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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 an esl teacher
for five years and to be honest, before this class, had a little bit of a know-it-all attitude about my teaching methods. During these twenty units, I have learned a lot of new specific knowledge that I never knew before. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Rules for formation of reported speech
- Rules for sentence and word stress
- The different kinds of conditionals and how they are used
- How, exactly, native speakers link their words
- The phonemic alphabet (at least almost learned it..still practicing)
- What a modal auxiliary verb
- The different kind of phrasal verbs and how they’re used.
While these pieces of specific knowledge are useful, the most useful thing I learned during this class was how to structure a lesson. Most of my thinking about what works and doesn’t work in the classroom has come through my experiences. Many of my experiences have led me to many of the same conclusions that tefl
has reached about teaching methods. However, before this class I have never had a formal, structured method to my lessons. I guess you could just say that I did what I thought worked. I really think the Straight Line, Boomerang, and Patchwork lesson designs (and even more so, the consistent practice in developing these types of lesson plans) was the most useful thing that I learned during this class.
I surely will reference these materials in the future as a lot of the more detailed knowledge won’t stick completely. When my students have the need for some grammar of pronunciation help, I won’t shy away from it and tell them to ask their chinese teacher
. I will be much more prepared, at least knowing that the information is at my fingertips. I also think that in preparing my lessons in the future I will be sure to use tefl
’s three methods, as they seem to really work well. I might even use their lesson plan handout sheets.