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Point of view: Take a taxi to the top

taxidriver Jonny Hughes

Qualifications specific to EAP are fast becoming the best way to land a job at a university, says Paul Breen. Back at the start of my English language teaching career, I assumed that I would use the experience mainly for travel, and eventually do other things. Teaching English provided opportunites to live in places such as Japan, Australia, South Korea, and even a couple of sweltering summer months spent in Shanghai on a summer break from Korean university teaching. One day, at the close of my travels, I’d go home and write a film script, open my own business, or engage in drudgery, divorced from such exotic adventures.

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Inspector Gadget


ELTons award winner professor Stephen Bax reveals all about his career and his passion for innovation

- Before becoming a university professor at the Open University, you had some interesting and varied experiences as a Tefl teacher. Tell us about your career to date.

I started in Tefl in 1981 when I saw an advert for teachers in Sudan saying: ‘Teachers wanted, no experience necessary.’ So from 1981 to 1983 I taught English in a girls’ school in Argo in north Sudan with classes of up to 120, and I loved every minute of it, including learning Arabic.

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We’re not in Kansas anymore


US students have been learning to empathise with English language learners by being flung ‘in at the deep end’ in South Korean secondary schools, Irena Barker reports.

Teachers often look for ways to empathise with their pupils and understand how their background and experiences can affect learning. And in English language teaching, when pupils can come from far-flung countries and cultures, this is all the more important.

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Out of the box: Know your funsultant from your cruffin


English is a fast-evolving language and it pays to keep up to date with the latest new words and phrases. Word-lover and journalist Adam Jacot de Boinod does the legwork for English teachers trying to keep up.

Every year new words slip effortlessly into unofficial, informal English. Invariably, to stand the test of time and to find their way into the official dictionaries, they need to catch on. This is most likely if they incorporate brevity, wit or inventiveness rather than simply be a profanity or vulgarism.

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The new British empire


Setting up a branch abroad used to be an activity for only the bravest, boldest and best resourced independent schools in the UK, Irena Barker writes. 

Harrow School, alma mater of Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch and prime minister Winston Churchill, was the first to plant its flag in foreign lands – opening a campus in Bangkok, Thailand in 1998. It now has a ‘chain’ of four international schools in East Asia.

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