How TEFL Course Inspired Me in My Teaching
“Why do I have to take a TEFL course?” I asked this question when my daughter suggested to me to enroll in this course. Having decided to say goodbye to my current job as an international homeroom teacher, I am now embarking on a new journey of applying abroad for a teaching position at an international school. Thanks to the Americans who defeated our Spanish colonizers way back the 19th century, they brought their educational system to the Philippines. Ever since I started school, I have been taught the American way using the English language as the medium of instruction. However, even if I am learned in English, I have to get a TEFL course to prove my competence in the English language. So here we are. Reflecting back, I believe this endeavor to be a wise decision after all. There are many things I learned from this course but the best thing of all is the methodology, Engage-Study-Activate or ESA. Here are my reasons why.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Yvette S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
First, the Engage stage is fun. I like this stage for the simple reason that it is the time when teachers prepare students to think and speak English. For example, for young learners like my students, they tend to get distracted easily. Warming them up to a lesson would be the best way to get their attention. I noticed during my time with them that they get interested when I ask them questions about their experiences like ‘What do you do on a vacation?’, ‘What is your favorite food?’ or ‘What do you bring to the beach?’ I can also use various activities like ‘Fizz- Buzz,’ ‘I Spy,’ alphabet relay, memory games, anagrams, and sentence prompts. From this stage, we can easily segue to the next phase of the lesson.
Second, the Study stage is very informative. This is the part where we get to teach students English lessons like verbs, adjectives, tenses, pronunciation, etc. I am particularly excited to use the elicitation technique, by giving them an example and write the students’ words on a whiteboard. Children will probably love this part since they enjoy sharing their knowledge. Some of them might be encouraged to read more books to increase their vocabulary. I also like the fact that we can use many activities to teach English such as word order, tongue twisters, ‘hangman,’ gap fills, word searches and language drills.
Also Read: How long does it take to get a TEFL job?
Third, the Active stage is exciting to do. Now is the time for students to practice what they have learned so far. There are plenty of activities to choose from such as communication games, debates, discussions, story building, surveys, mill-drills, role-plays and producing materials. With such activities, I believe the class will always be dynamic and lively.
Fourth, giving feedback during the Active stage is vital for improvement. There is an art in providing feedback for it to be effective. Praising and encouraging students would be good for boosting their confidence. After all, we should reward students who took the risk when they performed in front of the class. I also think that conducting group discussions, tests, and individual tutorials can greatly help students advance quickly in their English language proficiency.
Last, correction during the Active stage is crucial for acquiring information. I am happy to learn that the teacher’s correction is the last resort. I believe that students have to think about their mistakes and self-correction. In this manner, they will not make the same mistake all over again in the future. However, there are mistakes we can correct as if it is regarding the lesson, if it is being regularly repeated and if it is seriously obstructing comprehension.
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To summarize, the most valuable thing I learned from my TEFL course is the ESA methodology. I find the three stages: Engage, Study and Activate, as well as the feedback and correction parts of the Activate stage very valuable for teaching. By practicing these methods, I can surely make my students more engaging, knowledgeable and confident in their English language skills.
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