Why Taking a TEFL Course Will Change Your Life
As in any profession, a worker must prove themselves capable of the task at hand. I find myself at various stages of my life needing to perform tasks I never thought I would have to master: managing a family of seven, running a marathon, milking cows, managing a horse barn, homeschooling K-12, teaching various online classes, providing my own tech-support, writing curriculum, the list goes on. With each task allotted for me, I have pulled on resources to gain knowledge for mastery.
The education field is no exception to this challenge, for me or anyone else wanting to excel in the profession. Opportunities to stretch one’s capabilities can be a daily experience. If the challenge is embraced the educator gains a personal victory that will ultimately bring success to their students.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Angie B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
My newest and most exciting challenge as an educator is the opportunity to teach English as a foreign language. Once again, I embrace the mission as I search the resources needed for success in this profession. As I began my search the question needed to be asked, “Is it even necessary to complete a TEFL course?”. I mean, can’t a teacher ride on their wit and personality? If they are familiar with the classroom, why would they need to take time to polish up their skills?
After having completed the TEFL course activities there are several reasons I believe the course has positively impacted me as an educator and therefore my potential students. I also believe the same positive impact can be true for the most seasoned of teachers. Perhaps especially for the seasoned teacher!
Also Read: Digital Technology for English Learning
Exposure to scenarios outside the typical classroom. Language barriers make for a unique challenge different from the normal classroom. The TEFL course encourages the teacher to create an environment where the student feels welcomed and safe, building necessary confidence for success. There are situations presented in the course that allows for critical thinking and problem solving for the instructor to give the student the best experience possible.
Engage – Study – Activate or ESA. This method of teaching gives the teacher a framework to build a lesson plan and allows for a variation to add necessary elements as is needed for the lesson goals. Studying alone can create disinterest and boredom. The TEFL course gives educators the opportunity to build lessons using tools to engage the students in an exciting learning atmosphere. The structure provided in the ESA approach is intended to meet the goals of the lesson including venturing away from the lesson at the teacher’s discretion if the students are excelling in a certain area.
Teaching productive skills. It is imperative to the success of the student to give communication techniques for both accuracy and fluency. The TEFL course shows how to encourage interaction between students through group activities and role-playing during the “Activate” phase of the lesson. When the students are developing accuracy in speaking or writing, the practice and necessary corrections are given during the “Study” phase. Constructive feedback will ultimately result in a confident learner.
Self-evaluation. If an educator becomes rigid and inflexible in their teaching approach, they will reduce the amount of potential in a given classroom. It becomes vital for the teacher to perform a self-evaluation. The teacher who is willing to learn and grow will gain students who are willing to learn and grow. A self-evaluation, as suggested in the TEFL course, can easily be achieved by monitoring the quality of their lesson. Taking note of and focusing on strengths and weaknesses after a given lesson will sharpen the teacher’s skills.
There are many justifications for requiring a TEFL course when an educator is pursuing the opportunity to instruct English to non-native learners. If for no other reason, the greatest desire of the educator will be continually learning. Success, first for themselves in studentship, then for their student in scholarship.
Do you want to teach English abroad? Take a TEFL course and get officially certified!
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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