A comment to the previous post here makes me think I should talk a little more about my school and TEFL course. For one thing, the course is teaching us to teach people who need to learn English for business, or travel, or for work in their local tourism industry. In their daily life, they hear and speak their local language.
TESL, Teaching English as a Second Language, is quite different. This is for students and adults who have moved to another country where they don’t speak English, but everybody else does. They, too, must learn English, but they are surrounded by the language wherever they go. This makes the job of the teacher very different.
In my course, we do practice teaching as well as get lectures in grammar, lesson planning, phonemes (how the English sounds), and how to teach vocabulary, speaking, listening and other aspects of teaching English. We are all native speakers of English, but since we come from all over the English-speaking world, you can well imagine the plethora of accents we hear. Our class’s teacher is from near Liverpool. He says his accent has toned down quite a bit in his many years hear in Prague, plus other locations in Asia.
The school finds us students to practice on. This has been difficult lately due to good weather, bad weather and a national holiday.
My “Breaking News” class was the most fun I’ve had so far, though a classroom of 12- year olds we had the opportunity to observe was also fun. Except for that class, all of our other students have been adults.
We’re coming to the end of this intensive four-week course now – exams, final lesson plans and other materials have to be turned in by Thursday. The pace seems to have picked up considerably lately, given the seeming leisurely pace of the previous three weeks. My posts will probably slow down for a while.
My instructor, patient as he is, is discouraged with me. He is used to teaching people who have taught other classes before and who have, um, more recent experience with the academic world. Wish me luck!