The Benefits of Completing a TEFL Course
Many people who begin teaching English as a second language are new to the teaching world, and thus many times, need basic strategies and information on teaching. For example, I have entered education upon moving to Italy. My previous work experience was in marketing/events for large corporations and nonprofits, with no experience in teaching anything, let alone English as a second language. While I have a very good grasp of the English language and speak it well, how to teach it to others is a different ballgame. Hence, taking the TEFL courses to obtain a certification was essential in my development as a teacher.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Stacy S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Teaching Methodology and Planning
The course helped me understand certain methods of teaching and how to plan a lesson. At the same time, it reiterated certain ideas and methodologies I was already implementing into lessons and helped me to improve the way I taught. Having no background in education, this was essential to my growth as an English teacher. Each unit broke down an aspect of teaching I needed to learn - from classroom management to teaching verb tenses. Explaining and suggesting activities with verb tenses has helped me improve lessons for my students, particularly in teaching perfect verb tenses.
I teach Italians of all ages and, as they don't use these tenses in their language, learning them in English is incredibly difficult to explain and understand. The examples and resources provided in the course were extremely beneficial in sparking creative thought that made the language come alive for students. I was happy to realize that I was unknowingly incorporating certain aspects of a lesson plan (ESA plan) and each unit continued to reinforce my commitment to being a better teacher. Learning how to plan a good lesson, incorporate fun games/activities, while teaching a variety of ages and group sizes have been invaluable to my teaching. I have discovered educational methods and gained resources so that I might continue to learn and improve as a teacher. A particularly poignant realization for me was the amount of time I spent speaking vs. the students. Too often, I felt like I was doing all the talking, explaining grammar points, etc. and it was boring. The course helped me understand the importance of teacher-student and student-student talk time. With the strategy of lesson planning explained so well, I can now make sure my speaking time as a teacher is minimal - leaving a majority of the time for student practice and interaction with each other and me.
Also, obtaining the certification showed my commitment to my new profession and helped instill confidence not only in myself but in others about my abilities. Being an effective teacher is not an easy task. It is not enough to speak a language well - you must learn how to translate that (literally and figuratively) into a lesson that connects with your students and helps them grasp the essence of English. Taking TEFL courses has been invaluable to my growth as an English teacher. It has helped me take my love and knowledge of the language and transform it into something tangible and exciting for my students. This CTEYL course has taught me a lot about teaching young learners. I have always felt confident with more advanced, adult learners but now I have a better understanding of how beginners learn and know that will help me in the future.
Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!
In conclusion, TEFL courses not only help new teachers but also remind experienced teachers of the fundamentals of learning. They show a commitment to your profession and development as an educator, as well as cover basic, necessary information on how to be a good teacher. The specialized courses also cover information that is easily missed when learning by experience, but essential to have meaningful exchanges with students. The most crucial information is in one place while giving you resources to expand your knowledge and ideas. The TEFL courses have been invaluable to me in my growth and believe they are an essential part of teaching English as a second language.
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