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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 feel that there are 5 main things that I have learned from the course. The first is to be able to create smoother flowing lessons. Looking back in hindsight I can now see the way I had previously been teaching my japanese friends was quite terrible. Most of the time, my method of teaching was all theory and I would sometimes explain things during inappropriate times. For example while my friends were getting on with questions that I had prepared for them to do, after I had taught them a certain point about grammar, I would sometimes interrupt and stop them to explain about a problem that they had raised earlier. However that’s not to say that my lessons were completely bad or difficult for them to grasp. I feel my lesson can now be significantly improved now that I have a more refined awareness of the engage, study and activate stage. Secondly I realize now that I have a better understanding of the importance of finishing the lesson on ‘high note’ through the use of an activity. This is to ensure that the students will always feel like they want to come back for the next session. When I had taught my japanese friends, I had noticed that sometimes they would want to put off a lesson and just spend the time speaking in english instead of learning. This was always the case after they had studied some grammar in english that they were not able to comprehend well and then finishing the session in that manner. So I now know that, to lighten the mood, a game or activity is a must to keep them motivated. The third thing I have learned is that lesson plans actually take quite a lot of time to create and prepare as it involves a number of things. For example what the student problems may be and what I could do to overcome this problem to save idle time in class. Previously I had never thought about these issues until I came across them in this course. I always just took a topic and tried to work through it in a freestyle manner without giving any thought on how I was going to structure the lesson. Another thing is that most of the time I just focused on what kind of problems I would have in teaching the topic to my friends or students. Therefore this course has helped to me to realize how selfish I was being and that I should pay more attention to the students needs, not just my own. Fourthly I have never been in a situation where I have had to deal with a problem child. If I had to deal with a problem child I feel that I would just simply send the student out of the class so that they do not disrupt the rest of the class. However after studying about classroom management and the needs of younger students I feel that I would not resort to this measure anymore as the course has helped to develop my interpersonal skills. For example, if the student is seeking attention by constantly disrupting the lesson, instead of sending the student out, I would simply make the problem child my assistant to help carry books or hand out worksheets to the rest of the class. And finally this course has really helped me to understand just why english can be so difficult for students to learn. Since I am a native and that I have been born and raised in the United Kingdom I would not really think about the grammatical sense of english. But after studying this course I can now say that I see english in a completely different way. For example I didn’t even know that there were 13 different tenses in english i.e. present continuous, past perfect, future perfect continuous, going to future, etc. Therefore after acquiring this information I can now understand how to better teach english. This especially applies for my japanese students since they have around 16 different tenses. It will sure make teaching to them easier in the future. Overall this course has helped me to become and more proficient, competent and confident teacher which will greatly aid me when I embark on my teaching career and for that I have no regrets in undertaking this course .