If you’re interested in teaching overseas, finding a job before you move is a smart step to take. Many teachers want to know just how to teach English abroad. If you’re looking to move overseas to teach, here are some steps you can take to help you find a job.

You Need To Be A Native Speaker With A Secondary Degree

If you’re considering trying to teach overseas, you should be a native English speaker. Companies and schools that hire language teachers want them to be native speakers, but they also expect that potential teachers have chosen to continue their education in a college or university. A two-year college might not be enough, so plan on a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. The subject doesn’t always matter, so don’t fret if you don’t have an English or teaching degree. Companies are looking for someone who’s proven their dedication to education and just want to know that you have the commitment level to complete a college degree.

Consider Taking TESOL Courses

TESOL courses are vital if you’re trying to teach abroad. TESOL stands for ‘Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages’ and these courses are open to any adult native speaker who is interested in teaching overseas. TESOL courses are often available in person and online. Once the certification is complete, teachers will be able to list it on their resume, leading to an easier job search.

Determine Where You Want To Go

There are quite a few companies in a number of countries that will allow you to teach English overseas. If you’re interested in learning about and experiencing the Middle East, teaching in Abu Dhabi, for instance, can be an amazing experience. If Europe is more your style, consider looking for a job in a country like Germany, France or Spain. Still others prefer to experience Asian cultures with a job in Japan or Korea. Once you know where you would like to teach, you can focus your efforts on finding employment.

Do You Prefer Teaching In A School Or A Professional Setting?

Another thing to think about is whether you prefer to work with young students or professionals. While most people think about young students in a school setting when they think about becoming a teacher, it’s possible to find a job in a professional workplace. Many overseas companies hire native speakers to come work in their companies. Teachers in a professional setting will likely focus more on business-themed lessons since their students will be using the language to handle international business deals and form contracts. If you’re working with young students in a school setting, you’ll be focusing more on everyday vocabulary, grammar and other early language skills.

Becoming a teacher can be an incredibly rewarding experience but before you find a job, you need to know how to teach English abroad. Start with a college degree and TESOL certification and then determine what country you want to travel to and what age group of students you want to work with. Once you figure out what you want out of your experience, you’ll have a better time trying to find a job.

When one is looking for a way to learn a English it can often be a difficult task to find a decent course. In such cases, it will likely be beneficial to that person to know about some of the tips of finding English course that exist. This article goes through some of the key such tips in detail so that a person who is looking to learn his or her second language will find it easier to get the right course.

Contacting a local library can be a fantastic way of finding ESL courses. Many libraries actual host these lessons. If this is not the case, however, they will likely be able to direct a person in the right direction in order to find a course. Thus, going to such a location can be very useful to a person.

With the growing importance of the internet as a place for information, it is generally very recommendable to check there as well as in other mediums. There are, for instance, many job boards and forums that can provide key information about language courses in ones area.

A type of course that is becoming more and more popular in many areas is the distance learning course. This can offer people the opportunity to learn their desired language from home or while traveling and where ever else they might find themselves with a couple of minutes spare time. Hence, for example, if a person is at work for large amounts of each day, he or she may be able to study these courses on lunch brake. These courses can be inquired about on the internet.

Colleges and schools can be great places to find language courses. In many cases the teacher at such a location will be very well trained, and probably a native speaker of the language that is being taught. As well as this, colleges and schools will be able to direct a person in the right direction to learning a language.

Phone directories are often great places to find language courses. Many people will often advertise their courses in these books. One might be able to find smaller courses here such as one-to-one learning. Thus, this can be a great place to look for more intimate ways of learning.

Before any course is selected, one of the first things that it is probably best to do is make sure one has enough time set aside to have lessons. Knowing this information will help a person to better know which courses are for himself or herself, and which are not.

Several useful tips of finding Study English in Toronto course exist. These include: contacting libraries, colleges and schools to get advise and help. Phone directories can also be great for finding courses. And, the internet is often host to much information that might point a person in the right direction. Keeping all of these options in mind can help a person to be more able to know where the right courses exist, and how to apply for them.

Unless you have read Jonathan Kozol’s 1985 book, Illiterate America or you have carefully analyzed the most comprehensive, statistically accurate study of U.S. adult illiteracy ever commissioned by the U.S. government, a five-year, $14 million study involving lengthy interviews of 26,049 U.S. adults, statistically balanced for age, gender, ethnicity, and location (urban, suburban, and rural in a dozen states across the U.S. and in several prisons) to represent the entire U.S. population, you undoubtedly do not realize the seriousness of the problem. Illiterates have developed numerous coping methods that make them very good at hiding their illiteracy. Several of your acquaintances may be — unknown to you — functionally illiterate.

A front page report in the New York Times on September 9, 1993 and a shorter article in the Washington Post on the same date, the day of release of the above-mentioned study, listed some of the details of the report, but did not mention the most serious problems found in the body of the report. These reports were evidently based upon the short “Executive Summary” of the report. Even though a follow-up report issued in 2006 showed no statistically significant improvement, there have been no other known references to this report in any known media source. Jonathan Kozol, in Illiterate America, explained why the official U.S. Census Bureau reports on literacy rate are inaccurate and explains that it is in the short-term best interests of political and educational authorities to downplay the seriousness of the English literacy problem.

It is in your best interest, however, to understand the seriousness of the problem and to take action because illiteracy has human suffering costs for the illiterates (at least 34 types of serious physical, mental, emotional, medical, and financial problems that we would consider catastrophes if they happened to us) and monetary costs for every American: (1) for the cost of government programs that illiterates use (from our taxes) and for the cost of truancy, juvenile delinquency, and crime directly related to illiteracy, and (2) for the increased cost of consumer goods as a result of functional illiterates in the workplace.

How does functional illiteracy cause serious problems for illiterates?

