Strong Reasons for Completing a TEFL Course
2019-03-14 Jon ITTT Alumni Experiences
Why complete a TEFL course? All the mainstream ads answer this question with, “Travel the World”, “Work and Live Abroad” “Discover different Cultures”, "Meet new People" and "Learn the local Language", all are great reasons. I had to ask myself this a few times. I have lived in many non-English speaking countries over the years and over these years have assisted many locals with their English homework or extra studies. I am a native English speaker, I know how to speak English; I have done it all my life so why would I need to take a TEFL course?
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate John M.
You will learn a teaching method
In the end it was pretty simple. For a native English speaker to teach English in all its correct forms and structures, you would first need to learn these forms and structures. Just to be able to speak is not enough. The TEFL certification applies to a particular format / structure of learning English. In its simplest form it’s, “Engage” your class or student by finding something interesting to chat about, get them talking in English regardless of pronunciation or grammar issues, “Study” provide a structured study phase on a particular grammar point or topic, “Activity”, provide a fun commutative activity to reinforce the study point or topic… it is known as an ESA learning structure.
Sounds simple enough….not so much.
As native speakers it’s easy to forget the formal structures we learnt when we were kids and when asked “Why say it like that” etc., just to reply “because that’s how we say it “…is not enough. The ESA method of learning English is a very straightforward guide to help structure your lessons. It is a framework on which to build your lessons.
A TEFL course provides structured learning
Most TEFL courses are structured for you to learn particular units that cover grammar points, resources, classroom discipline etc. all designed to provide you with the learning tools to be a successful ESL teacher. As you continue to work through and complete each unit, each will have a test after them to gauge your understanding before moving onto the next one, building confidence in the methodology and material as you learn. The more units you do the more confidence you get in dealing with situations that present themselves, making lesson plans, dealing with discipline issues etc as well as the more formal side of teaching English as a second language.
A very structured and clear way of learning, the TEFL certification gives the soon-to-be-teacher the insight, confidence and knowledge to deal with all that’s involved with teaching English as Second Language, (ESL). I thought I knew how to approach and teach English as a second language; I was wrong. Over the course of a few months my understanding of the content and the mythology behind it increased to a level where I could understand what I was doing and what was needed to do to be able to deliver a well-structured lesson. As well as to the understanding of my students that are trying to learn a new language and the difficulties they encounter.
In conclusion - “Why complete a TEFL course?
My reply would be, if you wish to teach English as a second language you need a solid understanding of the structure and guidelines of teaching not only of English but as well as class-room dynamics, learning mythology etc. of said language, completing a TEFL course would be a sound investment in your future.
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