This post is a continuation of My TESOL course is complete! pt.1
So as you all know I completed my month long TESOL course on August 27th 2010. I am now officially TEFL certified to teach English abroad or in the UK! (Happy Dance~(>ω<＊)ﾉﾉ)
The month long course was very intense and by the fourth week into the course I started to lose my pace, my social life plus sleep (the most important thing to survive). My homework had to be handed in late because I was too tired by the time I arrived home to (I’m so sorry!); but at least it got completed and was handed in before the end of the course.
The course was split into 2 segments and consisted of 10 pieces of homework and 2 exams.
The two segments of the course were
- In this section we were taught the different methods and techniques used to teach languages to children up to the age of adults. Whilst studying this section of the course it brought back many memories from my language learning in school and helped explain a lot of why some of my teachers taught this way.
A method that I thought was really useful and worked was the Berlitz method. This was where the teacher teaches students a simple sentence and 3-5 different new words. The whole lesson is conducted purely in the language studied and no native language is prohibited. The teacher blurts out words very fast so students will adapt to the language and speed quickly and effectively to aid the process of learning the new language. This method could be used for all language and is not just restricted to English such as the Callan Method; similar to the Berlitz Method but is purely taught from a Callan book.
The tutor, Paulina, asked 5 students to come up one by one to test out the method and teach 5 other classmates a simple sentence of “This is a …..” x3 in their native language. That day we learnt how to say table, cup, whiteboard, glasses, pen, pencil in various languages (Polish, Bulgarian, Italian plus other languages I cannot remember o.o;;).
Methodology wasn’t just how the English language (or languages in general) is taught, but also maintaining a strict professional relationship between teacher and student. Teachers are allowed to be friends and advisers to the students but mustn’t cross over the line and become too “involved” in their life. This was quite interesting because I remember going out for meals with my lecturers and drinking at the pub… I guess it depends on the culture and the situation. We also went over gestures, what and what-not to do (i.e. don’t point at the student with your index finger to call on him/her) and the appropriate distance to keep between you and the student. I really need to remember this point since I’ve been told I stand too close to the student and sometimes hover/lean over them when giving instructions (oops! Sit down Amy, sit down!). Apparently keeping too long of eye contact is considered offensive in different cultures, I’ll need to research upon this before I start teaching… Having to remember all these points and then how to simplify instructions and explain words to students can be quite a handful!I managed to complete the exam in an hour but then noticed that I actually had 2 hours to complete the whole exam（￣へ￣）Thus I had to go back through the whole paper and add points to each question because I knew I hadn’t written enough to gain all the marks. Luckily I did too because I literally scored 70% which was the minimal pass mark! (Man I totally fluke stuff sometimes…)
- This section was interesting. I never knew the English language has 12 tenses and to say I was born in England and spoke English for the majority of my life is an embarrassment… Since I already knew English inside out, all the slang and how sentences should be structured learning grammar was a backwards learning experience. It was hard! There were so many grammatical forms, idioms, phrasal verbs (verb plus preposition e.g. look up) and then the whole table of irregular verbs foreign students would have to memorise so they can change the tenses of verbs. I never knew English ws such a hard language to learn! How the
hellbejesus did I manage to speak this complicated language fluently?
Doing the exam on the 26th August was making me sweat bullets because I seriously thought I didn’t answer the questions correctly and would totally fail. Receiving the email about my result at 11pm was a relief I was actually crying happy tears! (Only because I didn’t have to wake up at 6am the next day to retake it! Ahahaha (￣▽￣)ノ＿彡☆バンバン！)
and then we were taught English grammar
So that ends the post about my TESOL course conducted at Tulip House in London Bridge. :) Now for some happy photos we took when we had some celebratory drinks at the pub down the road!