Here are four brief examples. Janitors have been fired because they cannot read an after-hours note with special clean-up instructions. Families have been evicted from their apartment — even in the coldest part of winter — when the apartment owner (who wants to raise the rent, but knows the present renters cannot afford the higher rent) falsely claimed that the rental contract allows eviction if a crying baby disturbs other tenants; evicted tenants who cannot read the contract will not challenge the apartment owner fearing their illiteracy will be exposed. The taking of medicines poses a danger to those who cannot read the instructions on the medicine bottles. Children who have medical emergencies, such as asthma, are in grave danger if the illiterate parents become lost because they cannot read the street signs; even if they have cell-phones they cannot tell the 911 operator their location when they visit a remote place if they cannot describe their location sufficiently to allow ambulance personnel to find them.

These and hundreds of similar “horror stories” occur all around us every day — most of them without our knowledge because functional illiterates are extremely good at hiding their illiteracy. About half of adult Americans are now functionally illiterate and must constantly endure permanent shame, anger, and despair, unable to lift themselves out of privation.

Although nearly every American can at least read a few words, if someone can only read 1200 to 1500 simple words they learned by sight, they are functionally illiterate. They cannot get by in our complex society as well as they should and must constantly endure at least thirty-four different kinds of serious physical, mental, emotional, medical, and financial problems. Many simple tasks we take for granted are impossible for illiterates. See Jonathan Kozol’s 1985 book, Illiterate America.

America’s Dirty Little Secret: How many Americans are now functionally illiterate?

The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) reported in 2006 that 44% of adults in the study were in the two lowest of four reading levels (below basic and basic) and that 51% of those in the below basic level had given up looking for a job and 5% were unemployed, looking for work. The percentages of employed adults increased with each increase in reading ability. The 2006 report was a follow-up to the much more thorough 1993 NCES report, the most extensive study of illiteracy ever commissioned by the U.S. government. Employment statistics from the 1993 report were about the same as the 2006 report.

The 1993 study used five literacy levels instead of four as in the 2006 report and revealed several devastating facts about functional illiteracy that are not covered in the 2006 report. Most people don’t know these facts; there is no known reference to these facts in any national media.

The shocking NCES 1993 report titled “Adult Literacy in America,” shows that the average yearly earnings were: Level 1 (least literate), $2105; Level 2, $5225; Level 3, $9090, and Levels 4 and 5 combined, $16,311. The threshold poverty level for an individual in 1993 was $7363 per year. (See the U.S. Census Bureau’s Threshold Poverty report for 1993) Shockingly, 22.0 percent of U.S. adults were Level 1 and 26.7 percent were Level 2. This means 48.7 percent of U.S. adults had average annual earnings significantly below the poverty level largely because of their functional illiteracy.

We do not see 48 percent or more of U.S. adults in poverty because most households have more than one employed adult and because low-income households receive governmental assistance (from our taxes) and from family, friends, and charities. Even so, the 1993 NCES report showed that 31.2 percent of the adults in the two lowest literacy levels were in poverty (the report only showed poverty in each literacy level, but the combination of levels 1 and 2 can be easily calculated).

Although the 1993 NCES report did not show the combined poverty rate for literacy levels 3 through 5, it is easily calculated to be 10.1 percent. Since there are no provable differences in the interviewees except their literacy rates, this is a strong indication that about twice as many (deducting 10.1 percent which is not due to illiteracy from the 31.2 percent total and comparing the resulting 21.1 percent to the 10.1 percent) U.S. adults are in poverty because of their literacy level as for all other reasons combined.

How Will YOU Benefit From Ending Illiteracy?

  • You will benefit emotionally if you are concerned that people you know and love are — or will be –functionally illiterate. The problems and suffering of illiterates is almost certainly much worse than you realize. Many people you know are — unknown to you — functionally illiterate.
  • You will benefit if you object to the average personal cost to U.S. adults of $5186 each year as a result of illiteracy for (1) taxes for government programs that illiterates use and for the truancy, juvenile delinquency, and crime directly related to illiteracy, and (2) higher prices for consumer goods due to illiterates in the workplace.
  • You will benefit if you are employed or if you have financial interests in a business or organization in which you invest time or money. Illiteracy affects all organizations to some extent, some of them seriously. Illiteracy cuts the potential customers for written materials almost in half and hurts businesses and organizations because of competition with more literate workers in foreign companies. The monthly U.S. trade deficit has grown steadily worse for many years.
  • You will benefit if our nation improves the trade balance, national relationships, and our national employment by improving communication between nations. Over 1.3 billion people worldwide speak English — more than the dialect of any other language. Many of them use English to communicate with those who do not speak their native language, but hundreds of millions of people who speak English cannot read it very well.

What is the primary cause of English illiteracy?

Most people are not functional illiterates because of any failing of their own but because of a defect in the English language. In 1755 an English dictionary was prepared by Dr. Samuel Johnson. Linguists will tell you that Dr. Johnson made a very serious linguistic error in his dictionary. Instead of freezing the spelling of the sounds of the English language, as linguistic logic demands of an alphabetic language, Dr. Johnson froze the spelling of words. In effect, English words are now logograms — certain letters, in a certain order, combine to represent a word, in the same way that strokes of various kinds combine to represent a Chinese character or word. Present day English is a conglomeration of the words — and their spelling — from eight languages, the language of every conqueror who occupied the British Isles prior to 1755. Since that time, English has adopted words — and usually their spelling — from about 350 other languages. See Henry Hitching’s book The Secret Life of Words.

The pronunciation of words changes with time, so what was bad in 1755 is even worse today. Professor Julius Nyikos of Washington and Jefferson College found that there are at least 1768 ways of spelling forty sounds in English. See The Fourteenth LACUS Forum 1987, published by Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States, P.O. Box 101, Lake Bluff, Illinois in 1988. There is not even one invariable spelling rule in English — some of the exceptions have exceptions! The eyes of fluent readers skip easily over a multitude of traps for the beginner. As a result, every word in a person’s vocabulary must be learned, one at a time, either by rote memory or by repeated use.

Why didn’t YOU know the seriousness of the functional illiteracy problem?

