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Shapes: Listening and Speaking

This shapes listening and speaking worksheet is very useful for beginners to practice the given topic. You can ask your students to write the construction “this is a ..then about the shapes attributes. It is a great practice. Then in the second task you can do listening and after that speaking as a consolidation activity.

Download the worksheet

Shapes Listening and speaking (1)

Giving directions to strangers and friends worksheet

This is a free to download directions given worksheet and other resources for students.

It can be taught in many different ways; however, I gave the students the included map and had them identify their location or where on the map they are. Then I gave them the functional language flashcards, we repeated and went over each directional vocabulary word and explored their meanings with examples.

Then the students had to then speak using the flashcard language to direct each other to different locations on the map.

Make sentences about directions.

The next part, the students then had to write the sentences they made using the worksheet that’s included. And the last activity is them doing a word search (also included) to finish the lesson. The word search is of different transportations that they can use to get from point A to point B. 

As an extension to the lesson, the students can color the map, have them all work in groups, then decided what is on the map, then come up as a group in front of the class the talk about what they did with the map. For higher level students this works quite well.

Download giving directions worksheets, map, sentences and word search along with the lesson plan.

Lesson plan
Flash cards
Word search

My students enjoyed this giving directions activity. If you want to be even more creative, blow the map up in an A3 paper and have students come up to the board to give directions. Or make the sentences and then talk about why they want to go to a particular place.

If you like this consider helping contribute to the material.

Best classroom management strategy


Classroom management is perhaps the single most essential thing a Teacher needs to be able to do. Without a classroom management strategy in place, it isn’t very easy to get anything done in the class. But what is classroom management anyways? It is about effectively focusing the student’s energy. To be able to model the behavior that a Teacher wants a student or a group of students to exhibit. With that in mind, the following is arguably the best classroom management strategy. 

Classroom management and incentives

Positive reinforcement is the goal of classroom management strategy. It is the point of having a system in place because a Teacher wants a student to produce a certain kind of behavior. That is the bottom line, isn’t it? Keeping that in mind, what is the best way to get anyone to do something? Dale Carnegie writes about this in his brilliant book How to win friends and influence peopleand it is to encourage the behavior that one wants to see instead. People respond to incentives, and those incentives are not always tangible.

A classroom management strategy that works

Competition drives people. Almost everyone wants to be number one, the best, the one standing at the top, the boss, and it is essential that a teacher understands this and play on a student’s need to be the best. And this strategy is based on that competitiveness.

 Here is how you do it.

1. Have the students name on an excel sheet. Those who may want it tangible can also print it. The students names are on the left-hand side and on the right, have a point system from 1-10. Here is a visual of how it should look:

classroom strategy
classroom system

If a student brings their book, pen and are sitting down, you can reward them 2 points. A teacher may use whatever negative behavior they want to be corrected. Take time to emphasize the system and reward the positive behavior of a student who are exhibiting the desired behavior so that those who may not be or those taking too much time to do what a teacher instructs them to will see what is expected and will eventually follow.

You may choose otherwise, but I reward points for: 

  1. Having a pencil;
  2. Sitting down;
  3. Having a book;
  4. Doing work;
  5. Raising their hand;
  6. Asking for something politely;
  7. Participating beyond a threshold (I reward a point after they answer twice).

Students not having the material or not doing certain things were common problems in my grades 5-9 classrooms that I wanted to be changed. All these model the changes I wanted to see and to encourage the change, I gave them points for good behavior.

I remove points for:

1. Distracting other students;

2. Fighting with other students getting up without permission ( but I do a count down to give them an opportunity to correct themselves);

3. Not following instructions ( again count down from 5).


How to put the strategy on an A3 paper:

1. Print out the student names and points from the excel sheet on an A3 paper;

2. Laminate it so you can reuse per class;

3. To reward points, just use a marker to circle the points;

4. Attach it to the classroom somewhere where students can see it (preferably next to the board).


If the class is loud in general:

The attached noise meter system is a part of the system. Also, laminate it and get the attached smile faces that you can move to show the class where the noise level is on the system and move it to where you want them to be and wait until it’s there. The appropriate smiley face for each level helps. Image of the smiley face I use is below. If some students realize and listen to you, reward them a point, others will catch on and model that behavior, reward points until you reach the desired noise level. Then continue with the lesson.

Rewarding students 

After students have shown consistent desired behavior, report them to admin to be rewarded. This can be done on a bi-weekly basis. Make positive phone calls and letters home. And never punish the entire class for the actions of one student.

If, on the other hand, a student gets too many negatives on the other end, speak with them privately and see what the issue might be. If the issue continues, then reach out to outside help such as admin from your school and go from there.

