One of the more overarching elements I have learned through this course is the use of lesson plans. At my current school, we are not required to write elaborate lesson plans, or lesson plans at all for that matter. However, having written several lesson plans for this course, I have realized how beneficial they are to think through the general course of a given lesson. It also makes the teacher stop and reflect on what type of exercises and activities are most conducive for the students given the lesson's focus. I am going to definitely begin writing lesson plans for my classes so as to maximize the time I have with my students.
I have also learned about the many various grammatical components that make up english--the tenses and their various forms, phrases and their functionality, direct and reported speech. Admittedly, after covering these units, I have really been humbled and realize that I need to continue studying these on a regular basis so as to master each of them. I feel like this is my duty and responsibility as an instructor in english. Hence, I plan on signing up for a TEFL diploma program after completing this certificate program. Also, I am going to try to pay closer attention to my advanced students in their use of various tenses and phrases so as to 1) assess where they are making continuous mistakes and 2) provide them with ways of mastering such difficult components.
One of the areas that I enjoyed most was learning about the three basic elements to a lesson plan--engage, activate, and study. Though I have taken teaching methodology classes in the past, I had never had lessons broken down to clearly. I am definitely going to begin demarcating my lessons in these three phases so as to provide ample enough of study time as well as to provide activities but also monitor that the activities do not take up too much time in a given class.
Given that I am in Korea, and work at a school that is financially very well off, we have a lot of different equipment and teaching aids that schools
in other countries might not have. Hence, I had not taken into consideration how much of an opportunity it is to have access to computers, the Internet, DVD players and a plethora of reference books. I have considered teaching in other countries after my contract here is up. This course has reminded me to maximize the use of whatever teaching aids are available, and to be as innovative as possible when teaching aids are lacking. I am definitely going to be more appreciative of and regularly use the various modes of technology that I have access to here in Korea, while also devising and researching different ways of teaching in poorer countries.
Overall, I have learned not just about the english language and the complexities involved therein, but I have learned how to teach english in a much more effective way than I had previously been aware of. I have taught in various schools in America as well as Jamaica; however, this is my first time teaching english as a second language, and have certainly felt under qualified on several occasions. This course has provided me with what I feel are the basic skills a teacher should have in order to effectively teach language learners in whatever language phase they currently are--from beginner to advanced. I am going to keep all the .pdfs on file and continue to reference them so as to further familiarize myself with all of their content. Also, as stated above, upon completion of this certificate course, I am going to purse a course that leads to a diploma. I am even considering getting a master's degree in TEFL or TESOL. This course has not only taught me a lot, it has furthered my ambition and enthusiasm to be the best language instructor that I possibly can be.