adults.

1. Know your learners. Before you start planning your lesson, you need to know who your learners are, what their level of English is, what they want to learn, and why they are learning English. This will help you choose the most relevant and appropriate topics, materials, and activities for your lesson.

2. Set clear and realistic objectives. Based on your learners’ needs and goals, you need to define what you want them to achieve by the end of the lesson. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, by the end of the lesson, learners will be able to introduce themselves and ask for basic personal information in a formal setting.

3. Choose engaging and authentic materials. To make your lesson more interesting and meaningful for your learners, you should use materials that are relevant to their lives and interests, such as articles, videos, podcasts, or songs. You should also use authentic materials that expose them to real-world language use, such as newspapers, websites, or social media posts.

4. Plan a variety of activities. To keep your learners motivated and involved, you should plan a mix of activities that cover the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You should also include activities that promote interaction and communication among learners, such as pair work, group work, role plays, or discussions. You should also vary the level of difficulty and complexity of the activities according to your learners’ abilities and progress.

5. Assess your learners’ performance and provide feedback. At the end of the lesson, you should check if your learners have achieved the objectives you set for them. You can use different methods of assessment, such as quizzes, tests, presentations, or portfolios. You should also provide constructive feedback to your learners on their strengths and areas for improvement. You should also encourage them to reflect on their own learning and set goals for future lessons.

Make Your Own Lesson Plan Template.

If you are looking for a template ESL lesson plan for adults, you might find this blog post helpful. It outlines the basic steps and components of a successful ESL lesson, as well as some tips and resources to make your teaching more effective and engaging.

A template ESL lesson plan for adults should include the following elements:

– A warm-up activity to review previous material, activate prior knowledge, or introduce the topic of the lesson.

– A presentation stage to introduce new vocabulary, grammar, or skills, using clear explanations, examples, and visuals.

– A practice stage to give students the opportunity to use the new language or skills in controlled or guided activities, such as drills, exercises, or games.

– A production stage to allow students to apply the new language or skills in more authentic or creative tasks, such as role-plays, discussions, or projects.

– A feedback and correction stage to provide students with positive and constructive feedback on their performance, as well as to correct any errors or misunderstandings.

– A wrap-up activity to summarize the main points of the lesson, review the learning objectives, and assign homework or further practice.

Some tips and resources to make your ESL lesson plan more effective and engaging are:

– Use a variety of activities and materials to cater to different learning styles and preferences.

– Incorporate real-world contexts and situations to make the lesson more relevant and meaningful for the students.

– Adapt the level of difficulty and complexity of the activities to suit the students’ needs and abilities.

– Use clear and simple instructions and check for understanding before starting each activity.

– Monitor and support the students during the activities and provide feedback and corrections as needed.

– Encourage student interaction and participation and create a positive and supportive learning environment.

Template Examples.

You can find more examples and templates of ESL lesson plans for adults on these websites:

– https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk

– https://www.fluentu.com

– https://www.esl-lounge.com

My current fave site is Twinkle, have a look, don’t worry I’m not making money off this. Twinkle..

Example Lesson Plans.

Here are two examples of ESL lesson plans for adults that you can use in your classroom or online teaching.

Example 1: Present Perfect vs. Past Simple

Objective: To help students practice the difference between present perfect and past simple tenses in speaking and writing.

Materials: A worksheet with sentences in present perfect and past simple, some dice, and a timer.

Procedure:

– Warm-up: Ask students to think of an event that happened in their life recently and write a sentence about it using the present perfect tense. For example, “I have finished reading a book.” Then, ask them to write another sentence using past simple tense with a specific time expression. For example, “I finished reading the book yesterday.” Have them share their sentences with a partner and compare the use of tenses.

– Presentation: Review the rules and examples of present perfect and past simple tenses on the board or on a slide. Explain when to use each tense and how to form them. Highlight the differences in meaning and usage.

– Practice: Give each pair of students a worksheet with sentences in present perfect and past simple. Have them roll a dice and read the sentence that corresponds to the number they get. Then, have them rewrite the sentence using the other tense. For example, if they get a sentence in present perfect, they have to rewrite it in past simple, and vice versa. Set a timer for 10 minutes and have them complete as many sentences as they can.

– Feedback: Check the answers as a class and correct any errors. Ask students to explain why they chose a certain tense and how it changes the meaning of the sentence.

Example 2: Giving Advice

Objective: To help students practice giving advice using modal verbs and expressions in speaking.

Materials: A set of cards with common problems or situations that require advice, such as “I want to lose weight” or “I have a job interview tomorrow”.

Procedure:

– Warm-up: Ask students to think of a problem or a situation that they need advice on and write it down on a piece of paper. Collect the papers and shuffle them. Then, distribute them randomly to the students. Have them read the problem or situation they got and think of some possible advice they would give.

– Presentation: Review the modal verbs and expressions that can be used to give advice, such as “should”, “could”, “might”, “why don’t you”, “have you tried”, etc. Give some examples of how to use them in sentences. Explain the difference in meaning and tone between them.

– Practice: Divide the students into pairs or small groups. Have them take turns picking a card from the set and reading the problem or situation aloud. Then, have them advise each other using the modal verbs and expressions they learned. Encourage them to use different ones and to explain their reasons for giving that advice.

– Feedback: Ask some pairs or groups to share their problems or situations and the advice they gave with the class. Comment on their use of language and give suggestions for improvement.

Check it Out.

Check out my other posts for more information on teaching Adults. This is the link to click on…

How to Teach ESL English to Adults.

How to design a Lesson Plan.

I also have a lot of other stuff you may find useful, so check out my site. www.vietnamesl.com

Final Thoughts.

Remember, every group of students is different. What works well with one group may not work as well with another. Be flexible and willing to adapt your teaching strategies as needed.

Don’t stick to your lesson plan and if you have to veer off in a different direction that is fine, The one thing I have learnt is teaching should be flexible to cater to your students’ needs. And the best thing to do is incorporate FUN. Do that and your students will want to learn English and love you forever as a great Teacher. 8-).


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How To Avoid Teacher Burnout in ESL

Avoiding ESL Burnout.

Teaching ESL can be a rewarding but challenging career. You get to interact with students from different cultures and backgrounds, help them improve their language skills, and witness their progress. But it can also be stressful, exhausting, and demanding. How do you avoid burnout teaching ESL? Here are some tips that might help:

Tips for Sanity.

– Set realistic goals and expectations. Don’t try to do everything at once or expect perfection from yourself or your students. Focus on what you can control and celebrate small achievements. Some students are great, some not so much, but you are helping them even if they don’t know it.

– Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat well, sleep enough, exercise regularly, and find time to relax and recharge. You can’t teach well if you’re not feeling well. Try not to party too much. It tends to happen when you first arrive in a foreign country, especially Asia.

– Seek support and feedback. Connect with other ESL teachers, join online communities, attend workshops, or find a mentor. Share your challenges and successes, ask for advice, and learn from others’ experiences. Build a network of friends you can talk to about any problems at work. Personal problems will happen and having someone to talk to is a literal lifesaver.

