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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:
Attempting to and creating materials has been both frustrating and rewarding at the same time, First you have to come up with a theme; after you have decided what your lesson is going to be about you have to decide what you are going to teach, and how much you want to delve into that specific topic, basic or really advance depending on the levels of the students, You have balance the lesson in such a way that its engaging, fun, educational and interesting all at the same time. One of the reasons why I tend to choose my own materials is that some of the prepared material may be culturally inappropriate or sometimes cultural context is not understandable for my students, I teach in korea and with some of the prepared material and text books being designed by Koreans, I find that my students become bored very easily and find the topics uninteresting, Not to mention incorrect 50% of the time. On the few occasions that American syllabuses were given to us, it was too difficult for the students and they give up before they even try, most of the prepared material are unrealistic for esl students and become a real challenge. After a few weeks you become familiar with your students
and what they like, hobbies interests etc and this helps when coming up with various topics for lessons that you have to prepare, For example a lesson on soccer and soccer league's at a boy's school or a music lesson on Justin Bieber at a girl's school, Things and topics that are into at he moment, various trends, current events and ever changing technology have all been received well by students because, they are topics the students can relate too. And it's not the hardest job in the world either all you need to do is know your students, How they think and there reasons for wanting to learn english. Creating materials gives the teacher a lot of freedom, and what has helped me prepare good materials was starting off by firstly adapting lessons and changing them to suit my students; then later I stuck to a format that my students enjoyed and were used too, E.g. 1.Vocabulary 2. Fill in the missing words 3. Opposites, 4. A game 5. A word search... This is a format that the students seemed to enjoy so basically all that changes is the theme/topic And once you have some of format or structure the task of making materials become easier. Creating
materials are great... BUT.... it can be hours of work to prepare them, and when you consider sometimes 2 to 3 hours of work for every hour spent in the classroom, they become less appealing to prepare, although this, of course depends on your teaching schedule, And if you feel that all the time you spend creating material is worth it, Which in my case it is. Having a good lesson that works well for me and my students is priceless even if it took 4 hours to make. No references or bibliography; as all view expressed were my own from personal experience.
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