The Two Best Things That I Learned From My ITTT TEFL Course
The best thing I’ve learned from my TEFL course is the amount of preparation that goes into lesson planning. Usually, I am mocked by my friends and colleagues because of the amount of organization I like to do before any medium to large sized task. Now I can say my love of planning and organizational skills will finally be put to good use.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Luisa D.
Lesson planning is crucial to any lesson
Whether it’s a private session or a group class, lesson planning is absolutely necessary for a smooth teaching flow. It gives an overview of what you would like to teach and helps to keep you on track and not lack direction. I like how the course teaches you the merits of flexibility within structure. As I mentioned previously, I can lean toward rigidity but this course taught me to plan ahead as an overall guide but to keep flexible and open to the students' needs.
How to manage a class was also a helpful part of lesson planning, it listed such basic pointers; for example, being personable, punctual, learning students names, being aware of class dynamics, seating plans and most importantly - when to be involved and when to observe. I also learned what I should include in my lesson plan, for example, what you want the students to learn by the end of the lesson as well as the general theme and how it ties into past and future lessons. It is also a good tool should another person need to step in and teach your class, this will allow them to understand what you have already covered. I think another important point is to understand the student’s motivation for learning a new language. Whether is it for travel or work, this will help the teacher gear the lesson in a way that keeps students interested and motivated.
Planning ahread is key.
Planning ahead for some people may seem like extra work but not if it’s done in a way that allows the teacher to be more efficient in the classroom. The teacher can use their precious time more effectively and that will keep the students excited and interested. It is also a great tool to keep a record of what you have covered in the class. There was a great lesson plan worksheet included in the course that is incredibly useful.
There I learned how to time out a one-hour class, what I should include and how to stay on track. Having good subject knowledge is another important factor in lesson planning, being able to discuss news topics that are not too offensive but perhaps lighter and more entertaining, such as, movies, fun local news, and travel. It also mentions keeping the lesson plan with you as a reference, having all your teaching aids pre-chosen with enough copies for all your students, checking that any equipment needed works ahead of time and prearranging the desks for any group activities.
The ESA methodology of teaching.
Another great point I learned is how to keep students engaged, motivated and interested while learning a new language. I can say from experience that learning grammar, as an adult is no fun undertaking. There were so many great points and new methodologies that I learned and I can’t wait to put them work. The ESA approach (Engage, Study, Activate) is wonderful and I know it works as that is the structure used by my Italian teachers.
Are you ready to teach English abroad?
I feel these practical ideologies paired with effective lesson planning will enable me to be a good teacher and an even better student. I love languages and I am eager to help other students feel the same way about learning.
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