Chris Mares - EFL Teacher and Writer

usa writer Dec 10, 2016

Chris is an experienced EFL teacher and a very talented and creative writer.  Read how Chris wrote 150 "Richard" stories for his students based on his own life. Look for another interview in the future once the "Richard" stories are published, along with lesson ideas and templates for teachers and students to write their own stories.

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach at the University of Maine (in the USA) where I’m Director of the Intensive English Institute.

How long have you been teaching?

Although I feel very youthful and zesty, I have been teaching for 37 years.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

I get up early and write for an hour or so.  I like to get in to work early, around 7:15 am, before anyone else and deal with the fiddly stuff of administration.  I teach three classes, two called ‘Personal Writing’, where students work individually on their writing and I work with each student on their writing. ...

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James Flieder - EFL Teacher and English School Owner

china school owner Dec 09, 2016

James Flieder has combined his passion of teaching, language learning and drama by opening up a language school in China.  Find out how James uses a specific goal-setting technique which had lead to his success.  

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach in Ma’anshan, Anhui province, in China. It’s a “small” city of about 1.5 million people. I have lived here for two years now.

How long have you been teaching?

ESL, 9 years. German, 2 years. My first job after college was as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at a secondary school in Linz, Austria. I had double-majored in Theatre and German, so when I arrived I was looking for ways to combine my passion for language and drama in the classroom. Adjacent to the school I was working at was a private international school that already had its own English through drama program. I knew I could do the same. Our students’ parents agreed, so we held weekend workshops to give...

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Todd Vercoe - ESL Teacher and Creator of

canada website designer Dec 08, 2016

Todd Vercoe is the creative genius behind the website  He provides lots of great advice in his interview for teachers who are looking at teacherpreneurship.  Todd says "Start. You never know when or where you will finish, but starting is key".

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I am taking a break from teaching at the moment, though I started standing in front of classrooms back in ‘79. Then, I was just a young pup instructing Saturday morning classes, after 4 p.m. programs and summer school sessions. I taught games mostly such as Dungeons and Dragons before most had even heard of the game and also delved into historical simulation games, world games and other Role Playing Games (RPGs). I taught drama as well, especially after studying theatre as an undergraduate.

How long have you been teaching?

I worked with the then Toronto Board of Education until 1996 when I left to teach in South Korea. I planned on being...

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Douglas Rummell - EFL Teacher and Board Game Designer

game designer usa writer Dec 06, 2016

How often do your students play board games?  Do you ever think about the creative genius that goes into designing engaging board games?  Read this fascinating interview with teacher to teacherpreneur Douglas Rummell.  Douglas talks about how he came up with the idea for Say it Right!

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

At the moment, I’m teaching part-time at a local language school here in Seattle, Washington, USA. I’m also working in the wine industry as a Sales Representative here in Washington State.  I think sales is the most important skill of an entrepreneur and I realize now that a lot of teaching English is sales.  You have to sell the students on the idea that a grammar lesson about noun clauses will be fun.  When you go into a job interview for another teaching position you have to sell the hiring manager or the school director that you are the right person for the job.  Getting up in front of a class of...

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Matt Purland - One of the First Teacherpreneurs!

Matt is a prolific writer with 24 books to his name and more than 4,000 worksheets! I think that Matt is one of the original teacherpreneurs. He wrote his first book 15 years ago, and I remember using it in Hong Kong. If you have been teaching for a long time, you may be familiar with some of Matt's books such as Big Grammar Book, Big Grammar Book 2, Big Activity Book, Big Resource Book, and Talk a Lot Elementary Books 1 and 2. I also had the opportunity to interview Matt live and have posted our podcast here


Purland Training

1. Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach in language schools in northern Poland, and also on Skype.

2. How long have you been teaching?

I’ve been teaching English since 1999, when I first became qualified with the Trinity Cert. TESOL. I started off by teaching EFL in a summer school and then worked as an ESOL teacher at a government-funded training centre in Derby, where I...

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Hall Houston and Gerhard Erasmus - EFL teachers and Writers

taiwan writer Dec 04, 2016

Hall Houston and Gerhard Erasmus are the authors of What Teachers Need to Know about Brainstorming.

