Why Teachers Need to Complete a TEFL Certification Course Before Heading Overseas
English has quickly become the leading language of the world. Whether we like it or not, most countries have chosen English as the language of business and international interaction, and because of this, many are pushing their people to learn English as a second language. To help guide this initiative, many businesses, schools, and private households are hiring native English-speakers to teach English to those wishing to learn. While learning directly from a native speaker is the ideal way to learn a new language, unfortunately, it is common for many English speakers to go abroad and hope to be able to teach effectively with no prior teacher training.
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This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Leah H.
Completing a TEFL course before moving abroad is beneficial because it not only allows you to develop the important teaching skills necessary to teach in any classroom, but it also helps to give you an understanding of the unique ways in which ESL classrooms operate. Just because you can speak a language does not mean that you have the skills to teach it. One way that a TEFL course helps teachers to better teach is by covering all of the basic and necessary skills that one needs to be a teacher, in a way that is geared towards teaching ESL. TEFL courses give specific instructions in crucial areas such as lesson planning, classroom management, and material preparation, to name just a few.
During your TEFL course you will also learn how to use the Engage, Study, Activate lesson planning system which is a great way to help you organize the class schedule to allow for maximum learning time. Students can be exposed to English in many ways by using this plan; students can think for themselves about their own prior knowledge, use books, worksheets, and other written sources, and speak and interact with one another (as well as the teacher!) to practice and develop their language skills. Effective lesson planning and structuring completely changes the way a classroom can operate, and can make all the difference when it comes to helping the students learn.
Another major benefit of completing a TEFL course is the way you are able to âseeâ into an ESL classroom before you actually teach in one. An ESL teacher abroad usually goes into a classroom full of people who speak differently, have different ages, and varying preexisting language abilities. Unit 6 of the course provides 2 video clips- one depicting âeffectiveâ teaching, and one representing âineffectiveâ teaching- and the differences between the two are astounding! Simple techniques such as speaking slowly and clearly, organizing games/materials, smiling, and allowing enough time for students to think and understand without feeling rushed or pressured are all things that we see the teacher do to better manage his classroom and help the students feel comfortable. When the teacher creates a safe and inviting environment, the students feel more relaxed and have a better learning experience. Without completing a TEFL certification first, it would be difficult to see and understand this important concept.
Countries all over the world are trying to encourage their citizens to learn to read and speak English, which provides endless opportunities for teachers who are properly prepared. Earning a TEFL certificate before leaving home is undoubtedly the best way to help the teacher prepare him or herself for the many challenges that come along with teaching ESL in a foreign country. The course provides guidance in all the most important areas of teaching, including many that most people would be clueless about without this instruction such as lesson planning and classroom management. By completing a TEFL course, one is setting him or herself up for a successful ESL teaching experience.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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