Good Rapport & the Guilt Trip

I had a terrible thought cross my mind today while I was marking a test and I wanted to share my ‘horribleteacherness’ with you (new word?). Let me start by giving you some context.

I teach one to one lessons and my learners are in their teens. My leaner, let’s call him X, has been learning English with me for about 6 years now. He was a student at my langauge school and when the language school shut down, I took him on as a one to one learner. So, we have been a team for a long time. When you have a learner for so long, lines start to get a bit blurry cause the relationship becomes a bit more personal. Your student is like your kid. I have a great rapport with X and he feels comfortable when we have lessons, but he is a teenager taking exams. He wants to pass, I want him to pass, his parents want him to pass. Is passing an exam what’s important? No. But com’on, it is the Greek reality and I roll with it.


So, X has been acting up lately. Revolting. Being a teanager and our great rapport has moments when things get a bit electrified (aka he pisses me off). But we do have a good teacher-student relationship and in the end I do get the message accross (aka I am the boss, I win).

About 10.000 words later, I am going to tell you what the problem is. It’s one month before the test and X wrote a mock test which was supposed to be 90 minutes long and he finished it in 50 minutes.

He gave me the test and said, ” I finished. It was easy”.

Me: ” Are you sure?  Did you check everything?”

X: ” Of course Miss! Always! I am going home now.”

Me: ” OK”

But! Of course he didn’t check everything and of course he got a low grade. He can do much better than this and that’s where my ‘horribleteacherness’ will come in. I am going to take X on a guilt trip and play the ‘I am disappointed in you’ card.

You (the reader): “Oh! No, you aren’t!”

Me: “Oh! Yes, I am!”

Time for a guilt trip!

My teenage student needs drastic measures and I am taking them. I will say that:

  • I believe in him and his capabilities.
  • I am going to ask him to tell me why he finished so quickly.Are there things he had difficulty with?
  • I am going to ask If this is the best he can do. If this is what his best effort looks like.
  • I am going to say how this test makes me feel like a teacher.
  • I am also going to use the F word. yeap. Fail. “If you keep this up, you will fail. If you do not try harder, you will not pass”.

Now, before, you start rolling your eyes, and feeling like unfollowing me and giving me a piece of your mind regarding how anti-pedagogical this is, I will say that if this was a weak student who needed more encouragement, I would be more soft in my approach, but it isn’t. This is a student who is very bright and often arrogant. Very arrogant. I need to address this arrogance.

Of course I agree with Merton’s self-fulfilling prophecy and I always tell my learners that they can do whatever they set their minds on. I encourage and support them. I do this with X all the time (maybe that’s why he is arrogant) but sometimes I resort to tough love and this is one of those cases.

So, there you have it. You can tell me off now or not….




The one where I jinxed everything

So folks,

Last week I came on here all joy and fun to talk about my Iatefl presentation. To get you to come and hear me talk.

I was ready. Presentation rehearsed. Plane/Car booked. Luggage packed and then…… I got sick. I went nowhere!!! I stayed at home, in bed doing nada. I was so sick I couldn’t even watch the presentations! I mean com’on! Talk about jinxing myself!!

So,  here is what I learnt from this experience.

Stay away from sick students when something important is coming up.

Do not over talk about something when you are really excited cause… you jinx yourself.

No matter how well you plan something, everything may still go down the drain!!

On the bright side, I lost 2 kilos! Yay.


As for my presentation, I will make a video and share it here.

So, that’s why I haven’t written any Iatefl posts and why I have been quiet.

Talk soon.


Iatefl here I come!

Hi everyone!

I just though I’d pop in and write a quick post about my Iatefl talk and maybe entice you to come by. So,

What’s my talk about?

The main focus is on academic writing, as my talk is part of the forum on academic writing (but my drawings can be adapted for any writing class).

I will talk about using drawings in the EAP classroom. In my classrooms both the teacher and the learner draw. There will be a bit of ‘research talk’ but most of the talk will be about practical  classroom stuff.

I will tell you why I draw and what I draw during my presessional EAP sessions.