Where do you teach now? How long have you been teaching?

Hall Houston: I currently teach at Kainan University, located in Luzhu, Taiwan. I have been teaching EFL for over 15 years.

Gerhard Erasmus: I am the Director of Studies at a language school in Taipei, Taiwan and I do quite a bit of teacher training. My favorite has to be tutoring in Delta Module 2, mostly because of how clearly you can see teachers develop over the period of the course and afterward if you manage to stay in contact with them.
How did the idea for your e-book Brainstorming come about?
HH: I read a fascinating book of brainstorming and creative thinking exercises over 10 years ago. The book was Cracking Creativity by Michael Michalko.  I began to read many other books, then wrote my first book, The Creative Classroom, which is a collection of short creative thinking exercises for ESL/EFL...

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Jose Torres - EFL teacher, Writer

When Jose Torres saw the need for a resource for his adult learners, and couldn't find an appropriate book, he decided to write his own.

Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

I teach for Baltimore City Public Schools and Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) in the United States.

How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching for over 15 years.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

My day normally begins at 7:30 AM with young students at Curtis Bay Elementary School in Baltimore. Generally, I work with students at the Pre-K level all the way up to 8th grade. My day students are at different proficiency levels, so I differentiate a lot. I try to work with them in small groups, as I group them according to their proficiency levels. Some need more attention with their literacy skills, some auditory, others with reading and writing. So, I cover a wide range listening, speaking, reading and writing activities during the day. In the evenings, I work with adult...

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Gwen Zeldenrust and Lynn Schneider - ESL Teachers and Video Producers

canada video producer Dec 04, 2016

Gwen Zeldenrust and Lynn Schneider took up the challenge of producing a video and teaching materials to teach pragmatics. They are both talented and creative teacherpreneurs residing in Canada.

You and Lynn worked together on Impressions:  Making Positive Impressions in Conversation Video Program. How did the idea come about?

G:  The idea for Impressions first came about when I started teaching ELT (English Language Training – a program for internationally trained immigrants to Canada). In the beginning I wasn't quite sure what I needed to teach these students because they had high levels of English. I finally understood that they needed to learn about how we use English in this culture.

Did you find many materials to teach pragmatics?

G:  No, I had a lot of difficulty finding resources to support my lessons. I find that teaching pragmatics is very abstract when using text based resources. I really needed to show the students how to do it. Using video...

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Alberto González - ESL Teacher, Translator, Writer

Alberto González is an experienced ESL teacher, translator, and the author of Spanish for English Speakers. Read how Alberto used his expertise and skills as a native speaker of Spanish to write his first book.

Alberto, can you start off by telling us where you teach?

Sure, I teach in an international language institute called Berlitz Languages in the United States. Also, I have tutored in colleges and have provided freelance services to college and high school students.

How long have you been teaching?

8 years.

Can you describe a typical teaching day?

There are a variety of courses offered, from a couple of hours per week to a full time week, 6-month long, full course. Taking the full course as an example, students go through an assessment/placement test to determine their level of proficiency. When the course start, the first thing I do is to keep assessing the students in terms of aptitude and attitude, to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses managing the...

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Walton Burns – ESL Teacher, Author, Owner of Alphabet Publishing

Walton Burns is the author of 50 Activities for the First Day of School and two other books. He is the owner of Alphabet Publishing. Find out how a brave student inspired him to write his book.


Thank you for doing this interview Walton. Can you start off by telling us where you teach?

At the moment, I do some freelance tutoring mainly for international students or adults living in the area New Haven area of Connecticut, USA but I’m currently doing more materials writing as it allows me to spend time with my son.

How long have you been teaching?

I began teaching in 2001 when I traveled to Vanuatu in the Peace Corps and I started writing materials professionally in 2007.

Can you describe a typical working day?

After breakfast, I usually run up to my home office and answer emails for half an hour or take care of some other small quick business, like paying bills. My wife gets our son ready for preschool. It’s my job to take my son to preschool, he has decided....

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