Advice for the newest

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Advice for the newest

Unread postby Seva » 08 Mar 2005, 04:50

I'm a communications (formerly journalism) graduate, minor in English/Math. Naturally, I've never worked in those fields, but spent 20+ rewarding years as an air conditioning/refrigeration field engineer (that's an engineer without an engineering degree). Now I've retired early and wish to do something more rewarding (not in the intrinsic sense) and certainly more challenging: teach. English.
I'm most interested in volunteer literacy programs in Central and South America, and those I've contacted aren't demanding any sort of certification other than a willingness to work for gallo pinto and a place to sleep reasonably free of insects larger than my hand and creatures with fewer legs than I possess. I am sure that merely possessing a solid grasp of English and being articulate and reasonably fluent in Spanish doesn't make me a teacher. I don't want to take on this responsibility and let these people down. I need training, and I'm looking for advice from those of you who are experienced as to the best way to approach my goals: TEFL, TESOL, CTEFL, etc. or simply wing it the best I can. That's what I did in a literacy program in a state prison, but those captive (literally) students had a compelling motivation: no minimal literacy accomplishment, no parole. I was given very old copies of 'Dick and Jane' to work with-reminded me of Barbie and Ken in elementary school. And that obnoxious dog. I don't have to tell you what my 'students' would have done with Jane. and Dick. and Spot, for that matter.
So...por favor, give me some advice. Nothing too depressing, please, unless you can back it up with an appropriate horror story. Which I will use in a free-lance article.
Thank you,

All assistance appreciated; some will be adopted.

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Joined: 23 Feb 2005, 15:09

Advice for new teachers

Unread postby malcolm » 20 Mar 2005, 13:09

I think you could try winging it. yOu already have experience of language teaching, whether or not the students were captive; youwere still teaching.

If you find TEFL and CTEFL confusing; it's all very simple. CTEFL is a certificate in TEFL. TEFL is teaching English as a foreign language. So when you teach, you're doing TEFL. CTEFL is the name of a qualification. Although the name has largely been replaced by CELTA: certificate in English language teaching to adults.

TESOL is teaching English to speakers of other languages. So you can see it's quite similar. There are technical differences, but nothing to get concerned about.

There are loads ofcourses available if you decide you don't want to wing it.

Good luck

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