What do you learn about teaching by doing an onsite TESOL course?

By participating in a four-week onsite TESOL course, trainee teachers gain practical and theoretical knowledge essential for teaching English as a second language. Key components of an onsite TESOL course include:

  • Lesson Planning: Developing skills to write effective lesson plans for English language classes, considering factors like class size, type, and level.
  • Materials Creation: Learning how to create or source appropriate teaching materials for different teaching points.
  • Teaching Methodologies: Exploring various methodologies to effectively teach ESL students.
  • Language Awareness: Gaining an in-depth understanding of grammar and other language aspects that are part of the student's learning syllabus.

Additionally, these courses usually encompass 120 hours of study and provide trainees with a minimum of 6 hours of actual teaching experience, accompanied by feedback from experienced observers. This combination of theory and practice prepares trainees for the real-world challenges of ESL teaching.

Also read: What's included in the TESOL course cost?

Table of Contents

Typical onsite course learning experiences

Typical onsite course learning experiences

Lesson plans: In order to plan an effective lesson, you need to have a clear idea of the teaching methodology you are going to use. There are many ESL teaching methods including the more popular examples of Engage, Study, Activate and Presentation, Practice, Production. These three stage lessons are designed to:

  • Give the students a chance to warm up in English and start to think about the lesson topic.
  • Study through techniques such as elicitation and example, the lesson topic and check understanding of the topic using worksheet style questions.
  • Use the new knowledge and all previous learning in an activity which uses the language in a realistic setting.

The lesson plan will outline a number of initial things about the class, such as level, time of class, number of students and so on. Then the procedure of the lesson can be mapped out onto the plan.

The activities which are done in the Study/Practice and Activate/Production stages must also be prepared by the teacher from standard ESL class work books or from their own materials.

Materials: As previously mentioned authentic and non-authentic materials are used in the classroom. Non-authentic materials can be taken from ESL course books and also be created by the teacher. Many courses include a task known as the Material Project, where teacher trainees have to create a game or similar activity to help teach a classroom topic.

Lesson feedback: One of the major advantages of an onsite course is that it allows the trainee to conduct ESL classes with real students learning English. It also allows you to be observed by a trainer while teaching and receive feedback on those lessons, to help you improve your teaching skills.

Self evaluation: An important part of any learning process is reflection. On the course, you will need to complete a 'self evaluation' for each lesson. This will require you to answer questions such as;

  • What went well?
  • What did not go well?
  • How would you change the lesson if you taught it again?

This gives you a chance to actively reflect on the lesson and try to improve it in the future.

Student profile: Some courses will also require you to complete a student profile. This covers the process of finding a student and conducting a level test to find out which ESL level they are at. Next you conduct a needs analysis to find out why they are learning English and what they need to learn it for. Finally, using all this information you can construct a lesson plan specifically for this student and then teach it.

Also read: What sort of accommodation will I have during my in-class TESOL course?