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The world of TEFL quiz

Posted: 24 Apr 2015, 08:21
by John V55
A school will have teacher requirements, a properly constructed curriculum, and student examinations, in addition to being overseen by an inspectorate. Results will be compared to nationwide assessments and subject to standards. They will expect certain qualifications and standards from their teachers.

A private language ‘school’ (A room above a bike repair shop), is not a school, although they often use the title, it’s a business and the owner(s) are there to make a profit. Your salary is dependent on how many people you or they can get to pay for your ‘performance.’ They will generally not care about your teaching qualifications, as long as you bring in paying customers and the whole show is usually based on sales techniques. Are you young and photogenic with a nice friendly smile? You’re hired!

If you have to teach according to how many customer sales you achieve, that is not teaching, it’s sales and if you’re not a teacher, but someone is able to persuade you that you are because you are from a certain country, then on your own head be it. Teaching without experience, with no public speaking or man management skills, no lesson plan design skills and a basic education, will almost guarantee problems at some stage and often sooner rather than later.

So you’re a teacher, are you ready to begin?

1) In 15 minutes you’re about to go before a class of up to 60 testosterone fuelled teens who you can hear from a hundred yards away, shouting and running around during their break. Have you public speaking skills? What are your leadership, managerial and man management skills like?

2) ‘‘Dear esteemed teacher, we want you to teach grammar today.’’ You have 10 minutes left to prepare a 45 minute grammar lesson plan . . . Begin. Coincidently and without Google, what are nouns, adjectives and verbs and what’s an irregular verb?

3) You discover half of the class are absolute beginners and can’t understand more than a few words you’re saying. Time for plan B. What’s your plan B?

4) Half way through the lesson, you notice glazed eyes, some have fallen to sleep and there’s a lot of fidgeting going on. In fact, hardly anyone is listening and the noise level is starting to rise. What do you do?

5) ‘‘Dear teacher, we’d just like you to say a few words to our teachers about western teaching methodology.’’ They told you they’d like you to attend, but now facing you in a lecture theatre are a 100 experienced foreign professional teachers, with a combined teaching experience of 2,000 years between them. The cameras are recording and the lights are in your eyes, microphone in hand. Ready? You have ten minutes, off you go . . .

That’s why genuine school recruiters ask for TEFL and experience, plus the already gained skills of problem solving and the self-confidence of a graduate. Are you comfortable with the above?

Welcome to the world of TEFL. :)

Re: The world of TEFL quiz

Posted: 21 May 2015, 15:04
by Awalls86
If only the grammar questions you raise in 2 were as hard as they get - but I do recall that was about the limit of grammar knowledge I had leaving compulsory education.
5 also happened to me kind of. I was invited to attend the local college of pedagogy for an event, to which I responded maybe and requested more details. Sure enough no details came, until on the day of the event a different woman came to the school asking why I hadn't turned up to give a presentation!
And to add one more scenario... the inevitable situation of having a lesson planned which relies 90% on powerpoint, only to find out the projector, computer or some other piece of equipment that makes it all work... doesn't work. Plan C?
Teaching requires a lot of thinking on your feet even with "perfect" plans. A lot happens in the lesson, just like on the road when driving a car. You can't be taught what to do in every conceivable situation but you can learn some guiding principles and knowledge that help make the best use of the controls you have available.

Re: The world of TEFL quiz

Posted: 22 May 2015, 00:22
by John V55
There definitely has to be a plan C. No computer, there’s a power cut; stand in for an absent teacher; glazed eyes syndrome (they’re not really into this topic) . . . On any interview I expect, though not necessarily get, a request for a demonstration. I always carry a couple of 45 minute lesson plan topics in my head for emergencies that don’t require a computer and rely on student participation.

Student participation is the difference in my opinion, between a successful lesson and a university type verbal lecture, which is almost guaranteed to produce a mass sleep induced coma. (Yes, we’ve all been there). :)

What teenage student isn’t concerned with appearance, or suffers from a lack of self-esteem and doesn’t want to make more friends. This is one example of plan C.

Girls, get rid of spots by taking weekly facial saunas (explain), eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and exercise daily and within three months you’ll look like a super model. (Heads start to rise and there’s a stir of interest from the back of the class - always). Pick up an empty packet of sweets lying around and let them read the huge chemical and sugar content.

Boys, don’t slouch straighten your backs, head up, examples of self-confidence and aspects of public speaking for both girls and boys, in a ‘how to make friends’ context . . . It’s something that helps with the use of a computer to illustrate, but if not and there’s a white/black board, the inclusion of games such as hangman to guess good foods, or lists of good v bad foods suggested by the students themselves, with the ‘why’ explained by the teacher. This is doable by simple participation and above all, it’s a topic that is of interest to that age group.

Yes, it’s all about thinking on your feet, self-preparation for emergencies, self-confidence in delivery and a continual adaptation based on previous lesson experience of what works.