ESL 101 Feature Column: Cutting Edge Analysis and Forecasting of ESL Trends
If you are in the ESL industry, whether you’re a teacher or do something else related to this area, searching for topics in the field on any major search engine certainly yields plenty of results, and while that sounds like a good thing, it can actually be quite maddening when you begin to click on the links looking for something substantive and informative. Of course, there are certainly resources out there that offer those components, but it can be taxing to weed through them. In my view, when it comes to topics related to ESL, this area is one of the most poorly tended and overgrown of the Internet gardens.
When I first decided to venture abroad as a professional instructor – not as a student, something I’d already done and was far less daunting – I found myself picking through a lot of repetitive information, a plethora of aimless blogs, and lots of corny and sales-y garbage. (Incidentally, I am a prolific blogger, so I don’t mean to be dismissive of blogging; there are a lot of amazing bloggers out there). As for the searching, chances are you’re like me, and a warrior researcher both on and off the Internet. While there are rewards to being this type of person, especially when pushing the boundaries on results from Internet search engines, you can also wind up wasting a lot of unnecessary time for information that you need quickly. Because, let’s face it, if you’re planning on leaving to teach ESL abroad, it is more than probable that time is not on your side.
That is why I have launched this new column on ESL 101, so that individuals in the industry can find cutting edge analysis on important topics related to the field. In my column, I will explore a wide variety of topics.
Here is a truncated list of what you can expect:
- Changes to visas and how that impacts ESL instructors’ lives (both abroad and at home), and how – as well as why – they differ from the process in the past
- The relationship between student loan debt in the U.S. and working abroad
- The risks and benefits of working in various countries
- Interviews with ESL specialists
- Cultural, political, and economic matters that relate to the field and living abroad
- The global economy and how it is, naturally, indelibly tied to the ESL profession
- How the Great Recession has changed the global job market and the ESL industry
- Exploration of culture shock and reverse culture shock
Discussions around all of these issues will not be superficial and short. Instead, all articles will be somewhat lengthy, provide in-depth analysis, and the most up-to-date information. Much of what is online about ESL is out-of-date or part of conversations with mile-long threads that are oftentimes filled with anecdotal takes on living and working abroad. While there are nuggets of value on some of these pages, it can take hours to scroll through endless chattering. That is something you will not find here.
Photo credit here.
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Cryn Johannsen is the founder and executive director of All Education Matters (AEM) which was founded in order to educate the public and elected officials about the ever growing student loan debt crisis.
Johannsen is widely known across the US for her expertise about student loans and as an investigative journalist. Her written articles have been published frequently in USA Today, Moneycrashers.com, Huffington Post, Truthout.org, Hyervocal.com and The Loop 21.
On ESL101.com Johannsen’s feature column is be dedicated to topics that relate to the ESL field, the global economy, and working and living abroad.
On Monday morning we applied for jobs within the same language centre that was looking for two English language teachers. By the afternoon we had an offer for two full-time positions teaching English to children in Thailand for four months. In addition, the company was willing to help us find accommodation and provide assistance getting settled in the community. What an opportunity! We arranged a telephone interview and arrived in Thailand the next Monday.
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