- On 26 July 2021
- Tags TEFL Florence
8 Tips for CTEFL Graduates
We are proud of all our CTEFL Trainees who have completed their training program this summer with us at Via Lingua. Here are some final tips for the road for you, Via Lingua Alumni, and anyone else on an EFL Teaching journey:
- Celebrate your success! You made a great decision to take the step of getting a new qualification. Whether you were a teacher, a university grad, or coming from a different field completely, putting yourself in the position of the student again is a great undertaking that you’ve accomplished.
- Practice makes perfect - There was a lot to learn in your course, and you want to be able to show those you work with that you have the right language and instructional knowledge. Remember, your skills are still a work in progress. Be aware of what you know well and what areas you need to work on, and remain open to making changes and improvements as you go.
- Build connections with your students- Ask questions and be attentive to their responses. This builds rapport, but also informs your instruction and how to manage your class. Ask about...
- Interests and hobbies - what do they do in their free time? What are they passionate about? How can you use these things to make your lessons more engaging?
- English language learning goals - are they trying to improve particular skills for work? Do they need to be more confident with listening because they make lots of phone calls? Are they preparing to take an exam? Do they need to prepare their spoken fluency for an interview? Then, focus on their needs during your lessons.
- Their study experiences in the past - have they had good or bad study experiences before, and why? What can you do differently to reach this student?
- Their weekly schedule - how much time for homework do they have? What can you give them that will be achievable, but not overwhelming?
- Be open minded - Leave preconceptions at the door when it comes to a new student or a new class. Get ready for whatever it is that your students are going to teach you about themselves and their culture, either explicitly or implicitly!
- Be flexible - It’s one thing to learn how to teach, and it’s another to actually teach! It will take time to get a feel for your students, but also for yourself as a teacher and how you utilize the tools and skills you’ve learned. You’ve demonstrated proficiency in the communicative method and utilizing the PAP/PPP lesson structures to guide you. Continue to use the tools that you know, as they are effective and reliable. But also start to consider how and where you can adapt your lessons to fit various situations.
- Be prepared - At the beginning, it is far better to be overprepared than underprepared! This is a sign of professionalism to whoever you’re working with, but it is also a safeguard for you. Only experience in the classroom will show you how much time is needed for implementation, but also how that timing will vary from student to student. Better to have too much than not enough.
- Be reflective - Did you give teaching a chance, and decide it’s not for you? Are you thinking of pursuing a different track? That’s okay too! Congratulations for taking the risk to try something new. Consider all of the skills you’ve gained from this experience in addition to learning how to teach. You’ve learned more about yourself through reflection, you’ve increased your English language awareness, and you’ve practiced elicitation strategies that are an effective communication skill applicable to all fields. You have also had the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture, language, and way of life for four weeks which has the power to open your eyes to the world and other opportunities for you and new perspectives about your future.
- Enjoy! Teaching English as a foreign language is a mutually beneficial experience for the teacher and the student. Savor the opportunity to put your hard earned skills to the test while developing new ones. Also, take the time to appreciate the relationships with your students, what you learn about their culture, and what you learn about yourself.