  • You May Not Have Seen the Report or It Was Not Covered. The results of even important and extensive studies of literacy do not appear in all of the media for these reasons. (a) The literacy study may not be covered if there are too many “more important” stories to be covered. By the time all the more important stories have been covered, the results of the study are no longer “news.” (b) Some media executives have their reporters cover studies showing results they disagree with. Many will not; and (c) media executives are sometimes afraid that reporting unfavorable results from a study will alienate them from groups from whom they desire support. Obviously not all studies fit all three items. As a result, literacy and learning to read may — for example — be front page newspaper stories in some newspapers. It may be totally ignored in others.
  • You May Have Seen a Report, But the Way It Was Written Hid the Seriousness of the Problem.
    • Anne C. Lewis, a freelance writer on education concerns, says there are “two big problems” the press makes in its coverage of illiteracy. The first mistake is confusing adult illiteracy problems with problems in the public schools. It is typical to blame the adult literacy problems on the schools and then go no further — as if fixing the blame will somehow result in solving the problem. Blaming the schools accomplishes nothing because, she pointed out, roughly 70 percent of the workforce in the year 2000 was already in the workforce and therefore permanently out of public schools. Furthermore, she says, thirty million or more Americans read so poorly they could “bring the whole economy crashing down. With the rapidly accelerating technology in the workplace and its demands, for example, for reading the operating manuals and for retraining, previous levels of illiteracy are no longer acceptable. She says the press rarely makes this known. The second mistake in illiteracy coverage in the press is that it is far too often only concerned with boring stories of an occasional adult illiterate who can now read thanks to the efforts of some selfless volunteer. This type of coverage too often lulls the public into believing that is all there is to the problem of adult illiteracy.
    • A big part of the reason people do not realize the seriousness of the literacy problem is the way the media handles the reporting of scientific or statistical studies. Since reporters are journalists, not statisticians or mathematicians, and since the reporters are almost always under time pressures to get their report out (before someone else reports it and it is no longer “news”), reporters often read only the Executive Summary of lengthy reports. In any case, journalists seldom do a careful study of the entire report, much less a serious mathematical analysis of data in a study. The 1993 study mentioned above was a 150 page report. The April 2002 version of the report was even longer: 199 pages. In the case of this study, a simple mathematical analysis of the data was required to understand the true seriousness of the findings of the study.
    • The New York Times article about the 1993 study gave an explanation of why increasing our literacy rate is important: “The overall education level of Americans has increased in terms of schooling and even in fundamental literacy. But the demands of the workplace simultaneously have vastly increased. We simply are not keeping pace with the kinds of skills required in today’s economy.” The article also gave an explanation of why literacy is a problem for so many people: “Insufficient education and a growing number of adults whose first language is not English were important reasons that the scores were so low.” They failed to mention, however, that the interviewees were carefully chosen to be an accurate representation of the entire U.S. population at the time of the study, so the amount of education and the number of persons whose first language is not English was evenly balanced in the five literacy groupings. The article also misquoted the study as saying it indicated that there were 40 to 44 million adults in Level 1 literacy (the lowest literacy level), “an 40 million” [sic] in Level 2, 61 million in Level 3, 11 million in Level 4, and “up to 40 million” in Level 5. Page 17 of the 2002 version of the study shows the true figures to be, Level 1: 42.0 million (22.0% of the 191 million U.S. adults in 1993), Level 2: 50.9 million (26.7%), Level 3: 60.5 million (31.7%), Level 4: 31.2 million (16.3%), and Level 5: 6.4 million (3.3%). The most serious failing of the article is that it did not quantify the seriousness of the literacy problem. It merely began the article by stating: “Nearly half of the nation’s 191 million adult citizens are not proficient enough in English to write a letter about a billing error or to calculate the length of a bus trip from a published schedule.”
    • The article by the Washington Post writer began the article by stating: “Nearly half of all adult Americans read and write so poorly that it is difficult for them to hold a decent job, according to the most comprehensive literacy study ever done by the U.S. government.” This raised questions of what constitutes a “decent job,” exactly how many people are affected, how accurate was the study, and what were the statistical procedures to ensure accuracy, leading to the author’s “engineering study” of the report. It was found that although the Washington Post writer’s statement was true, in effect it minimized the seriousness of the problem.
  • Illiterates Are Exceptionally Good At Hiding. The number of U.S. adults who cannot read at all is very small. But if they only know 1200-1600 simple words they learned by sight in the first four grades in school, they are functionally illiterate. They can’t read and write well enough to hold an above-poverty-level-wage job. They have developed many coping skills for their inability to read over the years. Chances are very good that many of your acquaintances are functional illiterates. They may be very knowledgeable. They may even be eloquent speakers. They just didn’t get their knowledge or eloquence from reading.
  • Grade-Level Completion Does not equal Grade-Level Competence. Many people assume that after several years of school the students know how to read. Every teacher knows, however — even though they may be in denial of the fact — that this is not necessarily true. Having sat out several years of schooling does not guarantee an outcome. The students may not know even a small fraction of what they have been “taught.”
  • Illiterates Are a Silent Minority. Out of embarrassment, illiterates are a silent minority. Community and cultural leaders of groups with a large number of illiterates do not want that fact publicized. They fear it will give their “enemies” (racists and class-conscious persons) ammunition against those who cannot read.
  • Self-Esteem Teaching in School Is Very Effective. Perhaps today’s most successful teaching in U.S. elementary schools is the teaching of self-esteem. Studies have shown that U.S. students often over-estimate their scholastic abilities. The U.S. scored worse than all but two nations in a recent math and science competition with about twenty other nations. Some of the U.S. students in that competition bragged that they were “good at math.” Some of them were not only not “good at math,” they may also have had difficulty reading their math books.
  • The U.S. Census Reports Greatly Over-Estimate Literacy. Many believe the U.S. is a highly literate nation because of census statistics. The last two or three census reports claimed a U.S. literacy rate of 99%. It is in the short-term interest of politicians and education officials to believe these figures. This is not to say that there was necessarily any conscious deception. Jonathan Kozol’s shocking book, Illiterate America, pages 37-38, explained how these figures were decided upon. Once we understand how the census bureau did the studies, we will be likely to agree with Jonathan Kozol. He thought the accuracy of the census reports was open to serious doubt. The “Adult Literacy in America study,” in fact, proves the census bureau figures on literacy rate are wrong.
  • Sensory Overload. We are constantly bombarded with information, much of it bad news. The world seems to go on with little effect despite the bad news about literacy. We soon learn to ignore much of it. This is because we often do not want to believe it. Sometimes we have seen a later report denying the validity of the bad news. After a few years we have forgotten most of the bad news, even if we initially thought it was significant.
  • We Do Not See Large Portions of Our Population in Poverty. In most cases, more than one family member is employed. If all workers in the family are functionally illiterate, the family may be at or below the poverty line. If one or more of the workers in the family are literate, they bring the family above the poverty line.

