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Here Below you can check out the feedback (for one of our units) of one of the 16.000 students that last year took an online course with ITTT!
In this unit I learned how to teach the different types of modal verbs and what their usages are. Modal verbs are words like can, will, should, could, must, etc. Here are examples of situations in which you'd use modal verbs:
Obligation: I must go now
Permission: Can I borrow your glasses? May I please go to the bathroom?
Prediction: Our team will win the world series this year
Ability: I can jump over that fence
Deduction: Tod is covered in mud. He must have slipped and fell in the mud.
Possibility: The weather report said rain in the afternoon so it might be raining now.
Advice: You're great at math, you should major in mathematics!
Depending on the context in how you use the modal verb, it can change the tone of formality. For example, saying "May I borrow your pen?" is more polite than "Can I borrow your pen?". Therefore different verbs can be used to express similar ideas.
The modal verbs don't change in form based on the person, for example we say "I can ride a bike" and "He can ride a bike". The modal verb is always followed by the main verb in its base form.
A good teaching idea for modal verbs is role-play, such as doctor and patient, or perhaps a travel agent and someone wanting to travel a particular country "You should stay in this hotel", "You MUST visit this statue..."
Next I learned about active and passive voice. The active voice places importance on the agent doing the active verb, whereas in passive voice the importance is placed on the subject of the active verb. The important thing to remember when changing a sentence in active voice to passive voice, is that the tense of "to be" must remain the same. The form is the auxiliary verb 'be' and the past participle. For example, this is a sentence in the active voice: "My dad fixed our garage door". In the passive, the sentence is, "The garage door was fixed (by my dad)." I put "by my dad" in parenthesis because it is not necessary to say that, but we can if we want to specify who fixed the garage door. It might not be known who did the action, or we might not want it to be known who did the action, or it might just not be important to know who.
As a teaching activity, I could cut up sentences on cards with the sentence in active voice and passive voice, and play a matching activity with the students. Students have trouble with getting the right form of "to be", or just leaving it out of the sentence so I would be sure to correct these errors.
The unit then covered clauses, of which there are three main categories: Independent, dependent, and relative. Within relative, there defining relative and non-defining relative. A defining relative clause is essential to the meaning of the sentence. For example, "My friend from college will graduate nursing school this year!"
Lastly, I learned about phrasal verbs. These can definitely be tough for students to learn and for lower-level learners should be taught within one context first. A phrasal verb contains a verb plus one or two particles. There are three types of phrasal verbs. The first is intransitive, where an the phrasal verb cannot be followed by a direct object, for example, "The plane took off at 3pm". The second is transitive separable, where the object can only become in between the verb and the particle, for example "He put it off until tomorrow" (it being his homework). The third is transitive inseparable, where the object phrase or pronoun come after the particle, such as "He made up his mind".