Recently in General Category
EF (Education First) have created a free online language test called EFSET. As it stands, it is a bit of a curate's egg, but I do think that they are onto something. It's slick and available in several languages, and you can log in directly from Facebook,Google or Linkedin.
I left the UK in 2004. There are jobs currently advertised that pay the same, or in some cases 10% less, than I was earning then. Add even a very small amount of inflation and this makes for a huge drop in spending power. The average salary that people talk about in Japan today is the same as when I first visited Japan in 2005. I saw hourly rates in Portugal, where I first taught, a decade later that were the same as when I left.
The next of English Teacher X's ebooks that I have read is subtitled An expatriate guide to not getting robbed, scammed, jailed or killed. In pre-Skype days, I was living in a place in SE Asia where the internet was expensive and used to use an internet cafe across the road Most days I heard someone phoning home to ask their family to send them some money as they'd been robbed. The risks he's talking about are very real, and the first part of the book makes a lot of sense.
English Teacher X's Guide to Teaching Abroad is not a guide to classroom practice with some swearing, but a look at what he sees as the realities and expectations of an ESL teacher's lifestyle and working conditions abroad, with lots of swearing.
We're currently being bombarded with blog comment spam from people trying to promote cheat sites. Sites offering custom essays as "examples" have been around and have significantly undermined the credibility of many educational courses for years, but the current spam is a cause for hope because it is so illiterate that the barrel is surely being scraped.
When I looked at which basic ELT qualifications employers were looking for, someone suggested doing the same for more senior positions. I decided to separate managerial roles from university positions, and here I have just looked at managerial positions, starting from Assistant Director of Studies (ADOS) and moving up.
There are thousands of ESL teaching courses available, with all sorts of claims being made about them and accreditation that can be valid or bogus. One simple test is to look at adverts to see what employers are looking for, so I went through 200 adverts for basic teaching jobs around the world, and a few teaching online. I ignored managerial positions, university and specialist jobs. This does not rate the contents of courses, though it is clear which courses employers trust and prefer. Qualifications are given with the percentage of the teaching jobs advertised that a person could apply for.
Ginger Software proofreads your writing, checking the spelling and grammar as you write. You download and install it- it works in Windows with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, and in Firefox and Internet Explorer.
I had a look at the Grammarly automated proofreader and personal grammar coach that claims to be the world's most accurate grammar checker, presumably in the automated category. The bad news is that those who want to post any text and expect it to be turned into perfect English will still have to wait for science fiction to become reality, but the good news is that it could be a very useful tool.
The title comes from Pedro Carolino's English as She is Spoke (1883), an accidental classic that is meant to be an English phrasebook and conversational guide, but as the author couldn't speak much, or any, English, he created a garbled translation of a Portuguese-French phrasebook that has a charm in its ridiculousness.