Try out this classroom control system and write us if it worked or not by leaving a comment below!


Download the material for the best classroom management strategy 



classroom strategy
You may use these to show the desired behavior on the noise level chart


I hope this will be helpful in getting the class excited and positively reinforcing the desired behavior. This is by far one of the best behavior management strategies to get students doing exactly what the Teacher would like, in order to ameliorate the learning process.

At the end of the day positive reinforcement is more likely to work with students than not. There are many strategies out there such as these by Edutopia that can be used. Try out my system and I am sure you will like it. 

Download the material for the best classroom management strategy 



classroom strategy
You may use these to show the desired behavior on the noise level chart

I hope this will be helpful in getting the classroom excited and positively reinforcing the desired behavior the Teacher wants. This is by far one of the best behavior management strategies to get students doing exactly what the Teacher desires. 

At the end of the day positive reinforcement is more likely to work with students than not. There are many strategies out there such as these by Edutopia that can used. Try out my system and I am sure you will like it. 

The TEFL-TESOL Guide for traveling the world teaching English.


The following article is the most complete TEFL/TESOL guide for traveling the world teaching English. We will discuss what is needed to get a job teaching English abroad, along with passing the interview, getting a TEFL / TESOL certificate and excelling on the job.

But there are some questions first that will help you decide if teaching English abroad is for you.

Do you want to travel the world teaching English? Have you thought about it but don’t know where to start? Do you want to get paid and also travel? Do you enjoy helping people improve? Do you like to go on adventures and taste different foods from around the world? 

If most of the questions above are a yes, then traveling the world teaching English is for you. There is a world of adventure waiting for you out there. But wait a minute, you might be thinking!

How do I travel the world teaching English?

It’s really simple, I have been doing it for the last twelve years. And in that time I have been to over 68 countries paid for just by teaching English.

I started in South Korea. Pyeongtaek was the name of the town. From there I taught in Yeosu. And while in Asia, I explored the surrounding countries.

teaching in Pyeongtaek
South Korean students learning English in Pyeongtaek

I moved on to Europe, taught privately and explored while being based in France. Now I am in the Middle East. I am exploring and learning about this region while also teaching English.

Great, isn’t it?

Yes, but are there requirements I must meet?

Yes! There are certain requirements that need to be in place for one to teach English and travel the world. Some of them we have complete control over and some we do not. The one we do not have control over is where we are born. Take a look at the table and see what is needed.

What is needed to teach English abroad.

Native country (must)

USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

Visa Requirements

TEFL (or an equivalent); bachelor’s degree or any college degree passport from an English-speaking country as mentioned above. Some places do not require TEFL/TESOL.

Clean History

A clean criminal background check. This usually means no felonies on your record. This does not include traffic fines etc.


Employers for teaching English overseas value personality even more than the west. To be fun, outgoing and engaging is an asset. 

Non-Native Speaker?

There are requirements for none-native speaker so getting a job as one is not as hard as many think. 


Generally speaking, if you fit the top three of the above table, things go very smoothly. That is not to say that you cannot get a job without these, but it just depends on where and how. Online jobs have different requirements a lot of times. 

Sometimes a TEFL is not asked for until later in the job. It depends on the school. Often times, a lot of private schools in Korea don’t ask for one at first, but later on they do. It is certainly better to have one because it helps the Teacher, and it shows the employer that the individual is serious about their own development.

Then we come to the next question:

How do I choose a TEFL course?

TEFL course checklist

Choosing a good course is essential. There are few things we want to make sure the course provides before choosing one. The basics are straightforward. The course must allow at least six months to complete it.

If most of the course is online, it must provide a 24 hour access. Good and dedicated trainers are a must and the ability to get a certificate sent within 24 hours of completion is industry standard. But that’s not all, there are other factors to consider: 

  1. Course Length – The reason for considering this is because most reputable institutions do not accept a less than 120 hour TEFL course. Courses less than this amount of hours are meant for knowledge brush up. 
  2. Course Content – Content is everything when it comes to TEFL/TESOL. The material needs to be able to deal with Teacher knowledge, classroom management ideas and essential tips to succeed as a Teacher. It needs to include step by step instructions and expand on TTT (teacher talking time) as well as simple methodology on classroom motivation. 
  3. Accreditation / yes or no – this one is debatable because to be frank accreditation doesn’t always mean high standard. I am not by all means saying it is not important, but it shouldn’t be the main factor when choosing a course. Why?

