Ask five TEFL teachers on Phuket what they think PD means and you might get five different answers. Ask the same five teachers if they feel their office has enough resources and they’ll all say, “No”.
PD stands for professional development and much like how supplies and resources are limited, opportunities for PD in Thailand are far and few between.
Despite the lack of support from schools, serious teachers are able to source teaching material, as well as professional development and knowhow from the internet.
Here are some of the better sources local teachers can use to their advantage:
Mainly a site for promoting TEFL certification courses and the profession in general, eslbase.com has a resources page that covers topics such as teaching methodology, terminology, theory and more. It’s not going to help anyone who’s been teaching for a long time but it is great for those who are starting out.
If you’re going to teach academic English, test preparation or high-level writing, you’d better know your grammar. Facebook’s Captain Grammar Pants considers herself a ‘grammar guardian’ and regularly posts some of the most useful and interesting English grammar rules.
If you’re after a more straightforward source of grammar guidelines, grammarbook.com is easy to navigate and very detailed.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the best site for resources and lesson plans has to be busyteacher.org. Newsletters notify subscribers of new material and their existing material requires almost no alterations.
A close second, but not free, is esllibrary.com. For roughly 1,700 baht, teachers can find useful lesson plans that include teaching materials, worksheets and activities. Investing in the one-year subscription will save teachers time and hassle trying to do create lessons on their own.
If you don’t already know about BBC’s Learning English site, you’re just not looking for resources. From videos to sentence diagrams, and from news articles to quizzes, BBC has most aspects of ELT covered.
One resource site that just keeps getting better and better is the Discovery Channel’s puzzelmaker.com. Teachers can make crosswords, word searches, cryptograms and more. Once finished, all the teacher needs to do is print out the materials. Brilliant!
The most obvious choice here is tesol.org. A one-year membership costs roughly 3,200 baht but benefits include special interest discussion groups, virtual seminars, online courses, access to unadvertised jobs and much more.
If you cannot attend a seminar, you might as well read good professional articles. We follow eslarticle.com and their Twitter account notifies you of any new publications they’ve uploaded onto their site.
While many of Khurusapha’s (Teachers’ Council of Thailand) regulations haven’t affected foreign teachers on Phuket, many suspect this will change soon. Use the site to download PDFs and to keep up with their announcements regarding teacher development.