Why TEFL?

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  • tmb-uk
    Participant
    6 December, 2006 at 20:05
    • Total posts: 1

    As a native English speaking teacher of some 30 odd years, Why should I need a TEFL to teach in Russia ?

    katherine
    Participant
    23 February, 2007 at 11:11
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: Why TEFL?

    Hi

    When you say you are a native English speaking teacher, do you mean you have another teaching qualification (aside from TEFL)?

    If so, then I am sure that this will benefit you greatly when you teach TEFL. I think there are probably certain transferable skills that we learn on any teacher training course.

    But there are also certain teaching skills which are not so transferable, and are specific to the type of teaching. This is why most people choose to take a TEFL course before teaching TEFL. It is not just about being able to speak English (although this helps of course!!), but about how you motivate and challenge your students to learn, the techniques, methodology and classroom management skills you use, and so on.

    If I was learning physics, for example, obviously I’d want a teacher who knew about physics. But I’d also like that person to have training in the best methods of getting his or her knowledge through to me in a stimulating and fun way!

    All the best!

    Katherine

    Sue Swift
    Participant
    3 March, 2007 at 8:33
    • Total posts: 26

    Reply To: Why TEFL?

    I agree that if you’ve been teaching for thirty years, areas like classroom management would probably be no problem for you. But what about your language awareness. just because you’re a native speaker, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you could answer questions like :

    You are starting with a new student on Monday. He’s a Spanish manager who’s currently working in the country you’re teaching in and needs English as a lingua franca :

    a) What specific phonological problems would you expect him, as a Spanish speaker, to have? What techniques could you use to deal with these? What are the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating a phonological focus into other stages of the lesson (when? how?) or dealing with it in a stage on its own?

    b)He asks you : When do you use would and when used to to describe habitual actions in the past? What do you reply?

    c) He has problems with listening. A typical listening lesson would probably have four stages. What are they? When planning your lessons, could you identify the weak forms, ellipsis and assimilation which cause him problems in the dialogues on the tape, and design a teaching sequence to improve his ability to understand?

    d) When he speaks, he makes a lot of mistakes and errors. What’s the difference between a mistake and an error and why is it important? What specific criteria would you use to decide what to correct and what to ignore? At what point in the lesson would you make those corrections? How many techniques do you know for giving corrections, and what criteria do you use to decide which is appropriate for a given moment in the lesson?

    These are just a few of the easy ones…. But they involve knowledge which is specific to language teaching in general and EFL in particular rather than to the teaching of any other subject. It’s this subject specific knowledge which you would get from a TEFL course.


    For articles on ELT methodology and practical activities – http://eltnotebook.blogspot.com

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