Why complete a TEFL courseTeaching english as a foreign language can be a daunting task, even for a native english speaker who has been educated on the proper use of english from kindergarten through high school and beyond. The decision to teach english to students who have little to no prior knowledge of the language is a big life change. Especially if that choice is accompanied by a move to another country. Completing a TEFL course prior to this commitment is a way to guarantee there are no big surprises and it can pave the way to a successful experience.
In many instances, it is impossible to get a job teaching english without a tefl certification
. As for me, I was not required to complete the course, however I feel much more adequately prepared for my upcoming assignment overseas. In the next few months, I will be joining the Peace Corps, moving to Central or South America and training primary education teachers. As a nomination requirement, I was told to gain professional classroom experience. I decided to take this course in addition to spending weekdays in a kindergarten class close to home.
I found the units in this course were split in a way to ensure that teachers understand proper english and, in my case more importantly, that teachers also learn fundamental teaching strategies and methods. Teachers are also adequately prepared to create flexible lesson plans with an idea of what to expect in the classroom. I have already applied
what I learned in this course to my students in the kindergarten class and have seen how effective the strategies are for learning in general, not just in learning english as a foreign language. While my assignment in the Peace Corps is not to teach english in particular, I feel that I am much more prepared to teach anything at all. I believe that teaching english could easily become my secondary job once I am in my host country and I can easily take on that role now that I have gained this experience.
My brother, Brian, took this course earlier in the year and is now teaching english in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea. He has been an inspiration for me to learn and understand that I must be prepared for anything. After researching TEFL abroad opportunities, he was recruited by the South Korean government to teach english, and was required to have a credible TEFL course completed. Without this course, he said that he would have gone into the class with no clue as to how to begin and that he wouldn’t have a basic plan for building on the students knowledge.
Learning to teach is an excellent way to start out on the right foot, instead of jumping right into a teaching job with no prior experience. Even if it is not required for the job, the TEFL course will provide new ideas and insight that a new teacher may not otherwise be aware of. To be a good teacher, one must be able to teach a lesson in a way that each student can learn. A TEFL course is one of the best ways to ensure a solid foundation and will provide the teacher a head start towards being an effective teacher.