I will ask you (yeap, you) to draw too.

When is my talk?

Thursday the 14th at 10:25  Session 2.1. Hall 10b

I hope I see you there or anywhere at the conference!! By the way, I will be blogging about Iatefl hopefully from Birmingahma as well, so stay tuned!!


Nope, this is not my presentation, just a random pic 🙂



Thanks for stopping by.


My ‘problem’ with the word disability

Today was the first time I filled in a job application and ticked a box about a disability.

There was a question about whether I have a condition that may affect my work and I finally ticked the box. It took me 40 years. I ticked the box and then filled in another box with details. I wrote:

I am colourblind and I may have difficulty if things are colour coordinated.

That’s the truth. I have actually had difficulty at work in the past. It has been a ‘problem’. Some colleagues have helped me. Others immediately, others after a bit, and I have been brushed off, cause, well, she didn’t have the time.

I find it very difficult to do that especially when it comes to work cause I am an Alpha type gal who sets goals and tries to do anything. I have told myself over and over again that my disability is something that enables me to do so many other things. It challenges me, it makes me resourceful, stronger, but does it? Why do i find it so hard to accept the term disability?

Let’s look at the definition of disability,

an ​illness, ​injury, or ​condition that makes it ​difficult for someone to do the things that other ​people do


I cannot do what other people do.


True Story

My vision is quite bad, not just cause of colourblindness. I went to the eye doctor and she mentioned that I was entitled to a phone with bigger numbers and loads of other stuff at work. I laughed. Me? Do I need special treatment? No. I ain’t gonna have it.No way.

It’s actually people like me, who have a disability and cannot come to terms with it,  who make it difficult for the rest of those like me. I have written a zillion posts where I whined about my colourblind life. I have written even more about what I want to change, but when I get the opportunity for a change that would’ve made my life easier, I never took it. When it had to do with my work, I didn’t want special treatment. I was scared. I said nothing. It took me 40 freakin years to tick the box!


Is it because I have grown up in Greece and even from the ancient years, children with defects were chucked off mountains (Sparta)?I learnt this at school as part of history.

Is it cause I feel bad about myself? Not normal? Weak? Weaker than others?

Is it because of my personality. I am a tough cookie. I can deal with it. It ain’t a big deal.

Is it because I feel embarrassed or scared that someone will make fun of me?

This has actually happened.The number one question I get is, ” What do you think this colour is?” Recently a makeup artist was layering my lips with a lipstick so many times, just so I could ‘see’ the colour. My students have told me that the marker I was using was a different colour just to giggle. I was so pissed off, and sad.

I am always asking for help.  Is it the same for other people? What’s wrong with me? I feel so comfortable talking about colourblindness, but I could never tick the box………

 Today I did.

Pin for CB post.jpg

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I love to hate formal observations

I mentioned in one of my previous posts that my next post was going to be about formal observations cause well, loads of people are talking about them, and I thought, I’d join in. Now, loads of time has gone by since I said that, and this post has been sitting in my drafts section for quite a while now, but now is the time. Let’s talk about observations and formal observations (observations that are assessed).

So here is what I think. Formal observations are necessary, but evil (tell us how you really feel Jo). Now, evil is used for dramatic purposes. Before I go all full on about what I dislike about formal observations, I will start off with what I like about observations in general. You learn. You get constructive feedback and you see your teaching through someone else’s eyes. If you are a stronger personality, you may even ask the person observing you to pay attention to one of your weaknesses and give you tips on how to deal with that weakness. They help you improve, think out of the box, and maybe even approach a lesson differently next time. Anyone can observe you. A new teacher can give you fresh ideas a more seasoned teacher may give you practical tips and vice versa.

BUT as I said earlier, formal observations are not my cup of tea. Why? Cause even if you are the best eva prepared and qualified teacher, there is someone who is there looking at you,assessing you,  and this is stressful.


Assessment and formal observations

In cases where formal observations are part of a diploma/certificate, they become a ‘tool’ of assessment.Someone is  assessing you based on what? Criteria. Criteria set by whom? Do these criteria fit all teaching contexts, situations, learners and teachers?