Because an accredited TEFL course only ensures that we are receiving good quality training if the TEFL accrediting body itself is reputable and maintains a high standard. eslbase

I couldn’t agree more with the above quote. Thus, just because a course is accredited, doesn’t mean it is good. An accredited course is only as good as the accrediting body. What the course provides for the Teacher is far more important than accreditation.  

Most accrediting bodies are businesses, just like the TEFL course providers they work with, and so accreditation involves payment of a fee. The fact that a business transaction is involved can mean that ensuring high quality is not at the top of the accrediting body’s list of priorities. That is one of the main reasons accreditation is not something so pivotal in choosing a TEFL course. 

4. Certificate of completion – The course must offer a way for one to show that they have completed the course. And a course competition certificate that is sent to employers is important.

5. Well trained and qualified instructor/s – A trained and easy-to-talk-to instructor is essential, because they not only need to explain the material when needed, they are your first line of contact. They need to be able to channel their experience and expertise on to the trainee. 

6. Practice, practice, practice – ample opportunities for practice is necessary, especially for brand new teachers. The practicum part is a pertinent but an interactive element, scenarios and role-play are very important in building Teacher’s confidence. Remember:

“An accredited TEFL course is only as good as its accrediting body!”

These are arguably the most important things to look for when choosing a course. We work with a few partners that offer just that. They are trusted, well-known and provide excellent support which is essential to a Teacher’s progress. 

TEFL training course to teach English abroad Country based paid internships (certification on completion)
TEFLpros & Let’s TEFL
1. TEFLPros 120 hours course is on sale
2. Let’s TEFL graduates are a top hire
Premier TEFL
3. Paid Internship in Thailand 
4. Paid Intership in China
The TEFL Academy has a nice
5. Level 5 TEFL Courses (168 hours)
6. Get a Tefl scholarship in spain with Tefl.ie
7. Quick 120 hour express tefl course8. Teach English-in-Italy with Tefl.ie Internship

Note: Reliable Affiliate partner links to keep the great content coming 🙂

Does having a TEFL, CELTA, or DELTA affect my pay?

Let’s use having a TEFL as an example: does having a TEFL affect my pay? Is it necessary to have a TEFL certificate? 

For the sake of simplicity, yes it does. How? In South Korea for example, we get a boost in pay if we have an English degree. Another boost if we have a TEFL certificate. And on the second question, is having a TEFL certificate necessary? For the most reliable and good positions that we may want to stay at longer, yes. Not saying that jobs that do not require one are none of these things. There are many benefits to having a TEFL, CELTA, or a DELTA certificate.

One of the great benefits is the knowledge that comes with one. If the course really goes in depth about teaching and managing a classroom, then it is worth it because that is so much more essential in being successful as a Teacher. Thus it is good to have one.

“Yes, that’s great advice, but I want to know about the interview process. “


That about covers it for the certifications. Let’s move on to discuss interviews and the interview process. 

What is the interview process like for teaching English as a second language?

The interview process is very straight forward. The expectations are that the person applying for the job is qualified. For a first time teacher, training is provided. The interview is usually over Skype or another social media platform. For the interview, these tips will help:

  • Dress professionally;
  • Be well groomed;
  • Be enthusiastic and show that you want the job;
  • Be outgoing and be attentive;
  • Ask questions and be fully engaged;
  • Take notes after asking questions about the job.

Doing the above shows enthusiasm and your overall interest in getting the job. It might seem trivial but it really isn’t from an employers perspective. I have been on both ends of the chair and it does help.

TEFL TESOL CELTA DELTA – which one do I need?

It varies. Your degree plays a role. If for example one has obtained a BA in English, a Masters in TESOL then a TEFL course is not really necessary. However, if one only has a BA in English, then a TEFL or better yet a DELTA is highly recommended.

Why? Because they open up the job market immensely. A lot of high paying jobs require a Masters or a BA and a DELTA along with experience. Thus again, it depends on one’s education level when choosing which certification to go for. And once that has been obtained, then all that’s left is applying and preparing for an interview.

What are most common ESL Teacher interview questions?

The interview seems to always start with the general statement: the “Tell me about yourself” interview question. So, how do you answer it?

Do not make the mistake of answering this question as if someone is asking to get to know you on a personal basis. This is a great opportunity to open the conversation in your favor. What the interviewer is really asking is:

  1. How can your past experience help our company?

The best way to approach this question is given a summary of your experience and demonstrate how you progress through the company because of your unique skills and attributes. For a example, you could say:

I started out as an English Teacher. After 8 months of teaching, my manager called me in his office for a meeting. He informed me that I will be the new Lead Teacher. I asked him why he chose me for this role when other teachers had been in the school longer than me. He said that he liked my calm demeanor in stressful situations, he liked what I brought to the team: qualities like punctuality, respect, hard work and the can-do mindset. And since he wanted someone who can lead by example, he chose me to be the new Lead Teacher.

