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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:
To be honest, having already taught for the past five years, I did not expect to gain much from this course however I have found it surprisingly rewarding. Much of the information regarding classroom management, group work and lesson planning I have come to learn the hard way over the past few years but it was still good to get a reminder of why things are done in a certain way. I also could clearly see areas where I had previously made mistakes outlined in the course and some areas where I still need to improve. Having worked in Korea for so long I have become guilty of using Korean when I see the students have not understood me in english
and it is an area in which I will endeavor to improve. Although a lot of the course did serve to reinforce knowledge I have already acquired there were other areas which I know I have neglected that the course highlighted.
I know that I have always been a little unsure in teaching grammar mainly because I did not have a strong grasp of the rules behind my explanations and was therefore less confident in my ability to teach it. This course has given me a much stronger sense of how to teach grammar and I will be certainly implementing a lot of the activities and techniques suggested throughout the course.
Pronunciation is another area where I may have been doing my students a disservice. I am from Ireland so I have my own issues with pronunciation of certain words and it is an area that I feel I have perhaps neglected in my teaching. It is not something that is tested in the Korean education system and is therefore something that the school does not want to spend too much time on. This is a bit of a cop out on my part but again, I will be doing my best to incorporate more pronunciation practice in my lesson planning. I have recently begun teaching kindergarten so I feel it is definitely a good opportunity to put into practice some of the things I have learned in this course.
The phonemic alphabet is something I had never even considered learning before so I am grateful for being given the impetus to learn it.
The course has also led me to believe that I am a good teacher! A lot of the techniques and activities that were recommended in the course were things that I have been doing myself for a long time and it was nice to see them in print and to reinforce things I have come to learn through trial and error. I think as teachers it is important that we are constantly refining and improving our teaching methods and this course has caused me to re examine and tailor certain parts of my teaching that may have become stagnant over the past year or so. I am glad that I took the time to do the course and am only sorry I didn’t take it 5 years ago as it could have saved me a lot of heart ache in those initial months!