Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

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LeonardhoF
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Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

Unread post by LeonardhoF » 13 Jul 2020, 08:38

Is TEFL (purist) way of doing things relevant to contemporary ESL learning and in particular to learners in Thai schools? Are the methodologies outdated or need to reviewed and do they transfer effectively to a structured English program. Such teaching methods as:

!. Not giving grammar structure rules on the board and making everything a game or activity when the course book you are working with in most schools will state the structure (S + 'to be (past simple) + V + ing) as a way of forming tense which from experience tells us is the most effective way of presenting, practising and producing deep learning in this part of grammar.

2. Another Tefl "rule" being that no teacher should translate or transliterate words when presenting new vocabulary due to the "Primary Language Interference Theory" which is only a theory and has not been truly tested until recently and is now being looked at with some interest. Students are encouraged to use Thai/English dictionaries so why can't the teacher say the Thai word for 'inconvenient' or 'unfortunately' if that word is judged suitable instead of stressing through the planning and delivery of presenting the word. We could argue that this method is lazy on the part of the teacher and it definitely is if the ESL teacher is virtually transliterating the whole lesson or even phrases in Spanish or especially Thai as these do not transfer well and it is lazy and wrong to have the primary language used ( other than the odd one word or short phrase) during second language lesson.

3. "Do not state the object/focus/heading of the lesson just let them find out"? Mainstream teacher training firmly backs and strongly promotes the AFL (Assessment For Learning) approach giving the learners as much of an idea or 'road map of where we are going, why we are going there and what we should find when we get there. Why does this method not transfer to Tefl teaching and learning?

Does a balance need to be found in both mainstream and Tefl, ESL methodologies. From experience of teaching all sectors, levels and age groups it would seem that the drilling of dialogue lines 3 times (TT, TS, ST, SS) is not fun at all for all concerned and mostly not necessary unless we are working with hotels with absolute beginners which it seems the current thinking or methods in Tefl deem it only suitable for these sectors. Again does it transfer effectively to the school or structured (English for Life) program?

Is it for self preservation reasons that current Tefl methods state these rules and promote this 'tunnelled vision" way of looking at teaching and leaning.

Any thoughts, defences, discussions, reasons or anything constructive would be appreciated.

KEEP TEFL OUT OF THE DINOSAUR GRAVE !!!!!

EngTenses
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Joined: 10 Aug 2020, 21:21
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Re: Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

Unread post by EngTenses » 10 Aug 2020, 23:17

Having been a TEFL teacher for nearly 20 years the rules I learnt on my TEFL course are far behind me. Now it is my students who are central to how and what I teach in my lessons. My main objective now is to help my students make natural sentences about their lives and preoccupations. My principal hobby horse are the tenses. It is being able to use the tenses correctly which helps the student express themselves with greatest ease. However nearly all text books I have seen teach the tenses bit by bit . First present simple then present continuous, then past simple and so on. It's like asking your students to walk with one leg. Not knowing all the tenses handicaps the students from the begining. For the first 13 years of my career I always felt there must be a more effective way to teach the tenses. About 6 years agoI finally found a methodology which seemed to answer my prayers. I have simplified and modified it in line with the feedback from my students. It is a methodology which teaches all present and past tenses in one go in a fun and engaging way.
I am now on a mission to spread the word about this method. If you would like to know more about it please visit my website www.laclefanglaise.com/teachers-zone.html

tenneray
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Re: Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

Unread post by tenneray » 29 Aug 2020, 00:32

I agree that verb tenses are paramount. Also, some of the tenses—like the past perfect—probably should not be taught. Students need to be able to express themselves using the half dozen or so main tenses. Only students who are very advanced may need more esoteric tenses. For many tenses, however, a passive knowledge is enough.
As for teacher training in a post Covid-19 world, I have a couple of thoughts. First, the CELTA has to go. It has long been wrongly regarded as a kind of Holy Grail, and it is really just an outdated and overpriced introduction to TEFL. Second, the TEFL industry needs to accept the fact that teacher credentials gained online are equivalent to those earned in a brick-and-mortar setting. The setting and rigor of the instruction do not correlate. Trainees on a TEFL course who need teaching experience should still obtain it, of course. But the training course assignments and 90% of the training course can be completed online. In fact, it may be possible to accept online teaching as the teaching component, so the course could be 100% online.

EngTenses
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Posts: 14
Joined: 10 Aug 2020, 21:21
Status: Teacher Trainer

Re: Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

Unread post by EngTenses » 29 Aug 2020, 09:14

You say that tenses are paramount. Then you say don't teach the past perfect. Why not? Do you think your students are retards? That they won't be able to cope with it. Students are told that tenses are difficult by the teachers so it's no wonder they don't dare use them. So they hop along on one leg using what they have been allowed to learn. However teachers are not afraid of giving them loads and loads of vocabulary. The most common problem students have when they come to me is that they have vocab but can't make sentences. If you don't teach the past perfect then you are complicating the teaching of ' could have done, should have done, would have done'. It's base is the past perfect.
I have a system for teaching all the tenses which is fun, engaging and simple. I have created an online course if you are at all interested. Post me a message.

tenneray
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Joined: 16 Sep 2013, 21:11
Status: Teacher

Re: Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

Unread post by tenneray » 29 Aug 2020, 14:59

Did I say the students were "retards"? Your choice of words is really poor.
The majority of the students that I have encountered struggle badly with the present perfect. Why should students who fail to use the present perfect well attempt to learn the past perfect??

EngTenses
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Joined: 10 Aug 2020, 21:21
Status: Teacher Trainer

Re: Does Tefl need a shake up and need to shape up? Discuss?

Unread post by EngTenses » 29 Aug 2020, 20:58

Sorry, yes you're right it isn't very elegant language. My apologies.
I know students in general have problems with the present perfect. That's because they have been badly taught from the start. When I use my system to teach them the tenses we don't have this problem. They get a general view of how the tenses operate instead of learning tenses piece meal. Rather than compare past simple / present perfect. It is better to compare present continuous / present perfect. You then transfer that to the past : past continuous / past perfect.
When I see that a student has problems with the tenses I always use my system to review all the tenses. That usually solves the problem.

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