In June 2016 we held our first TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). This course is designed to train people to become English teachers.
Why would you need to do something like this if you speak English as your native language?
This is a very common misconception. Just because you know how to speak your own language, this does not mean you know how to teach it to people who do not speak it.
Imagine you need to correct homework with a group of non-native speakers who want you to explain why their choice in the grammar exercise was wrong? Or, imagine that you have been tasked with teaching the present simple to a group of beginners. Sure, you can figure out by reading and researching what the present simple is, and what the rules are, but do you think standing in front of a group of people who do not understand the language and using the language they do not understand to explain the rules is going to teach them anything? Probably not.
The TEFL course provides a wide range of skills in not only learning the various ways you can actually ‘teach’, but also provides trainees with the skills for lesson planning, various teaching methodologies, what the receptive and productive skills are, teaching pronunciation and phonology, providing an understanding of and ideas for activities and resources, facilitating learning and communication, how to manage your classroom, language awareness, development and use of teaching aids, error correction, and much more.
At the UCT English language Centre we use a method called ‘learner-centred teaching‘, which means: “…we believe that the students are the most important factor in the learning process. Our approach recognises that different people learn in different ways, and that the role of the teacher is to facilitate the learning process according to your individual abilities, interests and learning style, and this is why you and your classmates will have an active role in deciding the material, topics and activities you will use in your class. We also want to enable you to be autonomous learners and take responsibility for your own learning.”
Teacher Christelle, one of the teachers at the UCT English Language Centre, and TEFL trainer reveals how she got into TEFL in this blog post, and teacher Nobs shares her story here.
For those who are not sure what the differences between TEFL, CELTA and DELTA are, Simon (UCT English language Centre Director) and Juliette (the Director of Studies) explain it all here.
Here is some feedback and the reviews we received from our Facebook TEFL page which highlights not only the intensity of the course, but the quality of what you learn during this time.
“[5 stars] It is a wonderful course, doesn’t train you only to be a teacher of English but also a teacher of any concept or new idea that may require a well structured plan. After the course, you feel empowered to approach any challenge that can enable you make a difference in you and people around you. I recommend especially PhD students to take it (Just 26 days)”
“[5 stars] I must say it was a pretty intense course in a sense that I had to sacrifice my normal sleep hours and leisure that I do in the weekend to plan out my teaching lessons and assignment. But having said that what you learn and the teaching experience you get at the UCT TEFL language centre far outweighs the cons. The tutors are excellent, they are friendly and knowledgeable, I really appreciate their advice and suggestions they give to improve my teaching methods. And last but not least I had an awesome class, you really get to meet interesting and unique people in your TEFL course journey”
“[5 stars] It was a very intense course, agonizing at times, but well worth it. You learn so much (both practical and theoretical), and develop not only as a teacher but as a person.”
“[5 stars] Had so much fun with a great group of people throughout the course.
If you are thinking about getting TEFL certified, go for it with this team.
Well done and thank you to everyone involved.”
Thank you to the trainees who took the time to review us. We wish you guys nothing but the best in your future and new adventures!
You can head over to our Facebook page to find out more about the TEFL course, rate or review us yourselves, or just like us to stay in touch and see what we are up to!
And as we gear up for our second and third courses taking place in November 2016, and January 2017, we feel confident that our trainees are going out into the world of teaching English as a foreign language equipped to deal with the challenges that this profession comes with, but also to be great teachers!