The Useful Skills I Learned Taking a TEFL Course
I originally went to college to study to be a Social Studies teacher in the US. I did not complete my education classes so I just graduated with a liberal arts degree in History. I wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember but my life took a different career path.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Matthew S. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
My Personal Experience
Now as I am embarking on a journey across the world in China I realized that there are a lot of things that I needed to learn to be a teacher. Throughout this TEFL course, I have learned a lot about being a teacher. I have learned things such as classroom management. Classroom management is going to be essential once I start teaching because I will not only need to make sure all the kids are behaving but also that they are also learning the material that I will be covering. I also learned the different types of resources I will have as a teacher.
Also Read: How do I choose a TEFL course?
Opinion on the Course Materials
At first, I thought that the resources that I have would be things limited to in the classroom but throughout this course, I learned that practically anything that I read, write or listen to can be used as an authentic source of information.
The Principles of Communication
Another thing I learned is that I will have to communicate very slowly. Speaking quickly will just confuse the students and I will lose their engagement. I will have to adapt my teaching style to be able to accommodate a variety of students all though they will all most likely have little to zero knowledge of the English language it will be essential to be able to accommodate the different learning styles of each student. I also learned that using gestures and my physical responses will be essential to teaching. The students will usually have no idea of what I am saying so I will have to use these to help the students understand the information I am trying to portray.
I thought that learning the different Engage, Study and Activate lesson plans were extremely beneficial. I even incorporated them into my demo and outlined it as such. The ESA lesson plan serves as a nice template that you can use to plan for all ages and different types of learners. My biggest take away by far though throughout this course is the need to plan. The need to plan is my biggest takeaway because if you are underprepared the students will notice and more then likely not take your class seriously. Also if you do not plan sufficiently you can end up with empty time and this will allow the students to lose interest and possibly miss behave and create problems.
Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course!
Overall I learned a lot from this TEFL course and I would recommend it to other people who are thinking about starting a new career in teaching. It was very informative to learn best practices on how to manage a classroom and also to learn new activities that I can use to provide engaging and thoughtful lesson plans. Being an English teacher in a different country not only requires a thorough understanding of the Language. It also requires a thorough understanding of the grammar and all the nuances that come along with it such as words having different meanings, different tenses and other aspects of grammar. A good teacher can engage the student by incorporating these lessons into various activities and keep it interesting for the student.
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