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.L. - USA said:
I have personally learned a lot from this TEFL course. I am currently in taiwan, and I am going to be teaching english abroad for at least a year. My boss called me in yesterday, and asked me to teach a junior high level class-- with just one night in advance notice. Luckily, because of this course, I was able to think fast and on my feet. I used the Patchwork ESA lesson, and I devised a lesson plan that was fun and interesting for my students. I taught them two american songs (A Whole New World, from the Aladdin Soundtrack, and DoReMi, from the Sounds of Music Soundtrack). I had my students repeat the words after me, and we sang the songs together. As the homework assignment, I had my students copy down the lyrics for part of 'A Whole New World', and I asked them to look up the words in a dictionary for next week's lesson. I also found out which methods were better in certain situations. I will also be tutoring students part time, and I took the time to get to know them and ask them conversational questions in english. Keeping a smile on my face, and having the classroom as a relaxed atmosphere made the students less wary of a foreign language teacher (albeit one that looks just like them). For this, I especially found the unit that distinguished between good and bad teaching useful. I made sure to not discount any questions, and I never criticized the students, especially the younger ones. The older students were more familiar with the language, but I was careful to praise their efforts. I know that learning a foreign language is difficult, and I try in all of my classes to make my students as comfortable as possible. I also tried to have back-up lesson plans, in case my students and I finish any part of the class early. This part of the course came in handy, because my students were more well acquainted with the reading than I had thought. I had a possible debate between two groups set up about pocket money, as well as a potential competition for listening exercises. Both were sound ideas, and my students were entertained. After the class, the students thanked me, and stated that they were looking forward to the next lesson! For my job, I am required to write up lesson plans in advance. In this particular case, I am required to write 16 lesson plans beforehand. Thus, because I have written at least one lesson plan for the last 8 units, writing these plans has been fun and rewarding. I think that overall, the skills that I have obtained from TEFL have been instrumental in working with my students. I am glad that I have taken this course, and so are my fellow co-workers. My boss has stated that he has not yet met someone who has taken a TEFL or TESOL course (more limited in Taiwan), so he is looking forward to discussing more of what I have learned in this course with me.