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selecting a TEFL course

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  • mmate
    23 February, 2011 at 17:03
    • Total posts: 2

    Hello, I am volunteering to teach English in Mexico for 6 months. I have already been here for one month and enjoy teaching the classes. The school has workbooks and games but my biggest struggle is with the 6-8 year olds. I know I need to maintain control but I would like some options on creating the boundaries for them so they can best learn. I am planning on taking an online class so if you have advice, perhaps focusing on young learners that would be great. thanks!

    23 February, 2011 at 19:22
    • Total posts: 20

    Reply To: selecting a TEFL course

    Some basic advice is to set the boundaries with some kind of class code. You can make it an agreement between yourself and the learners. It’s a difficult age but there is one trick that I have used that works well with younger students.

    Put a happy face and a sad face on the board. When a student is misbehaving warn them that they will get a sad face if they carry on. If they continue to behave badly write their name under the sad face. If a student is behaving well then put their name under the happy face. Looking really dissapointed when writing their name under the sad face works very well. If your school allows you can also set rules where if they get more than say three sad faces in a specified amount of time then the school will call their parents.

    It’s very simple but it works wonders for me. Once their name is under the sad face their behaviour improves as they want to have their name removed.

    A course will help but for some quick advice just search, "classroom management young learners" and there will be plenty of articles giving good tips.

    4 March, 2011 at 14:18
    • Total posts: 149

    Reply To: selecting a TEFL course

    There are a number of techniques here: http://teflworldwiki.com/index.php/Category:Discipline

    "Hard then soft" is my favourite and I’ve never known it fail. Also remember a more general approach of making lessons interesting and asking yourself why the class misbehaves – perhaps they’re bored and perhaps they just don’t understand what’s going on.

    ICAL Quality Online TEFL Training since 1998

    30 December, 2011 at 2:31
    • Total posts: 3

    Reply To: selecting a TEFL course

    I am looking at doing an online course too. What did you choose in the end? Any luck?

    19 January, 2012 at 9:56
    • Total posts: 7

    Reply To: selecting a TEFL course

    Hi there!

    I see you are looking to take an online course, and thought I could give you a little information. Unfortunately, online courses are really not recognized by most employers. For one reason, you won’t get the necessary teaching practice during the course and you won’t be able to be observed by experienced trainers in order to find out what you are doing right or wrong. For another, most online courses are less than 100 hours. TEFL courses in general are recognized internationally as long as they meet the industry standard of being at least 100 hours, having a minimum of 6 hours of teaching practice observed by an experienced trainer, and having qualified teacher trainers. If your online course is offering this, then that’s great, but just be aware that if it is not, you may have trouble finding employment afterwards. I am a current job guidance counselor at TEFL Worldwide Prague (http://www.teflworldwideprague.com), and I constantly see on job advertisements that online TEFL certifications will not be accepted, so just make sure your course is at least 100 hours and has proper teaching practice. Hope this helps! :)

    19 January, 2012 at 16:56
    • Total posts: 57

    Reply To: selecting a TEFL course

    A very important question: Where in the world do you want to teach?

    The online certificates aren’t even needed (although I highly recommend a reputable one so you aren’t "clueless" on arrival) if you’re going to teach in Asia (Japan, South Korea, China; you just need at a Bachelor’s degree). But, remember that things are getting a bit more competitive in Asia, so having one (any TEFL certificate) could be that very thing that separates you from the rest.

    In Europe, particularly Western Europe, on-site courses are still often required, no matter what other "high" degress you may have (unless they are specifically in TESOL). The only online courses that may be acceptable would be "reputable" ones require at least 100 hours of training + some amount of observed teaching practice (6-10 hours).

    Eastern Europe is also similar to Western Europe "on paper", but often times will deviate from "requirements" listed for a basic TESOL position; that is to say that they use a more "case-by-case" approach (if they happen to think you’d be suitable somehow, they will hire you). Also, high degrees have a tendancy to greatly impress Russians, or so it seems. In effect, that means it is very possible that someone who has a Master’s in English literature with very little TESOL training could be picked over a someone with a Celta certficate (on-site course).

    Middle East is more about aobut high degrees in TESOL than certificates. Linguistics and literature degrees can sometimes be

    Turkey is more like Eastern Europe, but not exactly. You just apply, despite qualifications (well, you should have at least something nowadays lol)

    I did a reputable 150+ online TESOL course without observed teaching practice (thinking more of Asia/Russia). But I reasoned that with a BA in French and an MA in linguistics, I would hopefully somehow stand out from the rest (not relevant for getting hired in general in Western Europe, though, as I forewent on observed teaching practice (could have done so). And although arguably quite different from a TESOL teacher in a real classroom, being a well-seasoned tutor in many different fields is another reason I chose not to do the observed teaching practice component (still could do it, though, at any time!).

    Best of luck! :D

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