Teach English in Cangshang Zhen - Ankang Shi

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This is a review from the TEFL course, I will use this opportunity to write about the most important topics discussed on the course, and in this way to fix concepts and ideas that I should use and take advantage of in my future teaching career. In the unit 1 we discussed about the qualities of a good teacher, how a patient, kind and smiley teacher but also attentive to the discipline, planning and content of the class can much easier get the attention and collaboration of the students. We discussed the roles the student can play while in the classroom, going from controller (when explaining the language point in the front of the class), organizer, assessor, prompter, tutor, facilitator, role model, monitor until a participant (when pairing a uneven number of students). We also discussed about the qualities a good and successful student may have, since the willingness to listen to the language, open and unafraid experiment and to ask when in doubt or curious, accept corrections until desire to learn. We discussed also that age of the students might have great influence in their openness, willingness and motivation to learn the new language. In unit 2 we discussed methodologies, and how ESA (Engage, Study and Activate) allow all the methods discussed to be applied and gives great flexibility to the teacher. In the Engage phase teacher try to motivate and engage students on the topic of the class. On the Study phase, the teacher presents the language point and promotes some exercises with controlled language output. On the Activate stage, the teacher promotes the usage of language with creativity and fluency. In unit 3 we discussed about class management, how a teacher can use voice ton, eye contact and gesture to lead the students to the desired activity. How grouping students differently can create proper environment for different activities. For example how pairing students or small groups highly increases Student talking time, that is well desired. How a teacher can keep teacher talk time to a minimum necessary using straight forward instruction, simple language, and clear explanations. We also discussed about discipline issues, how to address and how to avoid it. Unit 4 discussed about teaching grammar and vocabulary, how difficult sometimes can be to choose good vocabulary to different levels. We also looked in some examples of classes structures for vocabulary and grammar teaching. In unit 5 we discussed about lesson planning, how important and helpful they are specially for inexperienced teachers. How important is to keep lesson planning simple and flexible, and what are the topics that should be present in the planning, being learner objectives, structure, procedure, timings, some of them. In the unit 6 we watched two video lessons with the same teacher. In the first one we saw a very unprepared teacher trying to figure out how to address the language point. Very confused and in a disorganized way, treating students with lack of respect, and the students by their side, trying to understand what is going on, and due to lack of clear instructions not responding and engaging in the class. In the second class, the teacher was much more prepared and organized, and in this way students engaged and participated from the activities with much more enthusiasm and confidence. In unit 7 we discussed about the receptive skills of a language, reading and listening. How we normally do those activities for a specific purpose and/or entertainment. We also discussed how important is to creative interest on the students to the topic we will talk about. In unit 8 we discussed about the productive skills of the language, speaking and writing, and how we normally need to have a communicative purpose to produce this skills. We also discussed the difference between accuracy and fluency. How the teacher can promote the accuracy in the study phase while suggesting exercises with controlled results, and how the teacher can promote the fluency on the activate phase without interfering in the result, but creating or giving an interesting purpose for discussion and creative free talking. We also discussed the usage of games in the classroom, and how they can be efficient and fun. In unit 9 we talked about materials and course books, they advantages and disadvantages. How they can help the teachers, especially inexperienced ones, but how to use them properly, always looking at them with critical eyes, and omitting some unnecessary or inappropriate parts, substituting content for the benefit of the students, or adapting when needed. For closure in the unit 10, we discussed about evaluation of the students. How important is the placement test, so the school or teacher can place the new student in an adequate class level in accordance with their knowledge of the language. The diagnostic test helps the teacher understands more precisely how much the students know of each language point, so the teacher can address the difficulties with more precise information about their knowledge. The progress test will give students and teachers an idea of how the course is going, what should be reviewed, what is already well learned. And the practice test will give students some practice on the type and structure of external test they will apply in the near future. In general the course was very useful, the structure of the course was good, so we could build up knowledge easily. The course gave me much more confidence to start my new career and I feel that I have basic tools to work with in the future classes.