3 Important Reasons to Complete a TEFL Course
A few weeks ago, I was pondering on what was required for me to have a successful TEFL teaching career. I came to the conclusion that I needed to start from the beginning and complete a TEFL course. There were many different TEFL courses being offered on several websites. I compared several different TEFL courses and finally decided on the TEFL course offered by the International TEFL and TESOL Training (ITTT), as it appeared to provide the best overall value in terms of quality, rating, resources, and cost. For a beginner TEFL teacher, I think there are several advantages for completing the TEFL course. First, it provides me with the essential teaching tools and materials that I will need to teach classes. Secondly, I also wanted to learn the different concepts and methods on how to become an effective TEFL instructor. Lastly, I would be able to earn an official TEFL certificate once I completed the course to help me with my TEFL teaching job search.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Hsiang-Wei T.
Lay a solid foundation
In order to accomplish my goal of having a successful TEFL teaching career, I decided the first order of business for me was to establish a good foundation by studying and understanding all of the basic essential teaching tools and materials employed in most TEFL classes. It would be pretty intimidating for me to attempt to teach a class without having the proper knowledge of these teaching tools. I believe the ITTT TEFL course provided the necessary teaching tools and materials that a TEFL teacher requires. For example, course units 2, 4, 6, and 8, contained the introduction to different aspects of English grammar by explaining different parts of the sentence construction like nouns, adjectives, articles, verbs, adverbs, and prepositions.
The lessons also explained different tense systems specifically referring to the proper use of the present, past, and future tenses. Being a native English speaker doesn’t mean that I have mastered my grammar skills and I actually didn’t remember some of these grammar rules. Reading these grammar lessons reminded me that learning grammar is not an easy task. The great thing was that these lessons provided excellent explanations and examples to help TEFL teachers understand the intricacies of the English grammar and how to effectively teach grammar. Unit 17 reviewed the different teaching aids that can be used by teachers to facilitate different lesson plans and activities, as well as enhancing the students’ overall learning experience. Obviously, different schools and classrooms will have different equipment available for use, so advance planning and proper equipment testing will ensure equipment usability.
Learn important teaching methods
In addition to the important teaching tools and materials, I also found the concepts and methods within the ITTT TEFL course to be equally important and the perfect complement to the teaching tools. For example, unit 1 of the course examined the essential qualities of effective TEFL teachers. Qualities of a good teacher include being kind and patient, to love and enjoy teaching, have the ability to motivate and establish good rapport with students, have good knowledge of the teaching material, just to name a few. I think I do possess most of these qualities but there is always room for improvement. The same lesson also mentions the qualities of good students, the different factors that can impact these qualities and the overall student learning process.
These are all very important pointers that can benefit teachers when it comes to understanding the needs of their students. Unit 5 provided excellent methods for teachers on how to manage the classroom by using eye contact, gesture, and voice to maintain the attention of students. Varying the grouping and seating of students to accommodate different class sizes and lesson plan activities can maximize student participation. In a one to two hour class, knowing how much time to devote to teacher instruction versus allowing students to participate independently in learning activities can be a real challenge, another important skill for teachers to master. Unit 3 and a few later lessons explained the widely used “Engage, Study, and Activate” method in depth and how teachers can incorporate the method into their own teaching practices, something that I will definitely do in the future.
Receive an internationally recognised TEFL certificate
Lastly, most schools and employers offering TEFL teaching positions are looking for candidates with previous teaching experience and with TEFL certificate proving their specialized knowledge and competency in TEFL and TESOL. I have previous non-language related teaching and tutoring experience but I didn't have a TEFL certificate. I am confident that by completing the ITTT TEFL course and obtaining the TEFL certificate, my chance of being considered for one of these TEFL teaching positions should increase dramatically.
In conclusion, after reviewing all 20 of the ITTT TEFL course lessons and passing all corresponding tests with a 95% final average, I can testify to the need for completing such a course as it lays the essential knowledge foundation for beginner TEFL teachers. The class definitely prepares me for the teaching challenges that I will face in the near future. From all 20 lessons, I have learned various TEFL teaching tools, materials, concepts, and methods that will help me with teaching different TEFL classes and students. I am hoping to receive my TEFL certificate soon so I can embark on my TEFL teaching career.
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