A peek into the world of ESL

With over 27 million hits since its debut on December 31, 1999, Dave’s ESL Cafe has enlightened, educated, and inspired countless English as a Second Language teachers. Created by Dave Sperling, the site is a virtual clearinghouse of ESL information.

There is an “Idea Cookbook” where teachers exchange ideas on everything from how to tame a group of unruly kindergartners to selecting the perfect text accompaniment for a class. “Phonics Jenga,” “Student Penfriend Pie” (think letter writing, not cooking), and “Mr. Monster” are just a few of the dozens of activities exchanged by teachers on the message boards. Teachers also offer advice geared towards working with particular age levels, from preschool-aged children right on through adult business students.

A job board is another important component of the site, allowing visitors to post their resumes, and view and apply for jobs throughout the world. There is also an advice board, allowing ESL teachers venturing to all corners of the globe to exchange tips, tricks, and company recommendations specific to their region. A newbie board welcomes those with more rudimentary questions about the world of ESL.

English Language Learners can also find a wealth of information on the site, from grammar and geography quizzes to a list of slang terms, some of which can baffle even native speakers. Even as a life long English speaker, I never knew that ammunition was a slang word for toilet paper.

Blogs also offer insight into the ESL expat lifestyle, with coverage of the day-to-day events not shared in most web forums. The Daily Kimchi is a blog by two Canadians who are teaching English in Seoul, South Korea. They offer a day-to-day perspective on everything from buying cases of Ceylon Tea at Costco, to Korean women’s infatuation with high heels, to the particular difficulties that go with living in that region of the world, including the yellow dust that blows in from the deserts of neighboring countries, coating everything from the subway to the lungs of those who forgo dust masks.

The Daily Kimchi would not be complete without video footage of daily life in Seoul, including the singing cab driver serenading the Canadian duo with an unknown (to them) song.

Between Dave’s ESL Café message boards and the blogs out in the great wide blogosphere, getting a variety of perspectives on ESL and the many options that come with it are readily available to anyone willing to venture a few keystrokes.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | April 19, 2007
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

One Response to “A peek into the world of ESL”

  1. Steve Says:

    Dave is a God in the www world, and to think he did it all his way. There have been many of us who have found a job through his site. Simple and dated in design, it does the trick. Good going Dave!

    Cheers, Steve