Why complete a TEFL course I am 27 years old and ever since I left high school I have been involved in education in some form. During my varsity years I worked with a NPO that specialized in the supplementary education of underprivileged kids around the western cape of South Africa. After varsity I spent my first year teaching english
as a second language in Korea at a private school. I then spent some time traveling and now I am almost finished my second year teaching english
as a second language in Korea at a public school.
Although I taught during my years within the NPO it was more informal teaching in a very relaxed atmosphere. The students where not in classrooms more often then not and we were often in the field doing project work. So my first actual classroom style teaching was at a private school. I felt I had gathered sufficient teaching skills necessary to be an effective teacher and I started at the private school with a lot of enthusiasm. I was teaching students aged from 7 to 14 years mainly from course books and there was a maximum of 12 students in a class.
The actual realization that I needed a lot of help with my teaching was when I entered the public school system last year. The first thing that struck me when teaching my first public school lesson was the amount of students I was left responsible for. Most of my classes now included almost 40 students. I had become fairly relaxed teaching at the private school. The fact that the majority of my material had to come from the students course work books and that there were small classes, had enabled me to ‘wing’ it more often then perhaps I should have. That bad habit then accompanied me as I entered the public school system.
I still felt as though I was a good teacher and that I could be effective in a public school but I only realized how much my teaching was lacking after I commenced my TEFL course. Let me first say that anybody considering a teaching position, anywhere in the world, should do a TEFL course. From an administrative point of view the whole course has be flawless; the teaching benefits I will now get into.
speakers learn english
mostly through practice and reinforcement. I had always felt very fortunate that my father is an educated man and as I result most of my language skills were fairly accurate. Upon starting my TEFL course I soon realized that although my spoken and written english
were of a fairly high standard, my understating of the rationale behind my language skills was very poor. While you read this you might think well that is not the end of the world, how much real grammar skills can I teach my students. And for the most part you would be right. But that realization has made me appreciate my students tenfold! I have become a far more patient teacher! Doing this course has given me a far greater appreciation for the difficulty my students face in learning english
, and as such I spend a lot more time with them.
Classroom dynamics and management was also an issue I had given little thought to before doing my TEFL course. Things as simple as seating layouts have made a huge difference to my classes. Pairing students with ‘buddies’ has also made my life so much easier with my big classes. I am also far more aware of my impact on the students and that they notice a lot more then I think they do.
The amount of planning I now put into my lessons has also grown hugely. Finding a lesson plan online and gathering the necessary material is by no means enough to efficiently teach new language. This course will teach you to prepare properly for each lesson, it will make you think about any problems that might arise during your lesson, and its forces you to think of ways to overcome those issues before they arise. All in all, I am just a better prepared teacher due to this course.
I know the benefits I have mentioned above can only be thought of hypothetically for those that have not been in a teaching situation with 40 young students in front of you, but trust me you will only realize the benefits once you do the course.
The last point I would like to reiterate is the patience necessary to teach english
as a second language. english
is an incredibly difficult language to learn and more often then not your students are being forced to learn english
. Doing a TEFL course will show you the patience necessary to be an effective teacher and it will also give you a far great understanding of the situations you are likely to face before you do in person.