– Be creative and flexible. Try new methods, materials, and activities in your lessons. Experiment with different ways of teaching and learning. Adapt to your students’ needs and interests. Keep things fresh and fun for yourself and your students. Learn new stuff, It makes class life more exciting and fun. Go into your class and focus on having fun and the students will warm to you immediately which will make your teaching easier.

– Remember your purpose and passion. Remind yourself why you chose to teach ESL and what you love about it. Think about the positive impact you have on your students lives and the difference you make in the world. You are helping others achieve their dreams and traveling the world at the same time. Not many get to do this, so revel in the joy.

  • If Things Get Bad. Do not hesitate to contact me or a professional if you are suffering. There are online services that provide help. You can use this link. I Want to Talk.

What are some fun ESL activities?

Here are some ideas that you can try in your classroom:

– Games: Games are a great way to motivate students, practice vocabulary, grammar, and skills, and have fun. You can use board games, card games, online games, or create your own games based on the topic or skill you want to teach.

– Songs: Songs are a wonderful way to expose students to authentic language, culture, and pronunciation. You can use songs to teach vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, or writing skills. You can also have students sing along, fill in the blanks, or write their own lyrics.

– Stories: Stories are a powerful way to engage students’ imagination, creativity, and emotions. You can use stories to teach reading, writing, speaking, or listening skills. You can also have students read aloud, act out, or write their own stories.

– Projects: Projects are a good way to integrate different skills, topics, and resources in a meaningful way. You can use projects to teach research, presentation, collaboration, or problem-solving skills. You can also have students work individually or in groups on topics that interest them. This takes a bit of time to set up and is better with more advanced students, however, the benefits are amazing. I have a lot of ideas on my website about this.

– Websites: There are a lot of websites that you can use for free that will help you in the classroom. Here is a link to some of them. Teaching Websites.

– My Website; I have a lot of stuff that can help you teach from young kids to adults if you take the time to check out my site. It is all free and I do not advertise. Yet. Lol. Here is the link to my website. MY WEBSITE.

Final Thoughts.

My Father and Mother were both teachers as well as my brother, so chalk flows through my veins. I have been teaching in Vietnam for over 15 years and now own 2 schools, so I know what I am talking about. Burnout is a thing we all have to cope with, and how we cope is what makes the difference.

Steve


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Back to School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

A new school year means we need to prepare for new classes and new students.

The Holidays are Over Again.

In Vietnam, a school year is divided into two semesters: the first begins in mid or late August and lasts until the end of December, while the second begins right after the first, which is about mid-January and ends in May.

It took me quite a few years to adapt to the extended holidays for children they have in Vietnam. With almost 3 months a year of holidays for children, it was, I realized, both a blessing and a curse. (A blessing and curse for all involved, the teachers, parents, and students. Perhaps the worst affected are the parents who have to organize what to do with their kids while they work.)

As a traveler, it gave me 3 months in which I could easily move around the country, or even further, as I had plenty of time to use. And as a lot of the teaching contracts are yearly it gave me time to look at where I wanted to spend my next 12 months and find suitable accommodation in an area close to my new school.

On the downside, I had to make sure I had correctly budgeted for the time I had off. Not that it was a significant problem as I could pick up piecemeal work at any number of private schools or even pick up private tuition.

You can read here at ‘The Vietnamese Education System” to learn more about teaching in Vietnam and the type of work available. And things have not changed much over the years. You can find many posts and many tips and techniques that I have found to be successful over the years and I am happy to share these free of charge via my website.

Another almost beneficial downside was the amount of knowledge that the students had forgotten during their extended holidays. And it was this ( amongst a few other things) that made me decide to open my own school in Vietnam.

Back to School and Enhancing Your Opportunities.

September has arrived, and if you’re anything like the teachers I know, your thoughts have already begun to return to the long list of tasks you “need” to complete before you enter the classroom. We are all aware of how lengthy the to-do list is when it comes to setting up your classroom for a new school year. For this reason, this post will provide you with a list of actions you may take to aid in back-to-school preparation.

And your to-do list relates to whether you have your own school or private students or whether you are teaching in the public school system. I will try to cover both as they are equally important. I often came across teachers who used to say, why bother preparing as it is just the same but just a new year. I found those who said that were the teachers who drifted from one place to another and never “kicked on” to become professional ESL teachers.

If you have your own private school or students you will have been continually teaching but perhaps on restricted hours. Or perhaps you have closed for a week so the students’ parents can spend some time with their children over their holidays.

So here we go.

Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

If you have taken the 3 months off the first thing I do is mentally and physically prepare myself for the resumption of classes. It might seem trivial or an ad-hoc thing to do, but if you have gotten into the habit of sleeping in again, I like to spend 1 week prior to school waking up at 5.30 a.m. and re-adjusting my body clock.

Most schools and classes will start between 7. a.m. and 8 a.m. in Vietnam and it doesn’t help if you are still half asleep with 50 noisy kids starting your day. You must be alert and on the ball, especially in the first few days of the new semester. How you present yourself in front of the class in the first week will establish how the rest of the semester goes.

Preparing your “tools of the trade” is the next step. As basic as it sounds, make sure everything you take with you works. I want my markers, pens and pencils to be ready for use along with erasers and rulers. This is very basic stuff, but I have seen teachers on the first day asking if they can borrow a pen or marker or chalk because the school has not got any. Really embarrassing if it happens to you.

If like me you use a microphone headset, check it out the day before to make sure you have enough charge for the day or replacement batteries if needed.

When teaching in a classroom in Vietnam you may have upward of 50 people per class. (My biggest class size was 56 children who were 7-8 year olds).

If you don’t want to lose your voice by the end of the day I strongly advise that you invest in a microphone headset. The Aporo headset I have is 30 watts output and is very light. It comes with 2 headbands and is easy to wear for a whole day.

The use time is between 8-12 hours and I have never needed to recharge it through the day. This is perhaps the best “tool” I have ever used in the classroom and has without doubt saved my voice on many occasions.

If you are lucky enough to have your own classroom then other types of preparation come under what I call…….

Simple and useful.

1) Name tags.

2) Welcome signs.

3) Classroom schedule.

4) Pre-prepared exercises

A Day in The Life of a Vietnamese High School Student.

Here is a video that was made about a day in the life of a Vietnamese High School Student. A lot of ESL teachers will say they hate teaching teenagers. But while teaching teenagers has its own challenges it also provides one of the sweetest emotional rewards. I have seen students at their worst and at their best. During this stage of their lives, they are at their most open and if you can establish a good connection with your students you will have an outstanding year of teaching.

Updating Your Electronics.

If you’re a teacher, you already know what a difference having the appropriate materials and equipment makes. A good laptop is a necessary tool for today’s professionals. Of course, you’ll want to get a good deal on your buy, with an emphasis on the appropriate specs.

You’ll need something that delivers powerful processing performance. Ample storage is important as well, so there’s no concern about storing a multitude of documents and media files. You will also want a robust machine that can take a few knocks as well as something that is covered by a good warranty in case of any misfortune.

I have used a lot of brands and models over the years and because of my role, I continually stay on top of the latest models. These are my current top 5 laptops for price and performance. All these laptops can be had with a price sub $1,000.00.

  • Apple MacBook Air M1: This laptop is one of the best laptops overall, as well as the best MacBook for students. It has a fast and efficient M1 chip, a long battery life, a high-quality display, and a sleek design. It is also compatible with many apps and software that you can use for learning English or Vietnamese. It starts at $999, which is a reasonable price for its value.

