Do you want to be TEFL or TESOL-certified in Vermont? Are you interested in teaching English in West Windsor, Vermont? Check out our opportunities in West Windsor, Become certified to Teach English as a Foreign Language and start teaching English in your community or abroad! Teflonline.net offers a wide variety of Online TESOL Courses and a great number of opportunities for English Teachers and for Teachers of English as a Second Language.
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!
Many language-learners are more comfortable with the receptive skills of reading and listening than they are with the productive skills of writing and speaking. As such, it's very important for EFL teachers to have tools and strategies ready to encourage students to produce, produce, produce and gradually move towards both accuracy and fluency. This unit covered some useful material on that front.
First, there's the balance between accuracy and fluency. One lesson should not be ALL accuracy-based or ALL fluency-based, but rather should move from free conversation (emphasizing fluency) to new content (emphasizing accuracy) and again to fluency (which will ideally be more accurate fluency following the study phase). There should be a balance between the controlled drilling, the focused pair work, the free/creative speaking activities, etc. Students should slowly be given more and more control over the content being produced, while also being guided, prompted, and given ample time/tools to prepare.
Whether the emphasis is on accuracy or on fluency, students should have the ability to work in groups of varying sizes--individually, in pairs, in groups, as a class--in order to engage in different ways and produce more content without fear. In a fifth-grade class this morning, students learned the sentence "What do you have on Monday?" (Students then answer with "First, I have...," giving their class schedule for the day.) To practice this new sentence, students 1) repeat after me as a class; 2) chorally read, without repeating after me; and finally 3) volunteer (or are selected) to read individually. Later, in the next study phase, students had the chance to ask each other about their schedules in pairs. In this class, as in every class, there should be that balance in drilling so that students' confidence levels will rise before they're asked to produce something with the new language.
The part of this unit that encouraged the most thought in me was the section on writing. Writing is very difficult for my young Japanese learners, and it's something I've been trying to teach more and encourage more in my classes here. (This year, for example, we've been spending the first five minutes of every class doing fun phonics worksheets.) Japanese is a language that--as the text mentions--uses limited punctuation, doesn't put spaces between words, is typically written from right to left... (Not to mention it's traditionally written vertically, not horizontally!) In addition, though students are taught how to write the alphabet when they are in third grade, they only use the alphabet to transliterate the basic Japanese syllables (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, sa, shi, su, se, so, etc.) There is a HUGE gap between the writing systems of their native language and English, and the new rules can be overwhelming. By showing students examples and asking them questions about what they notice (for example, about their being space between words, or about how we tend not to start a word on one line and continue it on the next) can encourage them to thoughtfully approach the new language and apply those techniques in their own writing practice. Examples, examples, examples, practice, practice, practice!
After reading the previous unit and this unit, I hope to move forward planning lessons that more naturally and effectively balance receptive and productive skills, and that encourage fluency while building accuracy.