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Banned Commercial (TEFAL)‏‎

The following commercial was apparently banned for the taboo language it used: Banned Commercials – Learn English 

Don’t listen if you’re easily shocked.

The commercial was made for the Soesman Language Institute and entitled, A Day Trip. It features a middle aged couple and their children going away in a car and listening to the radio. They sing along to a song, unaware of its meaning.

It was designed…

English Teachers – the series‏‎ (TEFAL)

English Teachers – the series, is a fictional webseries about the lives of English teachers in a language school in Japan. The first episode aired in September 2010.

It is directed and produced by Anthony Gilmore who teaches English part-time at the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies in Japan and has also worked at language schools in Japan and South Korea.

Note: although the first season is still…

Mind Your Language (TEFAL)‏‎

Mind Your Language was a British sitcom about an EFL teacher to a stereotypical collection of students.

It was made in 1977 and ran for two years averaging huge audiences (over 18 million per episode) but because of the offensive stereotyping, it was cancelled.

Let’s see, we had…

a sexy French girl
a macho Italian man
an “efficient” and hard German au pair…

Spelling Chequer Poem (TEFAL)

English spelling is easy. We all no that as this poem demonstrates.
Eye have a spelling chequer, it came with my pea sea,
It plainly marks, for my revue, mist aches I cannot sea.
Each time when eye have struck the quays I weight four it to say
If wot eye rote is wrong or rite. It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid…

Strange English (TEFAL)‏‎

Strange English is a collection of statements about English which deserve more thinking about. If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented? If people from Poland are called “Poles,” why aren’t people from Holland called “Holes?” Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery? If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled? Why is the man who invests all…

Stripes – Basic English (TEFAL)‏‎

Can we teach like this?

Of course not because we’re mere mortals. But Harold Ramis in the 1981 film classic, Stripes, can.
Stripes – Basic English
The film opens with Russell Ziskey (played by Harold Ramis) teaching a brand new class to speak English when he himself has never taught before. (In actual fact, Ramis, an English Lit graduate, was a substitute teacher in Chicago during the late 1960s.)…

TEFL Jokes (TEFAL)‏‎

Although there are jokes we can use in the class to drive home a language point and make the lesson more engaging, these are jokes about teachers and students in general and especially about the English language and the way we use it.

Some of them are terrible and will get a good groan. Others are a little better. The good ones are sometimes attributed (where we know)…

TEFL on Film

TEFL on Film are those movies or television series which have as a theme or plot point, the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language.

Here we present a short list ordered by date and review them. If you know of any others including TEFL then do please email us with details.
English Teachers – the series (2010)
This is a web series made in Japan about English teachers…

Vowels to Bosnia (TEFAL)‏‎

During the war in the Balkans (1992-1995), much was made of the spelling and pronunciation of placenames in Serbia and so on. This satirical news item was popular at the time. {AF}Before an emergency joint session of Congress yesterday, President Clinton announced US plans to deploy over 75,000 vowels to the war-torn region of Bosnia. The deployment, the largest of its kind in American history, will provide the region with…

What Students Say (TEFAL)‏‎

The following gems were picked up over the years by English teachers around the world.

The interesting thing is that if you look at them, often they make profound sense in a strange way. Comments like When I grow up I’d like to be a kindergardener do somehow ring true.

Anyway, if you have any bloopers of your own you’d like to share, please do get in touch and either…

What Teachers Say (TEFAL)‏‎

Teachers mess up as well. Many of us have spent time teaching in a foreign country and grappling with the problems of the local language. Here are a few problems which arise:   A class were playing a word game where they had to explain a word to the rest of the class. The teacher gave an Italian student the word tramp. As the student did not know what the…

Worcestershire Sauce Fail (TEFAL)

It’s doing the rounds of the internet – an Italian YouTube chef shows how frustrating and impossible the English language can sometimes be.

In the video quite simply he just wants to say “Worcestershire Sauce”.

But Pasquale Sciarappa fails and in the end he gets fed up and comments, “I don’t know what kind of country this came from, but I’m Italian – so I’ll read…

You know you’re a TEFL teacher when… (TEFAL)‏‎

You know you’re a TEFL teacher when… …you watch Eastenders and want to correct their pronunciation and grammar. …you think it’s perfectly fine to say close the light. …you meet the parents and understand immediately why the child is the way it is. …you want to correct the apostrophes outside greengrocers’ shops. …you want to laminate your birth certificate, your shopping list, post-it notes and any other random piece of…