Hi all. I’m a Brit, 64 years old, been in IT all my life (own company for 25 years). I now live near Cadiz in Spain.
I’d like to help anyone to learn or improve their English. Spaniards: looking for jobs who need basic English, those working in bars and restaurants, students, …… If I charged anything it would not be much and I wouldn’t want to work for a language school. It isn’t about income but giving something back and having fun.
I do not have a degree and not even English O-level (sciences were more my thing). But I have in the last 20 years learnt Spanish to a very high level (which being married to a Spaniard seemed a good move). And I’ve given IT training and presentations in front of big audiences to professionals in many parts of the world.
So I thought maybe a course to get my English grammar up to speed. And a course to give my teaching some structure (in particular where teaching English may vary from teaching Spanish).
So (sorry so long) are there TEFL courses that might help with that or should I just buy a book and some materials?
Just to add:
From my experience of helping my spanish family speak english and from my 48 hours of viewing various internet sources I think ideal would be a course relating to native spanish speakers learning English. But I cannot find any TEFL doing this. Maybe they do not exist??
Not sure how to pick an online course based on:
Many are said to be poor and it is not necessarily true that cheap equals poor and expensive equals quality.
And I want the grammar (as in order of teaching and to what depth at what stage), the lesson planning, the tools and structure/pace but do not want classroom management or how to find a job.
If anyone who has recently taken an online TEFL could comment I’d be most grateful.
From what you’ve said, you’d like to do some casual teaching for fun rather than have a full-time teaching job. So, investing in an expensive classroom based TEFL course is probably not a worthwhile investment at the moment. An online course, as you suggested, may be the way to go. They do vary in quality so you need to look for one that has a good reputation. Search online for reviews. Bearing in mind that it’s virtually impossible for any course not to have a few negative reviews (noone can please all the people all the time) you’ll soon get an idea as to which ones have a generally better reputation than others with a bit of research.
So that’s one option, and will probably give you the relatively light amount of training that you’re looking for. The other option is to not do a course at all. if you’re thinking of advertising your services by word of mouth for private students, then there won’t be any official requirement in terms of qualifications of course. It all comes down to how comfortable you would feel about giving lessons without one. A short online course might just give you that little bit of grounding to give you the confidence that you’re basing your teaching on solid principles.
In terms of the specific requirements you mention for a course – I’m not aware of any that are specifically geared towards teaching Spanish speakers (but just because I’m not aware of any doesn’t mean they don’t exist!). You may be interested in a book called “Learner English” by Michael Swan, which details the exact issues that Spanish speakers (and speakers of a number of other languages) have when learning English.
There are grammar courses available, but I’m not sure if there are any that cover order of teaching and at what stage. Most, I think, would teach you the grammar itself, and if they get into at what stage to teach it and at what depth, etc, then this would tend to be as part of a wider teaching course. But if you find an online course within your budget, you could focus more on the parts that interest you and less on the parts that don’t, I suppose…
You could just “buy a book and some materials”, as you suggest – you can make a good start from a few good methodology books, such as “Learning Teaching” by Jim Scrivener.
Hope that helps.
Dan very well summarised. A big thank you for that.
I started to hunt on-line courses but the more affordable ones turned out to be run by companies with little history, few resources and no worthwhile references or offered samples of the materials. As you say “They do vary in quality” which makes life difficult.
However after many hours of Google I found a free sample/introduction course at http://www.teachenglish.co.uk/ London Teacher Training College which if nothing else shows a degree of confidence on their part so I’ll start there.
Your suggestion of “Learner English” by Michael Swan is cruel. Just the sort of in depth analysis I like (I read the sample on Amazon and that in itself is worth the time) but it will have to wait till I have more time. While the issues of the various languages discussed are fascinating I need to remain focussed for now on Spanish speakers
One advantage I have is that I have worked with E-Learning tools (e.g. Moodle, Blackboard, BBB) both in the Uni and commercial worlds so building a repository and on-line platform of my teaching tools will be no problem.
Well many thanks for the useful input. I will return with feedback on LTTC and if I move on to their more extensive stuff just in the hope it may help someone else who like me found finding an on-line course much harder than one might have thought. And I’m sure other questions will crop up as my new journey gets under way.
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