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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 gained considerable knowledge from this course. Although I read constantly and have a degree in english, I found the grammar and tense lessons very helpful, not only as a brush up on the actual information, but as learning tool in approaching that kind of material from a non-english speaking perspective. Being fairly organized myself I appreciated the emphasis the course placed on not only lesson planning but material usage, use of time and anticipating problems, some of which I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of. Lesson planning is much harder than it seems and I enjoyed being able to do so many. As with any newly acquired skill, practice makes perfect.
The practice of grammar skills and lesson planning contributed to my confidence growth. I felt a bit overwhelmed at first with my lack of training and actual skill but the lessons were sequenced in a very coherent way and the support was always so positive and helpful that I felt very confident right away. I found this course representative of the kind of structure and approach it was advocating for ESL, which is exactly how I believe teaching (indeed, life!) should be approached, lead by example.
I have always been interested in traveling, people, teaching and writing. Deciding to take this course was a natural extension of wanting to do something which included all my interests in one job. Not only did I choose this for my own personal growth but I see language (particularly english) as a vital component in the fight against poverty. For many people across the globe, not having access to education (many times due to language) means not having access to work and that means having very few options in how one lives one’s life. I think language is the key not only for economic reasons but for maintaining peace in the world. People who can work, travel and communicate in different cultures I think are less likely to misunderstand those other cultures. People who are multilingual are better able to secure work for themselves, advocate for their rights more effectively (if foreign company), educate themselves and to generally understand the world better than monolingual people. As the world becomes more and more integrated the need for language skills goes from being an advantage to a necessity. Although I believe english is one of the primary languages that can be advantageous to understand and speak, I also want to be exposed to other cultures and to learn their languages for the same reasons I think english should be learned. For example, being bilingual in the united states
, particularly spanish
(western states) is a huge advantage because spanish is so predominate. Ones’ ability to work and participate in spanish speaking businesses and communities is much more likely than if one only spoke english.
In conclusion, I believe that effective communication is the key in breaking down barriers, prejudices and inequality in the world, especially as disparities in wealth, power and control become greater and greater. I want to not only empower others to participate more effectively in the world by knowing english but to broaden my knowledge of other cultures and languages at the same time.