  • Dell XPS 13: This laptop is one of the best Windows laptops, as well as one of the best business laptops. It has a powerful performance, a stunning display, a comfortable keyboard, and a durable build. It is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around. It starts at $999, which is a competitive price for its features.
  • Google Pixelbook Go: This laptop is one of the best cheap laptops, as well as one of the best Chromebooks. It has a simple and elegant design, a long battery life, a smooth performance, and a great webcam. It is also ideal for using Google apps and services, such as Google Translate, Google Drive, and Google Classroom. It starts at $649, which is an affordable price for its quality.

  • HP Pavilion Aero 13: This laptop is one of the best laptops on a budget, as well as one of the most popular laptop brands in the U.S.. It has a compact and lightweight design, a fast processor, a decent battery life, and a colorful display. It is also customizable and upgradable, allowing you to choose the specifications that suit your needs. It starts at $630, which is a bargain price for its performance.

Language App.

As well as a decent laptop that can be used by both the teacher and student, I have found that MONDLY is a great app that can be put on your computer and laptop that helps the student with their learning. Click on the MONDLY logo to check this out.

I also have 2 other posts relating to tech tools in the classroom that may help you organize what you need to make life in the classroom easier for you. These are…

And don’t forget the free online tools that we can use as well, here is a link to a list of my top 10 online tools.

  • Online Teachers Tools to make life easier.
  • Final Thoughts.

    After teaching in Vietnam for over 15 years in various schools ranging from Kindergarten to teaching Teachers how to teach English, the one thing that I have learned to be most necessary is to make sure you prepare for each new semester as thoroughly as you would as if it is the first class you have ever taught.

Every student is different and each of them deserves 100% input from you the teacher. The more you involve yourself in the lesson the more personal satisfaction you derive from it.

If you have any questions or feedback I am happy to answer any or all directly or by email.

If you wish to read more about Education in Vietnam you can look at this post from Wikipedia.

“Education in Vietnam”




Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

The Best Free Digital Tools for Teaching English On-Line.

Here are 8 of my best digital tools that I use for teaching on line and in the classroom.

My Best 8 Digital Tools for Teaching English Online.

Teaching English online can be fun and rewarding, but it also requires some planning and preparation. You need to have the right tools to communicate with your students, create engaging materials, and provide feedback.

In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best digital tools for teaching English online that I have used and personally recommend.

There are free options for all of these tools which fits perfectly within my budget but does not provide me with any revenue.

If you see anything on your travels around my website that you think is cool, I would appreciate it if you purchase via me as so far I have kept this site ad free and would like to continue doing that.

Google Meet.

Google Meet is a video conferencing platform that allows you to host live classes with your students. You can share your screen, use captions, chat, and record your sessions. You can also create breakout rooms for group activities and use polls and quizzes to check understanding. Google Meet is free for anyone with a Google account and works on any device.

Most people I know use Skype, but I have always found this to be easier and the free period during covid was 30 minutes longer than Skype. The quality is exceptional and I never had any complaints from my students. I still continue to use Google Meet for my personal life as well as my business and can not fault the service.

Google Docs.

Google Docs is a word processor that lets you create and edit documents online. You can collaborate with your students in real-time, leave comments, and track changes. You can also use Google Docs to create assignments, quizzes, and feedback forms. Google Docs is part of Google Workspace, which also includes other tools like Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Forms.

I run Google Docs from my smartphone (As well as my laptop) and tie it into the books and lessons I am teaching on the day. With most of the tools being Google I find I have little to no problems. It is a no-brainer to use the whole set of Google tools to provide the best experience for your students and to make it easy for yourself.

Yes, there is a bit of learning to do to make sure everything runs seamlessly. But once you have done it a few times you will look like a master and your lessons will run as smoothly as silk.

Google Workspace.

Google Workspace is a suite of cloud-based applications that helps you manage your online teaching business. You can use Gmail to communicate with your students, Google Calendar to schedule your classes, Google Drive to store and share your files, and Google Classroom to organize your courses and assignments. Google Workspace is free for educators and students with a school email address.

Google Jamboard

Google Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that allows you to create interactive lessons with your students. You can draw, write, and add images, stickers, shapes, and text boxes. You can also import slides from Google Slides or PDF files. You can invite your students to join your jam session and collaborate with you on the same board. Google Jamboard is free for anyone with a Google account and works on any device.

Canva.

Canva is a graphic design tool that helps you create beautiful and professional-looking materials for your online classes. You can use Canva to design slides, posters, flyers, worksheets, certificates, logos, and more. You can choose from thousands of templates or create your own from scratch. You can also access millions of images, icons, fonts, and colors. Canva is free for basic features and offers a premium plan for more advanced options.

I use this for so many things, from designing class brochures to templates for advertising on social media. How can this still be free and offer so much? I am embarrassed to the degree I feel like I must upgrade to a paid membership.

There is also a special education offer for teachers and schools. Canva Education…

ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to generate natural and engaging conversations in English. You can use ChatGPT to practice speaking and listening skills with your students or to provide them with extra practice outside of class. You can also customize ChatGPT to suit different levels, topics, and interests. ChatGPT is free for anyone to use and works on any device.

A,I is going to change so much of how things will be done, there is a steep learning curve in front of us all. My other website, which is called AITechWarriors will be helping people stay on top of what is happening in the field of A.I.

Speechnotes

Speechnotes is a speech-to-text tool that converts your voice into text. You can use Speechnotes to dictate your notes, essays, emails, or blog posts. You can also use Speechnotes to transcribe audio or video recordings of your classes or interviews. Speechnotes is fast, accurate, and easy to use. Speechnotes is free for anyone to use and works on any device.

This is a great tool as you can use it to test your students’ pronunciation and vocabulary skills as well as provide obvious benefits for the teacher.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a writing assistant that helps you improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and style. You can use Grammarly to check your writing for errors and suggestions on how to fix them. You can also use Grammarly to set goals for your writing based on your audience, tone, and purpose. Grammarly is free for basic features and offers a premium plan for more advanced options.



The basic version is so good I have never felt the need to upgrade. I am 100% happy with the format and what I can do with it. They have recently added an AI interface which I am playing with and it gives you 100 free “prompts” per month. Along with chatGPT and the other A.I tools, I doubt I will ever get to use the lot.

Quillbot

Quillbot is a paraphrasing tool that helps you rewrite any text in different ways. You can use Quillbot to avoid plagiarism, simplify complex sentences, or generate new ideas for your writing. You can also use Quillbot to change the tone or mood of your text based on different modes like formal, informal, creative, or humorous. Quillbot is free for up to 700 characters per paraphrase and offers a premium plan for unlimited paraphrasing.


This extension is permanently open on my browser and that shows you how often I use it. Being able to paraphrase something quickly is vital for my business, thus the reason I stare at it every day.

Final Thoughts.

These are my 8 favorite online tools for teaching English. There are many ways you can use them and, as is said, you are only limited by your imagination.

For example with “speechnotes” you could use it not just for translating from speech to text but you could use it for testing the vocabulary and pronunciation of your students. How well are they pronouncing that word? Are they stringing sentences together grammatically correctly?

