Next move

Discussion about courses, qualifications etc

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Next move

Unread postby alijoanne » 10 Nov 2009, 20:30


I'm looking for some advice about teaching. To my regret I signed up for a distance learning TEFL course which I have now completed, I now know that I should have done a CELTA as I feel i learnt very little from the course. However, I have an English degree and a few years ago managed to get a job in a school in Greece teaching 8-16 year olds, from the second class of beginners up to the Michigan proficiency. I taught in this school for 4 months, 36 hours a week, so in actual fact I have had lots of teaching experience to make up for the distance course. For the past couple of years I have been doing private lessons with a variety of levels, but I really feel stuck in a rut now and need guidance on how to improve my teaching. I am about to start teaching a 4 year old and two 7 year olds but I would love to get further into exam teaching, especially the Cambridge exams.

Could you please recommend books for teaching for exams? I feel very over-whelmed by the wealth of esl material available on-line and it takes hours to sort the wheat from the chaff! For example i was trying to find ideas and lesson plans for my first lesson with the four year old and there is no clear answer anywhere! I am very isolated as i live on a small island so it is impossible for me to do an actual course, but i would love to do a distance MA in either TEFL or linguistics. Would this be possible as a private tutor?

Any comments would be much appreciated.

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Re: Next move

Unread postby Lucy » 15 Nov 2009, 11:51


Lots of questions here! I'm also copying your questions into other forums so you can get more answers.

In response to your question about a distance learning Masters, the best thing to do is to contact reputable universities, starting with your country of origin. I don't think being a private tutor will be an obstacle because a Masters is mostly theoretical; there isn't usually a practical teaching element (unless there is a masters I don't know about that involves practical teaching). Given your comment that you regret not doing a CELTA with the practical teaching element, you should think carefully about whether a Masters is the right qualification for you. The UCLES Diploma in EFL might be more suitable but then it wouldn't be easy to do that where you live. International House (London and Hastings) used to do distance learning Diplomas but it was essential to have a tutor who could observe lessons regularly.

As for children's material, I suggest you choose a good course book and just base your lessons around what you find there. As you are new to teaching children, this will be much easier than looking for material for each lesson. For the 7 year olds, take a look at I-Spy by OUP. The material in there is excellent and very memorable for children. The OUP also has a site for teachers and one for students who are using I-Spy. For the 4 year olds, take a look at the Muzzy series. It's a long time since I used it and I can't remember whether it's suitable for that age group. If you search on internet, you'll find some information and reviews of the material.

For suitable books for Cambridge exams, it would be a good idea to specify which exams you're talking about. This means you'll get a more specific answer from our members.


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