Overall I have gained a better understanding of the english language (I don’t just know it, I know about it), the materials and teaching techniques needed teach it, what my students and I could possibly bring to the classroom, and the dynamics of all of us interacting with each other and the materials in a teaching/learning english environment. I have gained a solid enough amount of knowledge to teach effectively, and get a job doing this.
I have learned about the different situations I may find myself teaching in and the factors I need to consider: student level, student motivation to learn, culture, multi or mono lingual class, class size, institutional setting, material availability, students previous english experience, structure, norms & alphabet of students’ native language, etc. This will help me in preparing for lessons, addressing problems, and understanding my students, so I can more effectively respond and meet their needs.
I have learned in greater detail basic, essential language points that will aid in the explanations I give when teaching english as a foreign language, such as the 4 tenses of the past, present and future, parts of speech and related structures, conditionals, modal auxiliary verbs, passive and active voice, reported speech, pronunciation, etc. I learned how to more precisely explain the usa
ge and from of these items so I can more effectively explain them to students when I am teaching. I had trouble explaining thoroughly and exactly what the usage is of many of these items, even though I use them accurately all the time. Now I can more effectively teach these items and come up with activities and fun lessons around these language points.
I have learned about a multitude of resources for teaching ideas, job searching, activity creation, authentic material gathering, and others that enable me to make engaging, interesting, and relevant lessons to more effectively communicate lesson material to students. I can come up with multiple, varied activities for different stages of a lesson just referencing the engage, study and activate activities I learned in doing the course, and if those aren’t suitable, I know where to look for more. I also know what materials can be used in the classroom and for what purposes, such as overheads, the board, visuals, etc.
I have gained a better understanding of how to effectively manage a classroom and create a good working dynamic. I now know to consider the initial impression I give in the first few lessons, how seating arrangements and the teacher’s position affect students, how to deal with problem behavior, the different ways attention can be centered on the teacher or students, how to deal with special groups of learners such as beginners, business and young learners
I have gained the ability to take all the aforementioned knowledge, put it all together in an organized way, and teach. With everything I have learned, I know to consider a ton of factors when planning my lessons so that it is tailored as closely as possible to meet the needs of the students.
Simply put, what I have gained from this course is that I feel ready and somewhat confident that I can enter a classroom and teach an effective english lesson to almost any student. Before this course, I volunteered teaching english at a community center in Turkey. I was only there for a month, two times a week, filling in while they were in between long-term english teachers. The students were children ages 5 through 11 who had unpredictable attendance. With that experience in mind while I did this course, I was able to see very directly how almost everything in the course applied. I could look back and say, “That’s what I could have done in that situation.” I feel ready to grapple with a lot of the nuances of teaching english to a variety of students and in the short term, plan to get a job teaching english either at home in the united states
or in Turkey.
I have also gained an understanding of the complex nuances of teaching, the effort required, and benefits that come with a really dedicated teacher. Though I feel prepared to enter the classroom, I also know I have a lot to learn and have gained the motivation to constantly strive to be the best teacher I can be.