Let's Talk About TEFL Training
GVI offers a month long TEFL qualification for volunteers wishing to teach English to Thai speakers. The course is run at the NFE centre, which stands for non-formal education centre. It’s an amazing experience teaching there. The students are so much fun! It’s a great place to put your training into action. During the month, you receive daily inputs, and the week after the term is a week off, and the 6th week is advertising for the public, which I found to be really fun as well.
One of biggest things that we do within the TEFL program is have our early morning inputs. Inputs start at 8 in the morning, every Monday to Thursday and are designed to highlight specific areas of teaching, and allow us to learn each day how to teach English. Although you can be tired, it’s alright because you soon get used to it. During the first week we cover important topics such as presenting vocab and lesson planning. It’s really great that we do this during the first week as they are both skills that you will always use. I personally found the lesson planning input to be really effective.
The second weeks focuses on the student’s abilities and awareness of leaners. I found this to be really useful, as it allows you stop worrying about yourself, and focus your time into the student’s learning. Once you reach the second week, you begin to relax into it more, as you know to expect. Once the nerves go away, you begin to really enjoy teaching. The third week includes an input on grammar, which is one of the more in-depth inputs during the term. I found this to be really interesting, and it is also beneficial if a student goes on to teach level 4, which has more focus on grammar and parts of speech, etc. In our last week we discuss our end of term test, and what opportunities are now open with a TEFL qualification.
After input, we typically take a 20 minute break before doing our feedback from the previous lesson. The trainer and the peers all observe the lessons at the NFE, and the teacher fills out a lesson-evaluation form after their lesson. Feedback starts by having the teacher talk about how their lesson went, and mentioning what areas they think that they need to work upon and also their strengths. Then the peers read out theirs and feedback ends with the trainer’s observation. Sometimes it can last for up to an hour depending on how many volunteers are there. This is one of my favourite parts of the course, as it allows you to really reflect on your own abilities, and you also get to see how others perceive you a teacher which can be really interesting sometimes.
Written by Russel Lloyd (England), 6 month TEFL Intern
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