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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:
I have been teaching efl learners for approximately six months now and have learned slowly as I have progressed what works and what does not. My reason for taking this course was because I wanted to improve my teaching skills so that I can improve on a personal and professional level and become the best teacher that I possibly can be, pushing my ability to the limit. I feel that, before I started this course, there were patches in my teaching skills and knowledge of teaching, by taking this course; I believe that these patches have been filled and what is lacking now is more experience, which I will gain gradually. When I started this course, I was uncertain about several things concerning teaching. Firstly, I was uncertain about certain grammar rules and, although I looked on line and in certain text books, I felt that there were small, but vital, pieces of information which were missing and, although I could find the rules and the grammar started to make sense to me, I lacked the knowledge of how to teach these grammar rules and make it understandable for students of lower levels. This course assisted me in understanding exactly how to do this. Another aspect of teaching which this course has greatly assisted me with is how to teacher younger learners. This is a part of teaching which I have virtually no experience in and I sometimes had difficulty knowing how to handle children in the classroom and what is expected of me. This course helped to clarify a lot of important points for me and helped me to understand exactly which activities I should attempt and what approach I should be taking with younger learners. A third point which I should mention about the course is about the structure of the lessons. Although I was aware that lesson plans should have structures, I was not aware of the exact structures and how they should be planned each time, this course really gave me the opportunity to practice this and to plan my own lessons with the guidance of my tutor. This gave me an amazing opportunity to have an understanding of where I need to improve my lesson plans and what else I need to do. This was important for me, because I lacked the guidance of an experienced teacher, previously, to tell me where I need to improve and what I am doing correctly. A final point which should be mentioned from the course is about the different materials which can be used in the classroom which were introduced to me through the course. Although I try to make my lessons as interesting and as diverse as possible, I was possibly not so open to the fact that interesting materials are all around us and resources should be utilized from all aspects of life. It is possible to take magazines from my own country to show students and to use it to engage the students, as they would find this interesting. It is something which I had never thought of doing before. When thinking about utilizing the material which I have learned throughout this course, it is important to remember to revise over the material which has been learned throughout the course, I therefore made frequent notes and kept a diary of what I learned and how I can utilize this information. This for me is something which I can refer to, in order to remind myself of the information learned throughout the course. I plan to change my lesson plans to suit the structure of the ‘ESA' lesson plans, this is a suitable structure which really seems to work for me and helps to make my lesson plans flowing and structured. I feel that it is important to take into account the sample materials from the course, the activities and the exercises, these things can all be adapted to suit any lesson and should be used. It is felt that even before finishing the course; I am adapting my teaching style every day and trying to improve where possible. When I am teaching in class, I am constantly reminding myself of the material which I have studied and thinking of where I can apply it. A good example of this is when I catch myself not smiling in class, I only have to take my mind back to the video from lesson 10 where the teacher from the first cd is not smiling at all and it is a constant reminder of how important a smile. To summarize, I feel that the material in the course has been a vital step for me to improve both my teaching skills and my confidence in teaching, the points which the course teaches me about being an efl teacher are vital and will continue to be vital to my growth in teaching and, because of this, I now feel more at ease with my teaching and my teaching style. To say that I enjoy teaching more would not really be fair, as I have always thoroughly enjoyed teaching, but I do feel that I have the confidence to feel more relaxed in the classroom after studying the material provided through this course.