Number one for English language teachers

Amthal Karim

Amthal Karim is an English literature graduate educated in London but now living in Sheffield. She teaches evening classes at Sheffield Hallam University.

I am an English literature graduate educated in London but now living in Sheffield. I studied for a Journalism Diploma a few years ago but found the field hard to break into so, whilst working for Sheffield Hallam University, I studied the Trinity college certificate in TESOL. I then began teaching voluntarily before I went on maternity leave. I have now taken on teaching formally although it is only part-time/occasional work. I hope to take on teaching as a full-time job as soon as my toddler is settled in nursery.

The classes I teach are based at Sheffield Hallam University and take place in the evenings. The classes attract ages from 16 onwards and the students are a mixture of nationalities and different backgrounds. There is no set syllabus so each lesson is self-contained and, more than often, topic based. There are three levels - beginners, intermediate and advanced. I teach mainly at Beginners level.

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    Author: Amthal Karim Type: Reference material

    Teaching is not my one passion in life – like most people, I do it because it happens to fall within the career path that I have chosen and pays well. The biggest bonus – as my husband will agree when he arrives home after a long day working in a bureaucratic council job where no-one does anything and everyone thinks your useless – is that I seriously enjoy it. It gives me a buzz to know that I have taught somebody something useful that they didn’t know before! Ok, so all the students ...

  • Nerves

    Author: Amthal Karim Type: Reference material

    This evening, I must admit I am slightly nervous. I haven't taken a lesson for a while and I had a hard time deciding what to teach the students today. Also, I'm not sure if there has been a new intake of students so there might be a lot of new faces too. It's half an hour until the lesson begins and I've already re-arranged the furniture in the classroom - ok, maybe moved a couple of chairs around - set up the overhead projector and laid out all the tasks and worksheets ...

  • Eliciting

    Author: Amthal Karim Type: Reference material

    I am now teaching intermediate level students - known simply as 'Group 2' - and the first thing that strikes me is that the intermediate group is much larger than the beginners group. This does not become so obvious as when - at 6:10pm - the latecomers make their way through the classroom door. I already have twenty students and five observing trainee teachers. Another eight students and two observing teachers file into the room! After a few minutes negotiating with ...

  • Couch potato

    Author: Amthal Karim Type: Reference material

    After the success of my first lesson with Group 2, I am positive that the students will enjoy the second lesson. I grab their attention and interest immediately by writing the words 'couch potato' on the board. I decided to use a theme-based approach to this lesson as, by the second part of the evening, the students are usually less willing to do any intensive reading exercises or grammar work - this is the 'fun' part of my lesson. The enthusiastic and very able Chinese ...

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