do i need to do tefl?

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  • bec
    Participant
    25 February, 2008 at 23:21
    • Total posts: 5

    Hi would appreciate some advice
    i have a degree and worked as a primary school teacher in the uk for 10 years. i now live in spain and have just started teaching english in a private academy working mainly with adults of varying levels. my problem is that i don’t know if i’m doing it right!! my school is unhelpful and i’m reluctant to admit that i’m full of self-doubt.
    should i do a tefl qualification? do i need one? will it teach me how to teach english or just how to teach?
    any advice?
    thanks

    ICAL_Pete
    Participant
    29 February, 2008 at 10:26
    • Total posts: 149

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    I would highly recommend you took a TESL/TEFL course.

    You can easily combine your teaching commitments and the training by taking an online course. Training online is a good option particularly if you have a limited budget to further your studies or if you have other work and/or family commitments that restrict the amount of time you have available to study. You can find good online courses that provide quality training and allow you to work at your own pace.

    A good online course will give you a solid understanding of the principles behind teaching English as a second or foreign language as well as practical ideas on how to make any lesson a fruitful and enjoyable experience for both yourself and your students.


    ICAL Quality Online TEFL Training since 1998

    dan
    Moderator
    4 March, 2008 at 20:48
    • Total posts: 589

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    I agree with ICAL Pete – if you have comitments which limit your time available to study, a good quality online course can give you a solid grounding in some of the principles of teaching, and if you’re already working, you can put these into practice in your job. Experiment in the classroom with what you learn, see what works, what doesn’t. If something doesn’t work, think about why, and try to apply what you’re learning on the course to think about how you could makeit work next time. Ask questions in forums like this to get feedback from other teachers on ideas that you have, activities and approaches that you’ve tried, and soon you’ll be well away!

    If you’re considering TEFL as a career, you may want to think at some stage about doing a classroom based course such as the CELTA. This will give you the opportunity to have feedback on your teaching as well as your grasp of theory and methodology – if your current school is proving unhelpful in this department, this could be valuable to you.

    In my opinion, a good school should be helping its teachers to develop and providing advice and support – if your school continues to not do this, I would consider changing employers – a qualification to go along with your experience, whether online or classroom based, will open more doors for you in this respect.

    Danny

    ITTP
    Participant
    15 May, 2008 at 4:46
    • Total posts: 13

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    Hello Bec.

    Just wanted to echo those replies in that you should strongly consider taking a TEFL course.
    Because of your prior and current teaching experience you should be considering an online TEFL course.

    ThomasTopham
    Participant
    10 June, 2008 at 16:55
    • Total posts: 13

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    In my experience as a trainer, teachers coming from a background as primary school teachers can unintentionally come off as patronizing to adult learners. I am not saying this is the case with you, just that in general it happens.

    If you don’t have the time for an actual TEFL course, it would probably be useful to google "adult education" and take it from there… :D


    Thomas Topham Head of Teacher Training The MODERN Institute http://www.themoderninstitute.eu

    systematic
    Participant
    4 July, 2008 at 16:13
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    As you will have noticed, everyone who has a TESOL training programme to sell will naturally be very quick to insist that you should do a course.
    You have been a teacher for 10 years already – do you really think that you are doing anything very wrong?

    If you have a good degree and plenty of experience as a teacher and can prove it, few schools will insist on a TESOL certificate. Many of them are so desperate for teachers, they don’t care either way.

    Most courses are not particularly focussed on teaching children – the famous and highly revered Cambridge CELTA is based entirely on teaching adults and a supplemenry coury course – costing more money – is offered for teaching kids.

    You can train yourself quite adequately by reading either of these two books (the TESOL trainers’ bibles).