With chatGPT, you can get your students to phrase questions about their favorite topics and see if the answer corresponds with what they thought.

So fire up the thinking cap and use the tools that we have on hand to make our classrooms a lot more fun. And if the above aren’t enough tools for you, here are a few more that I have reviewed and used in the past, and for most still do. Look at my post named “On-Line Teachers Tools to Make Life Easier”. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Steve.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Games for ESL Adults

Classroom Games For ESL Students.

I have written this post as I am continually asked by other teachers what I do to spice up my adult ESL Lessons. And some teachers ask me directly what games can you play with adult students. So let’s dive in and take a look at what I do. 

It can be challenging to incorporate games into an English program for adult learners. Although some students like playing whenever they get the chance, many others don’t want to embarrass themselves in front of their peers or, in their opinion, squander class time. We, as teachers, are tempted to play things safe and stick to more formal language activities since we are sensitive to wasting time.

The issue with that is that you’re passing on a very useful teaching tool. English games are not only a great warm-up exercise, a nice refresher after a period of more intense study, and even a reward once your pupils get to know and love them, but they’re also an excellent way to review recently learned lessons.

The challenge is figuring out how to use them. ESL games for adults should be properly organized, relevant to current class work, and have a clear linguistic aim in mind. In a kids’ class, nearly any game will go over well at any point but we must make sure we select the appropriate games for our adult audience because not all games are made equally.

My Favorite Adult ESL Games.

Here is a list of some of my favorite games for the classroom. They are entertaining and interesting, and they were picked with older students’ needs and sensitivities in mind.

Vocabulary Showcase.

This game involves explaining a word to a teammate without using the word itself. Students must explain the selected word to their teammates. It helps with communication and vocabulary skills.

How To Play The Game.
.
Split the class into two groups. 

To begin the game, Team A will select their first competitor and Team B will do the same.
Student A from Team A should sit facing their team and the same with team b. The sitting team members are not allowed to look at the selected word or turn around and look at the board. 
The teacher starts the clock and writes a vocabulary word on the board. it is recommended to give each word two to three minutes for either team to guess. An egg timer is perfect for this as you don’t have to keep resetting a stopwatch.

As soon as the “timer” starts both teams will try to guess the word written on the board. The first sitting team member from A or B teams who guesses the word will win a point for their team. The person selected to sit will be changed after 5 words each. This should give everyone a chance to be the person in the “hot seat”.

The team that scores the most points wins.

This can get a bit noisy. but is a lot of fun and I recommend it for young adults and teenagers.

How’s Your Thing?

This game involves guessing the name of an object based on a description provided by another student. This helps students practice asking and answering questions using adjectives. 

How To Play The Game?

Once again split the class into two groups and get each team to choose one person who will be the person trying to guess the answer. These people should be replaced every 2nd or 3rd turn giving all the team members a chance in the “hot seat”.

 This game is similar to “Vocabulary Showcase” but instead of trying to guess the word from descriptions the 2 people in the “hot seat” have to guess from questions.

Team A and Team B take turns asking each other about their “thing” without saying what it is.

For example; If the selected word is “WATCH”, a person from Team A may select someone from Team B and ask them “How is your thing?”. Team B may answer “My thing is not working properly as the spring is broken and it is not winding properly” or “My things hands fell off”  The only word they can not say is “WATCH”

Team A and B take turns in asking the questions. Work out before the game who asks the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc questions otherwise, it will slow down the game if you try to do it in an ad-hoc fashion. 

This continues until either of the people in the “hot seat” guesses the word. 

This game generally needs the students to be at least at a pre-intermediate level of English.

Graffiti Me.

I could describe this game to be similar to the board game called “Pictionary.” But the difference is this game involves someone drawing a picture based on a description from another student or the Teacher. Skills involved in this game are for listening and speaking.

How To Play The Game?

My preference is for the teacher to be the facilitator of the game. You can have a pre-drawn picture or draw as you go. For example, I do some pre-teaching before the game and explain “top left-hand corner”, “top right-hand corner” etc, and “middle of the paper” as well as “horizontal” and “verticle”

I then go on to describe my pre-drawn image. You can make the image and describe it depending on the level of the class. One that I do is; 

  • Draw a horizontal line across the middle of the page. 
  • On that horizontal line draw a house with a flat roof, 4 x windows a door, and a chimney.
  • On the left-hand side of the house is a garden with 6 flowers.
  • In the left-hand corner is a plane with 8 windows and 3 birds flying overhead.
  • Etc, etc.

You then get to check the drawings, which are normally hilarious and elicit squeals of laughter. Choose the picture that is most accurate to what you have said. (If you are doing this in teams, award the team the winning persons points)

I find this can be done as a stand-alone activity that if done correctly normally takes 30 minutes from start to finish.

Truth or Dare. 

This is an old favorite that is easy to play and can be a bit more “risque” for mature students. The rules of the game are as follows.

How To Play The Game.

Players take turns asking one another “Truth or dare?” If they choose truth, they have to answer a question of the asker’s choosing. If they choose dare, the asker dares them to do something rather than make a confession. Below are some ideas for “Truth or dare”. You can find many more “Truth or Dare” questions “HERE

Truth.

1. What was your most recent lie?

2. Describe your most embarrassing moment to date.

3. Mention a person you claimed to like but couldn’t stand.

4. Have you ever lied to your wife or husband?

5. have you ever peed in a pool?

Dare.

1. Lick your elbow.

2. Do a 3-minute “plank”

3. Eat a raw egg.

4. Spin around 10 times and try to walk straight.

5. Bark like a dog for 1 minute.

When choosing your “Dare”, make sure you don’t do anything culturally insensitive.

Two Truths and a Lie.

Students can be split into teams and are then asked to write down 2 things that are true about themselves and 1 thing that is a lie.

The students then take turns reciting one of the statements they have written. Their opponent then has to guess whether the statement is a lie or the truth.

I use this game for the weaker students as it is easy to follow and put into practice.

Other Games.

There are many different games you can modify for the classroom from standard games such as “beer pong”, “Countdown”, “Jeopardy” and “Taboo” amongst others. All these games can be used in the Adult classroom with a bit of tweaking. The effort that you put into making your lessons more enjoyable will be rewarded by the students’ happiness in attending your lessons.

Benefits of Using ESL Games for Adults. 

Any educational program benefits from including games in the classroom. Benefits include improved student engagement and novel approaches to engaging all types of learners. 

Along with;

  • Fostering social-emotional learning, activities offer chances to practice critical thinking.
  • A change from the typical language-learning schedule.
  • Encouraging and testing students as they add variety to a session.
  • Through the creation of a believable incentive to use the target language, games also boost motivation.
  • Giving students practice in speaking, writing, listening, and reading as these activities help to establish meaningful contexts for language usage. 
  • They also promote the use of language in a natural and creative way.

Because games are viewed as a “fun activity” you can achieve a lot without the students realizing they are learning at the same time. And a great additional benefit is it helps build rapport with your students, so make an effort and take the time to use games in the adult classroom. Both you and your students will be glad you did. 

Teaching ESL is a great way to see the world. If you want to learn more read my article on “How to be an ESL teacher


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money.  Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How to Use Canva for the ESL Classroom.

