Think Before You Speak - An American Teaching British English

 By: Joshua Schiefelbein

It’s a situation I imagine many American TEFL teachers face while teaching English abroad. I encountered this situation as I was going through the job search process. All my potential employers wanted to know if I was comfortable working with and teaching British English because their students were learning or had learned British English. They explained this was because major universities outside the US used British English, therefore making the British variant the more ‘classical’ form.

Since I’ve had some British friends as well as a British employer (an Episcopalian priest) whom I had understood them, and it was easy to comprehend what was being said in Doctor Who, the famous BBC television program, I responded with a resounding ‘sure.’ To me, there weren’t very many differences, and none of them seemed important. As a result, when I arrived at my job, I was surprised by the amount of differences between both versions.

Teaching English in St. Petersburg, the Former Home of the Russian Tsars

By: Joshua Schiefelbein

When it comes to the TEFL industry and teaching English in Russia, Moscow and Saint Petersburg are some of the world’s largest cities involved. A considerable amount of foreign language centers operate; billboards advertising learning English are easily spotted and large numbers of native English speakers can be found in both cities. In addition to the role language centers play, TEFL teachers can earn even more by privately tutoring students one-on-one or via Skype. 

Experiencing the Life of a Traditional Russian Village while Teaching English in St. Petersburg

By: Joshua Schiefelbein

When the snow starts melting and the ice begins disappearing, Russians celebrate the imminent arrival of spring and sun with a week-long festival known as Maslenitsa. During this period, Russians visit their friends and family and eat blins (crepes) with one another. In a way, my school, Gorchakov Memorial School, where I teach English in Russia, continues the week-long celebration in its own unique fashion.