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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:
I started this course with absolutely no prior experience or knowledge of teaching. I was unfamiliar with the EFL methodologies, and even though I was a student for 16 years, I had never even considered how much planning and forethought goes into making a lesson. To say that I’ve learned a lot from this course would certainly be an understatement. I have gained so much knowledge about the workings of a classroom and how to successfully teach a group of students, no matter what age or level of english they are. I think the course does an excellent job of providing a resource for inexperienced teachers who are first starting out—I learned so many good tactics for being a successful teacher, from finding out about students’ interests in the initial class so they can be used in later lessons, to giving progress tests and creating fun classroom activities. I feel like I now have a real arsenal of tools for the classroom. The course is also very detail oriented: I had never before considered the pros and cons of various seating arrangements, or how to correctly set up an OHP so it can be an effective classroom tool. These are now things I am consciously aware of and take into account as I plan lessons. Not only did the course teach me a great deal about the classroom and my potential students, but it also offers a fantastic review of basic grammar rules and verb tenses of english. While taking this course, I’ve been amazed to discover that I knew so little about a language I use every day. Now that I’ve finished those grammar units, I can’t imagine trying to teach a group of students english without having had a refresher on things like the past perfect continuous and phrasal verbs. I think it’s so important for a teacher to feel confident that they have a good grasp on the subject they are teaching, and relearning the basics has made me feel that I can be much more self-reliant in the classroom. I will be teaching english in Shanghai, China starting in February. Taking this course in preparation for my new position in China has been an invaluable experience. I really feel as though I now have the tools to succeed in the classroom, and I know I can always refer back to the units; they will continue to be a great resource for me as I plan lessons throughout the year.