Using Canva as a tool to generate enthusiasm in your classroom should not be overlooked as it is a powerful and helpful suite of products.

Who is Canva?

Canva, an Australian business with a global reach, was established in 2013. Now, it has offices in Beijing, Manila, and Sydney.

To enable everyone worldwide to design anything and publish anywhere, Canva is an online design and publishing platform. It is used to make presentations, social media graphics, and more. The app offers users pre-made templates and all the tools necessary to create their original creations. Undoubtedly, Canva is my go-to tool for all my graphic design needs.

Canva in the Classroom.

You can design and customize lesson plans, infographics, posters, videos, and more using Canva, a platform for visual communication and collaboration. Canva may be used in various ways to teach English in your classroom. Here are some recommendations based on the results of your web search.

Getting started Canva for Education.

Canva provides a lot of training tools for all the areas it covers.

Register for Education Uses.

Teachers and students at qualified schools can register for Canva for Education, which is a free tool. To access services like LMS integrations (Learning Management Systems), the sharing of work and assignments with students, thousands of top-notch educational templates, and more, you can become verified at Canva.

For your upcoming lesson, presentation, or task for class, you can select from a collection of ready-to-use templates. Also, you can design your templates or edit pre-existing ones to fit your requirements.

You can sign up as an educator through this link. “Register here

Create and Communicate.

You can create and communicate in any format, including documents, presentations, videos, websites, and whiteboards, by using Canva’s visual work suite. Canva’s photo and video editor can improve your photos and videos. As the old saying goes, you are limited only by your imagination. I have been using Canva for 2 years and the more I use it, the more things I find I can use on it.

And, you can collaborate with other teachers and students using Canva’s team features. All while inviting others to join your team, share your designs, comment and give feedback, and edit together in real time.

To connect with other educators who use Canva, join the Canva Teachers Community on Facebook. You can also become an education creator and create and publish your resources on Canva.

Sharing Your Designs.

You may share your creations with your pupils in various ways on Canva. Here are some options for sharing.

Your creations can be shared by links from the editor or the main page. You have the option of selecting the recipients of your sharing as well as the types of permissions you wish to grant, such as the ability to view, modify, or comment. Also, you can use a template link, watch link or view-only link. You can view and adjust permissions via the settings button as shown below.

You can also find more about sharing via email here and Canva’s team features. You can email your designs to particular recipients. You can type in your students’ email addresses and select whether to grant view-only, edit-only, or comment-only access.

Your designs can be exported, and then you can add them to a Google Classroom assignment. When you click the Export option, you can select whether you want to export your designs as an image or a PDF.

When you click the Export option, you can select whether you want to export your designs as an image or a PDF. Using Canva’s team capabilities is a great way to teach and learn together. You can ask your pupils to join your team so that you can collaborate on real-time editing while sharing your designs and receiving comments from them.

Instill Best Practices with your Students.

Here are some bullet points of how I use Canva.

  • You can use Canva to help your students visualize and communicate their ideas and solutions.
  • Design your lesson plan with Canva. You can use Canva to create and personalize your lesson plans, infographics, posters, videos, and more.
  • Discover other educators’ lesson plans on Canva. You can find lesson plans written by other educators on Canva’s Teaching Materials page. You can browse by subject, grade level, or topic. You can also use them as inspiration or customize them to suit your needs.
  • Use Canva to help your students create learning portfolios that showcase their work and progress throughout the year. You can also use them as a revision and review tool.
  • Create presentations and videos with Canva. You can use Canva to create engaging and interactive presentations and videos for your lessons or assignments.
  • Build a brand for your classroom with Canva. You can use Canva to create a consistent and professional look for your classroom materials and communications.
  • Make group projects more appealing with Canva. You can use Canva to make group projects more fun and collaborative for your students.
  • Use Canva for setting up remote learning.

Final Thoughts.

There are so many tools you can use from Canva that it will “blow your mind” As teachers, we are always looking for new ways to engage with our students, and with a bit of preparation, you can make your lessons a lot more fun and interesting.

I would love to hear if you have been using Canva. Either as a teacher or for your business or even for fun.

Stephen.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Chat GPT for Educators.

What is Chat GPT?

A recent advancement in artificial intelligence called Chat GPT enables computers to comprehend and reply to input in natural language. It was developed by San Francisco-based OpenAI, a startup with close ties to Microsoft.

This technology represents a substantial advancement in artificial intelligence and is based on the most recent developments in language processing and machine learning. Deep learning is used by Chat GPT to analyze data from different sources, then use that information to provide answers to any questions being asked. Then, as you wait for your question, it will search its database and reply in microseconds to what is being asked.


What is Deep learning?


Where can It Be Used?

Customer service, sales, marketing assistance, human resources, legal, and government, are just some of the things it can be used for. It can be used wherever natural language is required, such as in chatbots and virtual assistants.

This technology will change the way we interact with computers, and it is a major advance in artificial intelligence.

How Much is Chat GPT?

Currently, Chat GPT is free. And for something that Elon Musk says is “scary Good”, how can that be?

ChatGPT had more than 1 million users in the first five days of its launch, according to OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman. And ChatGPT is the fastest-growing app in the whole world, said Swiss bank UBS. About two months after its debut, UBS analysis predicted ChatGPT would have 100 million active users by January (It was right). It is also attracting 96 million new visitors a month and its revenue is expected to hit 1 billion dollars by the end of 2024. Source. Gitnux, Chat GPT statistics.

Comparatively, TikTok reached 100 million users in nine months. Do you think with a customer base like that, it will remain free? The computer costs alone must be astronomical and I can’t see any business that could continue to absorb those costs.

Monetization.

Open AI’s Sam Altman admitted that will eventually need to be monetized because of its “eye-watering” compute costs, Musk was informed that the average cost of each response was in the “single-digits cents”. With 100 million users asking multiple questions even single-digit cents will be adding up.

Can Chat GPT help Educators?

As teachers, we must be asking ourselves the question “Can we ethically use Chat GPT in the classroom or even outside the classroom in pursuit of school business? can we use it for writing tests, or even putting together lesson plans or sample “papers” for the classroom, or even for marking tests. let us first look at what can be done before we discuss the moral and ethical implications of Chat GPT or any of the other A.I. programs out there.

What AI Programs are in the Market Now?

1. VoicePen AI: Convert audio content into blog posts, using AI.

https://voicepen.ai

2. Krisp: AI tool for removing background voices, noises, and echoes from calls.

https://krisp.ai/

3. Beatoven: AI tool for creating custom royalty-free music.

https://www.beatoven.ai/

4. Cleanvoice: AI tool for automatically editing podcast episodes.

https://cleanvoice.ai/

5. Podcastle: AI tool for studio-quality recording from your computer.

https://podcastle.ai/

6. Vidyo: AI tool for making short-form videos from long-form content.

https://vidyo.ai/

7. Maverick: AI tool for generating personalized videos at scale.

https://lnkd.in/eptCVijb

8. Soundraw: AI tool for creating original music.

https://soundraw.io/

9. Otter: AI tool for capturing and sharing insights from meetings.

https://otter.ai/

Copy and Content AI Tools:

—————————

1. Copy: AI tool for generating copy that increases conversions.

https://www.copy.ai/

2. CopyMonkey: AI tool for creating Amazon listings in seconds.

http://copymonkey.ai/

3. Ocoya: AI tool for creating and scheduling social media content.

https://www.ocoya.com/

4. Unbounce Smart Copy: AI tool for writing high-performing cold emails at scale.

https://unbounce.com/

5. Puzzle: AI tool for building a knowledge base for your team and customers.

https://www.puzzlelabs.ai/

And these are just a few of them, there are a lot more out there. And as sure as eggs our students will know a lot more than we do.

