08 Jun

Adventure travel money jar

Need to Earn a Little Extra Spending Money During Your Time Abroad?

Teaching in a foreign country is a fun and exciting time! It's full of rewarding experiences and opportunities both financially and in terms of personal growth, and teaching will provide you with the money you need to be comfortable. Let’s face it though, sometimes you want a little extra money to buy a plane ticket to that place that everyone has been raving about since the day you arrived. If you're like most other people, at some point, you've thought about how you can make some extra cash on the side to be able to do everything you want. For when you need a little extra money coming in, check out these awesome side hustles that will help you bring in as much extra cash as you are willing to put in time. In doing this, you will be off to your next destination, dining at that place that you’ve been dying to try, or living in five star luxury on your next weekend trip!


Do you have a skill that other people want to have? Why not teach them how to do it! Tutoring online or in person is an effective way to make some extra money on the side of your teaching because, hey, you’re already teaching! If you’re wanting to try tutoring English online check out our online teaching positions. Tutoring in the subject that you are there to teach is a no brainer, but don’t get bogged down thinking that you can only tutor the language or subject that you are there to teach. Maybe you are in your host country teaching English, but you also happened to be at the top of your class in Biology. There are plenty of people who would be willing to pay you to help them out with that, particularly high school students who are seeking international baccalaureate credit, or even studying for the science section of the SAT. When thinking about what you can tutor, get creative, maybe all of those piano lessons your mom made you take growing up will pay off now that you can be a private music tutor!

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Sell your lesson plans online:

You’re a teacher, which means you’re actively making new lesson plans everyday for your class.  Why not sell them to other teachers as well? Teachers Pay Teachers is a great website to make easy and quick money for something that you’re already doing.

Dog Walker/Pet Sitter:

If you have a pet back home that is really starting make you home sick, maybe being a dog walker or pet sitter would help you feel more connected back home, not to mention people will pay you for it! People love their pets all the world around, and they are always looking for responsible animal lovers like you who are willing to take on the task of walking Sparky while they go to work or are out of town. Check out these websites to build you profile and get to walking.

  • Spareleash.com
  • Petbacker.com



Have you ever had someone take your photo? If so, congratulations, you are officially qualified to be a model in your host country. Modeling shoots are easy to find, especially if there are not a ton of people from your country in your host location. These shoots may range from advertising for a new business that just opened up that features your culture's food or crafts, to companies that are working in education and need people who look like teachers. These jobs are great. because it is usually a one-time gig that pays out that same day, so you can do it after your work day. You never know, you might build up your portfolio and end up becoming your host country’s next top model.

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Freelance writing / editing:

All around the world, companies will hire you to write short articles for their blogs, magazines, or other publications they might be trying to put out. These can be any number of topics, and many places will pay you per article you write. This is a great thing to be able to put on your resume, and it will also help you bring in some extra cash on the side. Also, as the in house authority on English, you can rise to become the editor for the publication, going over the work of other freelance writers who might not be native English speakers. As a bonus, if you are good with a camera, many of these places will also pay for freelance photography!

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Work at a hostel:

Hostels all over the world are looking for people to run their counters in the evening and weekends. They want people who can easily communicate with travelers from around the world, and lucky for you, the vast majority of world travelers will appreciate your native English skills as they roll into your host country looking for the closest places to eat and drink. Working in a hostel can sometimes have the added benefit of free housing if your school doesn’t pay for that too!

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Work for education companies doing recordings:

Have you ever put in the time to study a foreign language and wondered where all those audio recordings come from of people talking super slow about the weather? Well, there are good odds that they came from travelers like yourself who found themselves in a foreign country looking for a little extra money. Finding an educational or textbook company can provide an excellent source of income as you go into their offices and make recordings of yourself speaking your native language straight from a script.


If you’ve made it this far, I assume that you are going to be a savvy traveler, capable of getting whatever they want, when they want it when they travel, but as a last piece of advice, have a ton of fun. Living and teaching in a foreign country is an amazing experience, and you don’t want to find yourself missing out on all of the amazing opportunities that arise while living in a foreign culture. The best way to safe guard against this is trying to put some extra money in the bank before you embark, as this will allow you to do the things you want, when you want. However, if you find yourself a little short, just remember Teaching Nomad's list of top ways to earn extra money on the side, and before you know it, you’ll have the extra money in your pocket to have that next great experience!

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04 Jun

Do you want to add something new to your English lessons?

Using board games in class can be an effective way to enhance student engagement and improve English language skills. These games are also very adaptable and can be customized to match any lesson or learning context. They can be used as ice-breakers at the start of a lesson, as fillers between activities, and as activities at the end of a lesson to review key points.


What are the best board games for ESL students?

