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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 have been volunteering as an ESL classroom assistant at a non-profit for about a year now. The experience is incredibly rewarding in itself, but being able to put the ideas and information obtained in this course to use makes me feel even more effective. Having a bit of flexibility within the teacher’s lesson plan, I can much more confidently fill time or adjust activities to suit the students. To understand the science behind how the students learn is incredibly useful. The units covering phonology and pronunciation have been particularly useful for me. Pronunciation was incredibly challenging for me to explain before. Being taught the movements of the mouth and the subtle differences that affect pronunciation has been something I incorporate during almost every lesson. To be able to show a student how to produce a sound they could not understand how to produce before, is so much fun.
The many lesson and activity ideas are also highly valuable when I volunteer. With oversized classes, the small group I work with is constantly changing. With each student at a different level and enjoying different activities, the ability to alter activities accordingly is great. I can quickly think of an idea introduced from the course and draw it in with the topic I am teaching. Overall, I think the course has helped most by improving my confidence and preparedness when working with students. I have an easier time identifying what needs to be done to help a student accomplish a task or understand a subject.