How can We Use AI in the Classroom?

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) is one of the most recent changes we’ve observed in the educational system, and it has many people concerned about the potential consequences it may have. But it will never fully replace human instructors, AI supposedly has a lot to offer in the classroom.

They have already deployed “Robot Teachers” to varied degrees of success in some places in China where they are unable to send foreign teachers (mostly due to remoteness).

Source: The Daily Mail 2019 I can almost hear the Robot teachers saying, Dr Who like, exterminate, exterminate.

What areas could we effectively use AI in the classroom?

Teaching, and teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) needs to have a human in the classroom. I have yet to come across any AI that can understand sarcasm or when describing a new word be able to articulate via body language. Also picking up different nuances in the accent requires a human ear and an electronic ear, in my books, doesn’t cut it. Not yet anyway.

The Cons of Chat GPT.

One thing we must remember is Chat GPT only has an accuracy of 85% +. And while that may be good enough for most other things, it is not good enough for marking, tutoring or any other teaching activity. But if you can build those parameters into what you are doing and still manage the results effectively then it may be a useful tool.:

Source. Gitnux Chat GPT important statistics

It’s also critical to be aware that Chat GPT is still in beta format. The website clearly states that it may yield misleading information, including outright false information. Some have discovered that, when specifically prompted, it can also produce biased and discriminatory information.

Marking or Grading.

Scantron testing and computer tests have both been used for electronic grading for many years. As AI develops, teachers may be able to delegate all assignment marking to an AI, freeing up their time to spend more time with each student individually and adapt the curriculum to fit the needs of each class.

Additional cons apart from the 85% accuracy are the need for constant internet supply and the cost. So why do it? The time saved is immensely powerful. The amount of work teachers are expected to do just keeps increasing and if we can find anything to streamline our workflow, don’t get in my way.

Tutoring.

Tutors are crucial because teachers can’t be with their pupils at all times. Some students merely require a little bit more assistance with a certain subject. Going to a tutoring lesson might be unsettling for shy students rather than meeting with a tutor. Students who struggle with social or academic anxiety may find that working with an AI tutor gives them the support and self-assurance they need to thrive in school.

Helping Students Write.

Along with Chat GPT, you also have tools like Quillbot and Grammarly. Quillbot and Grammarly have slightly different ways of doing fairly similar things. Namely, they will check the spelling, grammar, and word order of what you have written. There are both free versions and paid versions. For students, especially ESL students, the non-paid version is quite ok.

And Chat GPT and a lot of other AI writing apps may help by prompting the student with appropriate headings for the student to add extra text or information. While Chat GPT and tools like Rytr make it easier to write content, it leaves itself open for blatant copying. Not plagiarism but copying straight from what the AI writes.

This is the part of AI that scares me the most. While trying to help the students we may inadvertently end up with a generation who can not write a story without help from AI.

In Ryters own words, “Generate killer content, effortlessly. Never face writer’s block again. From blogs to emails to ad copies, auto-generate catchy, original, and high-converting copies in popular tones & languages in just a few seconds. Just pick a use case, enter some context, and boom…your copy is ready.” Source Ryter.

Lesson Plans.

Writing lesson plans eventually becomes a chore. After your 3rd or 4th year, let alone 15, lesson plans can become a certain type of hell that only teachers understand. How can you say the same thing but differently after your 6th thousand lesson plan?

This is where Chat GPT comes in handy. Simply enter a topic or subject matter, and the chatbot will produce a list of related terms, ideas, and illustrations that you can use in your lesson plans. or perhaps even write your lesson plans for you. This is one I feel no qualms about using at all.

Personal Development.

Another use of Chat GPT I have no qualms about using is personal development. You can type into Chat GPT areas you believe would help you become a better teacher and see what ideas it comes up with.

To assist in enhancing teaching abilities, it may offer pertinent articles, videos, and other resources once you have typed in certain topics that are areas of interest..

Moral and Ethical Implications of Using Chat GPT.

As a teacher, the major ethical worry I have is the potential misuse by the students. Rather than just using it to improve grammar or check vocabulary the students may get the AI to write the whole essay. And if there is any problem with the training or input of the AI that will reflect in the final written paper.

Or in AI speak, the output of Chat GPT depends on the input is a key ethical issue. The output will be tainted if there are any issues with the input. For instance, if there is prejudice surrounding the input based on race, sexual orientation, or age, that will show in the final draft.

Results from this may be unjust and misleading, especially for underprivileged groups. In order to counteract prejudice and guarantee fair and accurate results, it is essential to have a broad and representative dataset in the first place.

Final Thoughts.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that ChatGPT is a bot, therefore you shouldn’t rely on it blindly. While depending on the chatbot’s recommendations, it’s crucial to exercise caution and apply your own discretion.

I suggest taking the chatbot’s responses as a model or guideline for all the things I listed above, then personalizing them for your needs and target audience by including your own thoughts and quirks. By doing this, you may avoid sounding robotic or generic and instead produce material that is more engaging and authentic.

Ultimately, using ChatGPT as a resource can be a great way to learn and get inspired, but it’s vital to keep in mind that the content will only be genuinely yours if you utilize your own imagination and judgment.

Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you, and you could actually save money.  Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

 

 

 

 

Teaching in Vietnam with a Colostomy Bag.

Funny but Freaky.

About 11 years ago I had a bowel cancer problem and ended up with a colostomy bag.

And I want to tell you a funny story that happened to me when I went back to teaching in a Vietnamese primary school.

A Big Stomach.

It all started with me being “blocked-up”. I couldn’t pass anything in the “nether regions”. And I just thought, “ah well, living in Vietnam I am accustomed to this happening”. But after 5 days I started getting a bit worried. Day 7 and my stomach had swelled up like a balloon. It was rock hard and no amount of water or laxatives would get things moving.

My wife eventually got me to go to hospital and after an x-ray or several the doctors told me I had cancer of the bowel. They also told me they needed to operate immediately. To say I was “freaked out” is to put it mildly. The same day they operated on me and after a 12-hour operation I woke up. More stories about this part later, and yes we get to the truly disgusting and funny parts soon.

Back to Teaching English.

After 2 to 3 months off recovering the wallet told me I had to get back to work. All good except I had a colostomy bag that I had to carry around for another month while my “insides” were recovering.

At this stage I was working in a primary school teaching English to kids from 6 to 12 years of age in Ho Chi Minh City. Young kids and a teacher with a colostomy bag, no problems right? It was an accident waiting to happen and it ended in a veritable “shite storm”.

Same Same, but Different.

I had been back teaching and things had been going well. Just another day teaching truly great kids. I had no mishaps and I always had a spare set of clothes “just in case”. And little did I know it, but on this day I was definitely going to need them (and then some).

