Accredited TEFL Courses

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

A. T. - Italy said:
Problems for learners in a country of your choice Talking about specific problems which the students of a certain country have learning English, in Europe Italians are probably the ones to have most problems in general. They seem not to be able to learn very quickly or well. This is partly fault of the national television broadcast and the cinema which dub everything. Due to this their daily exposure to English is limited only to their studies and very few other activities which are up to the individual. Apart from this, in learning English the specific problems which the students of this nation have are various. The most obvious problem is the pronunciation. Lacking many of the sounds of English in their native language, the students find themselves producing sounds their mouth is not used to generating, such as ?th? or ?h?. Also the pronunciation of some vowel sounds is difficult for Italians, like for example /æ/ or /?/. In addition, the English intonation is notoriously a problem because of the very heavy rising intonation in questions (some sentences are identified as questions only on the basis of intonation) and in other sentences their typical rise and fall intonation, which sounds strange in English sentences. Some other problems arise with vocabulary. Like most other European languages, Italian has a common basis of Latin words with English, so some of the words are very similar. This can cause problems with the so-called false friends, which are words that have the same root, but which have a different use and meaning in different languages. In addition, the problem with the phrasal verbs is always present, like for all the other students of English in the world. In grammar, instead, the most complicated part is the use of future tenses ? the distinction between the ?be going to? future and future simple ? and the distinction between past simple and present perfect. This is because these tenses do not correspond to Italian tenses and the students tend to think in their native tongue and translate from it using also its tenses. Another grammar problem for the Italian students, especially at lower levels, is the use of the gerund and the distinction between the verbs followed by infinitive or by gerund. In Italian the gerund is only used as present participle for the continuous forms, so it is sometimes difficult for them to understand the use of the gerund in the place of infinitive. Furthermore, the use of the infinitive of purpose is very hard for Italians, who tend to use the preposition ?for? to express purpose. Moreover, the use of some prepositions can be an issue for some students if they do not think in English and if they stick to the Italian use of prepositions. Especially prepositions like ?at?, which does not exist in Italian, and prepositions of movement like ?to?, as in Italian the preposition is the same for movement and for place. Finally, the construction of sentences in general may be problematic because of the different word order. Generally In Latin languages all the defining words, for example adjectives, go after the noun, while in English this is the opposite. Besides, the Italian students are used to producing more complicated sentence structures, because of the several subordinate clauses they normally use. Thus trying to use a more straight forward structure of English sentences may be complicated.


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