I’ve made it to the midterm point in my International TEFL Academy course, and so far I’ve been very happy with the instruction, activities, and readings.
Week 2 focused on created a student-centered classroom. We had to take a few different online tests to see what our learning styles and intelligences are, and then write how our intelligences and learning styles might influence our lesson plans and teaching style. The second activity was to create a lesson plan for kinesthetic learners. We could choose any grammar point we wanted, so this was a really useful activity to review grammar and think about ways to teach it!
Week 3 was all about cultural sensitivity. I love learning about cultural differences, so this week’s activity was quite fun! We had to choose a country, research it, and write about the culture. We needed to look at cultural differences not only in the people and their values/norms, but also brainstorm any cultural differences we might experience in the classroom. I chose to research Spain since I plan on teaching there starting in September.
Week 4 discussed methods and approaches. Although I’ve been teaching for a while and I’ve discovered some methods and approaches that have worked for me, I never really knew the names of the methods I was using. This unit was helpful for me because it allowed me to “put a name to the face” (discover the name of the methods/approaches I’ve implemented in the past!) and also learn about new methods I hadn’t considered or utilized before. The activity included creating an activity for students, and explaining how that activity would fit into a unit. I had a lot of fun with this! Lesson planning certainly takes time, but once you have a good idea and run with it, it can be really fun to come up with games and search for activities online.
Week 5 was about lesson planning and assessment. We learned about the key components to a lesson plan and how to assess students. The task was to write a short essay describing how we will implement everything we’ve learned in the past few weeks into our lesson plans and teaching. We were also asked to create a lesson plan for adult beginners (my specialty)!
Finally, we had to complete a mid-semester evaluation. I have been very pleased with the course and the quality of instruction so far! One of my favorite things about the course is the option to attend online webinars held by ITA professors. Although the webinars are completely optional, I’ve taken advantage of them and have been really happy with the ones I have attended. So far, I’ve attended the following webinars:
- Teaching Speaking and Writing
- Teaching Beginners
- Classroom Management
- My TEFL Experience in Madrid
- Lesson Planning
- Lesson Planning and Thematic Unit
- Wet Behind the Ears: Working with True Beginners
The webinars have limited spaces available, so students must send an e-mail to the professor in advance. This allows class sizes to remain small, thus allowing students to ask the professor questions and have a conversation during the webinar. The professors have been very informative and often share their own personal experiences with us, which I find really helpful and motivating.
If you have questions about International TEFL Academy or are interested in their TEFL courses, feel free to contact me or visit their website here:
Finally, if you are thinking about signing up for a course, you can get a $50 discount by using my name (Laura Hoppe) as a referral. Follow the link here to find out more: https://www.internationalteflacademy.com/alumni-referral-program