What is the obvious solution to English functional illiteracy?

The obvious solution is to return English to the principle upon which an alphabetic language should be based — spelling words as they sound, the way 98 percent of all alphabetic languages other than English does! All other attempts at improving the English literacy rate — such as new reading books, better teacher training, and similar changes — are nothing more than fighting the symptoms of the problem, similar to taking aspirin to combat the symptoms of pneumonia rather than taking penicillin to cure it. It is natural to resist change — even change for the better! People often prefer the disadvantages of the familiar to the advantages of the unfamiliar. But when a person researches and finds that absolutely nothing done in American public schools in the last eighty years has made any statistically significant improvement in our true literacy rate (as opposed to the optimistic assessments of politicians and educational leaders who have a vested interest in reporting our literacy level as being higher than it really is) and honestly examines the ease of learning possible with a spelling system that is extremely easy to learn (as opposed to the present illogical, inconsistent, and chaotic English spelling), common sense is certain to cause people honestly to evaluate this spelling reform proposal.

If words are spelled phonetically, students only need to learn the spelling of 38 sounds instead of all 20,000 or more words in their reading vocabulary. Many people have a reading vocabulary of more than 70,000 words. If the phonetic spelling system is a perfect one-spelling-for-one-sound system, present readers can learn it in ten minutes or less.

The use of perfectly phonetic spelling will enable beginning students to learn to fluently read and write in less than three months — perhaps much less. Frank Laubach, founder of Laubach Literacy International, taught thousands of adults to read in over 300 languages around the world. Laubach found that he could teach students to read fluently in from one to twenty days in some languages and in less than three months in 98 percent of these languages. Laubach stated that if English were spelled phonetically, students could learn to read in one week! Adoption of perfectly phonetic spelling will enable hundreds of millions of people around the world who speak English but cannot read it very well — over 93 million in the U.S. alone — to be able to read English who otherwise never would.

How do we know that spelling reform can cure English illiteracy?

Consider these facts about spelling reform:

  • Dozens of scholars for over 250 years have recommended spelling reform. For over a hundred years there have been simplified spelling societies in the U.K. and U.S. by various names. The present names are The Spelling Society in the U.K. and American Literacy Council in the U.S. Both organizations have very informative websites, spellingsociety and americanliteracy, .org and .com, respectively.
  • Several nations, smaller and larger than the U.S., both advanced and third-world, have simplified their spelling.
  • A simpler spelling system has been proven effective for making learning to read easier in more than 300 alphabetic languages but never tried in English. In 295 languages (at least 98% of them) students became fluent readers in less than three months. Most of the 52.2 percent of U.S. adults who presently become functionally literate require two to four years.
  • All reasonable objections to spelling reform have been thoroughly debunked by distinguished linguists and educators. To see a very scholarly debunking of objections to spelling reform from 1909 (!) — at a time when the need was not nearly as great as it is today and when the changeover to a logical spelling system would have been much more difficult, without our present computer programs and printing capabilities — see the last chapter of English Spelling and Spelling Reform by Thomas Lounsbury, LL.D, L.H.D, professor emeritus of Yale University. This is a book ready to read or download at the Internet Archive website.
  • The need is greater than ever in our increasingly complex world. Although spelling reform is easier than ever due to computer technology, it has never been tried in English.

Rudolph Flesch stated in Why Johnny Can’t Read, pages 76-77 (this book is available for free reading or download from the Internet Archive website),

 Generally speaking, students in our schools are about two years behind students of the same age in other countries. This is not a wild accusation of the American education system; it is an established, generally known fact….      
Usually the assumption seems to be that in other countries children and adolescents are forced to study harder … I think the explanation is much simpler and more reasonable: Americans take two years longer to learn how to read — and reading, of course, is the basis for achievement in all other subjects.

If English spelling were perfectly phonetic, school curricula could be revised to begin most courses of study two years earlier because students learn to read two years earlier. Our students will no longer have to enter international competition and careers with, in effect, one hand tied behind their backs; their education will — at long last — be equivalent to that of education in other alphabetic languages.

The topic of English Composition generally refers to the essays and other types of written prose used in the English language. The subject is typically first taught to students in elementary school at an early stage, in order to properly prepare students for more advanced English courses in their scholastic futures. It will then continue to be taught as they move onto high school and college levels.

Freshman English Composition, also commonly known as ENC 1101, is really all about arguing…as strange as that sounds. Providing strong arguments in writing to prove a point and properly communicate that point, is pretty much the basis of good English Composition. Also, there is nothing better than coming out on the upside when you are able to prove your points through writing.

Logical argument is one matter that is part of ENC 1101. It focuses on reasoning and the correct way to prove your argument and points via your writing, and it is an imperative part of English composition. Forming strong points and then following them up with more valid points is necessary in order to provide clear essays and understanding of your writing.

There are two main types of arguments used in English Composition. The types include both deductive and inductive arguments. Both are not only great in the use of ENC1101, but they are a great skill to have for down the road post graduation. They are helpful also in the manner that they build a sort of character in the way of the writer’s thought process.

Deductive arguments are those which use the outside evidence and facts to come to a conclusion about the argument being explained. The source used to form deductive reasoning is from outside sources. You would take a look at different things like facts that impact the situation you are discussing. Deductive reasoning relies on these outside sources in order to prove that point in your writing.

Inductive arguments are formed by the use of inductive reasoning. This means that you can readily form a valid conclusion based on the inference of things, rather than a solid fact that may have already happened. It’s kind of like using an “if this, then that” sort of solution solving mindset. You are steadily basing points off of inferences and probability, which are also points of inductive arguments within English Composition.

