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Effective classroom management techniques ensure a friendly and consistent environment that facilitates learning without excessive stress and deliverers the target language in an orderly fashion that's not only effective but also enjoyable. The following observations are based on my ten years of experience as an efl instructor at the university level. As this is a broad topic in all sectors of education, approaches will vary according the organization and are influenced, to a large extent, by administration. Nevertheless, there are core steps that should be taken prior to teaching, and important information conveyed on the first day of class, to keep learning goals understood and expectations clear, resulting in a better managed classroom with fewer learning/behavior obstacles to contend with later in the term. Any instructor, at any level, should discuss their overall class management strategy with their superiors even if they are not questioned about it. It shows initiative and gives administration insight in terms of how disciplinary issues are to be handled, performance assessed, what in-class activities will be used as well as basic expectations concerning homework assignments. Having this conference with administration is
essential, as it imbues the instructor with extra teaching confidence and, without it, there may be lingering doubts despite years of previous experience. Instructors need to realize their aims are congruent with school policy and procedure before class begins, leaving no room for students to question the instructor's methods, which is entirely possible, when grades are being assigned. This is especially true if the instructor plans to record students' voices during performance tasks, i.e. individual speaking exams & group presentations. While it is certainly in students' interest to be recorded under these circumstances, as it is the best performance evidence available, the instructor should check with administration prior to making any recordings. Students pay closer attention to detail and assigned tasks when they are aware their speaking tasks will be recorded, and this aspect of the class should be clear in the syllabus. The first day of class is, in my view, the most important. This is when syllabi should be made available and surveys/questionnaires given, both very necessary tools for classroom management, as they set the tone for future classes. The purpose of a syllabus is to provide students with clear expectations and should be discussed as soon as students are focused
on the first day. It is also a perfect time to test their ability, and willingness, to participate by having them read portions of it aloud. In doing so, the syllabus becomes an oral contract. Use language in the syllabus that is unambiguous, ranging from tardiness to exactly how participation points are gained or lost. For instance, using a cell phone for a purpose other than translation will defiantly result in the loss of participation points while learners who demonstrate the target language publically during the activate stage with ease, accuracy and naturalness will receive extra points. Again, the criteria/expectations must be clear, and students are aware that they are being monitored closely. Be sure students have made neat nametags for the second class that will sit on their desks. Computer/printer are to be used when creating nametags and with large font that can be seen from any position in the classroom. Students must be aware that their needs, not just performance, are being monitored as well. Give them a pretest that includes a survey/questionnaire. This demonstrates the instructor has taken special care in addressing L2 needs before the start of class and has a legitimate interest in providing lessons built around a consensus. Give them choices and get a sense of
what they want while assessing their ability. Managing an efl setting with proficiency requires input from students/school administrators that blends with the instructor's experience in designing courses that are both challenging and intriguing.
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