Class International TESOL

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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:

J.C. - U.S.A. said:
Managing equipment and teaching aidsThere are many different types of teaching aids and equipment that teachers use to help students learn english. Using equipment and aids in the classroom can be convenient for the teachers and also liven the lessons to keep the students interested. Some resources that are very commonly used in classrooms are boards, overhead projectors, videos and DVDs, computers, and visual aids. In order for teachers to successfully manage equipment in the classroom, there are many things they must take into consideration. Many teachers use boards for a variety of things, such as writing, drawing, projecting overhead transparencies, and to stick things on to. In order to manage a board effectively, it is important that all board work is organized and planned. To be fully prepared to use the board, it is recommended that teachers create a board plan beforehand. When using the board, handwriting must be clear and easy to read, and written large enough for the whole class to see. Some helpful things to keep in mind are to use different colors to show differences in language or irregularities, to section off the board for different areas, and to only put up information that is essential or requested. The board should be cleaned after every lesson, so that it is ready to be used in the next lesson, and so that unneeded information is not distracting. To keep students focused on the material and to avoid the teacher's back facing the class, the students should definitely be involved in the writing process, which will keep them interested in the lesson. When managing equipment in the classroom such as videos and DVDs, overhead projectors, and computers, it is important to be sure that the essential tools to use these devices are available in the classroom. For example, if the teacher wishes to show a scene from a video or DVD, they must first check the classroom for a device to play the scene. Once the classroom has been checked for a television with a video or DVD player, they must then check for an outlet and if an extension cord is necessary for effective placement of the television. A computer may also be used to play a DVD if a television is not provided in the class. The teacher should play the scene prior to the lesson, to be absolutely sure that it works, that the volume reaches an appropriate level, and that the screen is big enough to be seen by every student. If the teacher decides to use a computer, it may be difficult for all students to see and hear, depending on the size of the class. It may be necessary to organize the class into small groups where they take turns watching the scene. When managing overhead projectors, the teachers must be sure that there is a surface that is not effected by sunlight, such as a board, wall, or screen. The teacher must become familiar with setting up the OHP and using it effectively. Before using an OHP with the class, it should first be tested in the classroom to be sure that there is enough room for effective projection, and reorganizing may be necessary. Teachers should prepare some OHTs in advance, while students should also make some OHTs during certain lessons, or should be involved with filling in answers for exercises. Teachers use a variety of different types of visual aids to enhance their lessons. Some are used for a small part of the lesson, while others are put up for permanent display. When managing visual aids in the classroom, teachers must be sure that the aids are not distracting from the material, but should be used to help with the memory process. Teachers must consider the size of the visual aids and be sure that they can be seen by the whole class. Visual aids should be chosen carefully, and must relate to the material being taught. Using aids in the classroom adds variety and interest and attracts attention, preventing the students from becoming bored. In classrooms where boards and technology may not be available, visual aids are extremely helpful and resourceful for teaching new material. As long as the teacher uses only visual aids that relate to the lesson, it is an effective way to present new vocabulary items and to use in drills.