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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 consider myself to have a reasonable ability to teach. Having trained and qualified initially as a teacher of Physical Education and Mathematics 24 years ago I decided to pursue an alternate career within the Police. Throughout my career within the Police I have maintained my skills and have continued to utilize my teaching ability through a variety of trainer roles. This has given me a broad range of experience in teaching different subjects to students of varying abilities. As such, at the outset of this course, I believed that the material would not present too much of a challenge. However, I quickly realized that this course programme was much more challenging and thought provoking than I had anticipated.
I have realized, during my progress through the course that, although my previous teaching experience will be invaluable, teaching to speakers of a different language will present a far greater challenge than I had probably anticipated.
The course has shown me that there are numerous considerations which come into play with these students which wouldn’t be given any consideration in my usual teaching roles. Even the most basic instructions must be clear and understandable, topics must be relevant and non-contentious and the lessons must be well planned and purposeful.
Further to this, being a native Englishman, with what I consider to be a good education, I was arrogant enough to presume that the language study would be straight forward. I have found myself to be lacking knowledge in certain areas of my own language and unable to identify and employ certain forms of grammar correctly. This course has certainly shown me my shortfalls in grammatical understanding and caused me to develop my own education in order that I could explain the same matter to others with some degree of confidence.
I do look forward to taking classes and putting the theory into practice and would like to add that the material I have discovered on line, with regards to theory and teaching aids, has been generally excellent and very helpful. Furthermore the encouragement and advice from my tutor Jon has been very welcome and I take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to him.
My immediate intention is to attempt to put some of the theory I have learned into practice locally. I have, through my Police role, developed contacts within the local International School and have sought permission to attend classes as an observer initially, although I would hope that I would be allowed to practice my teaching skills in the near future.
My long term intention is to teach in china
. I have a chinese partner, currently completing her PHd in the UK, who has been offered a job at a university in Shanghai. It is intended that we will be moving there within the next year and I myself have been offered a variety of teaching posts within the university including lecturing on the British Legal System and teaching and assisting english communications with staff and lecturers. Further to this, my partner, being from Shanghai, has numerous contacts which should allow me to work within the school education system, from which I should probably gain more personal satisfaction.
The completion of this course was in preparation for a major life style and career change which I consider an opportunity not to be missed. I hope that I will be able to assist students, of all abilities, in their understanding of english and their development of language skills in the not too distant future.