The Best Thing I've Learned From My Two TESOL Courses from ITTT
2019-01-02 Linda Dunsmore Alumni Experiences
The two TEFL courses I took with ITTT provided a comprehensive coverage of English teaching to non-native speakers. The 50-hour young learners course and the 120-hour TEFL course taught language points such as grammar and tense structure. The courses also went into depth on topics related to teaching English such as classroom management and lesson preparation. These aspects are very important to teaching English as well as mastering the English language itself. A skilled teacher must know how to handle different types of classes.
This post was written by our ITTT graduate Jeffrey G.
How to succeed at teaching English to young children
This course explained how teaching English requires vastly different methodologies depending on who is being taught. For example, the youngest learners of English, 3-8-year-olds, respond well to chants and singing. This age group can’t be taught the same way as other age groups because their attention span is so short. The kids can only focus on things that entertain them, such as games and interactive activities.
Developing Lesson Plans for Young Learners
An example of what I learned was how to develop lesson plans for young learners. The course taught me the importance of games and singing for young learners. The course pointed out that one of the best ways to start a lesson plan is to have singing and chanting activities during the engage phase. This is a great way to start the lesson because it is an easy way to warm up the kids for the rest of the lesson. This also lets the kids feel more comfortable for the rest of the lesson, ultimately leading to more engagement from the kids.
The study phase for young learners
Another part of the lesson planning structure that I learned from the young learners course was the structure of the study phase for young learners. The study phase is very different from other age groups because the students can’t have complex drill activities and any kind of activity that requires verbal explanation. The study phase must include activities that can be easily understood with physical interaction, often including arts and crafts as well as colors. Typically, an activity needs to have a lesson point in mind before the structuring of the game. The teacher should not have a random game and then try to somehow connect the game into the lesson point. The game needs to address the lesson point from the start.
The Biggest Takeaway
Ultimately, the young learners course helped me prepare teaching young kids because it included many valuable points that will undoubtedly be prevalent in the learning centers in China. I feel more confident now that I know the methodology for keeping young learners happy and engaged. This will help me avoid instances when I am teaching something completely unsuited to the target audience. The unit including examples of games and drills for young learners is very useful because I can use these to help develop my own lesson plans. The unit also included many different online resources for future help. Whenever I am in need of more resources to help develop my own lesson plans, I can go to these websites and use their resources of children songs and other content to help build out my lesson plans.
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