Accredited TEFL Diploma

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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:

T.G. - U.S.A. said:
Teaching Slang and IdiomsI have been a student of multiple languages for as long as I can remember. In the field of music composition you are thrust into the situation of having to have at least a basic understanding of certain speech patterns and linguistic idioms in any number of romantic, Slavic or Germanic languages in order to study the master?s scores and historical documents. Unfortunately for American composers, this can prove to be an extremely difficult task, as Western Art Music never had a foothold in the Americans until the early 20th century. If only Mozart and Boulez wrote in plain English! As I have quickly discovered in researching about slang and idioms in the American English dialect, this confusion is pervasive with learning any language. Understanding a language as spoken by any native speaker can be an incredibly difficult task if only because many language courses around the world, including English courses, avoid teaching idioms and slang. This is understandable because as Kenneth Lawrence?s blog (GeekyTeacher) pointed out in a December article in 2008, there is an amazingly enormous library of national, regional, cultural and local dialects, slangs and idioms and to teach them all would be near impossible for any tesol educator. The closest we could get to even scratching the surface would be to give out worksheets using matching words or word bank fill-in-the-black activities. So what does this mean for tesol educators? Well it means we need to re-evaluate how and what we teach to address the needs of why the students are learning this language. Take, for example, students of a Business English class. Rarely does any mild mannered manager in small business approach an employee a la Donald Trump and point the finger with the famous last words ?you?re fired.? More often you?ll hear things like ?you?ve been let go,? or ?asked to leave? or even harsher ?canned.? Delving even further into the Business English category there is an entire sub-sect of idioms that only deal with sports terms that are used in business as pointed out by Molly Shaver in her article ?tesol ARTICLES: Teaching Idioms.? She points out that ?in the category of ?Baseball? common idioms like ?make a pitch,? ?throw someone a curveball,? and ?play ball? are introduced as frequent phrases used in the business world.? It?s obviously important for those who are interested and motivated by business to learn English to be taught these idioms. But what a lot of these articles on the importance of teaching slang and idioms don?t really touch on is the educator?s responsibility to embrace their own use of idioms and know that teaching certain idioms may be dangerous. I remember in grade school when e-mail was first cropping up as a legitimate form of communication there was a lot of confusion on etiquette. Should we be formal? Should this be informal? Should it be in letter form? Do we have to sign each email even if they see who it?s from before they open it? This was the time when I found out using the contraction ?y?all? in an email was a big mistake. But it made since to me at the time. The same way that starting a story with ?Once upon a time on a dark and stormy night,? and ending with ?and they lived happily ever after,? was perfectly acceptable. When teaching idioms and slang we must be selective in what we teach. In my case I grew up in Texas, but never would I teach a student the ins and outs of why someone was ?nervous like a long tail cat in a room full of rockin? chairs.? I believe we should educate students that learn English as a second or even third or fourth language to be eloquent English speakers. Decisiveness in word choice and avoidance of clichéd materials can be intuitive for a speaker who is never introduced to such opportunities in the first place, and we as tesol educators should not rob them of that opportunity by trying to teach them to be a native speaker.