Provider Professional TEFL

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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:

G. R. - Korea said:
English as a Global LanguageFrom the language used in airports and international governing bodies like the United Nations, English has become a global language. The internet, being the chief contributor to globalization, uses English as its primary form of communication. How has the spread of English affected countries that have never before concerned themselves with its acquisition? In countries like South korea, teaching English as a second language has become such an enormous industry that one could easily find numerous private English learning institutions within every city block, sometimes sharing the same building. Because of the widespread belief that English fluency is a fundamental ingredient to success, parents feel obligated to send their children to private schools in order to further their language education. Success in English education since its inception has always been a concern for korean parents but over recent years, the sense of urgency has increased. More and more expats join the ranks of their korean counterparts to meet the demands of further English learning. Just like any business, success is measured in the quality and quantity of the results. If South korea were a company and its teachers were the line workers and sales people, then English would be the product and the students would be the clients. Classrooms then would be where the transaction happens. Profit will be measured by the clients? language acquisition. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. The growth in demand for attaining English skills has created certain issues within the country. The quality of private English institutions depends on the owners and how much money they want to invest in their schools. Some English private schools are national (or global) franchises that must meet a certain criteria to measure its success. Entrance exams are necessary before enrollment is considered and tuition rates reflect the quality of learning they boast. Other institutions are mom and pop shops that need not answer to a list of educational standards. Many middle class families would resort to this type of private school to supplement their children?s English studies. Unfortunately, there are a number of families who are financially unable to take advantage of any kind of private education or they live in rural areas where such institutions do not exist. This group relies solely on English education offered in public schools. With the rise of private English schools, public schools are struggling to keep up. The disparity in skills within one classroom is evident and preparing lessons to accommodate all abilities is proving difficult for the teachers. Most public school English textbooks are geared towards the status quo, or where they think the status quo should be. However, the content of the materials and proposed lesson plans are either too low or too high for half the students. This discrepancy creates problems in the classroom ? students struggle and switch off or they are bored and switch off. Either way, it has become more difficult for teachers to affect the majority of the students. Therefore, with such an unbalanced skill set present in the classroom, schools need to have better English programs instilled into the curriculum to accommodate the changes and teachers need to be better equipped to teach the language. Because of English becoming so widespread, native speakers are presented with more opportunities to work abroad. Especially with the economic crisis affecting everyone, people are now more willing to find employment elsewhere. However, for some of these jobs the minimum requirement is that the employee merely comes from an English speaking country. Others have stipulated that they require a university degree at the very least. Most of these expats are young and inexperienced and taking an English teaching job abroad may be their first time away from home. When they arrive in korea they may not receive the necessary training on how to teach English as a second language. Public schools and elite private institutions may provide orientation and training but others are ill equipped to do so. Hence, there are instructors who are unaware of the intricacies of student dynamics. They lack the skills necessary for lesson planning. They are naïve to successful classroom management and most importantly they are not as well versed to the language as people tend to assume. Just because a person is capable of speaking the language does not mean they are equally capable of explaining its inner workings (especially to someone who is just learning it). Some people?s attitude towards English education is that exposure is the key. For some parents, this is good enough. If students are in the presence of a native speaker for a certain amount of time a day then they may absorb the language via osmosis. Obviously this is not the case but parents are still willing to pay. Governments and private institutions are also willing to pay. Flights, accommodations and monthly salaries are provided to native speakers regardless of appropriate credentials. So how has this business plan panned out? In retrospect, it still needs to be revised in order to resolve the issues that are hindering higher profit margins. Private institutions are undercutting the public sector creating a huge disparity in skills amongst the classes. Positions are outsourced to under-qualified individuals and the tools necessary to push the product are only relevant to a certain few. Even though countries like South korea are becoming better versed in the English language does not mean it is necessarily happening in the most cost-efficient way possible.