The Value Of The Web For TEFL

sjg-internet1.jpgWell, obviously: the web is a neat place! The most recent example is this: a couple of weeks ago, Sue from ELT Notebook emailed me an interesting article about Frananglais in Cameroon. I soon passed it on to the team at ESL Pundit as well as to Chris at the Bootsnall Paris Logue and asked both sites for their thoughts on it. Chris explained her opinion from the point of view of a long-term resident of Paris, and ESL Pundit actually discussed the article with a linguistics class and posted the group’s ideas here. Within the course of a few days, this topic and line of communication went from three countries in Europe to a linguistic class in the US.

Certainly the web is not a panacea (take that, GRE verbal ability test!) and I think we can all agree that there are many occasions on which it does add an extra layer of complication to life. But overall, the advantages are amazing, especially for a field like TEFL. If you think you might want to teach, you can read some travel stories or TEFL blogs or message boards to get a better idea of what’s out there waiting for you. If you are sure you want to teach but don’t yet have a job, you can compare what’s on offer in different countries before arriving. If you’re already teaching, you can visit sites like ESL Base, and Breaking News English to get ideas for classes. And that’s just the beginning. Leaving your country to teach in a foreign one is still somewhat of a leap of faith, but twenty or even ten years ago, these things we consider the bare bones of preparation today were just not available.