Teaching EFL


About Chat Room :)

Chat Rooms will be different in each learning center as they will all have their own way of doing things.But to give you a general idea of how a chat room could go, keep reading.

Chat rooms are about teaching the younger kids some basic vocabulary, letting them have fun and being a glorified babysitter at times. The kids ages for Chat Room are usually 2-5 at the oldest, usually by 5 the parents are trying to put them into Phonics classes.

I usually spend some time playing with them while getting their names on the board and then singing a few songs. My kids love 5 Little Monkeys, The Wheels on the bus (with my improvements hehe) ABC and the newly improved Head Shoulders.We also have table time where we complete book work and do some colouring and then I do sticker time because I make them come up two at a time and we do a book.

During December we did a whole bunch of crafts during the week, some of which were yummy and some were just sticky messes. Overall the crafts and science idea that we get are not always young child friendly, sometimes the curriculum planners do not think about the ages of the kids and we tend to go a little rogue then 🙂


Beginner Phonics C

My Little Terrors

A few weeks ago I was suckered into taking on extra late night shifts. I now have 4 long days that I only end work at 19:30, apparently I am a masochist. But no in all honesty it makes very little difference to my overall day and actually helps with the trains.

I have 3 boys and one girl, they are beginners-full on beginners. When I started the class I had Joshua who was this amazing sweet, polite and great child but he broke his arm in December so I lost him. He was very good in comparison to the other and did every piece of extra work I gave him, I now have Wai Ming who is also very cute and hard working. 🙂

This class is my trickiest class, I have them at 18:30 and its so tiring for them! These kids struggle the most and need a lot of help. They are very cute and hard-working but always so exhausted 🙁

Riston and Risley are twins, Risley is a short bundle of energy and can speak English very well. Riston is the taller of the two and somehow cannot speak any English. When he started with me it was in a Trinity class and he just stared at me in slight shock but now he has really come a long way. He still has a long way to go but it is looking good for him. Both boys really enjoy my classes and try so hard to do the work.

Wai Ming is the strongest kid in the class, his first lessons was not a good one. Since then however, he has really improved and works like an absolute champ! Yik Kan is the girl in my class and I had taught her before phonics so I had an idea of what to expect. She gets very unfocused at times which can be difficult for her, she is trying hard but does tend to fall behind.

We always start our class with the lovely Phonics song and alphabet song which they LOVE! I must try take a video of them at some stage! They jump up and down, clap on the table along with the song and go a little crazy 🙂


Beginner Phonics A & B

Woosh its been a hectic couple of weeks.

The temperatures in Hong Kong decided to drop to freezing so I’m huddled in a classroom with my colleagues sitting around a heater waiting for my next class to start.

Cookoo Kelvins class

Kelvins class has gotten uber adorable but we keep getting make-ups in the class which is really disrupting them. A couple of weeks ago Kelvin started hugging me, as soon as he hugs me Leo wants to join in and throws himself onto the huh, then Oscar wants in and throws himself onto it.We end up being this hilarious but cute standing up dog pile.

We have a new girl in the class, Emily, she started out being very shy but now even though she still doesn’t talk too much she really has fun in the lessons. The boys go a little wild when we sing and she loves it. I’m always watching that they don’t hurt themselves while pulling faces at her during the phonics song and she really is loving it.

I really love this class, they require high energy but they give a lot back so it’s not exhausting!

The little Creatures

Then there’s Ivana and Ivanias class.We have started doubling up to do big and small letters because they are just so darn good. They were getting a little board with the pace so now they having to be pushed which is really good for them. I may have planned a little far in advance but I really know my kids which is great but at the same time I have subs coming in who do not know them so trying to go too fast then will probably be an issue.

