Coursebook reviewWhen I started with the course, I had no idea about what a TEFL course could include, as I am new teacher and I have no experience in teaching, except of doing some one-to-one classes nearby my city.
The course has been very profitable for me, as in order to be an english teacher, in my view one should have taken at least a basic teacher course and only then can tackle the challenge with some confidence.
The course has several areas which I have divided.
The introductory lessons, that is “Teachers and learners” and “Teaching theories, methods and techniques” give an introduction of what ideal teachers and learners should be, touching several main points to be a good teacher/learner and some points a good teacher/learner should not do.
It was especially interesting to know the origin of teaching, knowing about teaching methods from hundreds of years ago to our days, and it is good to know ESA is a mix of those techniques, refined and developed.
Here is the first time we know about ESA and what it means. It is shown to us the different types of ESA structures, in a way inexperienced teacher can easily understand.
Then we go into the “Classroom management” which is, for me the second area of the course, and it is in its correct sequence for my understanding.
It talks about teacher eye contact, gestures, voice, position and use of the board in the classroom. Some good advices are given. It also talks about how to arrange students in the classroom, group work, pair work, whole class and its pros-cons.
In this point, we have basic knowledge about what is teaching ESA and what a good teacher should be, how the teacher should behave in class and how to arrange students, having then a good basis.
In next lesson, “Lesson planning” it is given the way of devising a lesson which is going to be taught to students in the classroom. It is shown to us that especially inexperienced teachers should have a plan, as we have lack of experience and confidence. This way we can relay on lesson plans and follow them without fears. In this lesson we start doing lesson planning, practice that will last until the end of the course. From this we can see the importance of this point.
In next area we find “Teaching”, including “Teaching new language”, “Teaching receptive/productive skills”, “Pronunciation and phonology” and “Teaching to special groups”.
We see here a large amount of contents, such us what a teacher should know/be aware when teaching new language to students and several ideas, how to teach “the four skills” appropriately (receptive: listening and reading, productive: writing and speaking), problems, tasks, etc.
We also see the importance of pronunciation and intonation when speaking and several ways and techniques for practice. It is introduced to us the phonemic alphabet and correct use of dictionary.
Finally we learn about teaching to different groups of students. Each group must be dealt from a special approach, and we find the clues here to success when teaching beginners, individual students, children
, business english, and the pros and cons about teaching monolingual or multilingual classes.
In “Course books and materials” we learn about choosing the best mix of workbooks, resource books, activities, games and a large resource of material any teacher should be able to use such as cassette recorders, video set, computers, photocopiers, white/black board and how to use them successfully.
In “Evaluation and testing” we find the clues on how to evaluate students’ level successfully and the different external examinations students could be interested in.
We reach here to the most difficult area: “Grammar”. The course book explains very effectively the main grammar areas a teacher of TEFL should know. It is fantastic to see the parts of speech, present-past-future tenses, conditionals, modals and reported/passive speech in such an easy and clear way. I like to repeat that these usually rambling points are explained in this course book in a very simple and clear way.
Finally in “Troubleshooting” we find some useful tips for new teachers to deal with new classes, first lessons, different levels, etc.
The course book is useful and easy to understand whilst highly effective.