My Favorite Books & Resources to teach TOEFL iBT

After five years of teaching TOEFL iBT, there are some resources I have on speed dial — and others that burned me and are now only used with extreme caution. My “Use with Extreme Caution” List Look, I know how challenging it is to write quality test prep material.  That’s why I don’t do it.  It’s expensive and time-consuming (ETS takes  months and shells …

I’m presenting “The Future of Online ESL Teaching”

Amazing news!  So I spent Friday through Tuesday at the IATEFL conference in Manchester, England and I met the amazing committee who gave me the Online Teaching Scholarship (so that I could attend for free).  I could literally talk your ear off about everything that happened at IATEFL but… Here’s the coolest thing… It turns out that there’s another conference …

7 Ways to Boost Energy & Connect with Students from Ken Wilson

Day 1 of IATEFL, Manchester — Ken Wilson didn’t accept our “Good morning” since it was, admittedly, devoid of energy. We sounded a bit like a car trying to start so he kept at us until we sounded sufficiently alive. It was a welcome change from the typical presenters who just get up and induce an audience-wide coma within moments — …

blog manchester IATEFL 2015 welcome bag

IATEFL Manchester, Day Minus 1

Today was the “pre-SIG” (pre-conference, special interest group).  I was in a packed session led by Simon Borg who discussed strategies for how to make teacher training sessions more effective.  Simon skillfully guided about 70 of us through a series of questions, concepts and strategies.  The day literally flew by, it was so engrossing.  I left just brimming with ideas for Online Teacher …

IATEFL, Manchester, Day Minus 2

I got into Manchester tonight.  Navigating the London underground and not missing the coach for Manchester required some Olympics-worthy-suitcase-dragging-while-running on my part.  haha   So to finally be here is quite a relief. I had plenty of time on the bus for some soul-searching and I got clear that I really have three main goals in attending: First, I’m incredibly grateful to Stephen …

Real Feedback about Online Teacher Launchpad

I recently asked Sally G., one of the teachers who is going through the Online Teacher Launchpad for TOEFL iBT, to answer some questions about her experience.  Her responses are below.   1.  What was frustrating or unsatisfying about your previous position teaching English that made you want to do the Online Teacher Launchpad for TOEFL iBT? There honestly just isn’t …

Trustworthy Tax Advice for Online ESL Teachers

Disclaimer: When I lived in Turkey, reputable tax advice never came from the local FB group of expats.  What is true for one expat is different for another.  I am not an accountant or a lawyer. Consult one.  See the recommendations below to get on the right track. “So I finally got a hold of my accountant and it turns out …

how to teach exams

4 Reasons Your Exam Students Won’t Refer You

Below are four common indications that you aren’t comfortable with how to teach exams — and why students might just take one or two exam prep lessons with you, and then disappear without a trace. Reason #1 – You don’t have enough other TOEFL students. Have you ever made a decision about which restaurant to eat in based on how many customers were already …

TEFL ≠ TOEFL iBT: The Difference

I was talking with an English teacher today who told me that he’d just finished a 120-hour course for teaching TOEFL.  I was pretty surprised because to the best of my knowledge, even the giant-exam-creation-monster itself, ETS, still doesn’t have a training program that substantial.  (It’s the reason why I created Online Teacher Launchpad for TOEFL iBT.) Curious, I asked the teacher …