The Ins and Outs of Lifelong Learning
A life long learner, to me, is one who desires to learn new things based on interests, motivations, and knowledge to be gained. As one who is a certified teacher in first through eighth grades (in Louisiana, USA), possesses a master degree in education, as well as having a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Leadership and Supervision, does not mean that I know it all; far from it. In my middle school teaching days and years of teaching in higher education preparing teachers to teach, I encountered students from other culturally diverse backgrounds; yet, I did not have the basic fundamentals of teaching students whose first language was not English. This I regret.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Gahan B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Within our global world, as it has become in the 21st Century, I feel that I may have been of a disservice to some of the students within my classes. I had students who were from Mexico, Russia, Costa Rico, Venezuela, as well as Native Americans. Yet, in my teacher education courses, I was not completely prepared to teach them; as I have learned from this course. In my Ph.D. program, I did have a class in Multiculturalism, yet it was just for one semester; not nearly enough time to learn all that I should have known as I embarked on my teaching career. And, it was not focused on teaching non-native learners of English.
English is a Synonym of Lifelong Learning
I believe that people who want to learn English are learners who crave to be lifelong learners. Their motivations may be different, such as for purposes for travel, working in an English language country, diversity and personal socialization, and for other reasons, yet they have the desire for learning; thus, learning for life – becoming a life long learner. Living life to experience life is what I yearn for.
I completed this TEFL Course because I wanted to learn how best to teach learners from around the world and so that I could also continue to learn in my chosen field of education. The opportunity to teach English to foreign language learners will also give me exposure to diverse cultures while I hope to gain the appreciation of the differences and similarities amount our men, women, children, and young learners around the world. There is so much knowledge, experiences, and understanding to gain that can make my life rewarding, and those with whom I come into contact with more fulfilling. This, in itself, is a reason to learn. What better way than through a TEFL course!
As I look back on my experiences of becoming a certified teacher, I realize that a big part that was missing was to address the needs of those who sat in my classroom; especially those who were non-native English speakers and those from different countries and cultures. As I grew in my profession of education, I recognized the need to teach all students; especially those from other countries who wanted to learn English and perhaps live in the United States or other English speaking countries. Or perhaps, they would like to stay in their own country, yet have a working knowledge of English.
I knew that all students brought their various experiences to the classroom, but how to address their needs was not part of my educational studies until I decided to take this TEFL course. Taking this course has given me the opportunity to learn how to address the needs of monolinguistic and multilinguistic learners as well as teaching one on one (individual students) if I so choose to do. The little information on learning about teaching English for those in business was an added asset. If I can become a better teacher in teaching TEFL students, then I think I will also be a better teacher to the general and whole population of my class.
Are you ready to teach English to non-native speakers?
While earning my teacher certification degree and teaching in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (USA) the focus was not on teaching English to non-native English speakers. Of course, this was several years back, and education has come along way; I am now so glad and privileged to learn more about teaching TEFL courses. I thank the scholars, researchers, and those who focus on academics for their research and resourcefulness in the field of teaching English to non-native learners. This is one big reason why I choose to take this TEFL course so that I can be a life long learner and hopefully inspire those who also want to continue learning. To me, life long learning equals a better and more prosperous long life. This essay focuses on life long learning and what this TEFL course has done for me. I am not through yet, there is still much to learn, do, and experience.
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