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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:
My feelings about what I have learned are mixed. On the one hand I have learned that I have a number of transferrable skills which I hope will stand me in good stead. Working through the 20 units has undoubtedly helped me to brush up on some classroom techniques and general language skills but on the other hand it has also made me realize just how much more there is to learn.
It has been very encouraging to see that so many of the techniques for language teaching are the same as for other types of teaching for example; classroom management, use of visual aids, lesson planning, discipline in the classroom and even needs analysis for in-company programmes. Even though the content of the programmes will be different I need to remind myself that these transferrable skills will undoubtedly help me to establish credibility and compensate to some extent for the areas where I lack expertise.
More to Learn:
Not having studied english grammar for many years, the units covering grammar have been the most challenging for me. I have used english extensively throughout my career; to write reports, sales proposals, company policies and training programmes. I have written articles for the press and spoken to some quite large groups of business people, but I have never had to think so hard about how I am structuring my sentences or which tense I should be in. In the past it has been an automatic or spontaneous process. Now for the first time I am having to think about what I am saying and how I am saying it!
Not being a detail person by nature, I know that I have to work hard at the detail and will have to make sure that I prepare well for all my sessions on english Grammar. I know that I will need to undertake some further study to ensure that I feel really comfortable working with groups of any level. As someone once said, ‘The more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know.’
I have thoroughly enjoyed the course. Each unit has been stimulating and interesting. It is easy to read through the text and think, ‘I know this.’ But it is only when answering the questions on the worksheets that you realize how well or how little you understand it. Now it’s up to me to put this learning to good use.
January – March 2012
In the immediate short term I intend to acquire some of the recommended english Language text books so that I can continue to build my knowledge and confidence. At the same time I will also complete the additional unit on teaching children
As I want to run small english language groups at my home here in France I will need to spend some time researching the best materials and resources to use. The research article on Published Teaching Resources, which forms part of this Unit’s course work, will start this process.
April – July 2012
I would like to undertake some unpaid work as a volunteer english teaching assistant in one of my local schools
. This will help me to consolidate some of my learning and gain confidence and experience. This period will also give me a chance to work out how I can go about promoting my classes. I would like to teach adults and children but suspect that there will be more demand for teaching children. It is possible that I may also attract some english children who have been brought up in the french school system. Many of them can speak english because it is spoken at home but have either forgotten or never learned how to write english correctly.
July – September 2012
Before the french school year ends in July I will have started to promote my classes and will use the summer to start preparing materials in anticipation of having some students to start lessons in September. If I am unable to find enough students to teach privately then I might see if I can find some part time teaching work in one of the local schools or colleges.
October – December 2012
I will start my Business english course later in the Autumn and would hope to have it completed by the beginning of 2013. By this time I hope that my french language will be more fluent so that I can start contacting organizations in the locality to promote tailor made english language programmes. At this stage, I have no way of knowing whether the demand will be there but if I don’t try I will never know.