I feel I have gained a lot from this course over the six months I have been studying. Firstly, until studying this course I had never looked in such detail at the english grammar system. Having english as my mother tongue I have never really had to think about how the language I speak is constructed. Learning a little bit about the grammar involved in my L1 has given me some knowledge about something I don’t usually think too much about. It has also shown me that english can be quite a grammatically complex language to grasp for someone learning it as an L2. This has in turn opened my eyes to the challenges faced by both students and teachers of the english language. Some grammatical concepts are very subtle and both trying to teach and to understand these ideas requires patience and dedication.
Secondly, this is the first time I have ever engaged in distance learning. This is something I was quite apprehensive about as I am used to having the motivating factors of regular lessons and other class members to make sure I complete work on schedule. Doing this course has shown me that I am able to be entirely self motivated when it comes to my own learning if necessary.
Thirdly, this course has provided me with a new body of skills which will, in the future, enable me to take on a brand new work role. I have never done any form of teaching before and what I have learnt from this course will enable me to approach my first tesol job
confident that I will be able to provide my students with a decent learning experience. I know people who have secured english assistant teacher jobs
abroad without a language teaching qualification but personally I would not like to be in this position. Even though all english speakers can technically impart knowledge of the english language to others I feel this knowledge is more effectively passed on when grounded in specific, proven teaching techniques. Teaching english encompasses both knowledge of the language and knowledge of teaching. Entering a classroom without my TESOL qualification would mean I had almost zero knowledge in one of these two areas. When doing a job, I like to do that job well and if I did not have teaching skills alongside my english knowledge I feel that I would be doing any students I taught a disservice. To be put in charge of someone’s learning is a big responsibility and all learners deserve adequately qualified teachers weather they are businessmen learning english to further their careers or a class of children
from a poor village in a developing country.
I am currently travelling and have been doing so for two years. I am in Australia for now but prior to that I travelled India and South East Asia. From May this year I plan to spend six to eight months travelling South America. Whilst it is easy to become immersed in the culture and idiosyncrasies of a country in which the first language used is your own, such as Australia, this is not such an easy task in countries such as South America and South East Asia. One way of really getting to know a country is to work in that country. Whilst travelling South East Asia I did not possess any skills that allowed me this opportunity. As a result, I found it hard to see the country and get to know the people beyond the perspective of a tourist. Having this TESOL qualification will enable me to work in as well as travel around parts of South America. This will be an incredible opportunity to really become immersed in the culture of a country very different to my own.
This leads me on to how I plan to use what I have gained from this course into action. After obtaining my certificate I will start to investigate potential tesol jobs
available in South America. Hopefully ITTT will be able to help me with this. I will then apply
for these TESOL positions and book my flights from Australia to the area of South America where I am most likely to be able to teach. Personally I think I would be more suited to teaching children or adults who need english for purposes other than business. I am not exactly business minded and if I am to teach I would want to teach in an area where that teaching is really needed.
In conclusion, this course has furthered my knowledge of my own language and of teaching. It has opened new doors for me and I am looking forward to making the most of my new qualification.