I’ve been having a love affair with the english language for as long as I can remember. I was always one of those kids
who would get in trouble for reading too much; I just could never put my book down. My parents would get so frustrated with me—reading at the dinner table, staying up all night to finish a book under the covers with a flashlight and then falling asleep in school the next day. I am obsessed with words and how they come together to communicate an idea, a laugh, or an elusive emotion. This course has provided me with the insight for making this profound attachment to the english language contagious.
All 20 of the course units have forced me to think about the english language in ways I never have before. I always knew which tense to use when I spoke and wrote, but never before have I had to make a conscious effort into learning how and why those tenses are formed and how I would explain the differences between them to someone else. As a native speaker, most grammar mechanics are innate, but this course taught me to understand the nuances and idiosyncrasies of language instead of merely knowing when and what to use. I learned to analyze the language.
I recently finished and english graduate program and took many classes about teaching composition and rhetoric. I studied theories and practices and received a heavy dose of the different tactics a teacher should take when teaching EFL students, so many aspects of the course were an extension to my graduate training. After reading some of the units I often found myself at my bookshelf, searching for an article I had read that spoke to the subject matter of the unit so that I could re-read it and pick up on some things I may have missed the first time around. This course helped solidify the character traits I had been taught were necessary for any teacher, but especially for EFL instructors, and added several skills to my list.
Overall, the tefl course
has provided me with both an understanding of the english language and that of a teacher of english. My own struggles with understanding some of the confusing aspects of the language have made me far more sensitive to foreign students learning the same thing. I’m sure there are times when, as a teacher, I will get frustrated with my class when they don’t understand something no matter how hard I try, but I will be able to look back on my own difficulty with some of the subjects and remind myself how much harder it is on my foreign language students. I will be able to be empathetic and search for more ways of effective teaching.
I think the biggest thing this course has taught me is that it isn’t easy to learn another language. Teachers must be positive and encouraging to keep students motivated. They must tread carefully with corrections so as not to damage students’ confidence. They must constantly think of new ways to keep subjects inviting and engaging. Above all, teachers need to understand their students—their fears, struggles, interests, and culture. Without this comprehension, there will be a disconnect between the students and the teacher, resulting in a less successful class. As a teacher, I will make every effort possible to understand my students and their culture and work
on forming an academic relationship with them, while they build a relationship with the english language.