All the teachers knew I was wearing a colostomy bag and so did the children. An announcement at one assembly by the Principal saying “Mr Stephen had a “Tui Colostomy” and please do not bump into him or hug him. This announcement was made at the start of my return to work and “today” as I found out, it would be forgotten.

My morning classes of the day had gone well and it was a beautiful hot day. It ended up being lucky that it was a hot day as I was going to need that fast drying time. I was walking down the outside balcony on the way to the staff room for a coffee.

No Coffee Today.

There would be no coffee that morning for me. I was walking and talking with my T.A. (teachers assistant) when a young student of about 6 years old rushed up to me and gave me big hug. Vietnamese kids are really nice and this was a good student from one of my classes. However, you can imagine a 6-year-old kid and a colostomy bag come in around the same height and I knew the “proverbial” was about to hit the fan.

I looked down and was surprised that everything looked ok. I should have known better. One whiff and I knew we had a leak, the ship was going down. I excused myself to the TA and grabbed my bag and took off to the nearest bathroom. Luckily for me, these toilets had a shower, I didn’t know it yet, but I was going to need them.

A Veritable Shite Storm.

I got to the bathroom intact and started to strip down. By the time I got into the cubicle, I knew it was going to be bad because the smell had ramped up to level 9. I got to the bag and as soon as I touched it the bloody thing exploded. You might think these things can’t explode, and I never thought before then they could either. But I was dealing with a shite bomb and when I say it exploded, it went everywhere.

The bag had been full and when it went “off” it hit the roof, covered the walls, and splashed all over the floor. It could not have been worse. Luckily there was no one else in the toilets. Or if there were they must have quickly left because of the stench. It was like “Dantes inferno”, fecal matter was dripping from the ceiling and the walls looked like they had been smeared with old rotten cabbage and I can’t even describe the floor.

Thank god my spare clothes were in a plastic bag.

It Could Only Get Worse.

I very quickly grabbed my stuff and moved into the shower and washed me, my bag, and my first outfit. I also always carried spare colostomy bags, tape, etc, and for everything squared away. Twenty minutes and I started feeling I had pulled it off and could flee the scene of the crime unscathed and uncaught.

In hindsight, I should have just stuffed everything into my bag and run. However, I thought I would drape my clothes in the sun for 10 minutes and partially dry them off. Bad move.

The Cleaning Lady

I knew I had made a mistake as soon as I saw the cleaning lady head into the toilets. It was impossible to clean my cubicle and it was still in the same state as when I left it when the cleaning lady headed in. OMG.

She had seen me draping my clothes on the balcony and you didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out what had happened. I had never seen a Vietnamese person turn white before today. She came out after about 3 seconds and just looked at me, shook her head and fled. I believe she never came back and I guess she had some burning questions that would never be answered. Or at least not by me as I fled the scene of the crime too and luckily had finished teaching for the day.

Life as Usual

I did go back to the school the next day and nothing was ever said to me about it. It is times like this you have to admire the politeness of the Vietnamese people. But I did get the odd funny look and none of the Vietnamese teachers sat next to me for a couple of weeks. Just in case I guess.

When you come to Vietnam to work you will acquire your own “funny” life stories, however, I truly hope this never happens to you.

Stephen


Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

English Language Centers Facing Shortages | Editorial.

Vietnams English industry is suffering from lack of good teachers and poor administration.

Why Do Some Centers have Staff Shortages?

You could be forgiven for thinking that in Vietnam we are still in the throws of lockdown because of the lack of ESL teachers in language centers. Surely they didn’t all pack up and went home during the pandemic?

Some independent education experts speculated that the recent problem affecting English language schools in Vietnam may be caused by the institutions’ delayed response to changes in the preferred teaching strategies of today’s students.

Independent specialists debated that while modern trends in foreign language learning are growing both in Vietnam and around the world, many Vietnamese English language centers appear to have fallen behind because they cannot adapt to the new waves of change.

Higher Costs Hitting Home.

The Apax Leaders affair, ( They were once well respected and have been around for roughly five years), is one of the most recent scandals involving an English language school.

The current situation highlights a number of issues that many other English-speaking locations are facing in the post-pandemic age. That is higher costs, especially office rent, and little increase in tuition fees from the students and parents.

A center’s rent could be hundreds of millions of dong (100 million dong is approximately $4,200 US), and the majority of landlords are unwilling to lower their rate. Also, the global market is searching for native foreign English teachers, but they are hard to come by as many have gone home during the pandemic and found other jobs. Money Conversion by “XE-Money Converter

Language School Closures.

Overall I would estimate that between 40% to 60 % of language schools have either closed or dramatically reduced their size. Many have stopped renting high-priced offices and moved to cheaper ones. They also used smaller spaces instead of large properties to save money. A lot of this happened while still passing on the higher charges in fees, understandably illegal.

Some companies share their offices with partners. They keep only some parts for teaching and sublet the rest for purposes other than teaching, although this is also not allowed by law.

Additionally, many married immigrants have established “schools” inside their homes that can significantly undercut such businesses with higher prices.

While other schools, like Apax, are allegedly going through “re-opening procedures,” it is unclear whether they will actually reopen. Will it be another case of “take the money and run”?

A Shortage Of Qualified English Teachers.

I have been living and working in Vietnam as an EFL teacher for the last 15 years and I have never seen it this bad before. The pandemic drove people out of the country and the non-slackening of visa or immigration rules has made Vietnam to be a less friendly entry point than some other countries.

Add to that the closures and fly-by-night practices of some schools and you have severely dented the reputation of many language schools in Vietnam.

There are a lot of online communities and Facebook groups that have seen continued publishing of unfulfilled jobs. This has led a lot of the English Centers to lower their standards and accept people with rudimentary English language skills. It is almost like stepping back 15 years to the less controlled environment that was still current then.

It is common to see 20 or 30 jobs for a teacher that can’t be filled. The English teachers who remain get bombarded with calls and offers to teach. At one stage I was getting 10 calls a week for different job offers. however, the offers all tend to be around the same hourly rate, more than likely due to the points raised here.

It’s Time to Relax Administrative procedures.

The need for foreign teachers has grown in the post-pandemic era in line with the rise in student enrollment, although there are significant administrative roadblocks.

Obtaining a work permit for a foreign national is currently quite challenging. This makes it difficult for many language schools to afford to hire enough foreign instructors. And the teachers that are coming through are from countries that were not in favor (For English Teachers) before. Like the Philippines and South Africa.

Regarding this situation, authorities should adopt flexible policies and expedite procedures. In this way, the teacher shortage issue might be quickly resolved.

Money or Education.

Vietnamese language schools frequently place more of an emphasis on business than on education. Quite frequently, I would witness parents barging into the centers and lamenting the abject failure of their child’s external exam. A consequence of the school’s policy of forcing students—whether or not they are prepared—through “the system.”

They 9The schools) simply want to increase the number of centers as soon as possible to achieve expansion. They spend money on marketing and increasing sales to attract as many learners as possible. The parents don’t see the rows of telemarketers calling potential students.

For most Vietnamese, if a school looks good with nice chairs, televisions, and all the latest equipment, it must be good. They don’t necessarily see the poor quality of the teachers behind the scenes.

