Alumna Experience: ✅ TEFL Certification Course Explained
For the past two months, I've been locked in on my computer studying the TEFL course. It has been a great experience, and as a teacher, it has given men clarity on several things I didn't have clarity on before. As a person who is already teaching English in a private language school, I can say that the TEFL course has boosted my teaching skills and confidence. The course provided me with valuable tips on teacher conduct and how to get students involved in classes.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Ngonidzashe M. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The best thing I've learned from the course is the ESA methodology I started implementing and using in my lessons. I started planning my lessons according to this methodology, and since then, my classes have greatly improved in quality. The ESA methodology is simple and yet very effective. It includes the Activate phase, where I activate my students with a game or warm-up activity to get them going. Then it is followed by the study phase, which I usually kick off by eliciting words or the grammar concept that I will teach in the class from the students. I've also learned through the course that in the study phase, mere explanations are not sufficient. The DEGO method has been beneficial to me in the study phase, and it is getting my students to understand the activity at hand. I have to Demonstrate the activity, elicit correct responses then give out the materials. To finish off the lesson, I use the activate phase and increase the Student Talk Time. Through the course, I've learned that during this activity, the most important thing is not the accuracy of the language per se, but it is fluency and allowing students to be creative with the language. Previously I would butt in and correct every mistake students make, but now I take notes and correct the errors through a follow-up lesson or feedback.
I've also learned to adapt the ESA methodology to different students at varying English levels. For beginners, the straight-arrow ESA model, for intermediate students, the boomerang ESA model, and the advanced students, the patchwork ESA model. Adapting games, lesson plans, my language to my students is also a technique I have picked up from my TEFL classes. Classes should and must be student-centered, and the teacher must involve the students at all levels. The TEFL course also gave me insight into how to plan and prepare for lessons. This is something I took for granted as a teacher of times. I would go into the classroom unprepared, but I now use the lesson planning format provided for by the course, and as a result, my lessons are more focused and better organized. Also, incorporating the ESA methodology into the lesson plan has been valuable. This gives a flow to the class and builds on the knowledge I would have already taught them.
Embedded in the ESA methodology is the concept of increasing STT (student talk time). I have found this extremely important that I was a teacher should not be the center of attention, but the students' participation as talk time should be maximized through games and activities. I have learned to adopt a facilitator and policeman's role in the classroom rather than lecturing through the whole lesson. I've learned from this course the ideas on how to teach young learners through games and interactive ideas rather than through word of instruction only.
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It isn't easy to pinpoint only one thing that I have learned from the course, but the ESA methodology stands out as it has given me clarity into how to conduct and plan a class and into what y role is in the classroom. Such clarity of purpose has made me a well-rounded teacher who is more competent and delivers interactive and engaging classes.
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