22 July 2008

Independent's Day

Ever thought about striking out on your own?

* What are the advantages and disadvantages of being independent?
* How do I go about it?
* When do I write to URSSAF?
* How much does it cost to start my own independent teaching service?
* I don't know anything about accounting, can I still do it?
* What are the alternatives?

Bethany Cagnol will share her experience with us in what promises to be a very informative and lively discussion.

Saturday, October 25th 2008
Université de Grenoble
This workshop is free to all TESOL France members.

Here's a little preview:

Working under a CDD / CDII contract and being an independent are already very similar. Here's why:
*We are used to fluctuating salaries;
*We are used to looking for that next 20- to 40-hour gig;
*We are familiar with fluctuating demand;
*We are used to juggling different timetables;
*We are natural multi-taskers;
*We, who are foreigners, know the joy of dealing with the French administration;
*We have job security through endless teaching opportunities;
*If you are good, word gets out.

What does it take to be independent?
* Patience * Meticulous Organization * Creativity * Tough gut
* Determination * Functional French * Pride + Ego * Humbleness
* If applicable, a supportive spouse, ideally French speaking

For those of you who are already independent: Do you agree with the above?
We also want to hear from those of you who have ever thought about striking out on your own.

21 July 2008

Teaching Tips: You Tube

Today's Teaching Tip is about a resource everyone has heard of but maybe haven't explored its full teaching potential: the truly amazing 'You Tube'.

There are at least a couple of reasons to call You Tube 'truly amazing'.

One is that many many people use this site every day, probably including quite a few of your own students. So it is something they will already familiar with and also very positive about. It's a really popular, fun site.

The second reason is that it's a limitless source of original and sometimes incredible visual and audio English language content which cannot be found anywhere else.

The age, personality and needs of your students will determine exactly what sort of videos will be most suitable.

I've used music videos with adolescents, car adverts with the boss of the same car company, instructional videos on giving Powerpoint presentations with managers and very short (30 seconds to 2 minutes) humorous videos with practically everyone.

Here's an example of the latter which was very popular at my recend Best of BESIG talk:

I send out links to these sort of videos regularly in my teaching e-mails (subscribe here) along with a series of three questions which students have to answer when watching, which can be as easy or as difficult as you like, for example:

a) What colour is Some Grey Bloke? (easy)
b) What's the 'punch line'? (more difficult)
c) Is Some Grey Bloke a good joke-teller? (why/why not - discussion point)

I give the answers in the next e-mail along with a new video quiz.

Have fun using You Tube with your students and do send in your questions or suggestions by using the 'Comments' link below.


20 July 2008

Proceedings from The Great Debate

Hi, Laurence here.

You may remember that on March 29th TESOL France hosted a debate on the CAPES and Agrégation. It was very well attended and certainly generated some lively debate!

The Proceedings are now available on the main website, so if you weren't able to attend, you can see what was said by going here, then clicking on the link to download the proceedings. It's a PDF document, so you'll need Acrobat Reader to see it.

Teaching Tips: Site Pal

Hello Again,

I've had many requests for the web addresses of the interesting resources I mentioned during my talk at the TESOL France - Best of BESIG day back in June.

So, as promised, I'm starting a series where I introduce them to those of you who weren't able to make it to Bethany's 'BOB' day and who, nevertheless would be interested in knowing more...

My first offering is the really cool Site Pal web site, which is a really funny and funky site which offers something genuinely intriguing for free.

You can use it in any lesson with your student(s) if you have an internet connection, or amuse yourself by creating messages and exercises for your students to do between sessions.

Here you can see one of the ways in which I exploit Site Pal. I create short listening exercises with the script on my teaching blog. I've included two examples - click on the images to listen:

As you can see, it's fun and motivating - when I showed it to one of my private students - the boss of a car company - he decided to use it for an amusing motivational new year message for his entire sales force. You can create a quick message for free.

Post comments if you need more info.


Last Chance for the Summer Issue !

Your new Teaching Times relaxed summer reading issue is on its way, so this is your last chance for magazine submissions and inclusions, folks! You can even send in a welcome comment to be included in the 'From The Blog' page. Don't fret about it - just get your typing fingers out and send us a cheery 'hello' - all contributions are welcome.

In any case, have a great summer and all of us here at the TESOL team look forward to hearing and reading you - do let us know your opinion on any of the issues we discuss - that's why we're here!