Classic board games are great teaching tools. First of all, most teachers and learners are already familiar with these types of games. Second, they have been pre-tested by the game manufacturer for quality and playability. Most importantly, almost any board game can be adapted for the English language classroom. It just takes a little bit of creativity on behalf of the teacher.

Moreover, if you are concerned about budget or costs, it isn’t always necessary to buy the games. You can take the core concepts from the board game and adapt them to your teaching context using the materials that you already have.

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What board games are the easiest to adapt?

The best games to adapt for language learning are the ones which most people are familiar with or have already played outside of class. This way, less time is required explaining the aim of the game because students know about the rules already. However, even if they haven’t played the game before, the concepts are still simple enough to understand.

For instance, most of us are familiar with popular board games like Charades, Pictionary, Scrabble, and Apples to Apples. These games are the easiest to adapt and can be used with any level or age group.

Below is a complete summary of the best four board games for ESL students. Read and learn how you can easily adapt each game for practicing English skills in class.


Charades can be played by using single words, such as any noun, verb, or adjective. If you want to make it more difficult, use phrases, expressions, or full sentences. You could also base it on themes, like movies, famous people, or the students’ names etc.

If some students are unfamiliar with Charades, make sure to model an example for them before playing the game. Remind them that the goal is to elicit the words through silent physical actions, not by speaking.

Charades is one of the best games to use in most classroom contexts because it is interactive and entertaining for all ages. It is an excellent way for kinesthetic learners to review important vocabulary and expressions from a previous lesson. Plus, it helps break up the pace of a lesson and inject some energy into the class.



Pictionary is another fun game that you can use to review vocabulary. Just like Charades, you can make it more difficult by eliciting longer phrases or complete sentences. Only instead of doing it through silent actions, you accomplish the task by drawing pictures on the board.

You can even combine the games together by using a coin. One side of the coin represents Charades, while the other side denotes Pictionary.

When it is someone’s turn to elicit a new word or phrase, flip the coin to determine if they should either perform a silent action or draw a picture.



When you think of the game of Scrabble, you may wonder how it could be used in larger classes. The traditional game of Scrabble is usually played with individual players on a small board. However, the concept of the game can be adapted to suit any classroom context.

On the classroom board, draw a large version of the Scrabble game board. Generally, a grid of 10x10 squares is appropriate for most situations.

Divide the class into teams and base the vocabulary on any words that you want to review. The teams score points by forming words on the board just like in the traditional game. You can assign higher points to uncommon letters or make each letter worth one point to keep it simpler. Certain squares on the board (like on the diagonal axes) can denote a double or triple score.

Unlike the traditional game, it isn’t necessary to give the teams a series of letters to use. This would likely make the game too challenging and impose too many restrictions.


Apples to Apples

The concept of Apples to Apples is ideal for the English language classroom. In the traditional game, there are two types of cards. Red cards consist of nouns: people, places, and things. Green cards consist of adjectives to describe the nouns.

In groups, the “Judge” gives each player 5 red cards (the amount can be adjusted). Next, the Judge reveals one green adjective card to the group. The students then select one red card from their collection and describe why their card is the best match to that particular adjective.

Of course, you can adjust the difficulty level the game for beginners or intermediate students by simplifying the description task.

If you don’t have the actual game, you can create the cards or print out a free PDF version of Apples to Apples. Better yet, you can have your students create the words in class.

Divide the class into teams or smaller groups if you prefer. Assign one student in each group to be the “Judge” who deals out the cards to each student. Alternatively, you can play the game as a whole class and the teacher can act as the judge for all of the students.

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Other Activities and Board Games for ESL Students

These are just four examples of how you can adapt traditional board games for ESL students in class. But those are just a few of the classics. There are more games you can try, such as Balderdash, Monopoly, Battleships, and many others that your students will enjoy.

For more fun ESL games and additional details about how to use board games for language learning, visit ESLexpat.com.

01 Jun


Top 15 mistakes in English pronunciation by foreigners

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With roughly 378 million native speakers worldwide, English surprisingly comes only third to Chinese and Spanish in the most spoken languages all over the world. Despite this, the English language doesn’t come without difficulties, especially when it comes to pronunciation. In reality, foreigners and non-native speakers may encounter English pronunciation mistakes at some point in their conversations.

The good news is that people who are just starting to learn English are not alone in this kind of battle. A lot of students who took one-on-one Skype sessions with the English tutors at Preply started out confused but are now fluent in English.

Top 15 English Pronunciations Errors by Foreigners

If you’re just starting to learn English, don’t let these 15 pronunciation lapses fool you!

Words spelled the same but pronounced differently

Collectively called heteronyms, these dastardly words look the same, but they may be pronounced differently depending on how they are used. Here are some cruel examples:

  • Live: Ed Sheeran will perform live near the place where you live.
  • Read: I’ve read the entire book, but I’ll probably read it again next month.
  • Wind: You need to wind the turbine before the wind arrives.

