ELT Experiences

Experiences for English Language Teaching

By - Martin Sketchley

Five Tips for Securing Professional EFL Employment Abroad


For many newly certified teachers, August signals the end of the Summer School in the UK for many, with thoughts obviously moving towards other opportunities post-summer. The questions arises: “What next after the Summer School?”. There are essentially two opportunities offered for newly certified EFL teachers, after the busy summer months. Either you continue to pick up work wherever you are based in the UK or you consider teaching abroad. Teaching EFL abroad offers additional opportunities such as continuing professional development, learning more about a particular as well as earning an income other than just the summer months.

In this blog post, we are looking at five tips for securing professional EFL employment abroad and things to consider when apply for EFL teaching jobs in another country.

By - Martin Sketchley

Ten Qualities of a Good EFL Teacher

Ten Qualities of a Good EFL Teacher

The best EFL teachers are not born but are made. While an innate interest in teaching is required, I have realized over the course of my education and my teaching career that to stay on top of the game, we EFL teachers must always be learning. We cannot afford to lose focus on the qualities we need to practice, the knowledge that we need to acquire, and the learners we need to keep up with. Teaching is far from being a passive role: a professional teacher is always active and observant, even when they are not teaching.

There are some qualities that make a good EFL teacher. Being aware of these qualities, and more importantly, working at it, can turn a competent teacher into a brilliant one! Based on my experience and my interactions with fellow EFL teachers I have narrowed these down to ten.

By - Martin Sketchley

Five Ways to Use Buzzers in Class


I have been involved with teacher training for over 5 years now and I had the opportunity, last week, to observe a fellow colleague for the first time since he joined us for the summer. The teacher had previous experience in Vietnam and had been teaching there for many years and has just returned back to England for a short period. Anyhow, there were a few nice ideas which I have now decided to borrow/steal/use next time that I am in class. The biggest thing that I first saw in the classroom was the use of buzzers. You know the buzzers from game shows. You press them and it creates a sound, lighting up. From this observation last week, I have been thinking of creative ways to use buzzers in class and I have suggested five teaching ideas for class.

By - Martin Sketchley

10 Ideas to Use Songs in Class

Earlier yesterday, I observed a lesson which revolved around the worksheet on The Food Blues: BusyTeacher, that also included a song. I believe there is a lot more you can actually do with songs in class, as well as exploiting the resource and make it more engaging. It is a great resource and what the teacher actually did in the lead up to the listening task was wonderful but there are still a few things that you can exploit from the worksheet. This blog post looks at 10 practical ideas of using songs in class.

By - Martin Sketchley

“Wacky Races” Lesson Plan

I few months ago, I was sitting with my Director of Studies and some teachers and we were discussing of ways to engage some Colombian young learners with material in relation to cars. One idea that was thought up was the old TV series, “Wacky Races”. I sat down for a half a week and created a lesson around this TV series. If you have never watched “Wacky Races” before, I would definitely recommend watching the following clip below. It is funny to know that the TV series was first shown on TV in 1968. Some of the best TV series never get old.

By - Martin Sketchley

10 Tips for Teaching Young Learners

When teachers complete their CELTA (or equivalent course), they are more than likely going to be teaching young learners. Something which is not necessarily covered in great detail during their course. You are expected to teach young learners of any age – and I have written a blog post about teaching primary aged learners – I hope this post is more focused on the teaching of learners which are from the ages of 10 years or above. I personally remember completing the CELTA course, only to return to teaching young learners.  Much of what I learnt teaching young learners was through personal experience in the classroom and chatting to other young learner teachers. However, it can be quite daunting for any newly certified teacher to enter a YL class and expect to teach. Hopefully, this post will give teachers – no matter their experience – ten practical ideas to develop confidence when entering a young learner class.

By - Martin Sketchley

Teacher Resources: Phrasal Verb Videos

phrasal verbs
Phrasal Verb image from My English Pages

It has been a cold start to the year in the UK, especially here in the South East. A few weeks ago, we had snow on two separate occasions – which was a pleasant surprise. Anyhow, I thought I would write a new blog post with some videos that were shared with me and what I think would benefit the English language classroom.

These short videos are both comical and have a phrasal verb focus. For example, the first part of the phrasal verb video, by Phrasal Verbs Friends, looks at the different meanings of the word “take out”. The second video in this series looks at the different meanings of “get over”, while the final video looks at the meanings of “set up”. All phrasal verbs placed into a context and situation within a dialogue and then the meanings are given within the videos themselves.

By - Martin Sketchley

Top Ten Lesson Ideas for QR Codes

Notes that I kept from my previous blog post on QR Codes
Notes from 2 years ago with my original blog post about QR Codes. Glad I kept them.

I wrote this post two years ago but unfortunately it was removed without me knowing. I am assuming it was related to my transfer from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. However, I thought I would rewrite this popular blog post and offer English teachers some ideas about how to incorporate QR Codes into lessons.

If you are unsure what a QR Code is, don’t worry. A QR Code, also known as a Quick Response Code, is essentially a two dimensional barcode which can be used by mobile devices (such as smartphones or tablets) to link to websites, embed text within them or even include MP3 files within the QR Code itself. However, you may be asking how to create a code. Not to worry, I have a tutorial below to help.

By - Martin Sketchley

Top Ten Tips for Teaching English to Primary Learners

A few weeks ago, I was honoured to teach a group of Chinese primary learners (aged between 4 and 8 years of age) for the first time in a long time. The last time that I had taught primary-aged English language learners was in my initial few years of teaching in South Korea. However, it was a rewarding and highly motivating group of learners to teach. Fortunately, I had a chance to reflect much of my knowledge and awareness of primary learners from a Young Learner Extension Certificate which I undertook a number of years ago. With much reflection and consideration, I have now thought of my top ten tips for teaching primary learners.

By - Martin Sketchley

Top Five Tips to Start Online ESL Teaching

Online English teaching is becoming more and more popular with many students and teachers communicating and learning through the medium of technology. It is now a growing business with many teachers opting to teach online. I have been teaching English for over a year now with one organisation and usually teach at the weekend. It is different to teaching in the classroom and there is greater flexibility for teachers as well as students. If you want to consider a career teaching English to students then there are some great opportunities available. In this blog post, Daniel offers readers five important tips to consider when starting your online ESL teacher career.