    The Practice of English Language Teaching
    , J.Harmer 2001, Pearson Education ISBN: 0-582-40385-5

    A Course in Language Teaching, Penny Ur 1991 , Cambridge University Press ISBN: 0-521–44994-4

    and these smaller handbooks

    How to Teach Pronunciation
    , Gerald Kelly 1999 (Ed. J. Harmer) Longman ISBN: 0-582- 42975-7

    How to Teach Grmamar
    , Scott Thornbury 1999 (Ed. J. Harmer) Longman ISBN: 0-582- 33932-4

    Of course, I may be wrong – it’s just 32 years of teacher training experience that’s talking :D

    And if you decide to do one, before choosing a course, be absolutely sure to follow the advice and heed warnings on TESOL scams on this TESOL forum remembering at all times that there is no such thing as accreditation for TESOL courses. With the exception of the BC (UK only) and the CoT, most ‘accrediting’ organisations can be revealed by a quick Google search to be either fakes, or invented by the TESOL crowd themselves.


    You cannot have it all ways but if you want it one way, you can teach in Thailand: http://nittayo.org

    jenniferp
    Participant
    4 July, 2008 at 17:10
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    You have been a teacher for 10 years already – do you really think that you are doing anything very wrong?

    Even if you have been a teacher for 30 years you always have something to learn.
    There are many ways to teach and it doesn’t naturally follow that someone who that has taught a specialised subject in one field and gained a lot of experience there can just go on and teach anything with no extra input.

    The advantage of doing something like the CELTA is that you are observed and given critical feedback.

    the famous and highly revered Cambridge CELTA is based entirely on teaching adults and a supplemenry coury course – costing more money – is offered for teaching kids.

    This is where it pays to research and have an idea of what you intend to use your certificate for. There is an alternative CELTYL (young learners) course aswell as a YL extension to the CELTA. Choose wisely and you won’t end up paying for a course you find redundant.

    systematic
    Participant
    4 July, 2008 at 18:03
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    So which CELTA provider do you work for? And like most others do they also keep the CELTYL under wraps so that they can sell the YL as an extra?

    Look before you leap – I’ve been designing and instructing Cambridge programmes since the days when they were the RSA…

    There are many ways to teach and it doesn’t naturally follow that someone who that has taught a specialised subject in one field and gained a lot of experience there can just go on and teach anything with no extra input.

    Take another close look at my posting – then take a refresher course in ‘reading for content’

    And yes, it certainly does pay to do some research:

    CELTYL is an initial qualification for people with little or no previous teaching experience

    – from the Cambridge website…:roll:

    and at the risk of repeating myself:
    Of course, I may be wrong – it’s just 32 years of teacher training experience that’s talking :mrgreen:


    You cannot have it all ways but if you want it one way, you can teach in Thailand: http://nittayo.org

    jenniferp
    Participant
    6 July, 2008 at 7:14
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    and at the risk of repeating myself:
    Of course, I may be wrong – it’s just 32 years of teacher training experience that’s talking Mr. Green

    Your postings give the impression you are a little jaded and bitter towards the TEFL training industry in general. While that’s none of my business and it’s great that you offer an alternative point of view, you do come across as one sided as those people that post on here advertising their courses. :wink:

    I don’t work for any teacher trainer/course provider but I have worked with my fair share of people that believe that because they were born in an English speaking country, they have an innate talent for teaching English without needing an ounce of training. That wasn’t the original poster’s question or situation, but my thoughts (and that’s all they are) are that everyone, especially teachers with experience, can do with some training or refresher courses etc to update their ideas.

    systematic
    Participant
    7 July, 2008 at 6:23
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    Your postings give the impression you are a little jaded and bitter towards the TEFL training industry in general.

    So now instead of reading for content, we read between the lines and still get it wrong do we?

    Johnny was brought up by a loving and caring family. His mother drummed into him from an early age "Look right, look left, then look right again, and if there are no cars coming you can safely cross the road."
    Johnny was lying in the hospital with a broken pelvis, a broken femur, a broken tibia, several broken ribs and a lot of nasty cuts and bruises; he was lucky not to be a paraplegic, in fact he was quite lucky to be alive. "What happened, darling? I gave you all that advice."
    "I know Mum" he mumbled through his bruised lips, "But you only told me about the cars – you never mentioned the trucks."