The use of such proper reasoning while forming and proving the points of your argument is certainly a necessity when dealing with the learning process behind ENC1101. There is a certain bit of excitement in properly proving yourself to those reading the essays and such that you have prepared in English Composition.

Secretary Duncan and Let's Read Let's Move guest

Children from D.C. area schools took to the court today as part of the second installment of the Let’s Read! Let’s Move! Initiative, a partnership between the Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service which engages children in summer reading and physical activity, as well as provides information about healthy lifestyles.

Today, Secretary Duncan was joined by Tony award-winning actress and singer Phylicia Rashad–best known for her role as Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show–and Washington Kastles tennis coach, Murphy Jensen to help promote active minds and bodies through an afternoon of reading, fresh food, and games.

The event kicked off with a performance from Kofi Dennis of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts, who led the kids in exciting song and dance using drums, rhythm and rhyme. Afterwards, Secretary Duncan, Rashad, and the Washington Kastles read the children Giles Andreae’s book Giraffe’s Can’t Dance, and answered questions, talking about what it takes to be a professional tennis player and actually demonstrating exactly how giraffes would dance in real life, leading to some good laughs!

Through a variety of activity stations, such as “Shopping Cart Nutrition Race” and the Fruit and Veggies station, the children were able to sample fresh produce from local farmers and experience first hand how healthy lifestyles can be both fun and delicious!

The next installments of the Let’s Read! Let’s Move! series will be on July 24, August 1 and 6. Each event supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which promotes healthy eating and an active lifestyle, while also encouraging strong early learning programs to ensure bright futures for children.

Discipline problems usually occur when students are faced with a complicated task and don’t know what to do. Teachers can offset a majority of discipline related issues by monitoring how well their students absorb the information.

You want to engage your English language learners (ELLs) so they are constantly on-task even if they don’t know a lot of English.

How can you do this without discipline problems and still enjoy every lesson with your students?
Each of these suggestions provides key advice to help you teach your English language learners in any learning context with confidence. You can use these ideas on an as-needed basis, or to deal with specific troubleshooting areas of instruction.

1. Ask questions and get proof of students’ work. Realize that moving on too quickly creates confusion and chaos.

2. Review assignments to be sure skills and concepts are reinforced. This increases the students’ ability to succeed.

3. Check work regularly. Build on students’ lack of understanding to re-explain and re-teach certain learning concepts.

4. Provide a variety of concrete examples to make instruction meaningful. This helps you be as clear as possible while checking students’ understanding before proceeding to the next part of the lesson.

5. Break complex content into manageable portions or steps. Keep it simple with small amounts of information and directions presented at a reasonable pace to succeed.

6. Include effective transitions that “glue” parts of the lesson together. Transitions can include signal sentences or a short activity.

7. Ask students to summarize main points previously taught. Use this to check for understanding.

8. Have concrete evidence to be sure students are ready to move on. Do this by asking questions or obtaining work samples.

9. Circulate around each student pair during an oral activity. Make notes of any decoding or comprehension problems or issues.

10. Watch for slow/apathetic/potentially disruptive students. Have a “reaction” plan at the first sign of inattention. Call on them personally to participate. Make sure they understand. Add a few extra words of explanation, or another repetition, aimed specifically at them. Since they are the ones who need the extra teaching, let them get it.

Checking comprehension is one of the hardest areas for a teacher to master but by breaking down your expectations, you CAN engage your students so they are constantly on-task and still enjoy every lesson with your students.

Teach with confidence! Make your teaching sparkle!

Do you have any plan to pursue your further education abroad? Will you need English for your career or your education? If so, you may wish to investigate your options for learning, or improving, your English skills.

The TOEFL Test: TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language) is a test used by many colleges, universities, government agencies and exchange and scholarship programs in the US, UK and Canada as a means of evaluating the language skills of a person whose first language is not English.

You can find TOEFL study guides easily online with other recommended resources listed. You may be able to access some of the sample tests and prepare with personal study. Or you may look for a class with an instructor to help you prepare for the test.

ESL Classes: ESL classes are a common means for students to learn English with group of classmates. These can be in the form of an evening class with various individuals attending or may be part of a college program during the day.

The course length and the topics covered will differ from country to country and school to school. Some summer programs are geared for international students to gain a basic grasp of the language before starting studies in English taught classes of the college or university.

Since the standards of passing a course, or the course material itself, will vary drastically, some students may feel that the language skills gained upon completing the course does not equip them to handle school work or social interactions adequately.

Some schools offer students and alternative of home-stay programs for students. Home-stay programs benefit the student by placing them for several weeks or months with a host family that speaks English. The student is then able to immerse him or herself in the culture and social speaking of the English country they are living in. There are also online ESL programs that may be suitable for distance education, especially if programs are not readily available in your area.

Private Tutors: Another popular method of learning English is with private tutors. The materials and methods used by ESL tutors will vary greatly and it is important to establish what material will be used and to feel comfortable with the tutor. Asking friends or other students for references can be helpful in finding a good tutor.

A combination of these English learning methods will be effective as well. You can take a summer course while staying with a home-stay host family and then arranging for private tutoring during the school year. Making an effort to use your new language skills regularly in social situations will improve your progress regardless of the program or course you are using.

When the world talks about science, culture, economy or politics, it speaks English. English speakers don’t really need a second language at all. So, what’s the use of a second language when the first one is enough? English speakers can look for the luxury items: cultural and linguistic enrichment. In this article, I will evaluate the world’s major languages for their usefulness to English speakers, according to three different criteria:

  1. Demographics: Opportunity to use the language actively: the number of native and second language speakers, and the chances of communicating with them in this language: use as a lingua franca. It’s not simply a matter of numbers. Mandarin is by far the most spoken language but it is concentrated in one country, China, and that reduces the impact. In the case of Hindi, educated speakers will very likely also speak English, so the opportunity to speak to people in Hindi is greatly reduced.
  2. Personal Impact: This subjective criterion looks at the impact on the learner. How does this language study increase the learner’s own sophistication regarding languages, whether English or another, third language? How does this language make the learner a more culturally literate person?
  3. Business factors: How will this language open new business and commercial opportunities?

