Author: MSLarsen

Things to avoid in the ESL classroom, and what to do instead

“Classroom management can be a bit of an art form. Some teachers can struggle to keep their students in line while others seemingly just disperse some kind of magic that makes the students sit down and listen well.”  Classroom management is something that I myself, even after several years of teaching in China, am still struggling with from time to time. It is important to remember that when students are acting up, it is not always their intention or even their fault. Children very much react to their surroundings and often have a hard time keeping their impulses in...

Read More

The Importance of Correct Pronunciation

For many, pronunciation is something crucial for learning and using any language. If we cannot make ourselves clear, other people will have a hard time understanding us and communication becomes difficult, much more so than is necessary. But in a world where we spend increasing amounts of time looking at screens and chatting on phones, we are taking less and less time to talk to real people face to face, and thus, especially English learners are starting to suffer in their pronunciation. Much like our handwriting gets worse the more we use email and phones, so too does our pronunciation decline when we stop talking. If you are an English teacher, chances are that you have already seen this in your own classroom. Chances are that you, yourself, are struggling with your pronunciation in a second language because you do not use it enough. Maybe you are teaching English to students but English is also your second language and your pronunciation is not as good as it could be, this could influence your student’s pronunciation overall. A few years ago, when I was teaching mostly Middle-School students in China I often had to correct my student’s pronunciation, and often they insisted that their Chinese English teacher had told them, that this is how the word is pronounced. This highlights the importance of especially English teachers having correct pronunciation when...

Read More

The Perfectionist

I worry about you. I worry about having someone like you trying to do this job, because you want everything to be perfect, and you’ll have to learn that it cannot always be. I am not still sure if these were the exact words that I was one told, about taking a supervisor position at a previous school, but it comes pretty close. I know that she was right, though. Me being a perfectionist to the degree that I am, does cause me to maybe spend more time at work than I am meant to, it is very much...

Read More

I get hurt every day, but I keep coming back for more!

Your skin is so white! Your head is so shiny! Why is your nose so big? Are you an alien? The teacher has fur on his arms! He looks like a monkey! I want to touch your head! Why do you have so much hair on your face? You’re fat! Almost every day when I teach classes, I hear something along the likes of these sentences. I do not hear all of them every day, but every day I hear at least one. For me, personally, it is mostly about my head being bald. Now, I don’t blame my...

Read More

Taking the Cambridge TKT Examination

A couple of weeks ago, I spent my whole day off on a Monday staring into my kindle, reading the books for taking the Cambridge TKT tests Module 1, 2, 3 and CLIL (Content & Language Integrated Learning). The test is a basic examination for teachers and the level of the certification is not very high, but because I never formally studied teaching, I was actually a little worried that I might not do well. I came to China almost 6 years ago now, and the only formal training I had for teaching was the TEFL Certificate I took...

Read More