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 …

Stop Wasting Energy on Pointless ESL Lesson Plans

Whether you have enough creative energy to guarantee you’ll be whittling or knitting on your deathbed, like me — or especially if you don’t have that much creative energy — you should choose to teach a specific type of English lesson to a specific type of student. How “Yes” chewed me up and spit me out When I stopped working …

How to pass Delta Module 1

I got my results last night! I passed Delta’s Module 1 test the first time. If I hadn’t been teaching TOEFL for so long, I’m not sure how I would have done on Module 1. Honestly, I just turned a lot of the same strategies that I use when I coach my TOEFL students on myself. I imagined that I …

Are you ready to teach ESL online? [Quiz]

It seems like the hot new buzz is online ESL lessons. A mobile, ultra-lightweight lifestyle fueled by a magic pixelated money machine and multinational lessons that cross time zones. Flexible work schedules and fabulous students that let you focus on the things that matter to you… How sweet the dream is! Wonder how well-suited you are to teach ESL online? …

5 Tips from my DELTA Module 1 Exam

I survived my Module 1 test last week.  I have to wait to get those results, but here are my observations of tips to pay attention to at DELTA.  If I have to do it again, I’ll be following my own advice below… 1. Do a lot of timed practice. Keep your eye on the clock. I did a bit …

How I learned to love my captor (Delta, Module 1)

Today, my cohort (or rather, the lambs who are steadying their nerves and preparing their necks for the chopping block) took a DELTA practice test for Module 1 today.  The mood was grim: Faces were drawn. Notebooks were returned to bags without any joie de vivre. Sighs were audible. I was extremely cautious as I used the cryptic guideline answers …

A Breadcrumb Trail through the Digital ESL Forest

When I signed up to do Module 1 of DELTA, I had trepidation.  My bricks of flashcards indicate it was a valid concern and my level of success at getting them to stick in my mind is questionable. What I didn’t expect was that Module 1 would catalyze my enthusiastic discovery of the huge digital world of ESL.  I’ve just …

Studying for Delta Module 1

On Wednesday I paid for my Delta Module 1 exam, so it means that I am officially committed to getting hand cramps on June 4th. I came home and made a pretty intense study schedule for myself. You can click to enlarge the image here. If I have learned anything in the last four years of watching TOEFL students accomplish …

Meet Rookie J — an unlikely future TOEFL teacher

She spends weeks packing, but nevertheless arrives in Turkey with things she will quickly abandon (the Rosetta Stone for Turkish; a foreign haircut; a suitcase full of the wrong clothes).  She doesn’t yet know that her intangibles are infinitely more valuable (a little bit of CELTA experience; unbridled enthusiasm; the conviction that this job in Turkey — her first opportunity …

Experimental Teaching

I’ve been having dreams lately. I say this because I don’t usually remember them. In fact, it’s been so many years that I forgot that dreams are peppered with little bits of reality. My Delta class is wriggling into my nocturnal realm, as well. In the second session of module 1, we gave little presentations of a variety of alternative …