Mastering TEFL, teaching tips & tricks from trainees.

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Strategies from TEFL-trained professionals

When doing a TEFL or DELTA/CELTA course, a couple of things are very important to keep in mind, whether you are trained professional or not. To help you understand this better, here are some strategies, from TEFL trained professionals, to help you understanding this better:

Immerse yourself in the language.

To teach English clearly, you must gain a deep understanding of the language itself.  A very easy way to start with this, is reading English newspapers, or books. If you aren’t a reader, you can also listen to English podcasts, or watch British movies. In this way, you improve your knowledge of the English language, and you get used to different sayings and expressions. You also get used to the pronunciations which are very important.

Try to understand as much as possible from the other cultures as you can.

Your students will probably be from every corner around the world, trying to understand their cultures so you can adjust your way of learning to the different needs of the students. That means that some cultures have a different way of teaching and communicating than others, that is also part of becoming a trained TEFL teacher.

Celebrate mistakes (yours and theirs).

Learning a new language, but also learning to teach another language is a long journey with ups and downs. Normalize making mistakes in your classroom and start using them as teachable moments! Encourage your students to try  a lot of different things, even if that results in making mistakes. Learning from your mistakes is one of the fastest ways to not make that mistake again.

Remember why you have started in the first place.

Teaching, and learning to teach can be incredibly demanding sometimes, but it will also be very rewarding. Sometimes it will be necessary to keep things close to yourself and just ask yourself the question why you have started in the first place. Probably because you wanted to be a certified English teacher. Pursue that dream!

Remind yourself that you have started because your passion of teaching (English). You chose this path because you wanted to make a difference in the life of your students, and to inspire a love for the English language. Every setback or obstactle you encounter is an opportunity for growth and development. Remember that the effort you invest now will pay off in the future, not only for you, but also for your students.

Network with the other teachers.

You won’t be doing this alone. During this TEFL course you will meet plenty of other teachers who will experience the exact same troubles and insecurities along the way. Take your time to talk to each other, and to discuss the solutions together. This wont only be usefull for the both of you, this will also be fun!

  • Take a look at our website to meet our amazing teachers and trainees, and learn from their mistakes

Start building a teaching-toolkit.

With the start of the course, you will also start being indulged in the teaching world. Every teacher has his own teaching preferences, and you can start developing your own from minute 1. Remember the exercises that you have done yourself, so you can teach them to other people yourself. Try to get your own twist on it, so it really becomes your own exercise! But be aware that all the classes need a different approach because no one is the same!

Build a relationship with your students.

When the TEFL course itself is finished, you will get to the fun part, the teaching! And of course, there wouldn’t be teaching, without students! That is why it’s very important to have a good relationship with your students. Just like you had your own goal to become an English teacher, the students of course share the same dream of learning English! Try to understand why they have this dream and try to help them in achieving this dream. You can also just ask them about their interests, goals, and hobbies. In this way you will be able to give them a personalized learning experience!

It’s nearly impossible to have a perfect start.

You can prepare yourself for everything, but the moment you first stand in front of the class is unique, and nothing can prepare you for that moment. You can try your best, but the chances are there that you will experience things you didn’t expect. So, be prepared to adapt! You also learn from your students, if some parts of your lesson aren’t what they want, or different from what they expected, you can change them. Be flexible within your own lessons.

Don’t try to rush it.

Becoming an English teacher may be your main goal, but don’t rush the learning experience! The learning process is just as important as teaching itself. The most common TEFL- course is about 120 hours, so you have plenty of time to understand everything very well. Use your time. The more time you´ve had in the preparation, the better you understand everything, and the easier teaching will become afterwards.

Set realistic deadlines for yourself!

Just as important as not rushing anything, is getting clear deadlines for yourself. Having deadlines can help you get a clear head in different situations, and can work stress relieving. This will help you to stay focused.

Remember, the purpose of setting deadlines is not to add pressure, but rather to provide structure and direction to your work. By setting realistic deadlines and staying committed to meeting them, you’ll create a sense of accomplishment in your journey towards becoming an effective English teacher.

So, here you have 10 tips to make your TEFL-learning experience better. Keep in mind that getting the certificate besides a goal, also a journey is. Try to enjoy it as much as possible. Good luck! To see the courses we offer, click on this link.

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