What has been your experiences with TEFL courses online?
Diary submitted by Adam G., Madrid.
How to utilise the online material?
During the first week of teaching there may be times when you are asked challenging questions that you don’t know the answer to. This can be embarrassing and intimidating if you have to explain and apologise to the student that you are not quite sure. Luckily, the online material that TEFL provides covers virtually every question that you may be asked. This diary will reflect on how to utilise the material online with reference to my own experience in a lesson.
During my first week on the TEFL programme I was still getting used to the common questions asked and how to answer some of the more complex questions. I then had a lesson where the student asked me about modal verbs, specifically, may, might and must. At the time, I wasn’t sure of how to answer so I had to quickly do some research on the internet. I quickly found some information and then relayed it back to the student but I still felt as if my explanation was not sufficient.
Once I was free I thought the best place to start was to go back through TEFL’s online material and search for my answer there. I quickly found the topic and spent some time making sure that understood it. Coupled with the information I had taken from the British Council’s page about Modal Verbs I used the online material to solidify my understanding. Despite this action of researching the topic for my own understanding, not being directly related to how to then teach a student I found that it was useful. I realised that often the best way to teach a topic to a student is to remember how you were taught that topic and then apply the same principles. The online material provides a simple explanation of the topic and then also tests your knowledge afterwards with a short quiz. Personally, I find this the best way to learn and I found that I used this same approach for all the topics, especially the tricky grammar.
Even though this approach is very useful when teaching students, it is important to use this method as a starting point but then adapt it to each student’s own learning style. As I explained this method of learning worked for me but a student may need a different approach. Still, it is something that I believe is useful for not only teaching English but other forms of teaching that I have done or will do in the future.
British Council, Learn English. Modal Verbs. https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/modal-verbs/may-might-may-have-and-might-have