So, my next question now is, if you have a 3-4 formal observation, will they really showcase how good or bad a teacher you are? And before you say… ”that’s not why formal observations take place Joanna”. I will ask you, “so why assess then?” That’s why, for me, the assessment part of formal observations shouldn’t exist. In my little brain, the sole purpose of an observation should be to help you find ways to become a better teacher. Does assessment take that away? Yes, when you are box ticking.

Now you may say, “Yes, but in order to get a certificate/diploma, we need to formally observe you and assess you.” Sure you do, but just cause I pass the assessment criteria, doesn’t mean I know how to teach. I could have read all the criteria and made a lesson that fits these crtieria, couldn’t I? Or I could be teaching this way to pass the criteria but in real life, I neva, eva teach like that.

And anyway, what is a perfect/ good lesson? Who defines good or bad? Finally, (this is just a question that will probably piss you off) but isn’t the person assessing you, assessing you the way s/he thinks the lesson should be because the criteria have become embedded in their brain?

So what do I suggest?

Of course I am in a position to make decisions, but in my perfect little pink world this would happen. Observations wouldn’t be assessed. Period.There would be no box ticking.

I would observe, but not assess.

I would ask the teacher being observed to tell me what they want me to focus on (some people to do that). I would then make suggestions. Not assess.

I would ask for lesson plans after the observation. I would give the teacher the time to sit down and write a lesson plan after the observed lesson. Don’t get me wrong, the teacher can make a little lesson plan prior to his/her lesson, but, I, the observer would get it after the lesson. Why? Cause for me, one of the hardest and most stressful part of a formal observation was sticking to my lp.

Final thoughts

I have had some very enlightening and helpful observations in my teaching career. I have gained a lot from them. How should teachers be assessed in order to get a diploma? I dunno. That’s not the purpose of this post!

Feel free to leave a comment in the section below. It’s all yours.

Till next time ………

Why & How Pre-sessional EAP courses work for me

Hi guys!

This post was prompted by Alex’s question on a post I wrote about EAP presessional courses. His question was simple.

You teach EAP during the summer, so what happens the rest of the year?

Instead of answering in the comments section, I though I’d write a quick post, just to tell you my context which may be similar to yours.

Music Department

Sheffield University ( Department of Music)

I live in Greece and the school year is from September to end of May (private 1-2-1 teaching). I also teach Business English online. There my students are grown ups with kids, so they take summer holidays when schools are shut (same time as I do).

This means that every summer from mid June till mid September, I am free. I do not have that much work and that’s why Pre-sessional EAP courses are great for me. I ❤ them. I get to teach in a different context to what I do in the winter. I work at a university, which is really challenging and stimulating, my learners are from a different country altogether AND I get to be in the UK which I love.

Why don’t I teach EAP all year round? Firstly, I have not pursued it (not that any one has asked me to stay-just to be clear, eh?). Secondly, I have never lived in the UK during the winter, so dunno if I can handle it!! I am from the south people!

You may also ask, do I mind working all year round? Nope. I kinda have to work all year round if I want to do the things I do. I am not complaining, and anyway I am a workaholic, a shopaholic/travelaholic or just a spendaholic. I work, enjoy my job, make money from it, spend my money. Simple stuff.

Of course I miss out on the Greek summer, but if you think about it, the summer in Greece lasts from May till end of October. It’s always warm, especially on my little island.

Beach Kolumpari

So, there you have it. That’s how  and why pre-sessional courses work for me. This summer I will be going back to Sheffield University for their 10 week pre-sessional course. Cannot wait!

Do you teach pre-sessional EAP courses or a summer school course? Tell me your story in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow my blog if you are not already and give my Facebook page a thumbs up so that you do not miss notifications! You can follow me on Twitter/Pinterest/Instagram

Till next time….

