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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:
Though my mother language is spanish, I am passionate about english and I express myself best when using this language. When I met my students I realized their previous teachers hadn't taught them at an integrative level. The students had learned to focus solely on grammar, were afraid to make mistakes and they did not use their english skills outside of the classroom. Witnessing this dichotomy in the language has fueled my passion for teaching integrated skills. Through the lessons provided in this course and my research I didn't find a document that mentioned the importance of emphasizing the importance of non-verbal communication. Students might have good vocabulary and pronunciation but if they don't use the correct pitch and body language the message might be lost. Through my research I found that ISE skills should be taught as a process or through building blocks. For example when writing, the TRINITY SYLLABUS suggests students build a portfolio, detailing their
learning process. The portfolio would work as a building block of knowledge, with each successive assignment building on previous knowledge and increasing endurance by demanding more words. Looking through the Internet I found many websites that talked about integrated skills (ISE) as pertaining to testing, yet I would argue that these skills can only be properly tested when they are frequently integrated into lesson plans. In my experience a student can improve his english when he learns to integrate the material outside of class. Working with teenagers I have noticed they often isolate their knowledge from their daily lives, because unlike businessmen and women whose lively hood depends on their english skills, teens tend to limit their english to the classroom setting. This mentality is very harmful when it comes to testing as the jitters or lack of practice can limit their results. To remedy this situation I have implemented the following activities for each of the ISE skills. For readying and writing I have asked each
student to keep a personal dictionary. I am aware they listen to music and watch tv in english; therefore I have asked them to take note of the words they don't understand, look up the meaning and pronunciation (this helps their speaking) and write two examples for each word. For listening we have been watching movies with out subtitles and after the movie we review new vocabulary and I ask comprehension question to gather how much they understood the plot of the movie. Through the material I learned in this course I learned the importance of teaching phonology. I have been emphasizing pronunciation, yet I realized that with out teaching phonology I haven’t given them all the possible resources to improve their pronunciation. Finally, to perfect their readying skills I have been presenting them with small articles to read during the class period. I’ve tried to find articles pertinent to their interests outside of the classroom. As we work on readying comprehension, they have also been learning the importance of scanning and skimming while readying. english is a vast and beautiful language and the best way
to master this resource is to integrate during testing and teaching. When they do presentation I always give them feed back on their body language, point out if they shuffled nervously or played with the pen in their hand. Resources: http://www.funcarele.com/pdf/ISE_Syllabus_2010_2013.pdf Word count: 554
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