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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:
Perhaps the most striking piece of this course is how little I actually new about english grammar. To be sure, I speak english fluently and with relatively few grammatical errors, but, fortunately for me, all this were learned when my brain was young and pliable. Picking apart all of the pieces of the language during this course has certainly made me more aware of the daunting task of teaching english as a foreign language!
While I have not given the particulars of english grammar much thought since 8th grade (and that was just skimming the surface to meet standards, I am sure) it turns out most of what this course presented to me makes sense. There is a lot of specific vocabulary necessary to effectively talk about and describe these grammar points, but the concepts themselves are certainly attainable. I am sure as I get more experience using these terms in action, they will become integrated into my brain's data base and will no longer seem like foreign vocabulary terms.
Of course, the point is not for me to become familiar and comfortable with the terms and grammar points, but for my future students to become familiar and comfortable with the english language. It is important to note the difference between what I need to understand and what my students need to understand. Clearly, most native english speakers can speak english without knowing and understanding all of the terms we covered in this class. While TEFL students will be introduced to these terms in their learning process, it is far less important for them to grasp the terminology as it is for them to produce the language.
As I have mentioned before, my hope is to teach children
in their home country. There is a whole world out there for me to explore and this course has certainly opened more doors than I had before me a year ago! Let us hope there is one school out there with a troupe of smiling children out there ready to have me as their english teacher. I know they will not be disappointed.