Use the Soccer World Cup in Germany as an English Language Teaching Tool?
No, I’m not kidding. Using popular events like the soccer world cup in Germany to teach English is in fact, practical. The learners’ Affective Filter (Krashen and Terrell, 1983) is so low using events like these to teach English, “a cockroach could leap over it”.

Can you imagine the reactions of my learners when I announced, “For English class everybody has to watch the world cup matches”?

“That’s great!” “Teacher, you’re the best!” “Oh man, we’ve never had an English assignment like that before!”

Although not a huge soccer fan myself, I did think it would be interesting to see matches between teams you know never get to play each other during a regular season. Italy vs. Ghana? The USA vs. the Czech Republic? Holland vs. Ivory Coast? Awesome!

To work the games in to English language practice, learners must use their skills in a number of different ways by applying Task-Based Learning (J. Willis, 1998) in addition to some Content-Based Instruction (Richards and Rogers, 1993). Do Ghana and Italy do business together? If so, what kinds of products or services? Useful activities for learners include ones such as:

o Preparing and giving profiles of the competing countries including economics, geography, capitol cities, etc.

o Being able to locate the countries on a world map and give bordering countries and geographic features

o Talking about key players on each team or dialogues between players / coaches / fans

o Describing aspects of key players on each team – age, height, weight, hair, looks, marital status and other features like bald, braces, glasses, tattoos, etc.

o Soccer match elements like player positions, scoring, and even how to play the game

o Giving commentary on game plays and goals using active or passive voice

o Making predictions using future tenses “going to” or “will”

o Using discourse markers or modals to express uncertainty (perhaps, possibly, maybe, might, could, may, etc.)

The learners are free to work up whatever formats they wish as long as they stay active and involved in the process. Some games are recorded with highlights reviewed / discussed in class. A few games are watched during class hours via multi-media facilities available at the university.

Other activity possibilities are:

o Reports

o Developing vocabulary lists in context based on vocabulary elements (Thornbury, 2002)

o Discussion / descriptions of cities where games are played

o Local architecture

o Regional foods

o Holidays

o Clothing

o almost any cultural aspect learners may find new and interesting

At the end (gasp!) of it all, learners will have compiled an extensive “portfolio” of written and multi-media materials that have allowed them exhaustive practice in the four English language basic skills. Written practice can be either Process-based (White, 1987) or Product-based (Fowler, 1988) Learners have also had extensive listening comprehension practice in English. With different sports moderators and commentators from different countries speaking English with a variety of accents, elements of listening and their associated difficulties can be examined. (Brown and Yule, 1983)

So, these activities are turning the soccer world cup in Germany into a marvelous English language teaching tool. The process could be rolled over and used with other international sporting events as well, like the Olympics, Baseball World Series, American football Super Bowl or numerous other world regional events. Think about sports or other types of events where you live. How might you effectively exploit them to teach your English EFL or ESL learners?

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.

English is now the universal language and is spoken by people all around the world. Being an English teacher in a different country is a rewarding experience. Each country has its own uniqueness as well as their own language. It is indeed interesting to note that 75 countries world wide opt for English as their first language. Countries like Japan, China and Russia choose to teach only their native language. Even in countries like France, Germany and Italy people speak only their native tongue and not English. Due to this they have lagged behind in the advancement in technology world. Since computers are in English these countries have a draw back (as they don’t know English) and unable to compete in the global arena.

Indians have moved up the ladder thanks to their expertise and fluency in English language and have taken the IT world by storm. All the software’s are in English and programmed by Indians and Americans only because of their proficiency in English. Realizing the need to learn English, many foreign countries are recruiting native English speakers to their country to teach English. Once you move to a foreign land opportunities widen and you may even move on to other spheres of life. Businesses attach importance to youngsters who have taught English in a foreign country. This is due to the fact that they are exposed to various cultures and learn to imbibe it into their lifestyle giving birth to creativity. Being an ESL teacher adds weight age to their resume.

As a young educated person becoming an ESL teacher is great because it helps to gain a new perspective on life, to quickly pay off your student loans, to travel to exotic locations, or to be immersed in an unfamiliar culture. The decision to teach ESL is to earn money, and explore the world. Later when they choose to teach at university this foreign teaching experience comes in handy. In countries like United States of America or United Kingdom, where there are students of all ethnicity and races it is indeed useful for an ESL teacher if he/she has foreign teaching experience. Understanding and bonding with students is most important for a teacher.

Being an ESL teacher in a foreign country is a valuable asset and gives a competitive edge to the individual. Since English is the official language for business communication, even countries who never recognized it before are recruiting teachers from abroad to teach English. They don’t wish to lag behind due to this handicap. If you become an ESL teacher in a foreign country for at least one year you will be awarded with a certificate that helps in you attaining future jobs. Or if you wish to study further and complete your doctorate, this teaching experience helps you in attaining experience and exposure to various cultures. Becoming an ESL teacher in a foreign country opens doors to opportunities wide for higher education and job opportunities that were unattainable before.

Besides free accommodation and boarding, you also can take your spouse along and lead a wonderful life that you have always longed for. Not to forget that the remuneration is very good. Both of you can teach, as many schools prefer to have couples so that accommodation can be shared.

The benefits of a TEFL, TESL or TESOL certificate when searching for an ESL teaching job cannot be overstated. Although it may technically be possible to get an ESL teaching job without the traditional certification, you will likely find that the types of jobs available to you will be severely limited. For instance, if you hope to one day be able to teach English in any of the more popular European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, or Spain then you will find your chances to be nearly non-existent without a TESOL or equivalent certificate. However, you may wonder why you need a certificate in order to teach English abroad. There are many reasons, but perhaps the most important is that it demonstrates a level of competence in a very specialized field.

ESL teaching is not like all other forms of teaching. There are many unique challenges and techniques that an ESL teacher will need to draw upon in order to be effective, and many of these are taught in TESOL certificate programs. A potential employer can rest assured that certain standards will be met by certified teachers, and they can also be sure that the teachers they hire will be equipped for the more unique aspects of the job. In most cases, an actual face to face interview with your employer is not practical. They will have little to go on before making a decision about whether or not to hire you, and the confidence that comes along with selecting from among TESOL certified teachers offers employers some amount of peace of mind.

However, as I said earlier, it is possible to get an ESL teaching job without TESOL certification. In some rare cases, there may be little or no difference between a job offered to an uncertified teacher and one offered to a certified teacher. In the vast majority of cases, however, the uncertified teacher will be offered a job that pays less and includes fewer benefits than the job offered to a certified teacher.

Aside from these practical concerns, there is the advantage of making connections with other people in the ESL field. When you take a certification course, you are often connected with people whose job it is to help you find a position that suits your desires and abilities. Finally, most TESOL certificate programs will give you access to boards and job lists that would otherwise be unavailable to you.