- On 09 September 2018
- Tags TEFL Florence
What if you start your first day of your TEFL course only to find out that English grammar is a HUGE part of the curriculum and realize you don’t actually know it? Well, this happens to many TEFL trainees at Via Lingua! Sure, you know how to speak correctly and can also hear grammatical errors that others make around you, but do you know how to explain the error and how to correct it? The reason you might not know the rules and names attached to English grammar concepts is because your school system probably decided not to teach them beyond elementary school. Believe it or not, the decision to not emphasize grammar jargon and rules was an intentional decision made by the education system in many English-speaking countries; if people could use the grammar accurately, they didn’t necessarily need to know the reasons why.
As English teachers, why do we need to know the “why”? The simple answer is to be able to help your students. Students want to speak accurately and would typically like to limit or eliminate grammatical errors. Students often believe that they lose credibility when they make too many mistakes, and will sometimes avoid English interactions altogether because of this fear. Their teacher needs to not only know the grammar, but know how to teach it with confidence - confidence that is then transmitted to their students. Teachers have to find creative ways to make some of the more complicated grammar concepts make sense. If you’ve ever studied a language, you know that you look for patterns and rules to help guide you in future interactions with the language you are learning. The corrections you give students are not only intended to fix their current error in some particular instance, but to simultaneously give students rules they can apply to future use.
TEFL is NOT a grammar course, but a course which ties the most fundamental aspects of language teaching together. A certified TEFL trainee at Via Lingua walks away with a strong base of grammar knowledge supported by ways to teach and navigate it with students. If you are already someone who loves to correct other peoples’ grammar, this is great news for you! If you are indifferent about or despise grammar now, you will be surprised to find that you warm to it simply due to the fact that it is empowering to have a command over your language that you can transfer to students. When a student can speak English accurately and confidendently, doors open for them that forever impact their personal and professional lives.
Your job as an English teacher is essential in this global world, so start brushing up on that grammar! You’ll learn to love it - or at least like it.