Ivan has really blossomed in the past few weeks, he has so much fun in class and now focuses hard on all aspects of the class.  Ivana and Ivania are having some issues with their focus as they really just want to play and have fun without the writing part of the work. Mikki is definitely struggling on the writing aspect of classes, when she isn’t struggling to focus while writing she really flies through the work. At this stage though they all just need to be pushed a little, I think they got a little lazy hehe.

This class can read like absolute champs! I’m planning on spending a few lessons at the end of the book just reading and spelling a few more difficult words. They are more than capable and our intermediate level has a major jump between it and the beginner levels.

We had a new teacher join us about 3 weeks ago and I had her take this class,they did not really enjoy having  a new person. They were super quiet and shy but did everything that was asked of them. I made sure to explain to them exactly what was happening so that when the teacher taught it wasn’t too scary.

Lets see what happens over the next few weeks with Chinese New Year approaching!





Beginners B :)

Oscar,kelvin and Leo

With the end of summer I had a few extra hours free for new phonics classes and so I have two more to talk about 🙂

I can honestly say that I love my beginner kids, they really are the cutest. This class started off with 4 completely different kids, one had no clue what was going on while the other three had varying degrees of English abilities. One child dropped out and I got Oscar in place.

Now Oscar required a bit of work at first as he couldn’t say the sounds correctly for a-c and we were about to start ‘D’, so I did a review. Two days later I had kelvin join and two others drop, I had to do another review lesson to see where he was and to catch him up. He was much stronger than Oscar so we only had to do a lot of work on a. The next week Leo joined in and then I just had these three boys.

Leo,poor kid, was terrible and when he started I wasn’t sure if he would ever be able to  pass his exam. Now 16 lessons in there is hope, at last! These boys are super energetic, I mean they are three boys together in a class so that’s to be expected I guess, but their energy is a little too much for the few 2 people who subbed for me. They are allowed to jump and dance around and sing really loudly, on the condition that when I clap my hands in the air they stop immediately. I’m really strict with them because we don’t have the safest of  classrooms and otherwise they really would go wild.

They love my lessons because of the freedom and when it’s time to work they really knuckle down for me, most of the time. Leo has a big problem with sitting,that’s putting it mildly, Leo cannot sit nicely on a chair to save his life. I have to constantly remind him to sit nicely,but he really tries hard to do his work so he doesn’t get into lots of trouble from me.

Kelvin has started hugging me when he gets to class which is so cute because then Leo joins in and Oscar which leads to a fun few moments to class. Kelvin also hugs me during class when he knows that he is in trouble and is really sorry about it, of course then Leo has to join in and Oscar again. We have a lot of fun and the boys are learning so well. Their reading is improving and even Leo is starting to improve a little with the reading.

I’m leaving them for about 3 lessons with a substitute over Christmas. After hearing about a few horror stories from the other centres I am so nervous, I have made my notes for the sub ‘idiot proof’.Lets hope that everything goes well!


Intermediate Phonics update :)


Ooh update time on my Intermediate boys! We now have a new girl in the class, Timmie, She has missed the first four blends as well as the vowels that we so she is super behind.

Timmie really tries, she works very hard and listens well. At first she struggled a lot with pretty much everything and played around a little too much in class but since then she has knuckled down. The boys were not happy when she joined the class, in fact they were super hostile when she did her trial lesson, dragging their chairs as far from her as possible and clinging onto me even more.


The boys have started putting their head on my lap when they are not feeling well, I allow them to for a few minutes but then they have sit up nicely and work. I have managed to wean them off having to always be holding onto me. However, I get  a lot of make-up students in  this class and whenever this happens the boys close ranks around me and wont let any one else near me. 

So Joseph is finally showing some improvement, I am going super slow with the spelling though but at this stage it seems to be the only thing helping him learn. Timmie shows good work verbally but as soon as its time for working in the book her abilities go splat.I think they are all improving but it seems to be very inconsistent at the moment. 

The boys are even more competitive now and make sure that there are always big folders between the three kids while doing any book work. It’s hilarious! 



