This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
C.R. - Ireland said:
Apart from wanting to learn how to teach and to know more about the english language I chose to do this course for two reasons , I wanted to learn how to use a computer and I wanted to decide whether or not teaching was for me. Having completed this course I am finally comfortable using a computer and have decided that teaching is something I will do again something I wasn't sure of prior to completing this course. During the time in which I was teaching I used a computer in a very limited way and not very often. I now realize there were many resources available to me that I didn't make full use of. I found many issues raised throughout the course to be both helpful and thought provoking. What makes a good teacher was one issue i had given a lot of thought to as I struggled to be one. I was happy to discover that I had many qualities a good teacher should have and those I didn't such as experience and a good knowledge of my subject were attainable. I was shocked to learn the extent of my lack of knowledge of the english language and how to teach it . This course has given me confidence in my ability to become a good teacher and the knowledge in which to do so. I found the section on teaching methods to be an interesting one as I hadn't given this issue much thought prior to the time I spent teaching. Instinctively I felt that the teaching methods adopted by the school in which I taught to be largely ineffective as least in the area of the english language, but I neither had the confidence in my beliefs or the ability to persuade the school that I had ideas about teaching that would be effective. Had I completed this course beforehand I know for sure I would have been a better teacher. I found the grammar sections of this course to have been very well explained . Although I knew the correct grammar to use I didn't have a clear picture of its structures and was at a loss as to how to teach it. I'm now familiar with the rules of grammar as well as having plenty of ideas as to how I would teach it. What I have also learned from this course is the importance of keeping it simple and how to build vocabulary and use it to introduce new language. The importance of mime and gesture in the classroom as well as the use of voice tone were areas I had given some thought but am much more aware of on completion of this course. I have learned how vital it is to be prepared for each lesson and what structure lesson plans should take in order to be effective. I have also learned to plan lessons with timing in mind as well as the importance of finding a balance between interesting students in the subject, teaching them new language and allowing them to produce the language. While I was aware of the concept of engage, study and activate I now have a much clearer idea of what each stage should contain as well as having many ideas to use in each stage. I found the example d.v. d to be really useful in showing the difference between an effective and an ineffective lesson. It was also useful in showing how a repetition drill could increase students confidence to speak as I had seen repetition drills over used and wasn't convinced that they could be effective. The example lessons also made me aware of the possibility of teaching a small class something I haven't done as well as the possibility of teaching a class familiar with ESl methods. This course has given me many ideas on materials that could be used in the classroom as well as many ideas of activities that could be used to make lessons interesting. How and when to use a course book was useful information for me as while teaching I found the course books students had were unsuitable to their level of ability. I now know how i could have added, adapted and changed the material to make it more suitable. Throughout this course I have been thinking about the english language and the best ways in which to teach it and because of this course I am much more aware of how we use language and how it changes meaning according to the context in which it is used. I plan to return to asia and apply for a teaching position . I intend to use the teaching methods I have learned about and to incorporate the ideas I have had while doing this course into lessons I will teach. I will continue to research information and learn more about teaching. I have come to realize while doing this course that I would prefer to teach young learners and I would rather work in a school that has had some experience with ESl methods or at least be open to these methods. These are factors that I will take into consideration in deciding where to teach. I hope to be a good teacher and to enjoy the process.