Criterion I. Demographics: I begin with demographics because this is the criterion that first comes to mind in such a discussion. However, this factor only weighs 40 percent in the ratings, and certain entries here, such as Italian, Swahili and Turkish, will only become understandable when one sees the tables that follow.

  1. Spanish: Approx. 350 million native speakers, with many second language speakers in the Americas, North Africa and elsewhere. It is the official language of about 20 countries. (6 points). It is an important lingua franca in the Western Hemisphere and the Mediterranean, (3 points). (Total: 9 points).
  2. French: Despite a relatively small native language base of 130 million, French has a major presence internationally, with a large second language population all over the world and official language status in over 25 countries. It is the working language of many international organizations (4 points). It is also the most recognized lingua franca, after English. (4 points). (Total: 8 points).
  3. Arabic: Arabic speakers are hard to quantify. Modern Standard Arabic is a second dialect for 250 million people worldwide, but it is quite difference from the spoken Arabic in each of the 20 countries where it is official. It is an official language of the United Nations and of many international organizations. It is also the language of Islam. (4.5 points). Arabic is a major lingua franca. (2 points). (Total: 6.5 points).
  4. Russian: Estimates are as high as 185 million for the native speaking population, and it is the second language in all the nations of the former Soviet Union (3 points). Russia spent much of the Twentieth Century securing the position of its language as the lingua franca in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and it continues to serve in that capacity, in a greatly diminished way. (2 points). (Total: 5 points).
  5. Mandarin: It’s the native language of 875 million people, however, they are concentrated in one country, China. It is a second language for the rest of China, Taiwan, and for Chinese community world-wide. It has little currency beyond its ethnic boundaries and serves as lingua franca only in this context. (Total: 3 points).
  6. German: It has approx. 120 million native speakers and many second language speakers throughout Europe. (2 points). It has had moderate success re-establishing itself as the lingua franca of Central Europe, after the disastrous history of the past century, however, this role has been taken up in the meantime by Russian and English (1 point). (Total: 3 points).
  7. Hindustani: It includes Urdu at one end and Hindi at the other, with approx. 185 million native speakers in India, and 50 million in Pakistan. It is a second language for another 180 million people in these country. It has not had success as a lingua franca outside of this context, as that purpose is served by English. It has also been burdened by the reluctance of the Dravidian speaking people of South India to adopt it. (Total: 2.5 points).
  8. Swahili: It is spoken natively by 5 million people and by another 50 million as a second language along the East African coast. It’s the official language of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (1 point). Swahili is the accepted lingua franca in that area, having achieved nearly neutral “tribal” status on a continent where language is politics, but for dealings with the world beyond, it is normally eclipsed by Arabic, English and French (1.5 points). (Total: 2.5 points).
  9. Portuguese: Spoken by approx. 190 million people, it is the official language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, Angola and other states. It has not as yet been able to establish itself as a widely used lingua franca. (Total: 2 points).
  10. Turkish: It is spoken by 70 million people in Turkey and Cyprus (1 point). It provides an alternative lingua franca throughout the Turkic speaking lands of Central Asia, replacing the more alien Russian (1 point). (Total: 2 points).
  11. Japanese: It is spoken by 125 million people in Japan, but has little currency as a second language or a lingua franca. (Total: 1 point).
  12. Italian: It is spoken by 60 million people in Italy, it is also the official language of the Vatican. It has little or no significance as a second language or a lingua franca. (1 point).

Criterion II: Personal Impact: This is the major consideration for the English speaker. It weighs 40 percent in my ratings. How will the learning of this language help one’s understanding of English? How will knowledge of this language open up a portal to other related languages? For the first question, Latin languages hold a distinct advantage, since the prestige, erudite forms of English are all constructed out of a Latin vocabulary. The second question favors languages which are seen as leading languages in particular linguistic families, wherever they may be located in the world.