Colourblind Friendly Graphs (collaboration with Tekhnologic)

A while back I asked Tekhnologic if he could help with graphs that are more appropriate for colourblind people. We sent lots of mails back and forth and this is what that collab resulted in. I really appreciate the help and I hope you find this post helpful, not only if you have colourblind students, but also if you teach presentation skills and want to show your students a different type of presentation. I am reposting Tekhnologic’s post (our collaboration).


Back in January, Joanna Malefaki from My ELT Rambles asked me if there was a way to customize charts so that they were more color blind friendly.

She wanted to create charts that weren’t just based on color. She wanted to incorporate lines, dots and patterns. So, Joanna and I ended up collaborating for some time; emailing drafts back and forth and designing some examples.

That collaboration eventually resulted in this post.

Joanna has written an introduction that explains a little bit about color blindness before I continue by discussing the examples and tutorial videos.


  1. Introduction
    • A brief introduction to color blindness written by Joanna Malefaki.
  2. Line Charts
    • An introduction into changing the line type, style and width. Use dots, dashes and solid lines to make your charts easy to read.
  3. Bar Charts
    • An introduction into using different patterns and contrasting colors to make bar charts easier to read.
  4. Pie Charts
    • An introduction into using images rather than colors for pie charts. Images not only clearly illustrate information but they also make your charts more visually appealing.

#1 Introduction

One color blind student in every class

According to, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women are colour blind and it is estimated that there is one colour blind student in every classroom!

Seeing just black and white is extremely rare. Most people are red/green colour blind and more rarely blue. This does not mean that people confuse their reds and greens, it actually means that they have trouble seeing shades of these colors and colors that are formed with these colours.

I am color blind and reading charts is very difficult for me.

I am color blind and reading charts is very difficult for me. Very often people create graphs that use a lot of colours to display whatever they want to showcase. When I told tekhnologic I would like some help with graphs, he decided to help me out with these excellent tutorials on how to make color blind friendly charts.

I gave him some suggestions as to what to avoid. I asked him to:

  • Use a white background and dark fonts.
  • Not choose colours that are hard for colour blind people to distinguish.
  • Try to find different icons or anything else that could be used to show the results of a survey, research or whatever else a chart is used for.

These tutorials are what he came up with and I think they are extremely helpful not just for people who are color blind, but also for people who would like to make their presentations more memorable!


You may also want to watch this video from It’s part of their #1ineveryclassroom campaign and it’s been made to help people understand the difficulties faced by color blind students. Although it is more for teachers of young leaners, I think it is worth watching regardless of the age group you teach.

And as the song says:

Give a helping hand and be understanding of my point of view.

#2 Line Charts

Line Chart v2

When you insert a line chart into a presentation or document, the default setting is to differentiate the lines by color only.

However, as you can see in the example above, I have attempted to make the chart easier to read by using different line styles with symbols to explain the information. Instead of simply referring to the yellow line, why not talk about the yellow dotted line or the yellow dotted line that illustrates a gradual increase in reading?

Creating a Line Chart

  • Go to the insert ribbon and click on add a chart.
  • Choose line chart from the list on the right-hand side and select your style before clicking OK.
  • Enter your values for the chart.
    • Enter values from a text or sources.
    • Or generate a random chart by typing in the following formula: =RANDBETWEEN(1,100). Copy this formula into the other cells and you will generate a completely random chart using random numbers.
  • Change the chart by pressing F9 – this will recalculate the formula and generate new random numbers.

Don’t choose colours that are hard for colour blind people to distinguish.

This was one of the requests from Joanna. She wanted contrasting colors and different line styles to make the lines easy to distinguish. So, we need to format the lines.

Formatting the Lines

  • Select one of the lines and go to the format ribbon.
  • Select the line color menu (shape outline menu) and choose your line color.
  •  Return to the line menu and choose a line style.
  • You will see five icons under the color selection. Choosing a custom color, the eyedropper tool, width options, line style options and arrows. Line style options is the second from the bottom.
The other way to format the lines is to open the format pane.
  • Select one of the lines and right-click. Click on format data series.
  • The format pane will open. Click on the fill line icon.
  • There are two sections. The line section and the marker section.
    • The line section allows you to change the color, transparency, width, number of lines and line style.
    • The marker section allows you to create a marker and change its color, size and shape. Markers represent the data points in the line.