Words that end in -ough

Did you know that there are 10 different ways to pronounce the suffix -ough? Nowhere in the rich vocabulary of the English language can a word have such complexity in pronunciation!

Here are some of the popular words ending in -ough that sound nothing alike:

  • Rough = sounds like puff
  • Plough = sounds like cow
  • Dough = sounds like row
  • Through = sounds like glue

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Words using short ‘i’

This particular pronunciation of the letter ‘i’ can be found in the words sit, hit, bid, and twin. Due to the nature of their own native languages, some foreigners pronounce the vowel longer than it should be read. As a result, the four words above may be pronounced erroneously as seat, heat, bead, and tween.

Words with ‘ght’

This odd combination of letters appears in several English words, but what’s stranger is that they may be pronounced differently depending on the word. Here are some examples:

  • Eight = sounds like hate
  • Height = sounds like bite
  • Laughter = sounds like after
  • Daughter = sounds like otter

desert vs. dessert

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How can a single letter drastically change the way a word is pronounced? Apparently, that happens in English often, such as this case. Desert refers to a dry and sandy place, while dessert is something that you enjoy after a meal.

What’s strange about the two words is that adding the extra ‘s’ switches the stress from the first syllable to the second.



Speaking of desserts, beginners in English tend to pronounce most (if not all) of the letters in the word, probably to play it safe. That’s why when words such as chocolate come by, it’s normal for most foreigners to say it as it’s spelled. The correct pronunciation involves a silent middle ‘o’, and the last syllable spoken as “lət”.



It’s a fairly common English word that can come up in casual conversations, especially when you’re into cooking or buying at a local fresh food market. However, some foreigners tend to pronounce each letter in this word, most especially the middle ‘e’. On top of this, the last two syllables are erroneously pronounced in the same way as the word table.



This word is a doozy for some beginner English learners, especially because of the silent ‘p’. Some even go to great lengths and pronounce the last part as ”put”, adding an extra syllable in the word.



While we’re still in the line of silent letters, here’s another mindbender: the first ‘d’ and the middle ‘e’ are both silent! Don’t be surprised if non-native English speakers consider this word a tongue twister!



Proficient and native English speakers know how to pronounce this word pertaining to a large spotted cat, but some basic English learners may read this as the name Leo (“lee-yo”). It may be a fairly common term for people who are into zoology and fashion (hello, leopard print skirts!), but it’s understandable why many foreigners have trouble pronouncing it correctly.



The root verb say rhymes with the words hey and weigh, but its third-person singular form says is pronounced differently. It morphs into something that sounds like Mendez. Foreigners who have minimal to basic English speaking skills may be caught off guard with this particular word.



Here’s another popular word with a silent letter (in this case, the middle ‘e’). It’s probably due to the fact that the root word are also has a silent ‘e’, which is then carried over to its negative variant.



The singular noun woman sounds rounder than its plural form. For a non-native speaker, it’s easy to mistake the letter ‘o’ in women as its regular pronunciation, but it’s pronounced more like the letter ‘i’. This is the only case in a commonly used word where the letter ‘o’ has this kind of pronunciation,



In the same breadth of silent letters, here’s a more common one: the silent ‘l’ followed by a letter ‘k’. In this case, the sound of the letter ‘l’ is dropped altogether. Other examples include folk and chalk.



While we’re on the subject of foreigners mispronouncing some common English words, our last entry on the list is the word foreign. Yep, that word involves another classic silent letter (‘g’ in this case).

BeFunky Design

While it may take an average learner a few years to become fluent in English, you can compress your learning curve by learning a few strategies along the way. We hope you will be able to avoid these common pronunciation mistakes and be on your way to mastering the English language pretty soon.

17 May


The Ultimate Guide to Budgeting, While Travelling

When you’re off travelling and enjoying yourself, it can be easy to lose track of your spending. And the last thing you want to have to do is call your parents to get them to send you extra cash. Sticking to a budget can be even more important when you’re travelling. You’re so far away from home and family, and you’re ultimately on your own for survival. So how do you do it?

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Plan before you go

Knowing how much money you will have and how long you will be away for will definitely help you create a budget for your travels. Think about where you’re wanting to travel to and how much you might need on a daily basis in that particular place. Bear in mind that some countries and cities will be significantly more expensive than others, particularly Australia. It can be a good idea to do some research online about each of the places you plan to visit so you can work out what the average cost of living is.

However, remember that you might not need as much as the average, so don’t let that put you off. You might also find that you can work while you travel, which could boost your spending money and let you have more fun in the more expensive places.