2. Why do you want to work here?

It’s important here to know a little bit about your employer. One should have done a bit of research into the company and get a few stats. That way saying something factual about the company and linking that to one of the reasons you want to work there can be seen as impressive.

3. Are you familiar with the requirements of the job and do you think you can do it?

This one is a no-brainer and often asked to see if they person applying has read the job description. That is the basic thing to do before applying for a job.

4. Are you familiar with the terminology that goes with the job?

One the questions I often ask potential candidates is when applying for teaching jobs is whether they are familiar with formative and summative assessment. Because, as an educator, one should know how their students are learning, where to take them and where they have been in terms of their educational progress.

These are common questions in one variation of another and it’s important to do research and know the company that you are interested in working for. Passing an ESL job interview just takes some research, knowledge about one’s role and showing the enthusiasm to do the job.

Check out the job board and start traveling the world. This guide has hopefully given you a heads up, what to, how to and all else you need to know.

If you have something to add or comment on, please do it below. Sharing is caring, we love to hear what you think.

Teaching English in UAE

You can expect jobs in UAE to include:
Start: August
daily to do calendar
Contract: 2 years
activities and ideas
Medical: Provided

Teaching in the UAE presents a whole new adventure of its own. Sand dunes, Nissan Patrols, Lexus driving too fast, speed cameras, brunches and crazy parties are what many new teachers are in for. Welcome to UAE, where modernity intermixes with tradition in a way that amazes many visitors.

In this article we will talk about some pertinent information for those who may want to be or are already teaching in the United Arab Emirates. Plus questions and answers from a current Teacher who recently signed up for a great adventure in Dubai. Let’s take look at the job market in the United Arab Emirates:

Job details in United Arab Emirates at a glance

Available jobs

Public schools; private language institutions; universities

Visa Requirements

TEFL (or equivalent); bachelor’s degree; passport from an English-speaking country

Monthly Living Expenses

$1,500-$2,000 (with rent) depending on which emirate one chooses

Monthly Teaching Salary


Peak Hiring Months

Year-round; but mostly August to November

For jobs, guides & courses, join our 5,480+ educators mailing list

Many come to the UAE and get hooked on the lifestyle and the tradition mixed with modern way of living while embedded in the cultural mindset of the bedouin. That is, you get a balance of tradition and modernity that sometimes seems light years ahead while certain times one feel like they are stuck in a certain past. 

The passport means everything here and nationalities known around the world live well and receive higher salaries. That means, any English speaking country tends to get preferential treatment after the local inhabitants. 

At the same time, salaries are high but expectations to put in the work for that salary are high. Living cost is modest outside of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The rest of the Emirates are much more affordable in terms of housing and sometimes cost of food. 

What’s needed to Teach in UAE

  • Aged between 18 to 50
  • Fluent English speaker (preferably from a Native Speaking Country)
  • Completed High School
  • TEFL qualified (see promos here)
  • Culturally sensitive (very important)
  • Clean mental and physical health
  • No criminal record

Keep in mind again:

Start Date
Contract Length
Usually 2 years
Public schools: No; Private school: Usually

Depending on whether your application is received via recruiter or directly on our job board, you’ll will be contacted. One of our job admins will then contact you for documents to accompany your application.

Once all documents are submitted, they are reviewed, and if all is in order, an interview is scheduled either via Skype or a phone.

The interviewer will then get in touch to let you know when are if an adventure awaits you in the United Arab Emirates. 

application process

Once you have accepted an offer, you will be informed which airport to fly into. Flight is covered. It is either booked for you on an agreed upon date or booked for you and you are reimbursed.

There are seven Emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quain and Ras Al Khaimah. You will likely fly into Abu Dhabi since it’s the capital city.

Most visas are processed through Abu Dhabi immigration office but some are done in Dubai. Upon arrival in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, a bus or private driver will be waiting to take you to your final location of the job. 

Bring spending money for a few weeks or a month; sometimes even more. There have been teachers who have had to wait two months for documents to be completed before getting paid. This is a fact that is sometimes overlooked but very important. And having been here for 7 years and train a lot of the teachers, most say they were not aware of the fact that it might take a month or two to be paid.

