Teach English in Xiaoanshan Zhen - Jining Shi

Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified and teach in Xiaoanshan Zhen? Are you interested in teaching English in Jining Shi? Check out ITTT’s online and in-class courses, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English ONLINE or abroad! ITTT offers a wide variety of Online TEFL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language.

I have enjoyed my experience studying language instruction. I expected to be doing mostly grammar review, and learning about the hows and whys behind verb tenses, grammatical rules, and syntax that, being a native speaker of English, I wasn't aware that I used. I certainly spent a fair amount of time learning about the grammar "under the rug" so to speak, but the biggest surprise to me was how much of this course was unrelated to the English language specifically. To be an effective teacher of English to speakers of other languages there is much more that is necessary than just an intuitive understanding of the language, and proficiency in grammatical structures. This is why it is important that TEFL/TESOL courses put a major emphasis on teaching methods, lesson planning, and building a repertoire of group management skills. One would be forgiven, especially when thinking of English with its host of irregular conjugations and phonemic oddities, in thinking that to effectively teach English an instructor should spend all his preparation time perfecting his knowledge of grammatical structures and rules. In reality, a linguistic scholar that signed up to teach English without a battery of teaching skills, similar to the ones taught in this course, would be horribly unprepared. His students would likely be bored and would be robbed of the opportunity to make the most of their time studying the language. The best example of this is in the Engage-Study-Activate (ESA) method of lesson planning. While grammar consists of set of rules that can be learned, the human brain needs to be stimulated in order to absorb, recall, and synthesize language that follows these rules. The ESA method draws the learner into a place where info can be absorbed in a more effective way than just rote memorization of facts. An ESA lesson will stimulate interest in the subject matter, and interact with the learner in a manner relevant to her. It also allows for information to be absorbed in a number of different ways: immersion, directed study and drilling, verbal and written comprehension, conversation, and creative or real-life application of the subject. This variety pushes the mind in the same way that a program of different physical exercises develops many different parts of the body and will result in greater overall health. Another benefit to the ESA method is for the teacher, in that it provides structure while lesson planning. It is clear how important coming into a class with a prepared lesson plan is, and the ESA method gives an adaptable skeleton that can be creatively fleshed out into an engaging and challenging lesson. An ESA lesson plan can also be tailored to different ability levels or subjects. A rigid lesson planning style will inadvertently result in boredom and predictability in the class. A flexible plan that allows for variety in exercises can meet many more needs in the same amount of class time. Students might enjoy word searches, appreciate time drilling grammar, or enjoy the freedom of dialoguing in role-play, but combining the three helps the brain make connections. For instance: a unit covering reported speech can make use of relevant, real world, news items that will interest the students. Within those authentic texts vocabulary can be drawn out for use in a subsequent creative activity that causes the student to use the vocabulary and grammar fluently in a real-life manner. Thus, a student can go from introduction of a topic to integrated usage in one lesson. An intentional teaching method will go a long way towards making the subject matter approachable to the students, and a teacher clearly needs proficiency in the subject matter, but these alone will not be effective if the instructor cannot govern themselves in a way that is approachable. I appreciate how the course emphasized the importance of the instructor’s attitude and ability to interact effectively with students. It is the rare person that reacts better to negative stimulation than positive, and this course gives plenty of simple nuts and bolts for becoming more winsome in the presentation of the subject matter: be cheerful, be visually expressive, devote time to building personal connection with students, be punctual and prepared, use care when correcting, encourage risk-taking and participation, use authentic sources of information, etc. Without each of these teaching skills covered by the course, a native speaker could, no doubt, communicate enough of the language for a student to grow in their ability to speak and understand the new language. When these instructional best practices, however, are added to linguistic knowledge, a teacher multiplies her ability to inspire her students to pursue language passionately in a way that will increase their ability to reach their goals. This fact is reason enough to adopt these practices on their own, but skilled instruction will also increase the joy and satisfaction experienced by the teacher, and contribute to a richer instructional environment.