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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:
The biggest personal gain from this class is confidence in my teaching ability. Before I took this course I had never had any teaching theory or TEFL theory. I have been teaching for a little over two years but I've never been confident in my skills. I know there is still a great deal for me to learn about teaching but I feel that I'm not totally off base in my current attempts. I was amazed that most of the teaching theory was very familiar to me. Most people have spent a large part of their lives being students and I think a lot of teaching theory is picked up through that and the course book structure also follows similar lines. I know feel more confident when applying for jobs that ask for lesson plans and class demonstrations. I also feel more confident in trying to correct problems with class administration in my school. I feel that some of the difficulty I have as a teacher has nothing to do with my experience or skill level. I feel better about demanding level testing for my classes.
Another huge gain is in my knowledge of grammar. I've learned a bit about grammar through teaching but this course really rounded out my knowledge. I know it's never ending study and I still need to review what I have learned from this course but it's a start.
It's hard to clearly define how I will use this course in my teaching. I already used the ESA format for my classes without even knowing I was using it. This course has formalized that structure for teaching. I've never been much for lesson plans besides a plethora of sticky notes inside my course book. Now I'm encouraged to develop my lesson plans and revise them over time so I have a powerful curriculum I can use and adapt anywhere. I've taught all the grammar that this course covers before but I've made mistakes and I haven't understood some of the theory I was teaching. I have a better grasp on that now and I will continue to study grammar for the foreseeable future.
I was interested and challenged by the phonetics chapter. I've taught phonetics in pronunciation workshops but I've always found it difficult. I still do but I would like to use this to help students overcome specific pronunciation problems. If anyone could give me an easy way to explain the r/l Asian pronunciation problem I'd really love that. I understand and can explain it to students but getting them to change their tongue placement is very difficult.
I'm glad I did this course and I finished just in time for summer vacation!