Additionally, they open additional locations with the majority of their earnings. Therefore, it is uncertain whether they have qualified teachers, the ability to provide services, and the financial management skills to effectively manage for the future.

The Need for Change.

After the epidemic, learning habits shifted globally and in Vietnam, but many Vietnamese English centers do not appear to be adjusting to these changes.

Modern students do not fit the mold of traditional classes held in large, spacious venues.

These conventional approaches are too expensive, and the benefits they provide are not adequate compensation. According to what I have observed, this has caused a significant disparity between the investment and the enrollment of students during the post-pandemic period.

During the coronavirus epidemic, many students discovered the possibility to learn online and stopped attending traditional classes. And it was successful because it cut down on the students’ typically time-constrained commute time.

Final Thoughts.

For students of all ages, online courses have been made available in Vietnam by a number of significant English education providers, including the British Council and others.

Centers can choose how many online and offline units to offer based on the time that classes are offered, but they cannot continue to offer entirely offline courses as they do at the moment. With the combination of teachings, the schools will be able to return to the right side of the ledger book and, ideally, prioritize student instruction over monetary gains.

For English centers, it is now vital to integrate online and offline courses since otherwise, failing schools will keep opening and shutting all the time.

For more editorial content read “Marty Hoares” ” Vietnams ESL Sector, a Series of Disappointments


Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How to be an ESL Teacher.

This will give you some things to think about if you want to become an ESL teacher.

So You Want To Be an ESL Teacher.

This is not the sort of career that you sit down when you are 12 o 13 and think, wow, I want to be an ESL teacher. But for whatever reason you have chosen to be an ESL teacher, this will show you how it can be done.

There are a few different ways you can become an ESL teacher as not all schools and not all countries demand that you have a University degree. And even those that require a degree can be pretty flexible in their approach to what degree is relevant. I have seen people with degrees in non-related topics that are accepted for a teaching job.

However, I will give you what is considered by most countries as needed for this position. And I will also show some alternatives to the traditional approach.

What is The Job About?

Being an ESL or EFL teacher can be an immensely satisfying job, but don’t expect the salary to be extraordinary. ( I will talk more about salaries soon.) ESL or English as a Second Language or EFL, or English as a Foreign Language are the acronyms you will become most used to seeing.

Teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) assist non-native English speakers in learning to speak, read, understand, and write the language. They may work at language academies, public or private schools, or out of their homes or the homes of their students, giving private lessons.

ESL Teachers Responsibilities.

The objective of an ESL instructor is to instruct and guide pupils who are learning English as a second language. ESL instructors frequently employ a real-world setting to help their students better understand the language’s intricacies. When interacting with pupils from other cultures.

ESL teachers need to be flexible, inventive, and attentive to the expected cultural variations. Teachers of English as a second language frequently serve as mentors, counselors, and liaisons for families and students who are just settling into a new location.

All grade levels (K–12) of students may be served by ESL teachers in the public school system. They frequently remove ESL students from the regular classroom and place them in a separate space where they can work with them in small groups or one-on-one to develop their English abilities. These small groups may include English language learners of various ages and grade levels who all require assistance with their language skills, depending on the size of the school.

This does not always happen. I have been in classes with 50 students that learn on a regular basis with limited resources. If nothing else, ESL teachers need to be flexible and able to think on their feet. It can be one of the most mentally challenging jobs out there. But when you have had a great day, you will feel like a “rock n roll” star.

But do not think all students who wish to learn English as a second language are K-12 or learn only through a private schooling system. As different as the student and their needs are, there are different ways to teach the student for their skill levels and age.

Who Will You Be Teaching?

One, amongst many, things I enjoy about teaching ESL is that after a while you can have a better choice of who you wish to teach. Depending on which schooling system and country you teach in will determine who you teach.

Let’s look at a few alternatives. First, if you are teaching in a public school system for children you can expect to be teaching K-12 and everything that comes with it. The good and the not-so-good, depending on your outlook. Teaching younger children can be extremely rewarding but should be mixed up with games and a lesson plan that takes into account a reduced attention span for learning. Read more about “How to teach ESL to Kids

If you are teaching older children or teenagers in the public school system your approach will be different again. And you will also have a different curriculum if you are teaching in an academy. But teenagers need to be taught differently from children and adults. You can read more here. “How to Teach ESL To Teenagers”

And, age group-wise, adults will normally be taught in a private school or a private lesson situation. Some companies will also arrange for lessons to be conducted in-house or at a place that is suitable for everyone. I have even rented out rooms in coffee shops that can be used as a temporary classroom. You can read more about teaching adults here at “How to teach ESL to Adults.”

While you can change throughout your career as an ESL teacher, it is a lot better if you choose the age groups that you wish to teach first. But try a few lessons with each age group first. Because what you believe may happen in the classroom is probably different from what you will experience. Remember, a good teacher is a happy teacher.

What Qualifications Do You Need?

The 1990s and thereabouts have gone and so has the more laid-back approach to teaching ESL and EFL. In the days when you could jump off a plane in a foreign country, like Thailand or Vietnam, and start teaching English the following week have long gone.

These days most countries have a more stringent approach. But there are still some places that are open to a less rigorous educational background. Some of the Asian destinations are prime examples.

Ideally, you will have a 4-year bachelor’s degree that is teaching or linguistic focused. When you start applying for positions make sure you have transcripted copies of your degree ( and your other paperwork) as you do not wish to hand over any originals.

On top of your degree, you will need an English Teacher license. You will find most Universities are more than willing to provide a course that will give you an English teacher’s License. At the end of the day, employers will not differentiate between a university or private course.

Udemy, as per my side banner, provides TEFL teacher training courses. You can also find a little more information here in my post “ESL Teacher Training”

The advice I would give here is to look online at the country you have chosen to teach in and see what teacher training is offered. Only because most teacher training schools will have contacts with schools within their own country that may make getting a job easier and quicker

What can I make?

Most information as soon as it is posted is out of date. And when it comes to salaries it is, in my opinion, doubly so. However, I have used some information provided by The International TEFL academy to give you a quick rule of thumb.

I have been teaching in Vietnam now for 15 years and have 2 English schools. I have worked in private companies and public schools and have taught all levels of students.


Source; International TEFL Academy.

The amount that is shown here is an indication only of what you can make. If you are ambitious and have a passion for teaching your business will be exponentially better than the figures shown. Likewise, if you hate teaching and do minimum work your salary may be less. You can find more salary information here about “ESL salaries

Final Thoughts.

Teaching English overseas is a truly wonderful way to see the world and find out what people are like in their own country. The job itself is both challenging and rewarding. Without trying to sound cliched, you will be pulling your hair out one day and cursing your choice of jobs. The next day when things click you will feel like that rock star I talked about before.

Yes, you can make a great living if you are prepared to adjust to a different lifestyle and work while others are partying. And you will meet some great people. Teaching EFL in another country may mean that your new friends come and go. A lot of teachers use teaching EFL as a passport to travel the world, so while you meet a lot of new people, old friends become scarcer and scarcer.

In my opinion, the lifestyle of an ESL teacher is extremely rewarding and the positive input that you give to your students’ lives is second to none.

Stephen.


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