It’s such a quick and simple trick to change the line style, but it can really make a difference and make it so much easier to distinguish the different lines.


#3 Bar Charts

Bar Chart v2

In the same way we can use line style to help differentiate colors, why not use patterns with other charts.

In the example above, I have attempted to make the chart easier to read by using colors that are easier to distinguish and different pattern fills. I also increased the size of the legend, so it is easier to read the text, but it also easier to see and match the patterns. Instead of simply referring to the black bar, why not talk about the striped black bar or the striped black bar that illustrates Person 1’s internet use?

Creating a Bar Chart

  • Go to the insert ribbon and click on add a chart.
  • Choose bar chart from the list on the right-hand side and select your style before clicking OK.
  • Enter your values for the chart.
    • Enter values from a text or sources.
    • Or generate a random chart by typing in the following formula: =RANDBETWEEN(0,10). Copy this formula into the other cells and you will generate a completely random chart using random numbers.
  • Change the chart by pressing F9 – this will recalculate the formula and generate new random numbers.

Use a white background and dark fonts.

This wasn’t only important for the text, but Joanna also pointed out that it was important for the pattern fill. I had originally used a darker background in the pattern fill, but it made it more difficult to distinguish the shapes.

Formatting the Bars

  • Select one of the bars and all the whole group of bars should be selected. Click again and you will select only ne bar in that group.
  • Right-click and click on format data series.
  • The format pane will open. Click on the fill line icon.
  • Select pattern fill from the fill options.
  • Choose a light background color and a dark foreground color.
  • Select your pattern from the options available.
  • Repeat for the other bars.
  • Use contrasting colors and a different pattern for each bar.

Similarly with line styles, a pattern just makes it easier to distinguish different elements of the chart.

#4 Pie Charts

Pie Chart v2

You could use pattern fill with pie charts as well, but using images can make attractive charts that are easy to understand.

In the example above, I have used a different image for each segment of the pie chart and I also increased the size of the legend, so it is easier to read the text, but it also easier to see and match the images.

Creating a Pie Chart

  • Go to the insert ribbon and click on add a chart.
  • Choose pie chart from the list on the right-hand side and select your style before clicking OK.
  • Enter your values for the chart.
    • Enter values from a text or sources.
    • Or generate a random chart by typing in the following formula: =(RAND()+RANDBETWEEN(0,25)).
    • =RAND() generates a random decimal number between 0 and 1.
    • =RANDBETWEEN(0,25) generates a random number between 0 and 25. Adding both those formulas together will give you a random number between 0 – 25 to at least 7 decimal places. (up to 25.9999999)
    •   Copy this formula into the other cells and you will generate a completely random chart using random numbers.
    • In the last cell write the formula =100-Sum(B2:B4). This will calculate the remainder out of 100.
  • Change the chart by pressing F9 – this will recalculate the formula and generate new random numbers.

Try to find different icons or anything else that could be used to show the results of a survey, research or whatever else a chart is used for.

This was another request by Joanna. I used icons and symbols in the line chart example, but you can equally use images. ELTpics has a huge selection of images that can be used to make your charts look both attractive and informative.

Formatting the Segments of the Pie Chart

Click once to select the whole pie chart, click again to select a single segment of the pie chart. Only one part of the pie chart will be surrounded by blue dots.

  • Right-click and select format data point.
  • The format pane will open. Click on the fill line icon.
  • Select picture or texture fill from the fill options.
  • Click on file.
  • Select your image and click on insert.
  • Repeat for the other segments.

Because images contain a variety of different colors, patterns and textures they make it very easy to distinguish different parts of a chart.

I hope these tutorials are of some use and just remember the advice Joanna gave to me. Use white backgrounds, choose your colors well, use images and symbols and format your charts so you don’t only rely on color to read them.