  1. French: It holds a particular position among Latin languages, in that it has been the major conduit of Latin vocabulary into English for the past one thousand years. Fully 30 percent of English words come from French, (6 points). In cultural terms, the centrality of France to European civilization cannot be overestimated, adding 6 more points. (Total: 12 points)
  2. Spanish: This Latin language has enormous influence on the English of the Americas. It has, in turn, been influenced by Arabic and the indigenous languages of pre-Columbian America, giving insight into those languages. (4 points). Spanish culture continues to move into the forefront of Western civilization, ironically, often because of the patronage of its greatest rival, North American English (4 points). (Total: 8 points).
  3. Italian: It is the direct descendant of Latin. Thus, a knowledge of Italian gives the learner an exceptionally clear idea of the classical language. By the same token, it is the central romance language, and the study of a second or third romance language is greatly facilitated when the first one learned is Italian. (4 points). Italian also opens up a store of cultural knowledge dating back two thousand years, and representing, with the Roman Empire, the Catholic tradition and the Italian Renaissance, some of the very highest achievements of European civilization. (4 points). (Total: 8 points).
  4. German: The linguistic significance for English speakers is great. German provides a clear presentation of the Germanic roots of English, and of the syntactic and grammatical logic of the basic English language. As the major Germanic language it can also be considered a portal to other Germanic languages such as Dutch and Yiddish. (4 points). German culture is also greatly appreciated in Western culture, and its philosophers and artists are key figures. (2 points). (Total: 6 points).
  5. Arabic: Although the immediate linguistic impact of the study of Arabic may be hard to discern for the English speaker, the benefits of Arabic in the study of other languages is high. Arabic has greatly influenced other languages of the Middle East and the Muslim world in religion, politics, and social life. Also, the study of the Arabic alphabet opens the way to many other languages, such as Persian, Urdu, Kurdish, etc. (3 points). Arabic culture has had major influence on western civilization but it remains largely unknown in the English speaking world. Knowledge of the language also leads to a greater understanding of Islam. (2 points). (Total: 5 points).
  6. Hindustani: In its Hindi form, it is a window on the origins of the larger Indo-European language family with its Sanskrit vocabulary. As Urdu, it gives a significant introduction to many Persian and Arabic terms. Urdu also uses the Persian form of Arabic script, opening the way to wider studies. It is a starting point for the study of other languages of the subcontinent, an area rich in languages. (3 points). India’s rich culture has become more familiar in the English speaking world, in large part due to India’s ability to project its image through English. However, Hindustani language and Hindi culture are also spread through the Bollywood film industry. Pakistan has yet to make its presence felt, but the potential is there. (2 point). (Total: 5 points).
  7. Russian: It has not had major influence in the west, given its geographical isolation. It is, however, the major Slavic language, and as such, opens the way to many other Eastern European languages. The Cyrillic alphabet, moreover, is a tremendous asset for reading many of those languages. (2 points). Russian high culture thrived under both tsarism and communism, and it has a significant place in European civilization. (2 points). (Total: 4 points).
  8. Portuguese: As a Latin language, Portuguese has a built-in significance for English speakers, even without a direct relationship with English. (3 points). The cultural significance of Brazil, one of the largest nations of the Americas, is continually growing. (1 point). (Total: 4 points).
  9. Mandarin: The official Chinese language has had very little influence on English. It has influenced other national languages of the areas, such as Korean and Japanese, and the other “dialects” of China. The Chinese written characters are the same for all of these dialects, and many of these characters are used in Japanese as well. (2 points). Chinese culture, with over two thousand years of history, is quite significant, if not directly applicable to English speaking civilization. (1.5 point). (Total: 3.5 points).
  10. Swahili: As the only sub-Saharan language in the group, it serves to introduce the learner to one of the richest linguistic areas of the Earth. It is from the Bantu family of languages, but it incorporates many words from Arabic, Persian, English and French. (1.5 points). It is the language of trade along the East African coast, and as such, is richly descriptive of the culture there. The West African diaspora into the Americas is one of the great mass migrations of the past 500 years, but because of its tragic social dynamics, it has left many millions of people cut off from African culture. Swahili, although it is East African and not West African, can help to fill that gap. (1.5 points). (Total: 3 points).
  11. Turkish: Though it has little direct relationship to English, it is the major language of a family of languages that extend eastward to the Chinese interior. It has been influenced by Persian, Kurdish and Arabic, and thus gives some introduction to those languages. (1.5 points). It also represents the culture of the Ottoman traditions, and of modern Turkey and Central Asian Turkistan. (1 point). (Total: 2.5 points).
  12. Japanese: This language has had little impact on English and it provides little insight into other languages. It does, however, include many words from Chinese, and uses numerous Chinese characters. (0.5 points). This island nation has been one of the most successful exporters of culture of the Far East during the past century. (1.5 points). (Total: 2 points).

Criterion III. Economic Impact. Is this language useful in the world of commerce and business? Certainly English is by far the most useful language for business, but a knowledge of other key languages can be a distinct advantage. Twenty percent in the ratings:

  1. French: has a long history as a language of commerce and trade. It is extremely important in the developing world, especially Africa. France itself is the world’s sixth largest economy. (4 points).
  2. Spanish: the language of commerce and trade in Latin America. Spain is the world’s ninth largest economy and Mexico is its fourteenth largest. (4 points).
  3. German: often used for business in Central Europe. Germany is the world’s third largest economy. (3 points).
  4. Japanese: can be extremely helpful in dealing with Japanese business. Japan is the world’s second largest economy. (3 points).
  5. Mandarin: China has recently become the world’s fourth largest economy, and it continues to grow. (3 points).
  6. Russian: Used in a part of the world where English is not well-known. Russia is the eleventh largest economy and is moving up in the rankings. (2 points).
  7. Portuguese: Brazil is the tenth largest economy, and continues to grow. (2 points).
  8. Arabic: the language of commerce and trade for the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. (2 points).
  9. Hindustani: is used in the world’s twelfth largest economy, however, English is often the language of business in this area. (2 points).
  10. Italian: is the language of commerce in Italy, the world’s seventh largest economy. (1.5 points).
  11. Swahili: is the language of business along the east coast of Africa. (1 point).
  12. Turkish: is used in the world’s seventeenth largest economy, and to some extent in Central Asia. (1 point).

By these criteria we can come up with a ranking of the 12 most useful languages for an English speaker to learn:

  1. French: 24 points
  2. Spanish: 21 points
  3. Arabic: 13.5 points
  4. German: 12 points
  5. Russian: 11 points
  6. Italian: 10.5 points
  7. Hindustani 9.5 points
  8. Mandarin: 9.5 points
  9. Portuguese: 8 points
  10. Swahili: 6.5 points
  11. Japanese: 5.5 points
  12. Turkish: 5.5 points

Some readers may be familiar with George Weber’s well-known piece entitled, Top Languages, which first appeared in the journal Languages Today in 1997. His study rated languages according to their influence in world affairs and world culture. It is interesting, at this point to compare them. Here are Weber’s results:

  1. English: 37 points
  2. French: 23
  3. Spanish: 20
  4. Russian: 16
  5. Arabic: 14
  6. Chinese: 13
  7. German: 12
  8. Japanese: 10
  9. Portuguese: 10
  10. Hindi/Urdu: 9 pts.

The rankings are similar, with some major differences. My criteria are based on tangible and intangible benefits for the English speaker which are not heavily weighed in Weber’s paradigm. Thus, this subjective focus skewers my results in favor of European languages due to the cultural affinity of English for the languages of Western civilization.

Heritage Languages: The most striking example of a difference is my ranking of Italian as number 6, whereas it does not figure in Weber’s top ten. My justification for Italian is the phenomenon of the “heritage language”, i.e., a language that has usefulness in our understanding and appreciation of the past, rather than in the future. Italian is the vehicle for our understanding of ancient history, the development of Latin languages, Renaissance Art and classical music. It is also the ancestral language of over 100 million people strategically placed in both North and South America. For these reasons, it is the heritage language par excellence. Other languages that benefit from this heritage factor in my listings are German and Swahili.

