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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:
The grammar units, in particular units 4, 6 and 8 (‘Past tenses’, ‘Present tenses’, and ‘Future tenses’, respectively) have been the most useful part of the course for me. I was badly in need of a refresher on these topics and the units provided not only a simple, concise explanation of each tense, I was also able to consolidate my knowledge through the worksheets and Tania’s feedback, which has left me feeling confident and able to teach these topics. I plan to put this into practice by explaining these concepts using a similar method displayed in the units, using lots of examples and practicing until students fully understand.
I also found unit 9, ‘Lesson Planning’, to be exceptionally useful. This unit really brought out the importance of the concept of ‘engage, study and activate’. This has been compounded by further units requiring lesson plans, which provided invaluable practice. Prior to studying this unit I wasn’t sure how to go about lesson planning; however now I know how to do it properly, my future classes will have proper structure and balance.
It was very interesting to watch the accompanying video for unit 10, ‘CD lesson’. Correct and incorrect procedures became quite apparent in this video. I certainly learned not to follow some of Mark’s bad practices – i.e. avoiding questions and huffing and puffing! I also plan to put into action some of his better traits: i.e. being kind and patient, and making use of eye contact and gestures. The video lesson was also excellent for showing how to have a well structured class, and for showing how students respond to activities in the classroom.
Finally, the vast array of teaching ideas gives as examples in this course will be very useful in the future. This includes ideas for all three stages of a class. For example, I now know the types of engage/warm-up activities which will be successful (such as discussions and photo presentations), the study activities which will work (such as board-work and gap-fill worksheets) and the activate activities to consolidate knowledge and put it into practice (such as role plays, games and debates).