Sunday, September 14, 2008

my TESOL/TEFL courses

This weekend I had my first TESOL/TEFL* classes. The classes ran from 9am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday and are held at a nearby university. They're long classes, but went by quickly.
*TEFL - Teaching English as a Foreign Language
*TESOL - Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
So far, so good. I have to say I'm impressed with both Oxford Seminars and their instructor. I didn't know what to expect from a sort of 'crash course' on how to teach English as a second language since people study this topic on graduate level.

The Instructor.
She is wonderful. For me, an instructor's style of teaching makes or breaks a class. She is very structured and knowledgeable. She has a master's degree in ESL, worked abroad for 10 years and she currently works as a professor.

The classes.
In these first two classes we focused on teaching styles, learner styles, lesson planning and student levels; like what would be appropriate. We also spent some time talking about culture shock. Oxford seminars provides all their own materials (3 books and a folder of information). One book is filled with activity ideas, lesson plan examples, learning games, warm-up exercises and more stuff that I haven't look at just yet. The book will be a good reference.

The Phrasal verb.
Our class was discussing what we may teach to an advance student. The instructor threw out the term "Phrasal Verb". She asked if anyone knew what it was. The two Brazilian au-pairs in the front giggled, they knew what it was...the rest of the class.....silence. The 16 of us Americans had not a clue. For an outgoing group of people, no one volunteered an answered...the instructor then explained some examples of Phrasal Verbs like; sit down, stand up.

The other Students.
On the first day there were 18 other students in the class. Today there were only 17; one didn't return. I believe it is because she doesn't have a strong command of the English. The class was too advanced for her basic English skills.

The other students are a mix of people. Majority have college educations, some are au-pairs from other countries and everyone has the desire to live abroad. I was excited to be with others who share my same desire.
$895 - TESOL / TEFL certification classes
*I recieved a discount of $100 for registering more than a month in advance

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