You may also like to visit:

Charts can be inserted into most Microsoft® Office® products. For more help, visit

Tekhnologic made some video tutorials for each of these graphs and you can find them on his blog. Press here.  He will be doing a follow up, so stay tuned and make sure you follow his blog cause he writes excellent posts.

Back to me:Some final thoughts

I have written about colourblindness so many times. I am trying to raise awareness. Being colourblind is not just about not being able to coordinate your clothes!It is so much more. As teachers, you really need to consider your learners’ needs and if there is a colourblind student inyour class having knowledge is the best way to go.

Thanks for stopping by! Oh! Don’t forget to follow my blog if you aren’t already.

Till next time……..



To use or not to use (the coursebook). That’s the question!

OK OK! So, I know loads of you guys have written blog posts or have thought about whether or not it is a good idea to use a course book in class or not. Well, here is my take on the issue now that things have calmed down.

First let me give you some context. My reality.I use coursebooks (eyes rolling already?!?). Yeap. For many reasons.

  1.  I have one to one lessons with Greek kids who are preparing for an exam. Parents and students expect to buy a book. It’s a tradition!Ain’t gonna go against any tradition. I am weak. I am also poor. I need learners/students to make a living. If I don’t have a book, parents would wonder, ” What does she do with my kids? Where do they write stuff”.
  2. I teach many, many hours and that makes it very difficult to find material for each and every lesson/ student (eyes rolling even more). I do not have the time, the stamina, the patience for that. I am too old! Also, I do not want to work all day (There! I said it!)
  3. I choose books from respected publications and I assume that research has gone into them. Someone with qualifications has carefully chosen the material.
  4. I don’t like giving 1000 handouts only to have pieces of paper flying around, getting lost or chewed up by a dog. Most of my learners are young. I have had this problems with EAP learners too. When there was no coursebook, students would lose stuff!
  5. There ARE some good books out there. There are good exercises accompanied by interesting texts yada yada yada. Not everything is rubbish (the word rubbish is an overgeneralisation which is a big No No,but for dramatic purposes, let me go with the overgeneralisation).
  6. Books and using them is not something I have to do. I choose it. The same way I can choose to supplement material or completely throw out a unit/lesson I disagree with. Using a coursebook is not something set in stone. Bottom line is. My book is a tool. I choose how to use it.
  7. My book is what I make it. I can ask my learners to choose what they want to do from the book. I can choose what you will do from the book. I can ask my learners what changes they would make to the book and they can go and design new lessons. You don’t like your coursebook? Adapt it. Have your students adapt it.Having said that, even if I only had a rock to use in class (or something equally boring), I would probably be able to teach something. I would rack my brains all day long till I come up with something.

So, there you have it. Yeap. I use coursebooks and I don’t have a problem with them.

Pin it.jpg

Now it’s your turn to say whatever you want to in the comments section below. Don’t forget to follow my blog so you don’t miss out on any of my fabulous rambles! Give my FB page a ‘like’ so you do not miss a post (check sidebar). OK. That’s all folks. Excuse the sarcy (?) tone!! Dunno what happened to me today. Thanks for reading xx!!

Till next time…….


Fun lesson ideas for February 29th

Hi guys!!

So, I know you probably have planned your Monday already, but I thought I’d pop on for a minute or five and share with you an idea or more :).

Monday is February the 29th and since it’s a leap year, you can do something different!


Articles to read and summarise as part of a research project, a speaking or writing activity.

The Telegraph just published an article with a video and loads of info. You can print it and share with your kids.

Wikipedia: Post about February 29 and a post about the meaning of a Leap Year.

Working on the 29th of February. Do you get paid? Interesting article for your BE/adult learner.

There are a lot of videos on Youtube about the 29th of February or explaining the leap year. I chose this one cause it is clear and quite easy to understand (B1+)

A video explaining the leap year

Apart from reading, talking or watching a video about the leap year or February 29th, you could also get your students to write an essay  or a letter to themselves (this does not require watching or reading anything about February 29th)

Ideas for writing

Write an essay about what you would like to have achieved/ done before  February 29 2020.

Write a letter to yourself telling him/her what you want your life to be like in 4 years from now. Or anything along those lines.