A few things that are essential to save you headache time and money:

  • Attest documents: degree, marriage certificate (if married), children birth certificate (if bringing family) and any other important government document that might be needed. 
  • Police check: Not necessary for UAE but some private schools require it and it is done before hand.
  • Health check: Teachers are sometimes asked to provide a health statement; however, if you work for public school, that is done here. The process is straight forward and simple. 
  • Vaccines: Consult your doctor if there are any vaccines needed for UAE.
  • Budget: Spending money for your first five weeks or more plus excursions etc 
  • Visa cost: covered by employer usually, if you pay in advance for it, you are reimbursed. 
  • Insurance: You may obtain travel insurance but medical and dental is covered by most schools both public and private. 

There is lots to do in the United Arab Emirates. From Dubai, Abu Dhabi and in between. There is a plethora of things to see and do. The food is exquisite, the locals are generally very nice and welcoming. The weather is great during Winter and camping in the desert is a treat. 

Spend some time in Jumeirah and explore the beautiful scenery. Make your way to Sharjah, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah for great food. There is Syrian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Japanese, Philipino, African food and so much more. 

Take your adventure to new heights with great food and lots of adventure that teaching English in the United Arab Emirates brings. 



The most important websites and apps that will help you find almost everything you will need.

  1. Entertainer (food discount – paid)
  2. Dubizzle (buy and sell classifieds etc – property rental/sale) top app
  3. Bayut 
  4. Blueground
  5. Get That
  6. Waze Navigation app (a must for speed cameras)
  7. Just Property
  8. Property Finder

What are teachers on the field saying?

We like to talk to a few teachers on the job to answer pressing questions, give tips and further help potential teachers and travelers about what is it like living and working in UAE.

What is/was your motivation for going to the UAE?

There are 3 main reasons for moving to the UAE – I have always wanted to work/live abroad – the UAE being a preference because of the lifestyle and having friends and family here, it is a place I have always enjoyed visiting. Money – the salary is good and it enables me to give my son a far better quality of life than what I could offer in the UK. Fresh start – sometimes you just need to start over.

Knowing what you know now, would your decision to go to the UAE change, why or why not?

No my decision would not change but I would be more prepared than I was in certain aspects for example the paperwork requirements and ensuring that I had more money than the recommend amount from the recruitment agency.
Did you have that moment and realized, holy crap, what am I doing? What happened?
100% on more than one occasion but sat here 10 weeks in it all seems like a distant memory.
Everything in the UAE requires a Emirates ID, these take time (mine even longer as it was temporarily lost) you loose your head on a number of occasions whilst waiting for this. When you remember that process and procedures are different here, having OCD is not an option, you learn to just ride the wave – everything falls in place eventually I am prove of that.
You are not here to change the world, you are here for the lifestyle 🙂
What is the one sentence or word you have to know in Arabic and what does it mean? Please spell in English!
insha’allah – god willing. It means it will happen – eventually.
What should you definitely bring to the UAE with you that you can’t find here?

What difficulties have you experienced here and how did you overcome them?

Obtaining my Emirates ID – due to it being misplaced in the MOE office, was recommended a contact who was very helpful and located it.

Obtaining the basics to do my job – laptop, oracle number, login – waiting for them to be received and keeping my managers informed of the status. It does make the job more challenging.

Being paid – I was aware of a 2 month delay but this is currently sat at 3 months, luckily I have financial support from my family.

What is an experience you have had here that you would like to share?

Schooling for my 3yo son.

Firstly I had to decide if to put him in nursery or straight into school, as I wanted to take my time employing a maid I decided to go down the nursery route. I did some research into various nurseries and decided to look for one in close proximity to my school as I wasn’t sure where I was living at this point but wanted to get him into a routine as soon as possible. I decided to go with a British Curriculum EYFS programme as he had already has some pre school in the UK and it was a going to be a huge culture shock so I wanted to minimize uncertainty where I could. Another important factor was that they taught Arabic as he is at a prime age to develop new language skills.

A number of the nursery’s were run down and operated in a very unorganized way and I didn’t get a good vibe from the place, it is important to look at as many as you can and you soon get a feel for them upon visiting. I selected Little Leaders and he has adjusted well, making new friends and settling into nursery life.
What is the most interesting food you have tried and love and one you don’t care to have again?
Umm ali – bread pudding.

There is not a food that I have tried that I don’t like.

What is your favorite place in your Emirate/city and why?

Ajman – City Centre Mall – everything you could need in a mall but not to large and Sultan Saray (restaurant on the Corniche) amazing food and setting.

RAK – Marjan Island – amazing sunsets and everything you could want on hand. Beaches/pools/parks and SALT!
What do you miss most about home that you don’t have in UAE?
Friends & Family
Green hills
Fresh air

Any advice for newcomers or anything else you would like to add?

Just go for it, it will be a rollercoaster but if you have the ability to ride the wave it will be worth it.