TEFL Certification and Its Benefits for an Alumna’s Career
The best thing I’ve learned from this course begins with the EFL teacher as an instrument of facilitation. The creative spark that ignites a flame in every student that is trying to master a new language. A teacher doesn’t need to be perfect but must be fully present and prepared with a positive, supportive vibe. The successful teacher is a role model, a subject matter expert, and a skilled conductor of English language learning and immersion. Course books aside, from the very first lesson, a teacher identifies the level of learners and builds rapport with students through engaging activities that aim to reveal the students’ needs and interests. These interests can then be incorporated into future lesson plans to ensure students are engaged and activated in the classroom.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Rhonda S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
The example of a tree trunk rooted in grammar to create the branches of language with the vocabulary being the leaves that add function and beauty is a poignant illustration for a new teacher. Mastery of the parts of speech, the present, past and future tenses, conditionals, modals, and reported speech are essential content quivers of any English language teacher. An effective teacher finds ways to turn even the dry bone basics into vibrant learning exchanges. The key to successfully imparting these language points is rooted in the Engage, Study, Activate (ESA) delivery methodology.
The ESA method provides an active and flexible framework for EFL teachers who desire to ensure a dynamic learning environment in the classroom. Realia objects, mime, pictures, and discussion are examples of activities designed to captivate students in the initial Engage phase of the lesson. The design here is to warm up students in a fun, engaging way as a gateway to elicit and explain the meaning. The Study phase aims to hone the accuracy of the language point and follows with activities such as pronunciation drilling, gap filled exercises, example sentences, word searches, and crosswords. These exercises focus on the meat of the lesson. The final Activate phase should have students speaking in English as much as possible, elevating fluency over accuracy. This is often accomplished through pair work, group discussion, role-playing, story building, or debate. The ESA method can follow a Straight Arrow (ESA), a Patchwork (EASASA), or a Boomerang (EASSA) lesson path. However, the Engage phase always begins the lesson and the Activate phase always concludes the lesson.
Teaching 4 Skills
Another enlightening course discovery centers around the indelible four basic skills involved in any language learning. The receptive skills of reading and listening along with the productive skills of speaking and writing play a crucial role in the classroom. The EFL teacher must aim to integrate all four of the skills into each lesson plan, paying close attention to selecting topics, texts, and materials such as songs or poems that create interest with the students.
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As a new teacher, strive to model promptness to ensure prompt students and remember that passion begins with an intimate knowledge and love of the English language. In other words, know your stuff! Engage with fun activities to ensure a dynamic learning environment. Know the language point like the back of your hand but deliver it in a way that is as fresh as a young colt. Remember to demonstrate rather than over articulate. When prepared, there is no need to stress over being perfect or reinventing the wheel. Take comfort and advantage of the plethora of support and resources offered throughout the course to begin building a solid classroom repertoire. Above all, a warm smile and words of encouragement sprinkled at the right time go a long way in creating goodwill between the teacher and students in any learning environment.
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