Preparing for your TEFL training

prepSigning up for a TEFL course can be a daunting proposition. As an ESL teacher for the last 15 years and the head trainer for UniTEFL for the past 3 years, I’d like to share a few tips that will help you get the most out of your course.

The number one thing is to come into the course with an open mind. You will be in a class with people of many nationalities and cultural differences to yourself. Throughout the course you will be asked to work together on many different assignments and for lesson preparation. Being open to sharing and receiving new ideas will go a long way to help you enjoy and benefit the most from the course. Plus, you will leave the course with new friends for life.

Secondly, bring your creativity and sense of fun! Your lessons should be fun and creative to try to draw the most out of your students. Nobody wants to be part of a boring lesson.

Also, brushing up on your grammar will definitely benefit you throughout the course and in the Language Awareness Test at the end. Some areas I would suggest going over would be Word Classes, Sentence Elements, Gerunds and Infinitives, Tenses and Conditionals. This is even more important for native speakers, as often we know what is right or wrong with the language, but don’t know why. We have a running challenge throughout the course, in which the native speakers have to outscore the non-native speakers in the final test. It doesn’t usually happen!

Another area to think about is your comfort with public speaking. Obviously, at some point you will be up in front of a class of ESL students, but there will also be opportunities to practice your lessons in front of your peers. If you are not open to this or let your shyness take over, you will be limiting your teaching potential.

Having thought about the areas above before you start your course will give you a head start and allow you to gain the most from 4-week experience.

 Peter Bartolomy is the head trainer at UniTEFL, he’s been training teachers more than five years, and previously taught English for many years.  


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