TEFL COURSE DIARY: Stephen’s 2nd week at TEFL Campus
The first week of the TEFL course is always impressive. Trainees get to meet new people from different parts of the world, teach real students for the first time and get a chance to settle into a routine. If Week One of Stephen’s TEFL course diary is any indication, his experience was no different.
Let’s find out if Week 2 of the course carried on in the same manner.
What did you do over the first weekend of the TEFL course?
Eight of us went to Phi Phi Island for the weekend. In unseasonably bad weather, it bucketed down all weekend but we didn’t let that stop us having a good time.
Are you settling into the TEFL course routine?
Very much so. Knowing in advance what we are doing every day and when we are teaching makes it easy to get into the routine.
How did you feel before your 2nd teaching practice session?
I was more nervous for the 2nd than the first. It may have been because it was on the Monday straight after the big weekend and I was tired.
Did lesson planning get any easier?
It should have. I got way too consumed by the board work being perfect that I did three drafts. This took up way more time than necessary. However, I did go into the lesson very well prepared.
We covered a bit of classroom management in Week 2. Have you been able to put this to good use during your teaching practice?
Classroom management is one of many components of teaching. The biggest thing that any teacher will encounter is that the students will want to slip into their native tongue when talking to each other. By learning the subtle techniques to get them to speak English (without singling out or getting angry – both big no-no’s especially in Thailand), it was easier to manage this.
After six hours of lecture on English grammar, does it seem daunting or interesting?
Having not studied grammar for more than 30 years, the first three hours made my brain hurt. However, the second lesson was much easier to comprehend. It is important to understand how different grammar points are used when planning lessons. When you get a grasp of it, grammar can actually be interesting.
What do you think of phonology and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)? Are you more aware of how we make sounds within a language?
This is like learning a brand-new alphabet all over again and it isn’t easy. Sounding out words is very important as it is the main way we teach English. By the end of Week 2, it is obvious there was a lot to learn and reviewing what we’re learning in class is starting to be another key component of successfully completing the course.
The TEFL course finishes on Friday at 12.30 every week. Is this enough time to relax over the weekend and have some time to explore Phuket?
For those students who don’t have Thai Language classes on Friday afternoon, 12.30 is the perfect time to get out on a Friday and get a start on recharging the batteries. But here’s a tip: after the second weekend of the TEFL course don’t go out and party the whole time. There are assignments due and revision to be done. Make time for this or you will get behind.
Read Stephen’s account of Week 3 here.