Teach English in Goutang Zhen - Zhengzhou Shi

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The tefl course has given me a lot in the past 6 months. Firstly, although my mother is British and my university education was in english, I went to a french school as a young girl and as such all of the grammar rules I learned through this course were new to me and allowed me to understand how the language that I use everyday is constructed and created. Until this course I had never heard of a 'gerund', didn't know of its existence, how it is used or why. The grammar sections in the course have, not only enlightened me on the language itself, but given me sufficient background to understand what I am teaching and how to teach it. My first teaching experience (prior to the course) involved teaching grammar, and although I knew how to use it - I was not sure of why or how it is used, and even less how to explain it. Secondly, this course has given a clearer image of what to expect when teaching abroad. Although I understand that classrooms will differ, the culture, the school and the individuals involved will all be unique, I believe, the course has introduced the major difficulties that a teacher could encounter, how to overcome them and 'dodge' them. I'll be sure to research the culture that I am teaching in, the level of the students and assess the available material at the school well before teaching a class. This will allow me to study all available exercise books available, the course book (if any) that they teach, any extra books available in the school library that I can use, what each classroom has and what the school can offer (white board, black board, OHP, TV, Cassette player?) in order to plan the classes and lessons correctly. It is also important, when teaching in a school, to understand the school's rules and regulations, what the hours are, student and teacher conduct etc. in order to know what is allowed and not when disciplining the kids. Understanding the different levels that may (and most probably will) exist in a classroom is another point that the course has taught me. Even if the students all start at a similar level, some will learn faster than others, they will have difficulties with different parts of the lessons and so on and so fourth. It is important to cater to all the students needs as much possible without boring the stranger students or losing the motivation of the weaker students. As discussed in the unit this can be done in many different way, although I do believe that group work, pair work and full class activities can be a greta way of akin sure all students are involved, talking and participating; which can help the weaker students gain confidence. The difference between adults and children learners was an interesting topic for me. I previously taught in a class with students that varied fro 14 to 50 years of age and dealing with them all together proved difficult. The course has given me the information I need to now understand the difference in behavior, motivation and struggles that the individual students faced and how to approach their strengths and weaknesses. The lesson plans were an invaluable part of my TEFL experience. Although difficult at first, I found they opened my mind to the division of classroom activities and helped me visualize a lesson in a much clearer way. Lessons plans allow the teacher to organize him/herself before giving the lesson and as such coming to class much more prepared, ready and confident with the material at hand. It also gives the teacher an opportunity to include extra material, vary the classes, keep them interactive, fun and exciting for the students. Finally, since I have been working on this course in parallel with working a very demanding day time job, the TEFL course as indirectly given me self discipline and time management skills. I feel that I have grown a great deal whilst taking the course. Although I have wanted to take the TEFL for a couple of years, I have always worried that it would affect my social or work life. However, I have no learned how to manage my time more efficiently, and make the best of the little time available.