Prior to completing the units in this course, I had put some thought into teaching english
as a foreign language. But now I see that I didn’t put the right thoughts into it. Previously, I had thought about needing to brush up on grammar, tenses, and parts of speech, since it has been a long time since I’ve studied those things. I had also thought about approaching teaching lessons in english
the same way that I have been taught foreign languages in the past. Unfortunately, most of the foreign language classes I’ve been in have been taught in both english
and the foreign language, which is not something I’d be able to replicate for very many foreign students, and also goes against the TEFL methodology.
I have gained a better understanding of how to approach teaching english
to non-native english
speaking students, both from a cultural and structural perspective. Even though some of the units address issues that seem like they should be common sense, it’s surprising that you don’t think of them until someone lays it out for you. If you have little or no experience with teaching, some of these concepts are very important even if they are not new and earth-shattering. One of the most important things I gained from this course was how to structure and plan a lesson. I admit that it hadn’t ever crossed my mind to follow a structure like that to plan a lesson, but now I wouldn’t even think of starting a class without something written, especially while I am building experience and learning how to be a good teacher myself. I can see the reasons behind each stage of methodology, and how it is a good tool in effective teaching, both for the students and teacher.
I have also gained some important insight into how motivation for different levels, ages, and backgrounds of students could be very different and contribute to the success or non-success of the student picking up the language. I can see how it is important to be aware of these issues, and to be aware of the students as individuals in order to have a better chance of effectively teaching them.