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.H - USA said:
The most important thing I personally gained from this course is the ESA straight arrow and patchworks lesson planning. I am used to doing lesson plans, but not so intricately. Usually, I jot down a few objectives and bring whatever materials I may need. My lesson plans change by the minute within the classroom, since some activities/instruction work better than others, and some need more or less time to complete. I find the lesson planning worksheets a more accurate guide for the success of a class. However, for each activity, I like to have a backup in case what was planned falls through. I have been teaching ESL courses at a university for a few years now and a lot of my planning methods, which do follow ESA methodology, can be more realized. I?ve done such planning for instruction and activities in the classroom according to second nature, but to have clear aims broken down, more easily allows me to adjust to the students? needs. The same goes with units 11 & 12: receptive and productive skills. I try to incorporate all skills within my classroom even though the classes I teach are broken down by level and skill. For a reading class, I put most emphasis on the reading, but I also incorporate speaking (presentations), listening (reading aloud for comprehension), and writing (analyses of passages). Recently, I gave a presentation at a state TESOL conference on graphic literacy where I informed colleagues about teaching all the skill levels, as well as a component of critical thinking through the use of a graphic novel. Teaching receptive and productive skills to generation 1.5 has been the most challenging, as well as troubling, issue. I haven?t quite found a way to be 100% successful with this since the generation 1.5ers are more fluent in speaking and reading than they are in listening and writing. I am currently researching this topic as I put together language resource center for such students. I found the unit on pronunciation and phonology to be the most fascinating. Since I teach mostly intermediate and higher levels, this unit has many applicable tools and considerations about where a student begins. I have since taught some lower level pronunciation classes where I used Robert Frost poems (wonderful for rhythm), Simon and Garfunkel songs, as well as Pig Latin (for fun). Teaching students Pig Latin allowed us to focus on the sounds of the letter and not much the meaning of the words. The unit on course books and lesson material went immediately into action. I?ve adopted many of the activities, in one form or another, stated here. When I had begun teaching ESL, I admit that I relied too heavily on course books, which was a great disadvantage to the students. Now, I rely maybe a third on the texts and find authentic and created materials to supplement. Again, this has brought more success to my classroom and I am able to meet the students? individual needs more successfully. I feel more confident now, after completing this TESOL / TEFL course about my teaching abilities. So far, I have done so successfully in the multilingual classroom at the university, but I feel more prepared to take the show on the road to monolingual classrooms in foreign lands.