Throughout this entire course, I have learned an ample amount of information that I have been and will be implementing in my future courses. I believe this course has given me a very solid outline of the basic grammar concepts of the english language. I intend on integrating the explanations of these grammar concepts throughout my curriculum, pulling very similar examples. These gave me a very good starting point which I can grow and develop a more comprehensive understanding of english grammar from.
I think this course has been very beneficial for me for a number of reasons. First of all, I feel that after completing the course I have a much firmer grasp not only on english grammar but, also on how to approach and teach grammar, which can be challenging at times. As a native speaker, I learned english by absorbing it from my surroundings as a child and not from grammar/vocabulary practice, so I have had to learn grammar on my own and I feel this course helped me feel more confident about teaching this area of the language. I also think that I will use a lot of the activities/games that were suggested in my classes to teach certain grammar points. In addition, I think that the chapter on ESL methodology was also very useful. Prior to this course I was not familiar with any of these techniques and now because of this knowledge I feel that I am better able to adjust my approach (which ever method I may choose to use) to different groups of students. Learning ESL methodology has also taught me that there is no right or wrong way to teach, each method is unique and the teacher has many options he/she can use in order to cater to specific groups of students. Another aspect of the course which I found indispensable was that it taught me a great deal about lesson planning for various levels and age groups. As a new teacher I felt very apprehensive about this area of teaching, especially in a situation where I was left with no course book for safety; after completing the course I feel that with careful preparation I can plan any type of lesson even from scratch. I really like the ESA lesson structure that this course has introduced me to, and I feel I will definitely make use of it while lesson planning in the future. Another area that the course covered which I found very helpful was the unit on phonology. Because I had never taken phonology/phonetics in school, this unit proved very useful especially with its inclusion of the phonemic alphabet which I was not familiar with. I will definitely use some of the ideas listed in this chapter when I have to teach pronunciation and intonation. Furthermore, I was happy to see a chapter that dealt with teaching ‘special groups’ because this is an issue that I also felt uneasy about. I thought this unit gave very valuable advice as to how to approach individual students, children
and business students in particular. Another point I found significant and which was touched upon throughout the course is the importance of the teacher’s attitude/approach towards his/her students; whether dealing with evaluation, disciplinary issues or special groups, the teacher should always be positive, respectful and sensitive of his/her students’ needs. I think I will always keep this point in mind when teaching, no matter what type of material or language level I am dealing with. Finally, I also think this course was a great source of ideas for activities, games and study exercises, in addition to providing a number of great reference books and online resources for teaching ESL. In general, I feel that thanks to this course I have access to an abundance of fun and interesting material which I will undoubtedly use in the classroom.
In addition, the units addressing different language levels, different language groups, discipline problems, teaching approaches, lesson plans and teaching materials has helped me to organize my lessons, identify the strengths and weaknesses of my students and also present a multi-dimensional course content.