TEFL review from Aleksandr


This TESOL review is from Aleksandr. He recently took our TEFL/TESOL course as he wants to take advantage of the high demand in qualified English language teachers all over the world. He chose our online course option and he greatly enjoyed the flexibility of it as it allowed him to work from anywhere in the world and at his own pace. He especially enjoyed the units on teaching methodologies as he now improved his own teaching style and is following a more interactive way of teaching. He recommends this course to anyone who wants to travel the world teaching English.

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

Unit 3 - Theories, Methods and Techniques. Concise overview of the 3d unit: ? Methodologies ? Engage, study and activate ? ESA ? Examples of ESA lessons ? Ideas for ESA phases ? Correction techniques ? Lesson planning We describe each of the topics more detailed. Methodologies Grammar-translation In effect, this is a system of translation. The major drawback is that it seems to prevent the students from getting the kind of natural language input. The system requires the teacher to be proficient in the students? native language. Audio-lingualism It is based on the language repetition drills, suggests that much learning is as a result of habit formation through conditioning. Now it went out of fashion. Presentation, practice and production- PPP PPP is more a ?Teacher-centered? lesson. PPP is effective in teaching simple language for beginners. In this method teacher presents and explain, then students practice making sentences, after students go to the production stage where they can experiment with language. Task-based learning In this method the focus is more on a task than the language. Communicative language teaching - CLT The community approach stresses the importance of language functions and not the grammar. CLT places emphasis on completion the task. Activities require students to use language in real life situations (role-play and simulation). Community language learning ? CLL In CLL students will typically sit in a circle and it is up to them to decide what they want to talk about. It is ?student-centered? lesson. The silent way The most notable feature is the behavior of the teacher ? who says as little as possible. This methodology makes use of colored rods (referred to as Cuisenaire rods), each color representing an aspect of English language. Suggestopaedia Teacher and student exist in a parent-children relationship. This lesson has three main parts. The lexical approach This approach argues that words and phrases are far better building blocks for language acquisition than grammatical structure. Which methodology is the best? Each method has its pluses and minuses, but certain conclusions can be drawn: lessons should be stressless, students should be encouraged to discover language for themselves, and teacher should be progressive, use effective methods and advantages from every approach. Engage, study and activate ? ESA The effective method put forward by Jeremy Harmer. This approach gives the teacher a great deal of flexibility in the classroom. Elicitation: this method increases student talk time, reduces teacher talk time. It is based on the asking-thought provoking questions. ? Real objects (realia) ? Flashcards/pictures ? Drawings ? Ask for the questions ? Gap-fill ? Lists ? Follow-on questions ? Concept descriptions ? Mime ? Definitions All ESA lessons should comprise of the following components: Engage: The aim of this stage ? to warm students up and get them thinking and speaking (games, music, pictures and stories). Study: Students are focused on the construction of the language (examination, practice, board work, worksheets). Activate: The focus is very much more on fluency than accuracy with no restrictions on the language usage (role-plays, communication games, debates, story writing). Example of a ?Straight Arrow? ESA lesson: Teacher takes the lesson in the ESA order: Engage ? Study - Activate. Example of a ?Boomerang? ESA lesson: A ?Boomerang? sequencing of the lesson gives us more possibilities, while still incorporating ESA: Engage - Activate 1 - Study - Activate 2. Example of a ?Patchwork? ESA lesson: Patchwork lessons allow for a greater deal of flexibility and provide a nice balance between study and activation: Engage ? Activate ? Activate ? Study ? Activate ? Engage ? Study ? Activate. Ideas for Engage phase: Typical Engage phases include discussion and prompting based around pictures, drawings, mime, video, short tape extract, short reading text, headline, real objects brought into class. Ideas for Study phase: Common Study phase activities include: elicitation, pronunciation, spelling, meaning, word order, analysis. Ideas for Activate phase: Activate phase activities include: role-play, surveys, producing materials, communication games, debate/discussion, story building. Giving feedback: The aim is to encourage self-awareness and improvement. Feedback can take a number of forms: going through activities checking students? answers, giving praise and encouragement, correcting, setting regular tests, group discussions and individual tutorials. Correction techniques: It is very important to note that praising the students is equally as important as correcting. Who corrects? Self-correction, student ? student correction, teacher ? student correction. What should the teacher correct? For activities where accuracy is the focus (the study stage) correction is more vital than for activities where fluency is the primary objective. Correcting writing: The most effective way of correcting written work is by using codes in the margin or the body of the writing. Lesson planning: It tells about all stages of the lesson. Certain conclusions can be drawn: students need to be motivated, be exposed to the language and have the opportunity to use it. For this course, we focus on Engage-Study-Activate (ESA), as we feel ESA is the most effective and the most logical of all the methodologies for new teachers. Teacher should use comprehensive approach in teaching including different methodologies, various types of EAS lessons, the teacher should be able to juggle the written above techniques. To avoid mistakes teacher have to be prepared for the lesson by writing lesson plan that comprises all stages and multiple activities. Teacher is responsible for the learning process hence mistakes, errors correction and encouragement of the students should be done properly. In the beginning of the lesson teacher has to engage students in the learning process and get them think and speak in English, next phase ? elicitation as much information from the students as possible by exercises and focusing on the language constrictions, in the end teacher has to encourage them by playing communicative games and places far more emphasis on fluency.

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