Point values for English? French, with 24 points, is number one in my listing. Where does English stand in relation? If rating it for usefulness for speakers of other languages, I would give it 10 points in each category, for a total of 50 points. I think that the extraordinary position of English in today’s world is indisputable, and considering it to be twice as useful as its closest competition, French, is not a great stretch of the imagination.

The only English point assignment that may require explanation is ten points for linguistic value. The value of English in this area for world speakers is quite wide reaching and significant. English is the vehicle for the spread of the classical Latin vocabulary for abstract concepts, for the Greco-Roman terms for government, science, philosophy, etc. It absorbs world vocabulary without major spelling changes, effectively spreading new terminology from a variety of sources. As the official language of international organizations, it serves as a showplace for each nation and organization to present itself to the world. Like the other “empire” languages of Western Europe, French and Spanish, English is propagated by native speakers worldwide with no ethnic, social or political relationship to its motherland. But English goes one step further, English is capable of evolving and developing completely independently of its native speakers. Second language users of English drive the introduction of new words like “informatics” and “ufology” which gain currency first among these speakers. Foreign governments keep close control of their English language nomenclature, and make changes through the United Nations and non-government organizations. These changes are therefore immediate in English, with no consultation with native speakers necessary. While some European languages are still calling the capital of China “Peking”, English made the switch to “Beijing” during the late 1980s (for proof, look at contemporary reports regarding the Tian an Men Square events of June, 1989). Recently, the switch from Bombay to Mumbai has happened before most English speakers have even noticed.

Conclusion – The status of English in world affairs puts its native speakers in a unique position. We have the opportunity of living in a provincial English-only environment in which the world comes to us, or we can take advantage of this favored position to become acquainted with other cultures right within our own language. So, is any second language really useful for English speakers? No study can ever really measure the personal importance of second language learning. That is something we have to discover for ourselves. The fact is that every language is well worth the effort to learn, as every language is a complete way of describing the universe of human achievement, and thus it’s significance is as wide and as deep as we personally make it.

Note on Statistics: The statistics that I have used (population, economic ranking, etc.) come from diverse sources: world almanacs, encyclopedias, US government studies. I make no claims about their accuracy, as they are general estimates. Their importance is in relationship to each other.

Teaching English as a second language is an increasingly popular option awaiting adults in the US and Canada. It allows the teachers an opportunity to get to know people from other cultures and also to learn their culture through immersion. Such programs are abundantly available in local communities to help natives who want to learn English. This article, however, will concentrate on teaching English abroad.

So why would someone want to teach English in another country? First, it is an opportunity to learn another language through immersion, and get paid for it! Unfortunately, the pay isn’t always that great so don’t plan to get rich. It is, however, an opportunity to use a learned language daily and this is the best way to make a language one’s own. Students who have learned a language in school often find it a giant step to use it in daily living. Teaching English abroad is a great chance to learn how the people use their own language.

Second, it is a great chance to get to see other cultures first hand. A culture is a combination of many factors, including language, that make a people group unique. Experiencing it in the country and with the people is the best way to learn it. That is exactly what ESL teaching positions offer. Third, think of the reward you will experience as you help others not only to learn English, but also to understand what Americans are really like!

Most Americans are already qualified; they know English! Of course, that doesn’t mean they know how to teach it. Therefore, most opportunities demand a minimum certification such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language, Canada), or TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). One example of ESL training is offered from ITTO (International Teacher Training Organization). In four weeks of intensive training in Mexico, they guarantee certification and a job in Mexico! Programs available in other countries are similar. A host of other certification programs are also available.

The first step to prepare for future employment as an ESL teacher is to learn English grammar well! Volunteer to work with local ESL children and adults. This will hone your skills in English. Read good English literature that uses grammar correctly. Tell friends to correct your grammar if they notice an error. In short, get to know your own language as well as possible. Then, take courses in community colleges or universities that prepare you for ESL certification. One school offers 12 additional hours of classes (beyond a B.A.) just dealing with ESL teaching. This seems to be typical. Online courses are also available.

Given to the global scenario and to the random increase in competition for a good survival, it has become essential to be fluent in English. One needs to be highly competent in this particular language. Therefore, it has become essential to have a thorough training in this language. It is just not for education or for any particular purpose; one needs to be fluent in this language for business dealings, for communication and for many other purposes. Today, the world has indeed become a smaller place and this has lead to the path of global communication. In such situations, it is necessary to have a good command on the global language that is English. Therefore, it is good if one takes the help of an English Tutor NYC. Taking the help of this kind of a professional would definitely help people to master the language.

Well, knowing the language means to know it in and out and to be fluent in writing as well as speaking. Definitely, speaking is one of the most important aspects of any communication; however, we cannot eradicate the fact that one needs to learn to write it accurately also. An English tutor NYC provides with proper guidance to people who are not very articulate with the language. Well, learning has no age limit and one can continue to learn until the time he or she wants to stop. Therefore, if you feel that you have crossed the age to learn the language anew, then there is nothing to worry about or to feel reluctant about. You can simply take the help of an English tutor residing in NYC. Being a professional, he or she knows how to go about with the teaching of the language. You can simply rely on your teacher and go ahead with learning the language.

Moreover, one really needs to be fluent in the language to appear in any sort of a competitive exam. Moreover, they would also need to be fluent in the language to be able to get a good job. Therefore, it is necessary to have a good hold on the language, so that they can fulfill their dreams and aspirations. Taking the guidance of an English tutor in NYC would definitely be a good move. Such a professional would surely guide you in speaking and writing in fluent English. Moreover, being a professional himself and because of the fact that he must be having a degree in English, he would be able to point out the mistakes that you make while using the language to communicate. This would enhance your capability of using the language in the right manner.

Such professionals do not give any importance to age. Therefore, you can be rest assured of the fact that even if you consider yourself to be old, your tutor will not consider you to be old and would teach you the language the way he teaches his other students. Therefore, you can take the help of an English tutor to boost up your confidence, to feel better and to definitely fulfill your dreams and aspirations. It is indeed necessary to understand and to speak the language that the world understands and the world speaks, or else there are chances of you staying behind.