    (From Getting Through the Fog with Student Centred Analogies by Systematic)

    Forgive me if I am wrong, Jenny, but you give the impression of reading forums the same way as Johhny listens to his Mum. I won’t repeat myself again, I will just state emphatically that:

    [list:39oxn0u1]Nowhere in this thread have I advised against continual education.
    Quite to the contrary, I encouraged it, and my postings are the only ones that have given any objective information ob this thread.[/list:u:39oxn0u1]
    jaded adj. ⏐’dʒeɪdɪd⏐
    1. Dulled by surfeit: “the amoral, jaded, bored upper classes.” 2. Exhausted: “my father’s words had left me jaded and depressed” — William Styron; Synonyms: wearied.

    No, Jenny, just a bit wearied by TESOL course provided who have to stoop to squatting forums like these to bag their carpets, and me having to having to says "I’m sorry, we don’t accept that certificate. But don’t worry, we’ll offer you a job on your other merits."

    – and people that don’t read forum threads properly before sounding off:wink:

    Now if you want to continue in that vein, you can join a forum like this, and see how ‘teachers’ treat people on forums, but if you have something intelligent to say, and I know you have from your otherwise excellent postings on this forum, your help is also needed on this Asian TESOL forium to get it started.


    You cannot have it all ways but if you want it one way, you can teach in Thailand: http://nittayo.org

    jenniferp
    Participant
    7 July, 2008 at 14:14
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    Arrgh! you are one of those people that abbreviates people’s names without finding out if that’s actually what they’re called….. :x :wink:

    I agree, your posts on other threads do offer a lot of great info.. There must just have been something about the way you wrote on this one that came across as a bit condescending.

    phil
    Participant
    7 July, 2008 at 18:32
    • Total posts: 58

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    Don’t back down Jennifer! You are quite right – systematic, your posts do come across as a little on the condascending side.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I think you make many valid points, systematic, and are making a lot of interesting and valuable contributions to what has become a highly entertaining debate in this forum, but comments such as:

    Of course, I may be wrong – it’s just 32 years of teacher training experience that’s talking

    and

    Take another close look at my posting – then take a refresher course in ‘reading for content’

    and of course assuming Jennifer likes to have her name shortened to Jenny (why not just call her "honey" while you’re at it?)

    …will, I think, make the majority of readers cheer for Jennifer in this exchange…

    You’re also very quick to come down on people advertising their training courses in the forum. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but are you not doing exactly that with your signature, not to mention plugging your own forum in every single one of your posts, even when it’s only questionably, or not at all, related to the topic?

    Phil

    systematic
    Participant
    9 July, 2008 at 10:58
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    deleted


    You cannot have it all ways but if you want it one way, you can teach in Thailand: http://nittayo.org

    systematic
    Participant
    9 July, 2008 at 11:13
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    (previous post deleted, double posting ; internet glitch)
    Oh Phil, why is it that people just can’t read? Golly, it’s so exasperating – I get enough of this in the classroom :lol:

    Danny made some points in favour of CELTA courses. There was not a single hint of condescention in my post, and not a mention that the protagonists for courses were wrong. Jenny blusters in, and comes down on me like a ton of bricks for giving the OP the first and objective alternatives and before she realised it, in spite of her good intentions she had started a flame war by making personal attacks.

    YES, to your comments about my condescention, YES to my plugs and signature, with some IMPORTANT facts that you carefully avoided: neither is to a commercial operation of any kind whatsoever, neither is in conflict with the interests of this forum, and if you were to read my profile you would have seen that I have no vested interest in either of them other than helping to clean up some of the nonsense ans scams in TESOL.

    I am the first one to admit, always, that I may be wrong – not that this should be construed as an apology before the event. I have learnt vastly more from my own students over the years, and keeping up to date at conferences, than I ever did in college.
    And now we are all off topic.

    PS: ‘Jenny’ was an attempted olive branch; to have called her honey would surely have been condescending


    You cannot have it all ways but if you want it one way, you can teach in Thailand: http://nittayo.org

    jenniferp
    Participant
    10 July, 2008 at 14:54
    • Total posts: 15

    Reply To: do i need to do tefl?

    I’m bowing out of this troll baiting. Phil I think you’d better do the same before you get referred to as Philly… :wink:

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