Tell your students you will be keeping this essay and making a poster out of it. When 2020 is here, you can have a look at the post again. You could also put the essays in a bottle and keep it somewhere in your class. You can also take a class photo and add it on the poster/ bottle.

Time Capsule

Turn this into a more creative class activity by making a February 29th time capsule. Tell your students to put things in this box and that future students will open it on February 29 2020. They can find newspaper clippings, they can make lists of popular songs/ games/ movies. Anything. They make the time capsule and it is stored somewhere in the class.

February 29th.jpg

So, sorry if this messes up your Monday plans, but I think it would be fun to do something different on a day that is here every four years!!

Do you have any other ideas? The comments section is all yours. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog or follow me somewhere somehow on the different types of social media shared on my sidebar.

Till next time…….


CVs and EAP tutor posts

Every year, right around Christmas, if you go to or, you will see EAP tutor posts being advertised. If you are interested in working in the UK during the summer, keep on reading. If you are curious about seeing what info I put in my CV, keep on reading. If none of this appeals to you, then, well, see you in my next post :).

So, let me begin by telling you what these jobs are. Pre sessional EAP courses are preparatory courses for post-graduate students or undergrads (more frequently students who want to continue their studies by doing an MA in the UK). The majority of the students are Asian students.

Step 1: Check out or Find a post you are interested in. Then,

Download the Job Description

Once you have decided where you want to apply to, download the Job Description pdf. All posts have a document or page for this. Read it carefully. There are very often tables with essential criteria and desirable criteria. Make sure you fulfill the Essential criteria before you start your application.

There are also person specifications or teacher characteristics each Uni is looking for in an EAP tutor. They are usually in the same document. Read these very carefully and make notes of the ones you feel you ‘have’.

Your CV

Put your contact info at the top. If there is a reference code for the job, have that at the top as well.


Have a short summary of your qualifications and your work experience (very short summary!!!).

Start with your Work Experience. I use bullet points. I have the most recent job at the top and move down chronologically. I have experience teaching EAP, so I mention what this experience is ( I use bullet points and mention what my duties as an EAP tutor were).


Personal Skills/ Competencies

Write your CAN DOs/ Person specifications: This is where the notes you made will come in handy. Say what you do well. How you work with others. Your personality traits. Do not make things up because when you have the interview you will get a questions along the lines of “How do you work with others?” Or ” What can you bring to our programme?” Or ” Talk about a difficult moment and tell us how you dealt with it.”

If you feel like an ‘expert’  in something, say where.

Move on to Qualifications/ Education:  I include my grades and specific information about my Master’s degree (very brief though. One line long) and my Delta module 3 spcialism (it was on academic speaking, so very relevant in this case- again one sentence long).


If you have written anything, include it in your CV.

Awards/ Scholarships

If you have been awarded a scholarship, mention that as well.

Conferences/ Presentations

Have you given any presentations at conferences or online? Put them in your CV.

Other Skills

This is where I put down my IT skills and languages.


No hobbies in this CV people. Who cares if you swim? 🙂 🙂

Top Tips

Keep the information you mention relative to the job. You are applying for a job that will ask you to focus on the teaching of academic reading/writing/speaking/ attending lectures, presentation skills etc. The fact that you have a lot of experience teaching young learners arts and crafts does not really matter. The fact that you talk IELTS does. So, keep your CV to the point.

Sure you have done a lot in your career, but only mention what matters.

Don’t have too much white space.

If you went to a conference back in 1988, it doesn’t matter. It’s too old!

Keep your CV two pages long. The people recruiting teachers for these jobs do not have all day long to read your CV.

Sheffield University ( Department of Music)

Sheffield University ( Department of Music)

Want more info? Check out this post on EAP interview questions and pre-sessional courses.

Of course I am not a CV expert. I did get advice from a website that gives free CV advice though. So, good luck everyone! I will be in Sheffield this summer :). I hope you found this post helpful. Remember to follow my blog (check sidebar ofn how to do this) and maybe even give my facebook page a ‘like’?

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