Beginner Phonics A Update :)


Oh my the little creatures are doing so well in Beginner Phonics!

We are now on H and they have flown through the work. I will not push them onto big and small letters in one lesson yet but I think at the start of the new book I will try. Vowels, osh these are going well now but they do struggle with A and E a lot. I’m a little nervous on I but hopefully they have a strong enough foundation on E that it should be ok.


Ivan has really improved! He still has some lessons where he doesn’t really work much without prompting but he is doing well. He mostly joins with the singing and all the beginning work, he really enjoys screaming out the letters and sounds!

Ivana has really come out of her shell and is semi screaming the songs now. She works really hard and is really having fun in class. She also screams out the letters when I ask for the ‘spelling’ of them.

Ivania is even more boisterous than she was but she listens really well. She continues to sing loudly and have fun with all the work.

Finally Mikki, She was doing really well and out of shell for a while.For the last few lessons though something has definitely changed. She is very uncomfortable in her own skin and while she will still sing and joke around most of the time its not all the time any more.

These kids really are awesome, I love teaching them. We have all settled into a routine that they love and which is really helping keep them in balance. We make sure to have fun but when I say enough and that we have to work, the kids all try calm down and start to work.


I’m getting closer to my few days leave around Christmas which means I am super worried about what mess the subs will do in my classes. I know, this sounds really mean but honestly I have seen how they teach the kids and they couldn’t care less. They don’t even teach the sounds correctly, everyone does it their way which means the kids can no longer differentiate between A and U.Its a nightmare, but luckily only one or two days that they will have my phonics classes, so hopefully not too much damage will be done.



Beginner Phonics A


Ivana, Ivania, Mikki, and Ivan

(my little creatures)

You may recognise one or two of those names, the three girls were in my Summer Monkeys B class and are as adorable now as they were then.

I’ve only taught them for a week so far and it’s going well. The girls are much stronger than Ivan is but I am sure with some push we can get him up to their level. Ivan is cute boytjie, but he does seem to be a little out of his depth with all girls.

I’m trying to motivate him and make sure that we work really hard while having fun,trying to draw him out and maybe get him to smile a little. Im teaching them the Phonics song and so far they are really enjoying it. Ivan and Ivana are very quiet, as is Mikki. I’m hoping to bring the three of them out of their shells a little. I may just be teaching in a learning centre but I am determined to work hard to make sure I am a good teacher.

We are hitting C soon and I cant wait to see how they do. So far my little creatures are getting 9-10/10 for spellings.

AS much as I am following the MT way I really want to make sure that they get a strong foundations so I have sort of tweaked it and may do my own thing to some degree. Im making sure that they can say their A sound correctly and recognise it. So I spend a good 10 minutes in the beginning going through the letters we have done and their sounds as well as words that start with those letters. Hopefully this works and I shall see how they progress and maybe re-evaluate again when we reach K.

Ivana and Ivana are really strong readers already, we go through all the words, they hardly need any help and I make sure that each child reads at least 3 pages. When they struggle with words on a page I am now making sure we go through that page twice so they see the word again.

These are such cute kids and even though the twins like to hit each other a little I have already seen them improving with this. Mikki is so sweet, I adore her.

Hopefully I can let you know how they progress eeeeeeek! :J


Advanced Phonics

So my phonics kids are doing super well! My four boys became three (Chin Jip, Chris and Jerry) and in the last week it’s just been two of them (Chris and Jerry). I have been making them go home and learn the spelling words for long vowels; these are the hardest words to spell correctly. 

Summer Little Monkeys

I have been teaching 3 Summer Little Monkeys classes three times a week, Mon/Wed and Fridays 9:30-11:00 (Monkeys A) and 1:30-15:00 (Monkeys B) with an hour lunch break in between. Then on a Tuesday I have one Little Monkey class and a few other Phonics lessons. My monkeys classes had about 8-9 kids in them at a stage and my word have they been exhausting!