White Elephant - English Idioms


The idiom "white elephant" refers to an expensive item that is costly to maintain, for example: Shortly after Tanya inherited her aunt's castle, it turned out to be a white elephant she could not afford. The phrase originates from a long time ago when white elephants where regarded as precious and even holy in Asia, especially in Thailand. When the king was displeased with someone, he would gift them a white elephant as the upkeeping would likely ruin them.

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

In this unit, I learned the ins and outs of using a course book. Using a course book removes much of the burden from the teacher of having to develop all of the material on their own. Using a course book has other advantages as well, but it also has many disadvantages. In this unit, I learned that it is important to be conscientious of how much one is relying on a course book. It is also important for a teacher to be critical of their methods and materials to be sure their lesson plans are equipping students as well as possible.