Preparation TEFL Certificate

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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:

M.K. - Japan said:
Child Development
Every human being is unique and specially created to fit somewhere in the block of life. People are born with certain inalienable traits, temperaments and abilities. Right from childhood our interaction with the environment help to shape and mould us to become what we become. Child development therefore is simply the process of interaction with the environment to learn from it and form a character, build skills and develop traits. As teachers, we get to spend a lot of time with children and we can monitor their advances in cognitive abilities, language usage, and physical growth. If trained in this field, then we can better provide a nurturing environment, ensure the right quality, intensity and frequency of interactions to help children develop a positive character and grow healthy and disciplined. For example, Children who lack confidence or cant cope in class could be suffering from; eating disorders, attention deficiencies, abuse or neglect, learning disability and retardation among other physical & psychological malfunctions. The teacher can notice a child’s progress or lack of it when some development aspect is overlooked or ignored. There are many scientists who have carefully studied and analyzed details on child development like the famous Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky Sigmund Freud, B. F Skinner, among others. Skinner for example theorized that behavior development is a result of or reaction to rewards, punishments, stimuli and reinforcement. Piaget dwelt on cognitive development and noted that children have a different level and way of thinking compared to adults. He also proposed the stages theory of cognitive development. Vygotsky who came later, proposed the seminal learning theory. He said that children learn actively and through hands-on experiences. He believed that parents, caregivers, teachers, peers and the culture at large were responsible for the development of higher order functions. There are arguments later to support or refute these arguments in part or totalities, but arguably these theories point to the primary importance of life development, having the right environment. While parents shoulder the greater burden of providing basic needs and leadership, the teachers impart the learning skills and influence growth, providing guidelines to parents and being trusted referrals on all matters. The right input of activities and tasks at the right stages in life determine how well children will grasp ideas and ‘run with them’ or become indifferent and gradually grow alienated. E.g. providing quality playtime, study time, time to eat and time to rest. This coupled with other factors contribute to retention in school and participation in all activities whether developmental or study skills. Psychology explains why people react differently in different situation. Some children who are forced to bottle up things will be seen throwing tantrums in private, same case for adults. In the online journal ‘psychology today’ they outline simple child development basics, e.g. the fallacy of good grades, which describes that we shouldn’t teach children to measure their self worth by grades or test scores, even if we are living in an age obsessed with numbers. The absence of a high academic grade may mean the kid can get a high grade in sports or other activities. In conclusion, teachers and parents need to have some basic knowhow on child development, so that they don’t panic or overreact when children portray funny behaviors. Its possible to correct, mould and disenchant errant characteristics early in life. Like my Psychology teacher used to say, there is always a certain point in a child’s development when you can instill certain traits and they stick forever. If we don’t ‘hit the cords’ at that point in time, then the chance is lost forever. For example there is a point in time, at a very tender age that one is taught religion and it sticks, they may go learn jargon, drink all the beer in the world, but later they turn back to what was inculcated in them.