Monday, 1 October 2012

After two weeks, I am now a qualified TEFL teacher!

At the beginning of September, when I started to experience that depressing feeling that Summer had ended and University would soon start again, I felt like doing something spontaneous. This something was clearly very undefined, I just knew that I needed some solace to the ever approaching term. What does comfort those at the end of a holiday? The prospect of another, much longer holiday. I then proceeded to ring up TEFL Scotland and sign up for a place on the 120 hour course. My logic was, doing it now will mean I have more opportunities immediately after graduating. I will also be able to earn a bit of pocket money during the Summer.

I had toyed with the idea a few months back, though the price and the suggested 6 month duration of the course put me off. I have actually just completed the entire course in 2 weeks, including the intensive 20 hour weekend course. I did see a few shocked faces when I told my classmates this during the weekend course... But it's really not that difficult. Admittedly, as a foreign language student I had an advantage over others when it came to the 30 hour English grammar course, though learning the terminology was mainly a new thing for me. No doubt it will prove extremely useful for both teaching English language AND learning other languages. The 50 hour online TEFL course was somewhat dull after the 3rd exercise, as each exercise kept emphasising the same thing (language class planning and structure). Much of the assessment was done through answering extremely easy comprehensive questions, then handing in to an online tutor a couple of assignments. That said, I found the English phonetics section very useful and interesting! The last online component was the 20 hour video course. Whilst there were some good ideas for teaching, I think this could have been done in a different way, e.g. a written description of the lessons. Despite this minor complaint, it was very doable. The weekend course would have been more rewarding had I not already completed the online course, though it did seem too much of an echo of the online course, in an even more simplified manner. It has to be said though that the weekend tutor was extremely enthusiastic, capable and kept us engaged. The activities were varied and we got a chance to present 3 lessons on different grammatical areas to the class. The Edinburgh training centre, the venue, was also fantastic. It was modern, warm, in a central location just off the Royal mile, and there were plenty of three biscuits, a variety of teas and coffees to choose from!

Now I am just waiting for my certificate. Hopefully this course will allow me to teach in summer camps in France and Italy next year, then China or Japan when I graduate. It's an exciting prospect, unlike the stack of books waiting to be read for Italian and French literature.