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Allan Sweeney

Allan Sweeney

Co-Founder & Lead Developer

About the TEFL Handbook Project

After 6 years of working as a software developer in financial services, I left the industry to pursue my interest in learning languages. In 2014, I moved to Spain, where I taught English and fell in love with the Spanish language and culture.

If you are an EFL/ESL teacher, I don't have to tell you about those early struggles. Long days, and little time to plan. Large classes with multiple learning levels. Lack of materials and classroom resources.

I was lucky enough to spend those years working with an amazing group of highly-experienced teachers who took me under their wing. I was particularly impressed with how they were able to effortlessly teach complex grammar on the board and work through entire lesson plans without referencing their notes. But what struck me the most was how little the stresses and demands of the job affected them. It was this final point that set my brain working on the problem. How could I get to that place as quickly as possible?

During this time, my co-workers gave me unrestricted access to their methods. I looked at how they planned courses and lessons. I studied and catalogued the kinds of resources they had gathered over the years and how they organised and used them. I began to focus completely on the problem of how to take their 40+ years of teaching experience and organise it into materials that I could use to support my daily tasks.

With their help, I started to create a library of resources that I could lean on in the classroom. Given my background in technology, I chose to store and organise these in documents on my tablet, where I could reference them during class. 3 years later, the first version of the TEFL Handbook app was born.

Since then I have remained committed to working on this problem. I believe that it shouldn't take 10-15 years of experience for English teaching to be as effortless and enjoyable as it was for my colleagues. I feel that a lot of the stress and anxiety that new teachers go through in those early years is avoidable. And that with the right technology and software, they can reduce the learning curve and start to enjoy the fulfilment that comes with teaching English.

I hope that you find the materials useful. There are plenty of free resources to check out and the library is always growing.

2 free ways to get started 

#1

Use our library of Free resources

There are loads of free ESL lesson plans, activity ideas and games, ranging from beginner to advanced.

#2

Download one of our Mobile apps

Our Android and iOS apps give you offline access to the same free content. Perfect for quick reference in the classroom.

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TEFL Handbook app
The best experience is on the app A library of teaching ideas and inspiration, offline and in your pocket.
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