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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 understand that I have already written about my personal gains and experiences about this course in unit 20 but I do believe that I need to elaborate more on what I have already mentioned earlier for my research article. I have personally gained and experienced a lot from doing this online course. I have to admit that I was initially quite sceptical about doing it simply because I have never done an online course before and I have never heard of the instructing company. To my surprise however, I was contacted immediately by my tutor after my payment was processed and he quickly put to rest my questions. The course was neatly packaged in 20 units covering two main areas of; teaching skills and language awareness. Initially I had envisaged the course would be a compilation of grammatical exercises, which would be most likely tedious and tiresome. Naturally, after completing all of the grammar worksheets I would be an english grammar guru, which would effectively act a basic prerequisite in order for me to work as an esl english teacher abroad. I know that I am definitely not a guru of english grammar however I do believe I understand and know a lot more about it. The course was logically constructed as a series of units with an information guide and a worksheet accompanying each unit. Reading the unit information guide usually took about 1-2 hours and then if all the information was correctly understood the worksheet would then taken an additional 3-4 hours. Completing the worksheets is by no stretch of the imagination an easy task to do without being dedicated and assertive. If you don’t want to become an esl english teacher then I would suggest that you would be wasting your time doing this course. As mentioned earlier, the course structure was completely different from what my preconceptions were. There were units about; lesson planning, how to best use physical voice and presence in a classroom, classroom planning/layout design, using visual aids, critiquing which teaching styles are better than others and why (unit 10), teaching receptive & listening skills and lastly, pronunciation. I have to be honest and say that some of the unit topics were completely unexpected. Why would an english teacher need to learn about educational technology? Why is this really a necessary topic to have? After reading the information guide it soon became clear that the topic was really about how teachers can best use electronic mediums to aid the teaching of english, as a global language in a global environment. This was quite surprising given I didn’t really think or take into consideration that ultimately the teaching environment in some circumstances may not even have a constant (and operable) supply of electricity and/or water. After completing this course, I have discovered that there are so many different aspects of teaching english that I never knew existed. The information and knowledge that one can acquire through this course can be completely transferable to the broader context of teaching anything, anywhere. I have read that teaching abroad is one of the best experiences that one can ever have, and at the end of the day, I really do believe that if I were put in that situation then I could do it. This course doesn’t just involve teaching english skills, but rather incorporates a complete package of planning, managing and instructing an english class. I guess in summary, this course has gone beyond my initial imagination and I must admit that I did not think I would have given up so much of my time doing the worksheets for every unit. Although, if I were asked if I would do it all again then I’m sure I would say ‘yes’, because overall this has been a great experience and I have learnt a lot.