TEFL Yizhou

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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:

A.L. - Taiwan said:
This research article is based on my personal experience of the tefl course which I have taken since the beginning of this year. I would like to share how this tefl course has affected me and helped me to become a better equipped and trained english Language teacher. I will touch on five major aspects of the tefl course which has brought a new understanding of my role as a teacher and developed new skills in teaching a language. For three years I have taught english to college students but have never realized that I was stuck in the traditional method of teaching until I took up this tefl course. I was the type of teacher who stands in front of the class and start talking and giving out exercises until the end of the lesson. Little did I realized that I was not encouraging the students to learn the english language but also making english language learning a boring and tiresome undertaking. THE METHODOLOGY OF tefl The methodology of tefl gave me a new dimension of teaching english. I was especially struck by the Engage, Study and Activate (ESA) method of conducting classroom lessons. I am beginning to realize that it is not when the teacher is standing in front of the class and explaining that he/she is teaching. Teaching also demands that the teacher facilitate student participation, conduct activities such as discussions and debates, set up role-play situations for the students and organize group work. The ESA method integrates and emphasizes both the teacher’s input and the students’ effort to practice and use the language. For me, it is a discovery of the new role that teacher play in the learning process of the students. Such a method makes classroom lessons interesting and pro-active on the part of the learners. CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT During my three years of teaching english, I have never once change the setting of the classroom. I was not aware that the way the students are seated in class has a bearing on the learning process. I suppose it is because I had not thought of teaching english with the use of interactive activities. Consequently, there was no need for another kind of seating arrangement. Through the tefl course, I have learnt that the setting of the classroom also affects the learning process. Different classroom settings are needed for different types of activities. How the students are seated can affect the way an activity is carried out in the Engage Stage or the Activate Stage. It is also expressing the role of the teacher. From now on, I will certainly pay attention to classroom management. LESSON PLANNING I was not making lesson plans each time I step into the classroom. I did not see the need for it as I was simply following an english Grammar Course Book. The Course book set out the units and I simply took up the units during class. There was surely no creativity and consideration for the learning process of the students. This tefl course has shown me the importance of making lesson plans. Lesson plans demands that I set an objective for the lesson and be creative enough to draw up the different Engage Stage, Study Stage and Activate Stage activities to help the students acquire the knowledge and skills set out in the objective of the lesson. At the end of the lesson, I can make an objective evaluation of the lesson that was conducted and whether the objectives were met. That way I can monitor the progress of the students. TEACHING AIDS AND EQUIPMENTS I was not aware that teaching aids and equipments are equally important in a classroom situation. As I look back at my teaching methods, I realized that I was only teaching the students grammar structures. The tefl course has made me aware that the Visual aids and Audio tapes can help students develop skills of listening and speaking. Visual aids can be used to prompt students to speak and express what they see in the picture. Audio tapes can provide the occasion for the students to listen and catch the conversations recorded in the tape. RESOURCES MATERIALS This tefl course provided me with the information of what kind of resource materials are available and where can I find them. Towards the end of the tefl course, I discovered that I do not have many activities that I can use in the Engage Stage and the Activate Stage. While making the lesson plans in the Worksheets, it took me a lot of time thinking of what kind of activities to use in these stages of the lesson. I am happy that the tefl course indicated where and how I can avail of resources in order to build my own “store” of games and activities. I intend to look up on the resources materials and find ways to procure them. I am grateful that I have taken the tefl course. Perhaps I can call it a “Conversion Experience”. I have been converted to a new way of being an english Language teacher. This tefl course has set the ground work for my becoming a better and more committed english Language teacher.