This is a practical course and the classroom is where it all comes together. You will teach real foreign language students at a variety of levels and covering different language points and skills. We get you started teaching quickly but make sure you have enough support – our trainers have helped many hundreds of people through this process. We will make sure that you are properly prepared for each lesson and you will take more control and independence each week.
The students for the teaching practice sessions are of a range of nationalities and ages. They come for free and are aware that you are still learning to teach. It is as pleasant atmosphere and we keep it a non-stressful as we can.
Student Experience – Foreign Language Experience
You will be given a series of lessons in a foreign language to demonstrate the techniques and approaches which you will use in your own lessons. The lessons are delivered entirely in the foreign language with no use of English so that you can really get an appreciation of what it is like to be a student in a foreign language classroom.
You will observe your trainers, other experienced teachers and your peers teach throughout the course and will participate in post-lesson discussion sessions to give and receive feedback. This is a valuable way of developing insight into teaching.
Input Sessions – Methodology
You will participate in sessions covering the main areas of language teaching methodology. These sessions (all led by a very experienced teacher) are not lectures – they are experiential and learner-centred. Trainees take an active part in discovering and constructing knowledge.
We have sessions covering:
- Productive Skills – Speaking and Writing
- Receptive Skills – Listening and Reading
- Overview of Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching
- The Basic Teaching Paradigm – Engage, Study, Activate
- Teaching Vocabulary
- Grammar Presentation and Controlled Practice
- Teaching Pronunciation
- Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences Theory
- Language in Context
- Classroom Management
- Interactive Materials
- Communicative Activities
- Task Based Learning
- Songs & Music
- Using Visuals
- Errors, Correction and Feedback
- Coursebook Evaluation
- Teaching One-to-One
- Teaching Young Learners
- Theatre Techniques
- Business English
- Designing Materials
Input Sessions – Language Awareness
We have sessions on the main areas of grammar, lexis and phonology (the sound system of English) that you will need to know before you go into the classroom. Most course participants – especially the native English speakers – rate their prior grammatical knowledge as very low. In a way this may be correct – certainly people often can’t name and describe the meaning of tenses; they lack explicit knowledge. In another way though, any competent speaker of a language must know the ‘rules’ at some level, otherwise they would not be able to speak properly. They have implicit knowledge. A major aim of the Language Awareness section of the TEFL course is to help you begin to develop the insight and awareness of how you use language and be able to reflect on this as your primary source of language knowledge.
Just to be clear, we do not push any particular variety of English (North American, British or other) as being more correct than the others. English has a variety of accepted forms and we will focus on their commonalities and note some differences.
The Learner Profile
You will have two one-to-one lessons with one of our students. This will give you the chance to build a clear picture of an individual learner’s strengths and weaknesses; goals and reasons for learning English; individual learning style, etc. Based on this you will produce a recommended programme of study for your learner and then deliver the first lesson.
The Materials Assignment
In the final week of the course your lessons will be based on self-produced or adapted authentic materials. We are very fortunate to have one of the top people in the world in the area of TEFL materials design, Brian Tomlinson, as our external moderator. This assignment will give you the chance to creatively use everything that you have learned on the course to produce something of real and lasting value. The completed materials are a great part of your portfolio and especially useful to demonstrate your knowledge and teaching ability to potential employers at interviews.