Teaching ESL to adults in Sydney

img_20160804_120105Just under a year ago I moved to Sydney as a friend was living here. In no time I managed to get myself a job as a teacher, teaching English as a foreign language to Adults.

Looking back now, when I first started I was so lucky to find a job as I felt under-qualified and under-experienced. Even though at the time, I thought I was ready as I had been teaching at Primary Schools for 2 years in the UK and 6 months in Thailand.

However, this kind of teaching was totally different. I’m still not sure how I managed it because I absolutely hated being the centre of attention with group staring at me. I could manage a class of kids as I knew there was no judgement but adults was a completely different matter. They were paying hard money for me to teach them to expand their knowledge of English. How was I going to do this? I had never really learnt a language so I had no concept of the different tenses or grammar point. Vocabulary was easy enough but actual grammar and pronunciation was a no-go. Was this stupidity? English had always been the subject I had struggled with especially battling with dyslexia. This was not going to stop me. I have never let anything stop me from fulfilling my goals. With high determination and a solid focus, I am always up for a challenge.

A year on, I can see how much I have grown in confidence, where I don’t shy away from teaching adults and my brain is now just bursting with so much knowledge of English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. It’s a good job I love learning new things. Nearing my end of my time in Sydney, I have now work at three incredible English Language school, which have been pretty similar but at the same time, they are all unique.

I have loved working at these colleges, teaching just lovely students from all around the work and wonderful colleagues. I have taught General English from Elementary to Advanced level, day time and evening shift as well as a mix of both, sometimes, even working 14 hours, taking student on excursions, doing conversation clubs and even socialising with them. I am so thankful for everyone I have met through working in Sydney.

It has varied at the different schools. At my first school, initially, I taught two different levels during the day with grammar in the morning, and conversation and writing in the afternoon. Then changed to teaching the same level all day. The timetable was teaching five hours a day with a forty minute lunch from nine to three,  four day a week with a Friday being electives such as excursions, movie or grammar.

Generally the timetable was:

Monday AM – recap previous week’s grammar and go through test papers

PM – New vocabulary and reading

Tuesday AM – Grammar point 1

PM – Speaking activities using the grammar point

Wednesday AM – Grammar point 2

PM – Planning, speaking and writing practise

Thurday AM – Grammar and writing test

PM – Speaking activities or Australia studies

Evening class at both my first and second school have always consisted of teach two hours slots to the same level with a half an hour break with these classes being much more relaxed and not quite getting through as much.

Then at my third school during the day, I taught two hours from twenty past eight, two hour break then another two hours with an hours to do planning before leaving at half three. Again teaching a mix of writing, reading, pronunciation, speaking, grammar and vocabulary. In the two hours between the classes, there are ‘mystudy’ classes for the students, where I teach two to three times a week either implementing a conversation class or monitoring the computer room or doing a music lesson.

Teaching has given me so much joy and I am so thankful for the opportunity to teach ESL to adults in Australia. I have met so many wonderful students and teachers, and I am going to miss them. I have grown and learnt so much and experienced wonderful things while teaching.


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