Teach English in HesigewulAnong Muchang - Xilinguole Meng — Xilin Gol

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I initially sought to complete my TEFL as a resume builder when applying to programs related to teaching English in Japan. What I did not anticipate when beginning was the wide range of skills and knowledge that were their to be taught by this TEFL course. This course covered nearly all parts of the English language and how to appropriately go about teaching each element or section. This applied to everything, from very broad areas such as grammar and punctuation to very nuanced topics such as phonetics and relative clauses. Though these are all topics of importance that have their place in an English classroom. The main topics I found to be most fundamental to my learning, personal growth and most importantly, how I will go about teaching were in the sections about how to help students learn the content rather than the content itself. Even more specifically the two areas that stood out to me the most was the unit on teaching special groups and the unit on teaching methodology. I will touch firstly on my personal interpretation of teaching special groups and what made it resonate with me so heavily. As I understood it, classrooms have a very wide range of pupils with varying needs and abilities. This can range from one on one classes with adults who seek to learn conversational English, to more traditional classrooms with young to adolescent aged students who are building on their English skills at the same time as they build on their native language skills. Now though I do not have any formal experience as a teacher I have many years of experience as a student in various classroom settings. What I have noticed over the years is that every class has differing goals and skills already in place but what makes the learning in each classroom most effective is a teachers ability to adapt to not only the goals of the class but the abilities of the students particularly in classes with a multitude of students that all have various personal goals and abilities. This is where I found that Unit 19 on teaching special groups really stood out as one of the more important units of the course. Not only did the unit point out different special groups such as people learning English for business and school age English teaching but it broke these groups down further into sections such as managers and subordinates and children and young adults. These sections are dynamics that can appear in their relative classrooms and this unit, on top of highlighting them explains in detail how to best go about adapting lessons to their dynamics to get the most out of each individual. Adaptability to cater to the needs of the students is what I believe is a hallmark of a great and successful teacher and this unit alone highlighted this assumption. The second but no less important section of the course that I found assisted in honing my yet untested teaching ability is Unit 3, the unit of teaching theories and methodology. Whilst the previous unit highlighted how a teacher could potentially go about adapting to different students and classrooms this unit provided me with an extremely wide range of different theories and teaching methods that I imagine will prove particularly useful when in different teaching environments. The unit explains a variety of methods from the very old school grammar translation method to very modern techniques such as the silent way. Whilst each method has its own pros and cons it is the fact the course provides us with so many options that can hopefully assist new teachers with their future endeavours. Another unique article this unit provides is its introduction of the Engage, Study and Activate or ESA tool. This is a tool to help teachers plan out their lessons in a way that is conducive to not only a class’ learning but to the topic itself. The ESA tool has many adaptations such as patchwork and boomerang that can be used interchangeably and are better suited to classes that are based on specific topics such as grammar or pronunciation rather than specific environments such as primary school or high school. The units reasoning behind each method and how to appropriately tackles specific lessons as well as the general guidance it gives in smaller topics such as correction and which activities to perform is what makes it stand out as one of the most informative and utilisable units of the course. In summary I have witnessed much personal growth in this course and am eager to not only put into practice the lessons this course taught me but learn from future experiences and create my own adjustments. While the two units I have highlighted above have impacted me the most, all the units have provided me with knowledge that can be applied easily and effectively in the classroom. This TEFL course has gone above and beyond my expectations as it proved itself as not only a good tool for learning to teach English but learning to teach in general.