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Travel off peak

If you want to save money on the cost of travelling then it can be a good idea to avoid travelling in the height of the season, as plane fares and accommodation costs can skyrocket during these times, such as the summer holidays. If you can, choose to fly out during off-peak times. During these times you can also often get cheaper accommodation, and the places you visit (particularly major tourist attractions) can be much quieter.

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Avoid expensive destinations

Some destinations can be very expensive, and your money might not go as far as you’d hoped - even if you’re living cheaply, such as Sydney or Paris. But we all know, there are some places that are just must-visit destinations. However, you can always plan to spend less time there, meaning you still get to see the place, but you won’t need to exhaust your funds there. So we’re not saying avoid them completely, just to limit your time there.

If you’re planning to visit a major city, you might find that you’ll save money by staying a little further out. Hostels are generally cheaper the further away they are from the main attractions. Even if you have to take a train or bus for half an hour to reach the main area, it can be worth it. Plus, you’ll get to see parts of that country or city that you might not otherwise get to see.

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Use public transport

If you can hop on a bus or a train to get from one destination to the next, than this can often work out much cheaper than taking a flight. However, with the increase in low fares airlines in Europe, you might want to check flight prices too, just in case. But for travelling across Australia, Asia or South America, local transport can often be a cost effective option.

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Live like a local

When you’re in big cities or areas with lots of tourists, the price of eating out can be quite high. But if you look around and find where the locals go, you will often find places where you can eat for much less. Even if you venture slightly out of the tourist areas, you’d be amazed at the difference in prices.

Sometimes your budget might not allow for eating out everyday, or maybe you want to save up extra cash for the next destination on your list. Either way, eating in can help you stick to your travelling budget. Most hostels will have kitchens for you to use, where you can also make new friends with fellow travellers.

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Don’t party too hard

We have probably all heard stories of people who knew people who partied too hard on their gap year and ended up having to come home early, half way through their trip. Make sure you don’t end up being the star of one of these stories.

Alcohol can be expensive in some places, so it can be good to factor in how much you plan to spend on alcohol and partying before you leave. Another thing that could affect your budget is that if you drink too much, you could risk going way over your daily budget, when silly purchases seem like a fantastic idea - we’ve all been there.

No matter where you travel or how much money you have, make sure you stick to your budget, but enjoy yourself and stay safe.

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25 Apr

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To a Westerner, preparing to live in Asia can be exciting and daunting, primarily because of its diversity. Chances are, your new home country will be drastically different from everything you are used to, and you’ll be greeted by a wealth of new experiences and more than a few challenges.

Here are some things you’ll need to get used to once you make your big move.

Standing out

Everything about you – from your eye color to your height – will stand out from the vast majority of locals in Asian countries. This is especially true in rural areas. That being said, be prepared to get a lot of stares. The Huffington Post shares that it’s common for locals to even say hello, ask for a picture, or shout random things like ‘Obama’ at you.

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English is spoken in many parts of Asia, with countries like Singapore, India, and the Philippines having it as an official language. You don’t need to learn the local dialect, but it does help to know some basic words. If you’re travelling to China, be sure to keep the Teaching Nomad basic phrase guide on your phone to help you out. It’s also good to have a translator app to further ease communication.

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Temperature and humidity

The sun can get very harsh in this continent, so you’ll need lots of sunscreen and/or an umbrella when you go out. In the evenings, you’ll most likely need to stay in a place with air conditioning for comfort. Leesa recommends keeping your bedroom between 66 and 70 degrees for the best chance of sleeping well. This small adjustment, along with breathable clothing and lots of water, can make your evenings more restorative and help you get ready for the humid Asian days.

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To a foreigner, Asian cuisine can vary from mildly surprising to downright bizarre. Be open-minded and try different things to see what you like. There's a good chance you’ll find several dishes in your new home country to your liking. You’ll also find that there’s a level of artistry in Asian cuisine that is fascinating to watch.

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Other expenses

You’ll be pleasantly surprised that a lot of your day-to-day expenses are cheap. Food, hotels, and the like are affordable. Although in countries like China, haggling is an important life skill to get commodity prices further down. CNN also recommends being extra careful when it comes to hailing taxis also recommends being extra careful when it comes to hailing taxis by insisting on using the meter or by hailing cabs through new booking apps that help drivers be more accountable.

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Cultural nuances

Finally, be wary of actions that may be alright in Western countries, but may be considered taboo in Asia and vise versa. For instance, slurping when eating noodles can be considered rude in the West, but is actually a sign of appreciation in countries like Japan. The thumbs up sign can be considered rude in Thailand, while placing chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice is a sign of bad luck in China. The Conde Nast Traveler shares that a blanket rule is to take your shoes off before entering temples or homes and not to take pictures without permission.

Moving to Asia to teach can be a very rewarding experience, and can itself teach you so many valuable life lessons along the way. Do your research well about the way of life in your new home, and be sure to keep your mind and heart open.

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Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.


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